Black Stage Turns To Mainstream Collaboration To Make Ends Meet

CLEVELAND (AP) - Black theaters in America often deal with struggles similar to their inner-city themes on stage.

Now these theaters increasingly find financial help through collaboration with mainstream theaters.

Karamu House of Cleveland has worked with high-powered theater companies, including a joint fundraiser and a shared workshop production with the Cleveland Play House.

Karamu House alumni include Emmy-winning actor Robert Guillaume and James Pickens Junior of "Grey's Anatomy."

In Minneapolis, the city's mainstream Guthrie Theater is presenting a production of the August Wilson play "Gem of the Ocean" produced by the black-oriented Penumbra Theater Company.

The collaborations help black theaters with production costs and provide wider media exposure.