University of Pittsburgh
November 4, 1998


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 4 -- Deneene Brockington, former marketing manager of the Freedom Theatre in Philadelphia, has been named managing director of the internationally-renowned Kuntu Repertory Theatre (KRT) at the University of Pittsburgh.

In her new position, which is funded by a grant from the Pittsburgh Foundation Multicultural Arts Initiative, Brockington will work directly with KRT's founder and artistic director, Vernell A. Lillie. Brockington's initial responsibilities include assessing the strengths and weaknesses of Kuntu, reviewing budgetary needs, developing plans for the touring company and exploring ways to increase revenue.

"With Deneene's help in increasing development and funding support, Kuntu Repertory Theatre is making a move for recognition as a strong African-American theatre along with the Ensemble Theatre in Texas, Freedom Theatre in Philadelphia, Crossroads in New Jersey, New Federal in New York and Penumbra in Minnesota," said Lillie.

Among her duties, Brockington will work with Washington Consulting to create and implement a three-year strategic plan, and develop a management team and board of directors.

"The possibilities for Kuntu are endless," said Brockington. "I'm excited to be back and I'm looking forward to applying my background in research, planning, implementation and review to build an organizational infrastructure that will systematize the day-to-day operations of the company. I see resources available that Kuntu can tap into to make it a strong national voice for the African-American community."

Brockington graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in business in 1992. A former member of the Kuntu Repertory Theatre, she also received an arts management certificate from the University of Massachusetts in 1995. At Freedom Theatre, where she worked with the nationally-renowned Walter Dallas, Brockington more than doubled ticket revenue and increased theater patrons from 8,000 to 37,000 in three years. Prior to her work with Freedom Theatre, she held positions with Brushfire and the Walnut Street Theatres in Philadelphia.

One of the nation's oldest African-American theaters associated with a major university, KRT has for 24 years provided opportunities for African-American playwrights, actors, administrators, designers and technicians. Kuntu Repertory is a non-profit institution that produces theater grounded in the African Continuum. According to its stated philosophical tradition, KRT "cries out for all to recognize that the African-American has a past and is discovering and recovering memories of this past."