Jacksonville Theater Co. Founded For Actors Of Color Still Thriving After Eviction

Mar 4, 2016

Actors rehearse for "Frat House" at the Amelia Musical Playhouse.
Credit Stage Aurora Theatrical Co. via Facebook

The Stage Aurora Theatrical Company was evicted from a mall on Jacksonville’s Northside when new owners took over last summer.

That was a decade after founder Darryl Reuben Hall created the venue for performers of color. Now without a home base, the troupe is bringing its shows to new areas of Northeast Florida.


Hall’s original musical “Frat House” is playing at the Amelia Musical Playhouse on Amelia Island this Friday and Saturday, March 4 and 5.

“It was because of you. We heard your interview with Darryl,” says Jill Dillingham, co-founder of Amelia Musical Playhouse. She and her husband Gregg invited Stage Aurora to perform at their new playhouse after hearing WJCT’s report. 

Gregg Dillingham says, “I just wanted to bring some diversity to the island, because we’re just sort of one-note on a lot of the plays and a lot of the things they do there.”

The cast of “Frat House” is what Hall describes as “99 percent black.” That’s not the case in most theater productions in Northeast Florida. Hall says it’s one reason he’s thankful for the new partnership.

“To bring us out to Amelia Island is bringing diversity out to Amelia Island,” he says. “It’s a great thing, especially in this day and age.”

After wrapping the musical, Stage Aurora will continue performing new work in Jacksonville, thanks to a Cultural Council Spark Grant and donated performance space.