Austin’s Only African American Theatre Company

  • Increase public awareness of the significant contributions of African Americans in creating a diversified American theatrical tradition.
  • Encourage and facilitate a culturally diverse and all-inclusive America by using theatre to teach, criticize, comment on, and model performance excellence.
  • Use theatre to create an American mythology that includes African Americans and other peoples of color in every thread of the fabric of our society.
  • Continue to maintain and stabilize a black performing arts community.



Ella Shelton

“What a wonderful experience!

Each performance I attended was with family. We all agree. It was a wonderful experience! First-Class talent, with professional acting and storylines, putting a smile on your face. You find yourself sharing it with others, for days to come.”

Bree Z. Love and Mrs. Stewart

“Amazing Performance!

More than ecstatic to share my support and love; regarding the performance my mom and I attended. The cast of Spectrum put on a show to remember. They brought laughter, joy and love to the show with song and voices.  We left the show inspired and fully entertained.
Thanks for all, of the gifts shared with us,”

Deborah Duncan Hurdle

“What a delight to have Spectrum Theater, a Black/African American owned and operated company in our community. I can’t get enough of their performances. They are all dynamically talented.

Each actor/actress has his/her personal flare and presentation.  To witness Judy Arnold-Hunter play the role of a Mother in Rosetta at the Millennium Center brought back so many memories.  To see everyday people express themselves in ways to bring joy to others is remarkable.  Experiencing The Colored Museum at Boyd Vance Theater gave perspective to Black/African History and culture.  I experienced emotions of joy, pain, love and more as I sat through the Tribute to the late Mr. Billy Horton. Rest in peace our dear brother. We must keep in touch with our history and culture. We can do this by keeping Spectrum Theater alive and thriving. ”

Joyce Brisco


My name is Joyce Brisco from Austin, Texas. It is my pleasure to briefly share my experience with Spectrum Theatre Group.

I have attended many of their performances over the years.  From the moment you walk into the theatre, ENERGY, ENTHUSIASM, and an ELECTRIFYING wave of audience anticipation, are felt!   You are guaranteed an afternoon or evening chalked full entertainment.  There will be laughter, tears, thrills, chills, anger, as the actors take on their roles and BECOME their characters! In turn, the audience falls in love with the Protagonist, Despises the Antagonist.

Technically, their shows are flawless.

Spectrum’s shows are Broadway spectacular! The actors are sharp, polished and professional and very kind!  Once the curtain falls, the actors eagerly greet audience members with smiles and gratitude for supporting their performance.

Spectrum Theatre Group Best in Town! Hands DOWN!!! Bravo! Thank you for all you do for Austin and vicinity.”

Leonard Woods, Esq.

“My wife and I were honored to work with Spectrum Theater Co. Our relationship with Billy Harden and his family inspired us to become a part of the Board of Directors.  What a great legacy Billy has left, and his legacy will continue to provide black theater goers across central Texas with spectacular entertainment! ”

Marilyn Bostick

“THE Spectrum Theatre Company enhances the communities understanding of themselves and others through the shared experiences of live theatre.

Further it identifies community theatre as the developers, implementers and launching pad for both broadway and film.
Thank you, Judy Arnold, for being the ambassador for theatre in the Austin community.”

Candyce L. Rusk

Playwright and Support, Austin, Texas

Spectrum Theatre Company steps boldly into the creative theatrical world in Central Texas. I’m grateful to Spectrum’s support of a developmental workshop of the original musical Rosetta, as well as staging other innovative established and new plays.

I remain an avid supporter of Spectrum Theatre Company’s productions and needed voice in Austin!

Julius Tennon - Viola Davis

On behalf of the Tennon Davis family we are proud to be contributors to Spectrum Theater and the vision of its founding father Billy Hardin.

Marc A. Pouhé

My name is Marc Pouhé and I’m an Austin based actor. I’ve been acting professionally for 16 years in theatre, film and television, and with local theatres ranging from Austin Shakespeare, Austin Playhouse, Zach Theatre, Mary Moody Northen Theatre and Spectrum Theatre. Some of my best experiences have included telling vital stories about the Black experience by Black storytellers.

The organization that has allowed me to do that the most has been Spectrum.  From singing with Austin’s most talented musicians in Crowns, to telling three vastly different stories in Spunk, to portraying Martin Luther King Jr. in Spectrum’s co-production of The Mountaintop with Austin Playhouse, I will be forever grateful. I am also grateful for the lessons learned from and the legacy left by the great Dr. Billy Harden. I know and trust that Spectrum will continue to share and nourish that legacy for years to come.

RodGerick D. Bradley

I have watch several spectrum Theatre productions and love them all some other productions that I’ve watched were; Crowns, “Once on this island”, A tribute to Billy Harden, A Color museum, a night with Boyd Vance, lift every voice, the black history month program, Juneteenth Chronicles, just to name a few.
Spectrum brings to life a Professional production that promotes black artist excellence from the Austin and surrounding areas. As a lover of the arts I am a big supporter of Spectrum. Spectrum showcases some of Austin’s greatest entertainers such as Judy R. Arnold- Hunter, Jacqui Cross-Williams, Janis Stinson, Carla Nichols, Billy Harden, and THE musical director Mattie Robinson just to name a few. A Black theater company is so greatly needed here in the Austin area. Look forward to their next productions.

Saul Paul

I just won the B. Iden Payne Award for “Best Original Score”. In my acceptance speech I shouted out Dr. Billy Harden of Spectrum Theatre Company. He’s no longer here (R.I.H.) but his legacy lives on through me. I met Dr. Harden when he was a School Principal. He would always invite me to his schools no matter what school he was at and have me speak and perform for his students. He always told me my story was important and to keep sharing it. Dr. Harden was the one who introduced me to and booked me for my first musical theatre production- SPUNK. I was type cast. I was a guitar player. Actually, I wasn’t type cast because I had a non-speaking role.

Vicki McKain

Whether musicals, dramas, or comedies Spectrum Theater Company produces insightful and rich works.  The company members are dedicated to bringing the audience productions that touch the heart, warm the soul, and enlighten the mind as they keep stories of the Black experience alive. Excellent casts embody characters in stories of survival, blues, love, and life.

Staged readings of old plays, actual word readings of people’s experiences, and works-in-progress that also cover the range of laughter to shock are frequently provided. They have a performing arts program for youth and provide educational programs for schools.  Everyone should experience this very relevant, needed company.

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