August 2018, Gregory Omar Osborne, self-produced, directed/ choreographed, set designed and lighted his first production, Five Guys Named Moe, at The Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts. It was recognized by the New York office of Producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh and the playwright, Clarke Peters. Gregory felt even more accomplished because he was not only starting a promising journey as a creative, he had found a purpose beyond the stage.
February 16th, 2019, Progressive Theater celebrated its launch with THE BUBBLY BLACK GIRL SHEDS HER CHAMELEON SKIN; written by Kirsten Childs, directed by Broadway's Jasmin Richardson, and choreographed by Osborne. The event was made possible with the collaborative efforts of The South Orange/ Maplewood Community Coalition on Race. The show sparked a community discussion on race and privilege.
The purpose behind Progressive is to create opportunities and platforms for the misrepresented: minorities and women while offering the necessary training to further a career in the arts. Such Opportunities aren't limited to performance but extend to positions in tech, design, creation etc. Osborne states, "there are many theater companies with the aim to be diverse, but Progressive Theater targets minorities: people of color and women specifically. If we cater to them, in turn, the theater community will be filled with working actors of all colors, shapes, sizes, and genders. The phrase "The Token" would no longer exist."
Progressive Theater will be Progressive Theater with or without a show. Its mission reaches beyond stage and costume. Progressive Theater is cultivating the true meaning of diversity in the theater community by empowering the misrepresented and underheard. There is room for all of us.