A Real Read"Poetic, eclectic, black gay culture wrapped into words" -- that is how Derrick Mathis, writer for the Chicago Reader, described this outspoken African-American lesbigaytrans/ intersex performance ensemble. Representing a community living under a dual minority status, A Real Read addresses concerns relevant to its community: HIV and AIDS prevention, homophobia, religion, women and transgender issues. Through their poetry, prose and plays, the group strives to give a voice to a community often silenced, while offering performances that reflect the universal.

Byron S. Stewart founder, along with co-founders Sanford E. Gaylord and Byron Mason collaborated and formed the ensemble in 1996, enlisting the talents of many artists: Derrick Anthony, David Barnett, Ronda Bedgood, Keith Butler, C.C. Carter, Terry Cullers, Joel Hall, Kelly Love,Catherine May, Patricia Mickey, Mary F. Morten, Christopher McMorris, Lynnell S. Long, Elizabeth Shivers, Shannon Sudduth, Avery R. Young, and many others. Some of these artists have moved on to other opportunities.

A Real Read is a company in residence at the Bailiwick Arts Center. As a company in residence, we have produced our own original works (see Booking Options) and the works of Larry Duckette, Steve Langley, Dr. Shirlene Holmes and other poets and playwrights of African descent in the Studio and Main Stage.

Our latest addition to the website is our Reading Room. This offers some examples of writing by several members of the ensemble. It may help visitors to our site get a better idea of our work.


To discuss our fees and schedule an appearance, please send an email message to us at arealread@juno.com.

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