About us


The Spectrum Theatre Company creates professional productions that promote artistic excellence through thought provoking stories of the human condition as seen through the spectrum of the African American experience with the goal to:

~ 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.

The Spectrum Theatre Company was born out of a need to create art that impacts the social and cultural norms facing the diverse populations in Austin, Texas. In the summer of 2013, four of Austin’s leading Black actors met to begin exploratory conversation about how the unique stories from the African American perspective could be interwoven into the fabric of the Austin Theatre scene. This group of veteran thespians included Jacqui Cross, Janis Stinson, Carla Nickerson, and Billy Harden. This powerful representation of African American theatre experience quickly began to open up endless possibilities of thought as to how the Black experience could be magnified throughout the community. After a successful journey to the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival during the fall of 2013, the group returned to home expanded its membership by including other local actors to include Felicia Dinwiddie, Judy Arnold, Matrex Kilgore, Te’ Juana Johnson, Billy Brooks, Timeca Serreti, Justin Waller, Feliz McDonald, Tim Curry and Robert Pellette.

The mission of the Spectrum Theatre Company is to create professional productions that promote artistic excellence through thought provoking stories of the human condition as seen through the spectrum of the African American experience. The Company is approaching this venture with a collective impact strategy that seeks collaboration and full support from many community stakeholders. We are excited about the working to build a theatre company whose success will belong to the community at-large.

The Executive Team

Dr. Billy F. Harden, Executive Director

Dr. Billy F. Harden, Executive Director – Dr. Harden has over 30 years of experience as a stage performer and has performed children’s theater at Zachary Scott Theater in Austin, Texas. Dr. Harden has served as a teacher, instructional coach, and administrator at the all levels of education. Dr. Harden has a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.


Janis Stinson, Associate Director

Janis Stinson, Associate Artistic Director – Ms. Stinson is an award winning actress with over 30 years of experience on Austin stages. She is a member of Actors Equity Association and has taught classes at Zachary Scott Theatre’s Performing Arts School. Ms. Stinson is a graduate of Prairie View A & M University and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.


Jacqui Cross, Managing Director

Jacqui Cross, Public Relations Director – Ms. Cross has been singing professionally since she was a young girl growing up in Ohio. She has won many awards for her singing both in theater and in the gospel realm. Ms. Cross has performed her one-woman show depicting the life of gospel legend Mahalia Jackson for school audience throughout Central Texas. Jacqui has extensive experience in the banking industry.