With limited opportunities for Black actresses in theater, Tracie Collins is changing the landscape by producing, writing and directing productions that star Black female leds. The Oakland-bred self-starter honed her acting skills at the American Conservatory Theater and has appeared in more than four full-production stage plays and starred in several other productions. Despite her impressive resume, Tracie hasn’t garnered mainstream attention.
Tracie’s underrated career led her to create her upcoming “One-women Show.” She’s determined to make a difference for women of color on-stage and behind the curtain.
With a proactive mindset, Tracie is opening up about all it would take to make change in the industry.
HelloBeautiful: What do you think it would take for the mainstream to recognized African American women creators?
Trace Collins: More women of color developing original content behind the scenes. More writers, more producers and more directors. We need more women of color calling the shots and making the decisions behind the camera so we can see more diversity on scene.
HB: Why do you think you haven’t garnered mainstream success?
TC: Not too many Black women are leading forces in the arena of theater. So to improve my journey, I had to transition from in front of the camera to behind.
HB: How are you creating opportunities behind-the-scenes?
TC: With all of my productions, I have a strong African American female led. I create roles that speak directly to us as black women and our stories. My work is provocative and I bring our stories to the forefront in a realistic, palatable manor so it can be received and heard by all.
I give my artists room to grow in their character because they help bring my work and vision to life. BTS, I also employ those who are great but need the opportunity to shine. I love raw talent. I always seek it. I get tired of the recycled talent in Hollywood because there are so many others who just need a chance.
HB: Tell us about your “One-woman Show”
TC: The “One-woman Show” is based on my life and how I grew to this point. More importantly, what pushed me to do the “One-woman Show” was rejection. Rejection from the media. Rejection from industry professionals who feel that I “haven’t done enough” to deserve to be supported or organized. My team always gets asked, ‘Who is Tracie Collins?’ Well, I have decided to tell them in the best way I know how. So now when asked that question, we can say, “Did you see the show?”