Buddy Butler

From a profile of Professor Buddy Butler on the San Jose State University/WSQ website

When Theatre Arts Professor Charles “Buddy” Butler was eight years old, he was invited to audition for a play at Cleveland’s Karamu Theater, one of the oldest African-American theater groups in the country. He landed a part in “Jezebel’s Husband,” a satire by Robert Nathan, igniting a lifelong love of theater. An original member of New York City’s Negro Ensemble Company and a founding member of the Black Theatre Alliance and The Black Theatre Network, Butler believes theater is a medium for preserving cultural history and exploring universal truth.

“Sharing stories is very much part of the African-American experience,” he says. “Growing up, my parents and grandmother told me stories or read to me. All of these rich historical stories are part of our legacy. Being able to write and act those stories out made me want to be in theater. I get to share who I am with you. It breaks down so many barriers because our stories become common.”

“There are no black or white emotions. You hurt, I hurt. Pain is pain, love is love. It’s the occasion which is different, not so much the feeling. But if we break life down to the essentials, we share almost everything. The only difference is our cultural and historic context.”

NFT Credits

Credit Type Production Season
Director In the House of Blues 1985-86 Season