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Director, playwright, actor, acting coach, poet, and graphic artist  whose objective is to interpret the African American experience authentically, with all of its soulful complexities.   Recent theater work includes The Master Comic (MPAACT Theatre, 2019); Five On The Black Hand Side (Directed stage reading for Court Theatre, 2019); Requiem Of A Jazz Poet (Performer/playwright—MPAACT’s Summer Jam Series, 2018); One For The Road (Director—MPAACT Theater, winner 2019 Black Excellence Award Best Director); Testimony (theater consultant for Madhi Theatre Company, 2018); Words & Passion: An Evening With Runako Jahi, at the Greenhouse Theater Center produced by MPAACT (Ma’at Production Association of Afrikan Centered Theater, 2018); Happy Birthday, Langston Hughes, a celebratory musical revue featuring the poetry of Mr. Hughes at City Winery—Chicago, 2017; South Shore Opera Company’s production of Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line To Freedom, and  work as teaching artist with After School Matters; Urban Gateways; Upward Bound;  Medgar Evers School;  Mayfair Dance Academy; Chicago Youth Center; Joan Collaso’s Timeless Gifts youth mentoring program; PraiZe Productions performing arts program; Court Theater’s Arts in the Schools program, and the National Center For Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, Georgia’s Rialto Theatre. 


Actively involved in the theater from 1972 to date, beginning primarily as an actor and  later developed into a playwright, then an award-winning stage director.  As a teaching artist, he has inspired and trained many performers and arts practitioners.  He coached singer/actor, Jennifer Hudson, for her audition for the film, Dreamgirls,  and has over  thirty  years   experience  developing youth and adult talent.  Runako Jahi served as Artistic Director of eta Creative Arts Foundation from September 1990 to July 2014, and now continues developing the acting skills of novice  as well as experienced actors, in addition to doing dramaturgical work for playwrights.  

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