McCarty on the set of The Chelsea Arms, 2012
Watch ‘The Chelsea Arms’ Trailer

Read the Reviews:
"Stage review: Music carries Kuntu's ambitious 'Chelsea Arms'" —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"Kuntu Repertory's The Chelsea Arms" —Pittsburgh City Paper

McCarty 砡s Playwright and Director

Ernest McCarty is a native of Chicago, who has authored and co-authored more than 27 produced plays and musicals, and has been associated with the ETA in Chicago and Quaigh Theatre in New York City before becoming Artistic Director for New Horizon Theater, in Pittsburgh. His first production, I Dreamt I Dwelt In Bloomingdales, was presented at the Provincetown Playhouse in New York City in 1970.

Other theatrical works produced in New York City include Dinah! Queen of the Blues, presented at the Westside Arts Theatre, starring Sasha Dalton; When The Spirit Moves, starring Tony Award winner Trazana Beverley; The Exchange; and The Separate Vacation.

Among his plays and musicals produced in Chicago and Pittsburgh are The Chelsea Arms, Madame Hortense (Joseph Jefferson Award), the tone poem A Cosmic Night, Recollection Rag (Hoyt W. Fuller One-Act Play Festival Award, aired on PBS), and Love Spirit! Ernest McCarty is a member of the Dramatists Guild and was named Prolific Playwright of 1998 by In Pittsburgh newspaper.

Directing credits for Ernest McCarty include The Chelsea Arms, Raisin, Robert Johnson: Trick The Devil, Ossie Davis' Purlie Victorious (AACTA Onyx Award Best Director), Humbug Man (New York and London Quaigh Theatre productions), Brazilian Rendezvous, A Cosmic Night, The Separate Vacation, Madame Hortense, Recollection Rag, The Exchange, Samm-Art Williams' Home, A Window to Home, Life After Coma, Give Us Another Tune, The Region (an American opera), Sisters and Cheryl West's Jar The Floor.



The play, containing equal parts of drama and comedy, is about the chance meeting of two retired women making their monthly stop at the local bank to cash their social security or pension checks. They behave at first with the usual social graces, not revealing too much, just being polite. After being in each other’s company, and under the influence of afternoon tea spiked with spirits, they let their guard down and decide to act dangerously. They both discover that each has kept a diary/journal of important and private moments in their lives. A decision is made to exchange diaries so that each can read the other’s story. The agony and outcome of such a decision is an emotional study of human nature.
(Hoyt W. Fuller One-Act Play Festival Award winner)

   Top Time & Place: The time is the present. The play may be set in any city.
(It can be adapted to most cities/any language since the subject is universal.)


Fall in love all over again, cabaret style. A musical revue, seen off-Broadway in New York, has over 20 songs about the ins and outs and the ups and downs of being in love. The performers “jazz” you, “Samba” you and “blues” you through the joys and heartache of opening up your heart in today's less than perfect world of relationships.


(The musical was also performed in Chicago with a cast of 9 with a complete neighborhood as its backdrop and in Pittsburgh as a cabaret review with 5 actor/singer/dancers).

Time & Place: The here and now.


A Cosmic Night is a tone poem, based on the poetry of Poet Laureate of Illinois, Gwendolyn Brooks, as compiled in her book To Disembark. When a mother sees reflected in her sonⳠeyes all the frustrations of centuries of struggle, it triggers a detailed account of a turbulent time in America and the effect it had on the lives beyond story takes us back to a Chicago


neighborhood on the day Martin Luther King was assassinated. While it is a different day and time now, it seems that some things are still the same. This musical work points up that order can and does come out of chaos.

Time & Place: A Chicago neighborhood, the evening Martin Luther King was assassinated.

Gwendolyn Brooks was born in Topeka, Kansas and grew up in Chicago. Poet Laureate of Illinois, she is a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Among her awards: Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award, Shelley Memorial Award, two Guggenheim fellowships, 40 honorary doctorates and the Kuumba Liberation Award. She taught at Columbia College, Elmhurst College, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Northeastern Illinois University and City College of New York. She also lectured at hundreds of colleges and universities and was the author of 15 books. A Cosmic Night is based on her 1981 book To Disembark.


Madame Hortense, en route to Hollywood to make a long-awaited screen debut, reflects on her colorful past through an interview with a not-too-impressive newspaper reporter. She flamboyantly describes through song, dance and skits, how she survived the pitfalls and struggles of her climb up the ladder of success and how with determination she is transformed from saloon singer to the most sought after 㳴ar䠯f her time. (Winner Joseph Jefferson award)

   Top Time & Place: Present in Madame Hortense’s dressing room
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