Artistic Director Bio

Buku Productions Theatre Company, Inc. was founded in 1988 by Artistic Director and President, Reuben Yabuku.  The original goal of the company was to establish an independent theatre production company that would present quality stage plays with artistic integrity to the metro Detroit community.  In 2004 the company attained its Advance Ruling as a tax-exempt non-profit, federally recognized 501c.3 corporation and it re-committed to serve the metro Detroit area with its pledges to Adoption Awareness and Youth Education Through Theatre Arts.

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The company presses forward with its commitment to Public Service with the firm belief that at-risk children who attain an appreciation for the arts and culture are exceedingly less likely to grow up to be wayward citizens.

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Buku Productions Theatre Company’s staged accomplishments include five productions written and directed by our Artistic Director, Reuben Yabuku:

Hit The Floor Dancin’ (the hit 2006 dance musical),

Rock My Soul (Jan. 31, 2006), an official Super Bowl XL-sponsored musical event, produced by Arts League of Michigan and Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit and presented at the Detroit Institute of Arts,

Let Nobody Turn Me ‘Round (the perennial Martin Luther King Gospel musical),

Little Ghetto Boy: A Tribute Concert To Donny Hathaway (2003), and

Moms Mabley: The Naked Truth (the 1999 & 2000 hit one-woman comedy play).

Other Buku Productions Theatre Company presentations include The Colored Museum, The Meeting, Freefall, and the highly acclaimed and awarded, Fences.  In 2003, Buku Productions teamed up with Fox 2 TV Newscaster, Lee Thomas, to present Lee’s one-man mystery drama, Breaking Stories.

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Detroiters who are old enough remember the name Reuben Yabuku from 1975 to 1982 when Reuben was a very popular Disc Jockey at Detroit’s powerhouse R&B radio station, WJLB-FM 98.  He shared the airwaves with colleagues like Donnie Simpson, Al Perkins, Al Allen (formerly of Fox 2 TV News), and Martha Jean “The Queen.” Reuben brings his thirty plus years of media experience forward and continues to present positive entertainment through Buku Productions Theatre Company’s stage plays and public service activities.  As a commercial, TV and film actor, Reuben recently appeared in the principal role of Pastor Ford in “Gifted Hands,” the touching TV movie about Dr. Ben Carson which starred Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Kimberly Elise.

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Reuben Yabuku has recently directed two Nationally Touring Musical Plays for Angela Barrow Dunlap Presents. Through the musicals, “Church Girl” and “Why Good Girls Like Bad Boyz,” Yabuku directed featured performers:

Demetria McKinney (House of Payne, Real Housewives of Atlanta)

Robin Givens (The Game, Boomerang)

Angela Winbush (recording artist, Rene & Angela)

Karen Clark-Sheard (Gospel recording artist, Clark Sisters)

Tony Grant (Why Did I Get Married, Madea Gets A Job)

Leon (The Temptations mini-series, Five Heartbeats)

Darrin DeWitt Henson (Stomp The Yard, Soul Food TV series)

Clifton Powell (Ray, Menace 2 Society)

Terrell Carter (Diary of a Mad Black Woman)

Wanda Nero-Butler (Gospel recording artist)

Tasha Page-Lockhart (Gospel recording artist)

Teisha Lott-Brown (recording artist, Brownstone)

Drew Sidora (The Game, White Chicks movie)

“Church Girl” is now broadcast on Netflix, BET Television and available in video stores.