Yunina Barbour-Payne

Scholar, Artist, Educator

Yunina Barbour-Payne is a scholar, artist and activist. From Art for Social Justice, Affrilachian Theater to Short Comedy, you may find it all here.

Time and Time Again.jpg

Theater for/with Youth


This production was OUTSTANDING, IMPACTFUL and filled with GUT- WRENCHING EMOTION and IMAGERY THAT PROPELLED THE SENSES TO A PLACE WHERE ONE COULD FEAST ON “ART WITH A PURPOSE” and leave the Ensemble Theatre with either a “mental re-boot” or a “heart transplant”! Thank you YPP. This was in my opinion, the STRONGEST, WELL PRODUCED, FAR REACHING and BEST OVERALL PRODUCTION to date.
— Andrea Mosely ( Audience Member of TIME AND TIME AGAIN Summer 2018)
Just getting home after having watched Time and Time Again at the Ensemble Theater. This play for youth written and directed by Yunina B. Payne. I am so fortunate to have such powerful creative and justice oriented energy in my life. The play is about many things: time, police violence, #Blacklivesmatter, youth, the power of Black art, the struggle to use art for justice, the life of critical Black playwright Lorraine Hansberry. It was an emotional and impactful and i cried from almost start to finish. which is good and cathartic. I was proud to see many thoughtful words from my peers on the project that is justice-minded education in the age of police violence reflected in the play.
— Audience Member at September 2016 Performance of Time ad Time Again

Original Creative Works

Hands Up.jpeg

Time and Time Again

A radical play with music for Young Performers

Synopsis Time and Time again follows three youth, Sandy, Mike and Trey young millennials of color, who live in various parts of the U.S. Each youth offers their differing views of the American Dream. Set in urban spaces around the U.S., Time and Time again, chronicles the gifts and potential of each of the individuals, while depicting stereotypical limitations for young people of color in the present day. Framed by the words of the infamous African American playwright, Lorraine Hansberry, this work offers an intimate interaction between historical perspectives on activism and present day realities sparking the Black Lives Matter Movement. Parents, family and community members gathered for two nights at the end of July to witness this performance and simultaneously begin social healing.

Produced July 29th and 30th of 2016 at the Ensemble Theatre in Houston Texas. This play was first performed by a group of youth during the Young Performers Program. 


Never Again Logo 1.jpg


A musical about social justice activism


It’s spring semester and the students in Mr. Washington’s history class are taking notes to plot a revolution. Set in an urban high school filled with young people fed up with violence in their communities, NEVER AGAIN raises the voices of five student activists. At the height of school shootings plaguing schools across the nation, Mr. Washington’s students must confront issues of violence head on. When the need for activism comes too close for comfort, which students will emerge as activists, witnesses, victims or survivors?

Produced June 29th and 30th of 2018 at the Ensemble Theatre in Houston Texas. This play was first performed by youth participating in the Young Performers' Program.

A Star is Bourne.jpg

A Star is Bourne 

A musical  for Young Performers Co -authored with Brandon Dalegreantiss

Synopsis A Star is Bourne, is the story of Destiny Young, a young aspiring artist who goes on a journey to know herself. She learns not only about the history of the music she wants to sing, but also matures into a young woman willing to take responsibility for herself and the contribution her art can make to society.


Produced July 30th and August 1st  of 2015 at the Ensemble Theatre in Houston Texas. This play was first performed by a group of youth during the Young Performers Program.