NiA, Swahli for “purpose,” is a most appropriate name for a small, but determined theatre company dedicated to performance with a purpose. And that purpose is to educate, inform, and empower the community-at-large by bringing artistic programs to nontraditional theatre-goers such as minorities, at-risk youth and economically-challenged groups.

NiAFounded in 1998 by graduates of Trustus Theatre's African American Acting Workshop, the NiA Company had as its debut performance, an original short play, at the Richland County Public Library to a standing-room only crowd.  Just as the AAAW has evolved into the Multi-Ethnic Acting Workshop, so too has NiA grown and developed over the years.  Expanding into a broad variety of materials and venues, while maintaining it's commitment to the community through NiA's three pillars of performance... storytelling, music, and theatre.

The following year, Trustus Theatre invited the NiA Company into a partnership, increasing that theatre's youth and minority audiences while providing NiA with performance space, organizational support and the opportunity to develop a strong presence in Trustus's Late Night Series.

The NiA Company is a grassroots-teaching group that educates community members with little or no training and affords them the opportunity to participate in a professional level of theatre. Seasoned veterans of educational and community theatre work hand in hand with those who may bring only their love of the art and the desire to improve their craft.