Livestreamed on this page on on Thursday 8 October 2020 at 4 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 6 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 7 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).
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Black Directors Roundtable
Centering the voices of Black leaders in theatre with the National Institute for Directing & Ensemble Creation
The National Institute for Directing & Ensemble Creation presented a Black Directors Roundtable livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 8 October 2020 at 4 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 6 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 7 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).
The National Institute for Directing & Ensemble Creation kicks off a new online programming series on 8 October with a Black Directors Roundtable, moderated by Linda Parris-Bailey, featuring esteemed directors Lou Bellamy of Penumbra, Sharon Bridgforth, Stephanie McKee of Junebug Productions, and Steven Sapp of UNIVERSES. Join us for a very special evening, centering the voices of Black leaders in theatre, co-presented by Pangea World Theatre & Art2Action. Free and open to the public.
Register here to join the Zoom call or watch the livestream on this page.
Lou Bellamy is the founder and Co-Artistic Director of Penumbra Theatre Company in Saint Paul, Minnesota. During his thirty-nine year tenure, Penumbra has evolved into one of America’s premier theaters dedicated to dramatic exploration of the African American experience. Under his leadership, Penumbra has grown to be the largest theater of its kind in America and has produced 39 world premieres, including August Wilson’s first professional production. Penumbra is proud to have produced more of Mr. Wilson’s plays than any other theater in the world. Mr. Bellamy is an OBIE Award-winning director, an accomplished actor, and for 38 years was appointed as Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance. Directing credits include plays at Arizona Theatre Company, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Penumbra Theatre, Signature Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Cleveland Play House, Indiana Repertory Theatre, The Guthrie Theater, The Kennedy Center, and Hartford Stage Company. Penumbra Theatre website.
Sharon Bridgforth - A Doris Duke Performing Artist, Sharon Bridgforth is a writer that creates ritual/jazz theatre. A 2020-2023 Playwrights’ Center Core Member, Sharon has received support from Creative Capital, MAP Fund, the National Performance Network and is a New Dramatists alumnae. Sharon has served as a dramaturg for the Urban Bush Women Choreographic Center Initiative’s Choreographic Fellowship program and has been in residence with: the NoVo Foundation; Thousand Currents; Brown University’s MFA Playwriting Program; University of Iowa’s MFA Playwrights Program; The Theatre School at DePaul University; allgo, A Texas Statewide QPOC organization; and The Department of Performance Studies at Northwestern University. Widely published, Sharon is Executive Producer and Host of the Who Yo People Is podcast series. Visit her website.
Stephanie V. McKee-Andersonis an artist, organizer and cultural strategist born in Picayune MS and raised in New Orleans. She is the Executive Artistic Director of Junebug Productions, Inc. an organization birthed out of the Free Southern Theater (FST), which was formed in 1963 as one of many cultural arms of the Civil Rights Movement. FST would eventually be a tremendous influence on the the Black Arts Movement. McKee has a long history of creating powerful performances that she strategically leverages for social change. McKee is a 2018 Urban Bush Women Choreographic Fellowship recipient and under McKee’s leadership, Junebug Productions was a recipient of a Surdna Foundation's Artist engaged in social change award for Homecoming Project, and the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) Theater Project grant for Gomela to Return/Movement of Our Mother Tongue which was her directorial debut. McKee serves on the board and executive committee of National Performance Network, is a member of Alternate ROOTS, a 2007 New Voices emerging Leader alumnus, a 2015 Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) Leadership Fellow and a Group Leader for the 2017 APAP Leadership Fellow cohort. Visit the Junebug Productions website.
Linda Parris-Bailey (MODERATOR) creates story-based plays with music focusing on themes of transformation and empowerment. She is President and CEO of Parris-Bailey Arts, Inc., and former Executive/Artistic Director of The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc of Knoxville, TN. During her forty-seven year career as a playwright, she has written and performed numerous works. Linda is a 2019 Creative Capital Awardee, and recipient of a 2015 Doris Duke Artists Award in Theater. Her award winning works include, Speed Killed My Cousin and Between A Ballad and A Blues, her ode to Appalachian renaissance man Howard "Louie Bluie" Armstrong. Her signature work Dark Cowgirls and Prairie Queens continues to be performed. Linda is a founding member of Alternate Roots and a Senior Advisor to the Women Playwrights International Conference. Her works have been published in Alternate Roots: Plays from the Southern Theater, Ensemble Works, and other anthologies of contemporary plays. She is currently developing two new works Flushing and Yankee Bajan. Flushing, an adult puppet piece, is a collaboration with Eric Bass and Ines Zeller-Bass of Sandglass Theater, directed by Kathie DeNobriga. The piece centers on generational transitions in leadership, race, and culture. Yankee Bajanis an original play which focuses on an African American family's response to the racism and violence that continues to plague America and their journey to repatriate to their ancestral home in Barbados. Visit her website.
Steven Sapp is a Co-Founder/Core Member of UNIVERSES since 1995. Playwriting/Acting credits include: UNISON (Directed/Developed by Robert O'Hara); PARTY PEOPLE (Directed/Developed by Liesl Tommy); AMERIVILLE (Directed/Developed by Chay Yew); The Denver Project (Director Dee Covington); One Shot in Lotus Position (Director Bonnie Metzger); BLUE SUITE (Directed/Developed by Chay Yew); SLANGUAGE (Directed/Developed by Jo Bonney); RHYTHMICITY (Playwright/Actor/Director); THE RIDE (Playwright/Actor/Director). Acting only credits include: The Comedy of Errors (Directed by Kent Gash). Directing credits include: THE ARCHITECTURE OF LOSS (Assistant Director to Chay Yew); Will Powers’ THE SEVEN (Director-The Univ. of Iowa); Alfred Jarry’s UBU:Enchained (Director-Teatre Polski, Poland). Awards/Affiliations: 2015 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award (Theatre); Oregon Shakespeare Festival Acting Company Member (3 Seasons:’12-‘14); 2008 U.S. Cultural Ambassador w/ the U.S. State Dept./Jazz at Lincoln Center - Rhythm Road Tour; 2008 TCG Peter Zeisler Award; 2002 TCG National Directors Award; 2002-2004 and 1999-2001 TCG National Theater Artist Residency Program Award; 1998 and 2002 BRIO Awards (Bronx Recognizes its own-Performance); Van Lier Fellowship w/ New Dramatists; Co-Founder of The Point CDC; New York Theatre Workshop Usual Suspect; BARD College, BA ’89 - Theater. Publications: UNIVERSES’ The Revolution will be Live! (2017 release- TCG Books); SLANGUAGE in The Fire This Time (TCG Books); BLUE SUITE in The Goodman Theatre’s Festival Latino - Six Plays (Northwestern University Press); PARTY PEOPLE in The Manifesto Anthology (Rain City Projects- Fall 2014); Featured on the covers of American Theater Magazine 2004 and The Source Magazine 2000. Visit the Universes website.
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