The two-hour program will include A Visual Presentation on The History of Black Theater in Detroit, presented by Romie Minor, Assistant Manager for the Special Collections Department and Curator of the E. Azalia Hackley Collection of African Americans in the Performing Arts at the Detroit Public Library. The program will also include a historic and fascinating look at the evolution of black theater in Detroit, reenactments of selected scenes from three plays produced by Concept East Theater featuring Detroit area actors, a panel discussion on black theater history and future in Detroit featuring:
· Woodie King, Jr. He is the founding director of New York City's New Federal Theatre, and has almost 300 productions under his belt. He was also one of the founders of Detroit’s Concept East and has become one of the most recognized names in theater from Detroit. (UPDATE, WOODIE KING WILL NOT BE AT CONFERENCE THIS YEAR)
· David Rambeau. He is the executive producer of Project BAIT (Black Awareness In Television), which produces and distributes the television programs: For My People, Business In The Black and THEDAMU Presents. He directs the group’s Television production internship and the writers’ workshop.
· Dorothy Robinson. She is the founder & artistic director of Creative Express Theatre Company/Dorothy Robinson Playhouse. Plays written by Ms. Robinson include: Stagolee, produced by WSU, Why Old Men Sit on Park Benches & many others.
· Bill Harris. He is a playwright, poet, critic, and novelist, and a Professor of English at Wayne State University in Detroit. He was formerly production coordinator for Jazzmobile, and the New Federal Theatre, both in New York. His plays have had more than one hundred productions nationwide.
Also, from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 22 in the Museum’s Rotunda area will be a poster exhibit of black theater groups in Detroit during the 1960s and 70s, including materials from: Dorothy Robinson Playhouse, Plowshares Theater, The Detroit Theater Company, The Oliver Pookrum Theater Project, Marygrove College Performing Arts & Theater, University of Detroit/Mercy and Wayne State University Theater.
The Charles H. Wright Museum will continue to celebrate black theater with a new exhibit, July 10th, 2014- January 4th, 2015, entitled A Theatre of Color: Costume Design for the Black Theatre curated by Myrna Colley-Lee. The exhibit consists of more than 100 original costume designs and over 80 production photographs, including full-scale production images from several productions portraying the black experience from before World War II through the Pulitzer Prize-winning works of August Wilson.
Colley-Lee, the curator of the A Theatre of Color, was born in Hamlet, North Carolina. She completed her BFA in art education from the Women’s College of the University of North Carolina and studied scene painting and properties at Brooklyn College, New York. A few of her credits include the CableACE Award–winning video production of Eugene O’Neil’s Long Day Journey into Night, the world premiere of the opera X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X performed at Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia and Mothers, commissioned by Bill Cosby and performed at the Crossroads theatre company in Brunswick, New Jersey.
About The Wright Museum
Founded in 1965 and located at 315 East Warren Avenue in Detroit the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American experience. For more information please call (313) 494-5800 or visitTheWright.org.