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African American Theatre Program marks milestone

by John Chamberlain, communications and marketing last modified Sep 25, 2013 02:13 PM

The African American Theatre Program (AATP) at the University of Louisville will begin its 2013 ‒ 2014 season with an exhibit and reception to celebrate its 20th year.

African American Theatre Program marks milestone

"Shakin' the Mess Outta Misery" was a 2012 AATP production.

A free, public anniversary celebration will be held 5 ‒ 7 p.m. Oct. 1 at the Thrust Theater, 2314 S. Floyd St. Special guests to be honored include former theater chair Stephen Schultz, Founder’s Award for helping launch the program; Shirley Reynolds Ewing, theater chair for Jefferson Community and Technical College, and Karen Hunter, education coordinator for the Lincoln Foundation, Pioneer Awards for nurturing black theater. An exhibit, including posters and materials from AATP productions, will remain open to the public until next fall in Thrust Theater.

“The names of all the students and community cast members will be honored in the exhibit,” said program director Deana Thomas. “It’s been a great 20 years for the program. Nine premieres have been produced, and our students have performed on stages around the country and the world.”

Thomas also will present a gift of materials and records about AATP’s history to the university’s Archives and Special Collections. UofL has the only theater arts department that fully integrates such a program into its university curriculum and also offers a graduate certificate in African American theater, according to the theater arts department.

Plans for the upcoming season include:

  • “Monsieur Baptiste, the Con Man,” Roger Furman’s adaptation of Moliere’s “Tartuffe”; workshops by New York theater agent Shirley Faison, Broadway director and producer Woodie King and actors Jasmine Guy and Donald Faison; and a gala, Nov. 20 ‒ 24
  • Fundraiser for student cultural exchange with the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore, featuring Carolyn Gage’s “Mason-Dixon,” performed by Thomas and Rinda Frye, theater chair, in their final UofL roles before retiring, March 27 ‒ 29

“Gem of the Ocean,” August Wilson play guest-directed by Clinton Turner Davis, producer, director and co-founder of the Non-Traditional Casting Project, which advocates roles for ethnic, female and disabled performing artists, April 9 ‒ 13

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