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Theatre event features leading directors, experts on black theater

by John Chamberlain, communications and marketing last modified Oct 24, 2012 04:40 PM

UofL’s African American Theatre Program will bring some of the nation’s leading experts on black theater to Louisville to speak in two free, public presentations.

Barbara and Carlton Molette, seasoned playwrights and directors, will lead a town-hall-format discussion on the elements of Afro-centricity in performance and production at 12:30 p.m., Oct. 25, in the Thrust Theatre, 2314 S. Floyd St. A Q&A will follow the talk.

The Molettes have extensive experience in all areas of theater, from writing and performance to production and design. Their new play “Presidential Timber” premiered at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in September.

On Nov. 5 Kenny Leon, who is known for his work on Broadway and regional theater, will work with theater students during the day followed by a 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. question-and-answer session and an inside look at theater. It will be in the Playhouse, Cardinal Boulevard in the triangle between Second and Third streets.

Leon produced a remake of the film “Steel Magnolias” that premiered earlier this month on Lifetime TV with an all-black cast. He is one of the foremost African American directors in the United States and is co-founder and artistic director for Atlanta’s True Colors Theatre Company, an organization dedicated to the diversity and preservation of African American classics. His current projects include a stage adaptation of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” and a musical inspired by the work of rapper Tupac Shakur.

Directed by Deana Thomas, the university’s African American Theatre Program is part of the Department of Theatre Arts and one of only a few graduate programs of its kind in the United States. The program will mark its 20th anniversary in 2013.

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