Episode 50 - Woodie King Jr. - On Douglas Turner Ward's Legacy, Black Theater & His Life

Episode 50 - Woodie King Jr. - On Douglas Turner Ward's Legacy, Black Theater & His Life

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Woodie King Jr. Imdb

IG: Instagram

Website: New Federal Theatre

Alabama born Woodie King Jr. is an award winning theater director, producer, writer and all around multi-hyphenate. Earlier this year we lost Douglas Turner Ward who founded the historic and internationally known Negro Ensemble Company. (The Negro Ensembe Company has a whole wall dedicated to it's impact and legacy in the African American Mueseum in Washington D.C). In this episode Woodie discusses and honors Doug's legacy and impact. He shares stories about Doug and also shares about how New Federal was founded. He discusses some challenges that black theatre faces and what some potential solutions are.

In 1970, King founded the New Federal Theatre and the National Black Touring Circuit in New York City, where he remained as producing director throughout his career. King produced shows both on and off Broadway, and directed performances across the country in venues such as the New York Shakespeare Festival; the Cleveland Playhouse; Center Stage of Baltimore; and the Pittsburgh Public Theatre. King's work earned him numerous nominations and awards over the years, including a 1988 NAACP Image Award for his direction of Checkmates, and 1993 Audelco Awards for Best Director and Best Play for his production of Robert Johnson: Trick The Devil; he also received an Obie Award for Sustained Achievement. King was awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Wayne State University, and a doctorate of fine arts from the College of Wooster.

In addition to his directing and producing of theater, King wrote extensively about the theater industry; he contributed to numerous magazines, such as Black World, Variety, and The Tulane Drama Review, as well as authoring a number of books.


Some Questions I Ask:

What was the moment you decided you wanted to build a life in the arts? (2:04)

What questions in interviews do you wish people would ask you that they never do? (3:50)

First time meeting Douglas Turner Ward? (5:40)

Why is Douglas Turner Ward such an important figure in American history? (6:10)

What is your favorite moment with Douglas Turner Ward? (7:22)

What's your earliest memory of Negro Ensemble Company? (8:06)

Advice to artists about to graduate and enter real world, professional world (9:00)

Why have companies like NEC and New Federal been around for as long as they have? (10:00)

Most important lesson you've learned from Douglas Turner Ward? (10:46)

If Doug was creating and sustaining a theatre company in the modern technology age what would he be doing? (12:06)

What are some of the biggest challenges of black theatre today and what are some potential solutions? (12:45)

What show of performance had you completely riveted or is most memorable? (13:30)

When you think of the word creative who comes to mind for you and why? (14:06)

Advice for this generation of actors? (14:58)

How can people connect? (16:30)


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