University of Pittsburgh
December 18, 2002

Pitt's Kuntu Repertory Theatre to Present Program on African American Artists' Experiences in Theater

Contact:  412-624-4147

December 19, 2002

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh's Kuntu Repertory Theatre will present "Rejoicing, Crying, Creating: the Experience of African American Theatre Artists" from 12 to 1 p.m. Jan. 13 in the Kurtzman Room, William Pitt Union, 3959 Fifth Ave.

The event features a panel discussion by three African American theater professionals who will share their experiences as writers, actors, directors, and producers as they discuss such topics as the particular challenges they face: how issues of race, politics, and multiculturalism make an impact on African American theater artists and their work; whether room has been made for African American artists in contemporary theater; and the joys and challenges of working in theater.

Live script readings of African American plays and a demonstration of the directing process will be featured.

Panelists include Derrick Sanders, cofounder and director of the Congo Square Theatre Company in Chicago, director of Kuntu's current production of "Cryin' Shame" and assistant director of August Wilson's new play, "Gem of the Ocean," opening this spring at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago; award-winning actor and playwright Javon Johnson, a former Kuntu member who earned the Master of Fine Arts degree in theatre arts from Pitt and who wrote and plays the lead role in "Cryin' Shame"; and Timothy Douglas, the associate artistic director of Actors Theatre of Louisville, who is directing City Theatre's production of Athol Fugard's "Sorrows and Rejoicing," set in post-apartheid South Africa.

The event is open to the public. Along with Kuntu, sponsors include Pittsburgh's City Theatre and Pitt Arts. A free lunch will be provided for Pitt students, faculty, and staff. For more information, call 412-624-7298.