ACT III – The Tribute and Celebration of Life for Garland Lee Thompson, Sr. Held @ 2015 national Black Theatre Festival

Garland and Star Trek photo Dear Theatre Friends:

Celebrities, coordinating committee members and honorary chairs are requesting your support of the Salute for the Late Garland Lee Thompson, Sr. which will be held on August 6, 2015 from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM during the world renowned 2015 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston Salem, North Carolina, NC at the M.C. Benton Convention Center, 301 West Fifth Street Winston-Salem, NC 27101.This festival brings in over 60,000 visitors from the theatre, TV and film industry as well as the academic world of theatre-arts along with noted celebrities.

logoThe Late Garland Lee Thompson Sr. dedicated over 43 years supporting playwrights at the Frank Silvera Writers Workshop, Inc. in Harlem, New York. Through his tireless efforts, over 20,000 scripts were created and read at the workshop, including Ntozake Shange’s award winning play For Colored Girls Who Have Consider Suicide, When the Rainbow is Enuf, Soldier’s Play by Charles Fuller and The Mighty Gents by Richard Wesley to name a few.

Thousands of Writers, Directors and Actors participated over the numerous decades of historical participation as part of the workshop such as, Ruby Dee, Billie Allen, Angela Bassett, Adolph Caesar. Morgan Freeman, Debbie Allen, Chuck Patterson, Micki Grant, Philip Hayes Dean, Aduke Aremu, Ed Bullins, Samuel L. Jackson, LaTonya Richardson-Jackson, Phylicia Rashad, Ray Aranha, Shanelle Perry, Roscoe Orman, Charles Dutton, Bill Cobbs, Phyllis Yvonne Stickney, Samm Art Willians, Pauletta Washington, Shamika Cotton, Karen Baxter, Antonio Fargas, Darlene Gidney, Sean C. Turner, Bill Vila, M. Younger Roberts and David Sheppard to name a few. 

Many of the 20,000 scripts are now housed at the historical Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture ( in Harlem, NY. Thompson Sr. was probably one of the most important theatre development icons to impact the national stage of Black theatre in America.In addition, Thompson Sr. and The Frank Silvera Writers Workshop produced several of the workshop readings by partnering to present fully mounted productions with Crystal Field and Theater for the New City, Miguel Algarin, Nuyorican Poets Cafe and Gertrude Jeanette and the H.A.D.L.E.Y Players. Thompson Sr. partnered with New York University to present the 1st Black Theatre Conference at New York University where he produced at that Black Box Theatre: “Bum Sonata” with Earl Davis and Dr. Robert Taylor. “King of the White Cloth” by David  D.Wright was also co produced with FSWW at The House of Champions in Harlem and “Oshun The Goddess of Love” at The Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York.

We are asking you to join this “Labor of Love” Salute for Garland Lee Thompson, Sr. by donating $100 to be on the Executive Committee, $50 to be a patron to keep this workshop alive for many more decades or $25 just because you worked with Garland Sr. and it was a memorable experience. Your name will appear in the historical commemorative journal.

“Black Theatre is alive and well and we are continuing our legacies and traditions for the next generation to tell their stories”.

Lillias WhiteLillias White songstress and Tony Award winner will be saluting the late Garland Lee Thompson Sr. at the “Celebration of Life” Tribute on Thursday. August 6, 2015 from 3pm to 7pm at the M.C.Benton Convention Center in Winston Salem North Carolina during the National Black Theatre Festival ( Ms.White will be Mistress of Ceremony with Garland Thompson Jr. (new CEO) the new CEO of the Frank Silvera Writers’ Workshop.
The prestigious salute will include dancing by Raven Street Native American Dance Troupe, Eagle Native American Dance Company, Otesha African Drummers, Robinson Jazz Ensemble, DJ Bill and DJ Pat Murray, spoken word presentations, historic play readings from the Frank Silvera Writers’ Workshops archives including: A Soldier’s Play, Obatala King of the White Cloth, For Colored Girls, And My Name Ain’t Peaches, Mighty Gents and tributes by Grace Jones, Woodie King Jr., Micki Grant, John Foster, Nana Malaya Rucker-Oparabea, Sabura Rashid, Richard Wesley and many more.
Join us. Send a donation and be part of the tribute and donation to the future of the famous writers’ workshop that has already served so many. Remember Garland Sr. and many other of our theatre icons.
Please send your financial support today of this salute: on PayPal…”no amount is too small”.. to

Deadline for Donations is June 30th and your name will be printed in the Commemorative Journal.

Sincerely and Much Love,

adukeSalute Coordinator/Executive Chair : Aduke Aremu (678)739-6674,

Program Development Consultant and Article: Darlene Gidney (201)562-5337,



Ntozake Shange


Lamman Rucker

“Be Rich Entertainment, LLC” Honorary Co -Chairs: Garland Thompson Jr., Woodie King Jr., Dawn Alli,  Voza Rivers, Micki Grant, Ntozake Shange, Grace Jones, Nana Malaya Rucker-Oparabea; Lamman Rucker, (list incomplete). Co- Chairs and Founders of Salute: Richard Wesley, Dr. John Foster, Professor Michael Dinwiddie, Sabura Rashid, W. Calvin Anderson, Hashim Salih, Marc Lee, Dr. Ademola Olugebefola, Harold Thomas and

                                             Garlands Garland Sr. and Jr. 2013 NBTF


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