Durham, NC: Broadway Theatre Legend George Faison Joins Tabb @ Hillside High for The Wiz

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    The gala event for “The Wiz” will take place on Friday, Nov. 4, at 7 p.m. Other show times for “The Wiz” are Saturday, Nov. 5, at 3:15 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 6, at 3:15 p.m.

    photo-wendall-tabbDr. George Faison accepted an invitation to visit Hillside given by Drama Director Wendell Tabb as part of his “Celebrities in the Classroom” program. The program is committed to inspiring a high level of artistry by connecting young people with artists who have paved the way and are eager to share their knowledge of the business with high school students in the arts.  “I am elated that Dr. Faison will visit Hillside to share his expertise and experiences with our students”, said Hillside Principal Dr. William Logan. “Mr. Tabb’s ‘Celebrities In The Classroom’ program has connected artists with our students and encouraged them to pursue their dreams of performing at the collegiate and professional levels.”

    Dr. Faison is a celebrated producer, writer, composer, director, choreographer and dancer. He made history in 1975 when he became the first African American to win a Tony Award for Best Choreography for “The Wiz.” He began his career as a principal dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. His Broadway career began with the musical “Purlie” by playwright, actor and humanitarian, Ossie Davis. After leaving the Ailey Company he formed his own company, the George Faison Universal Dance Experience.  He has also choreographed and staged concerts for musical greats including Ashford and Simpson, Roberta Flack, Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind and Fire, Dionne Warwick, Stephanie Mills and many more.

    Wendell Tabb (Producer/Artistic Director) is a native of Louisburg, North Carolina and has worked as Drama Director and Teacher for the past 30 years with the Hillside High School Theatre Program.

    He is the founder and Artistic Director of Wendell Tabb Productions. He received his B.A. degree in Theatre Education and M.A. degree in Educational Administration from North Carolina Central University. He is a gemstone polished by Dr.s Johnny Alston and Linda Kerr Norflett!

    As Drama Director, he has directed over 60 plays such as “FAME”, “Dreamgirls”, “The Wiz”, “Bubbling Brown Sugar”, “The Captive Grace of Othello”, “Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters”, “Mama, I Want to Sing”, “Hairspray”, “Beauty and the Beast”, and “Phantom of the Opera”.

    Mr. Tabb has also directed drama workshops nationally and
    internationally in Sydney, Australia, Kenya, East Africa; London, England; Osaka, Japan; Lima, Peru; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Gambia, West Africa; St. George’s, Bermuda; Los Angeles, California; Santa Cruz, California; and Brooklyn, New York. As an actor, he has appeared on the NCCU stage as West in “Two Trains Running”, David in “Tunnels”, Charles in “Heart to Heart: Ain’t Your Life Worth
    Saving?”, Lou Parker in “Fascination Man’, Seth in “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone”, and Gabriel in “Fences”. Mr. Tabb is a theatre consultant and producer. He has produced such plays as “Black Nativity”, “Tambourines to Glory”, “Becca”, “Cinderah”, and “The Gospel at Colonus”, featuring Alabama State University. Mr. Tabb received the NC Regional Theatre Conference Excellence in Directing Award eight consecutive years. He is a past recipient of the C.C. Lipscomb State Best Director Award. He has served as an Arts Administration Fellow for the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C.

    Dr. Faison will work with Hillside Drama students on Thursday, Nov. 3, in preparation for their opening of The Wiz. He will also be honored with the annual Trailblazer Award In The Arts during the Opening Night Gala Celebration.

    For tickets and more information see: http://www.dpsnc.net/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&DomainID=4&ModuleInstanceID=450&ViewID=6446EE88-D30C-497E-9316-3F8874B3E108&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=1644&PageID=1

    Contact Hillside High School at (919) 560-3925 ext. 25240 or order online at www.seatyourself.biz/hillside.

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NYC: 43RD Annual AUDELCO Awards Salutes Darlene Gidney with 2015 Board of Director’s Award


New PhotoDarlene Gidney

indexThe 43rd Annual AUDELCO: Vivian Robinson Audelco Recognition Awards for Excellence in Black Theatre was held on Monday, November 16, 2015 at the Peter Norton Symphony Space theatre located at 2537 Broadway in New York City. Grace Jones is the president of the AUDELCO organization which serves theatre arts and industry professionals like Broadway’s Tony Awards Administration Committee.

The AUDELCO gala event give well deserved encouragement and recognition to theatre patrons, producers, directors, dramaturges, actors, actresses, administrators, technical producers and celebrities was produced by A Curtis Farrow. Attendees included Cheryl Lee Ralph, Leon Pinkney who also received the 2015 Board of Director’s Award, Bernard Marsh, who received the 2015 AUDELCO Pioneer Award, Olivia Washington who was nominated for 2015 Supporting Actor, Sean C. Turner, 2015 AUDELCO Best Revival Award recipient, Katia Washington, Pauletta Washington, Ademola Olugebefola, Cliff Frasier, Bonnie Pointer, Rome Neal, Aduke Aremu and Colby Christina, the 2014 AUDELCO Rising Star recipient.

Ms. Gidney said, “I do this work in the humanities called ‘theatre arts’ because it feels natural to me. When I am engaged in a creative venture, my mind is flooded with fantastic thoughts that fit together like a puzzleIt all seems so surreal and so magical. I know that I am in the right place and at the right time — as I feel that this recognition is part of God’s purpose for me. I have been fortunate to work with many, many icons and gifted people who have offered communities and the world entertainment and human reflections that are priceless. I thank you all as I look forward to my new projects on the table for 2016. It’s all about giving back to humanity … as my mentor Garland Lee Thompson Sr. taught me… it’s ALL about the WORK!”

She also said, “I believe in God the Father, I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins, I believe the Holy Spirit guides my footsteps… I thank the AUDELCO Board of Directors for believing in me by presenting me with this prestigious award.  I would also like to that, my mother, Hattie Glidewell and my two sons Yates Gidney and Edward Blair, IV, who could not be here with this evening for believing in me. I thank my sister Lisa Shelly, Joey Glidewell, Carol Denson, Sean C. Turner, Grace Jones, Voza Rivers,  Woodie King, Jr., family and friends for believing in me Most importantly, I thank two individuals who believed in me who are no longer here… my father, Joseph Glidewell, Sr. who during his illness continued to ask me when my next production was going to be because he wanted to invest and the final thanks of course goes to the late Garland Lee Thompson, Sr. who believed in me by taking me under his wing and mentoring me.”

The CEO of Be Rich Entertainment, LLC says that for 2016-2017 she will have partnering with the fabulous CEO of Dove, LLC, Aduke Aremu on four (4) major national and international projects: 1) “The Liberation of Mother Goose” TV series, 2) “Five to Nine: A Quest for Survival” a television story, 3) “Broadway in Bermuda” theatre project this summer in Bermuda, 4) “Babylon the Musical” a five city tour with entertainment partners and Kendall Minter, Esq.

We all might do well to feel engaged with our life’s purpose because it is “All about the Work” at the end of our days.

Be Rich Entertainment, LLC. is always reviewing scripts, new projects, collaborations and titled sponsorship opportunities. She can be reached via email at berichentertainment@yahoo.com.

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Poem: Tribute to Garland Lee Thompson Sr. @ the 2015 National Black Theatre Festival


Garland and Star Trek photo

By W. Calvin Anderson

There’s a space between

the stage and the audience that Garland Lee Thompson Sr.

filled for us.

He was the one

who finally dressed our words for display.

Garland took the scripts shaping the “dreaming words”.

He attached the urban and mid-western sunsets to the plays and

and threw even more sophisticated condiments

into the conflicts:

like tropical wind and “last straw”… protagonist rains…

shade from grandfather trees

and wavy glass imagined windows into scripts

playing home

our hopes.

Our words were all grown up after

his blocked techniques, after he

reflected and responded

to raw chemistries and storyboard calamities.

He helped to create the alchemy, the African…the Ira Aldridge and Dorothy Dandridge Ashe’.

Our scripts were fashioned, neat and tidy; strong-charactered,

nice, hip, savvy, concise, dangerous, sensitive, bold and cold.

They were made qualified to carry our royal lot…

Our love, hate, politics, ironies, laughter, pain, tragedies and triumphs.

The grown-up scripts introduced and made our vital human stories pop… their

polemics, costume, dance, songs and reason to be a canvas

set for life.

We were able to then

call it theatre with no technical absurdities.

THEATRE…metaphorically wealthy

and birthed with both noun


reason d’etre.

Dude called forth God’s Trombones and Sophisticated Ladies

gave us tickets for the A train with presidential seats

to Off and On Broadway.

Cowboy hattin brother…brought our muse home

for us.

Garland was a Mid-West-Desert-Stopping-Manhattan-island-dweller


a single



Harlem with our scripts.

Like Shakespeare’s Prospero in the Tempest

he fastened our relationships to classics and classic people:

Phyllis Wheatly, Aldridge, James Weldon Johnson, Charles Gordone, Langston Hughes, Lorraine Hansberry, Tony Morrison, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis,Ron Milner, Loften Mitchell, Lonnie Elder, Amiri Baraka, Ntozke Shange, Charles Fuller to name a few

He made us “stand-out” like pillars for the continued architecture of the Wheatly Ethiope, the Langston’s paradise lexicons, the James Baldwin intensity, rage and intellectual confrontations, the Malcolm and Martin protests and “march-forward-demands-on- law”, the sacred and profane                 prophetic bullet and the blood-stained ballot erected from voter registration cards to the lonely Tennessee balcony and Audubon Ballroom dream.

Garland made our arts, our letters, our sciences wield our treasuries in the Humanities from a distinguished and noble place.

He did this because he could.

He worked and earned the energies and powers like Prospero

He mastered like Prospero

the Arts & Sciences

the… betrayals, shipwrecks, gravities, aerials, calabans, love, destinies and royal interests.

He was anointed naturally. He struggled enormously with a

sweat, blood, life-work sacrifice.

Garland was a hardened Word-Smith.

A bronco riddin’ Oklahoma

Red Nation Cowboy, Star Trek Hoodie. Garland

was a crack-the-whip

disciple of the long gone

show “must” go on with excellence

Sugar Hill … Harlem G type Bucko.


There’s a space between the stage and the audience that Garland Thomson filled.

So how did he do it and what will

we search for now

that was in him?

We mustlook for the fuse to make lettered-words Electric.

We must look for a production-Houdini,

A genre-genie,

a dialectic-shaman

or get together with muse itself?

Whatever we do we know that, His metal, his standards are not fading or vanishing

Anytime soon.

He filled the space, the times, the realities

actually and aesthetically between

the stage and those

he respected and loved.

He trained our words, grew them up and polished off our diamond so that we are to be seen

and recognized worthy of our legacies

ready for our indivisible and quality driven Apollo Rules…audiences both black and white.

Garland filled the space between the stage and the audience with intelligence and love.

Garland filled in the love from me to you.

(People, Performance, Education, Industries/Businesses)