Tag Archives: Woodie King Jr.

Winston Salem, NC: Interview with Woodie King Jr. @ the 2019 National Black Theatre Festival

Woodie King Jr. (82) is the founder of the New Federal Theatre in New York City. He celebrated his “birthday week” as usual, at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston Salem, North Carolina. As far back as 1975 Mr. King was called, “The Renaissance Man of Black Theatre” by theatre arts journalist, Peter A. Bailey. Woodie King Jr. was, even then, a noted actor, producer, director, and filmmaker. Another noted Black Arts’ editor and critic, Hoyt W. Fuller called King, “the leading entrepreneur in Black Theatre in the center of the American theatre industry”.

This part of the interview is about Wood King Jr. and his opening night presentation of a Special Recognition Award to, Herman LeVern Thompson-Jones. Mr. Jones is a Garner, North Carolina native. Herman, an actor, producer, educator, and director of American theatre was an “influencer” in the creation of the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston Salem in 1989.

Herman LeVern Jones (above) is today the founder of TheatreSouth in Homestead, Florida. The 30-year old National Black Theatre Festival was founded by the late Larry Leon Hamlin.

Today, it is continued by his wife Sylvia Sprinkle Hamlin and executive producer Jackie Alexander. The National Black Theatre Festival is not only the premiere Black theatre festival, it is the largest of its kind in the world. The first festival brought 10,000 people to the area. The 2019 festival according to local television media (MSN Channel 12) is expected to have an economic impact of $10 million dollars on the City of Winston-Salem and Triad area. The 2019 festival will showcase 130 performances, free workshops, an international intellectual colloquium, diverse reader’s theatre, a nationally competitive Words & Verses (poetry slam), daily youth/celebrity projects, matinees, teen talent shows and more. This interview is produced and directed by W. Calvin Anderson for Itz Black Theatre magazine. All rights reserved.

NYC: Celebrating The Renaissance Man Woodie King Jr.’s 80th Birthday


Peter A. Bailey writing for the Black World  (April 1975) a monthly periodical out of Chicago called, Woodie King Jr. “The Renaissance Man of Black Theatre”.

I call him now, the “Renaissance Man of the Post Modern Period in the Humanities” given that, America has blatantly returned to “square off” in the twentieth century with it seventeenth century racial values, laws, social issues, and its defiance against inclusion and diversifying the Constitution for its own projected fundamental pluralistic ideas. That means: [they] Trump base, southern and northern power elites still don’t like us leaving our “confederate fix” or enjoy women and other minorities suggesting they be given full citizenship, either.

Peter noted in ’75 that, Mr. King’s contributions (to name only a few) included:

  •  working in lower Manhattan with kids in a program called Mobilization For Youth
  •  Bringing Ron Milner, Charles Russell, Gil Moses and Ed Bullins to notoriety
  • producing and directing the film, “Right On” about the Last Poets Gylan Cain, Felipe Luciano and David Nelson (at the time)

We can conclude that Woody King Jr. has never missed a day doing our bidding in the arts, civil and human rights, and any integrated science of the humanities when it comes to publishing, presenting or promoting our voices, muse and aesthetics.

We are proud of his heart, courage, love, commitment and mindset.

He has written, produced, supported festivals and launched the work and the careers of many celebrities. There are really no words to capture his value as a “man of the people”.

Project-based Learning: Let’s begin to chronicle all of his work from then to this below… and get some students involved to curate and  do something… with what we understand about Woodie (?).


Please visit the New Federal Theatre’s website:


Atlanta: Taurean Blackque – Some Dudes Transcend The Stage Talent…They Support the Transfer of Theatre-Arts Techniques and Muse

Taurean-blacqueWe see technique today and spiraling drama in the work of writers like Shonda Rimes and her brilliant actors. Muse is said to be a “guiding spirit…”. In the Greek world through mythology nine daughters of Zeus who each had technique and were guardians of different arts and sciences. It’s a important part of formal Western studies.

Our African philosophers will also explain things above the biological levels that bring communities into a “functional whole,” or into agreement with phenomenological agencies (subject to cultural relativism) with no room for doubt as the: earth, air, fire, water, animal, vegetable, human and divine worlds are witnessed speaking and operating together. Whether it’s new-school television reflecting ideas and possibilities , dramatic technique, creative license or Jesus sending his folks when publics, audiences or even students are ready — teachers’ do appear. There are people who interpret and guard art forms today and sometime these same people really “look after” the people who study the sciences of their kindred art forms.

Taurean Blackque is a native of New Jersey and one of the champions of the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival.

He was credited with supporting the early stages of the theatre festival. In the 2014 he was everywhere helping seamlessly with readings, planning, motivating techies, new performers, writers, producers and exceptional artist that he has already worked with from NYC. LA and around the world in the ways that truly accomplished American theatre artists and scholar/practitioners have experienced.

I observed Mr. Blacque from afar. He has a history in acting; experience in high profiled production but a what makes him seem to tick is the humility and human capacity to serve people and to share his presence, talent and experience. There is so much more to a person’s resume than what we can Google these days. Student particularly in Atlanta need to “sit at his feet” analyzing television scripts: past, present and future and how to save black boys on stage from the “River Niger” to engaging them away from violence, academic and career self-destruction as our kids appear to be with-out “safety nets” in the streets today.

According to wikipedia…Please look it up.

Taurean Blacque (born Herbert Middleton Jr. in Newark, New Jersey, May 10, 1941[1]) is an American television and stage actor, best known for his role as Detective Neal Washington on the series Hill Street Blues. He also is a past national spokesman for adoptive services, having been one of the first single black men in the United States to adopt a child.[2]

Before appearing on television, Blacque trained and performed at the New Federal Theater in New York, a theater founded to provide opportunities to minorities and women.[3] Early in his acting career, Blacque began making guest appearances in sitcoms such as What’s Happening!!, Sanford and Son, The Bob Newhart Show, The Tony Randall Show, Good Times, and Taxi, and auditioned for permanent roles on others, including Venus Flytrap on WKRP in Cincinnati, eventually played by Tim Reid.[4]

In 1981 he joined the cast of the police drama Hill Street Blues, staying with the show throughout its run, which ended in 1987. While appearing on that show, he was nominated in 1982 for the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, but lost to fellow HSB actor Michael Conrad, in the only year in which all the nominees in a category came from the same series.[5] His theatrical career continued during his run on the show, winning him an NAACP Image Award of Best Actor (Local) in 1985 for his role in Amen Corner.[6] In 1986 his stage roles included the male lead in the musical Don’t Get God Started during its initial six-week summer run in Beverly Hills.[7]

After Hill Street ended, Blacque moved to Atlanta, Georgia, to provide a better home for his children; in his new home, he has focused on theatrical work while making occasional guest appearances on television. Notable stage performances include Stepping Into Tomorrow with Yolanda King in 1987,[8] and a 1988 revival of Ceremonies in Dark Old Men.[9] Television work included a pilot, Off-Duty, for CBS, in which Blacque once again played a police officer; the show was not picked up by the network.[10] Blacque also had a small role in Disney’s animated film Oliver & Company.[11] In 1989, he portrayed Henry Marshall on NBC’s Generations. Film work in this period included a lead role in the 1989 science-fiction film DeepStar Six.

 Also For Your To Do List:

An Exercise (if you are a humanitarian) and Assignment (if your destiny is in theatre-arts) : Ask Toni Henson and Woodie King Jr. who and what Taurean Blackque is. Ask Mr. Blackque to teach you about scripts for NYC, LA and world stages and diverse television series and shows including Disney, Ok? Ask him about teacniques, muse, real-life scripts to reach kids in [our] community who need knowledgeable some-ones’ to call on as “friends and family”.



Project MUSE



 (Yeah…please look it up 🙂

Learn how-to add more source information about our giants to Wikipedia.

Atlanta Black Theatre Festival – 40 Plays in FOUR DAYZ !!! Oct. 9-12th

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Town Hall Symposium graphic Arts Movement:  Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis, Dr. Maya Angelou, Amiri Baraka…Looking at New Generations — Who Are Picking Up  the Torch?

Moderator:   Aduke  Aremu                                                                                     California:  Rickerby Hinds                                                                                              Atlanta: Eric J. Little                                                                                                             New York: Michael Dinwiddie                                                                                      Texas: Jeanette Hill                                                                                                            California: Taurean Blaque                                                                                               Living Legend & Iconic Perspective: Woodie King Jr.

                           DON’T MISS THIS !


PLUS the…

Gift of Theatre

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