Woodie King, Jr. To Be Inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame January 30, 2012
by Gloria Dulan-Wilson
This is very exciting and wonderful news! My friend, Woodie King, Jr., who just celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the New Federal Theatre, which he established at the Henry Street Settlement way back in 1971, will formally be inducted into New York's American Theatre Hall of Fame, Monday, January 30th, at the Gershwin Theatre.
Woodie had actually contacted me about his nomination back in October of 2011. He was stunned, shocked, surprised and definitely honored. I can imagine from his tone of voice, that even he, the unflappable, unperturbable Woodie King, was more than a little excited by this great honor. Read "flabbergasted." We were to have sat down for a one-on-one interview, however our busy schedules have not allowed for that opportunity - yet. We'll just have to find a way to make it happen,
In the interim, I absolutely could not let the event pass without alerting you. This is indeed a great honor upon which only a few have been bestowed. The criteria is quite high, and designated for only the creme de la creme - and that would definitely be Woodie.
According to Wikipedia, those who are eligible come from various disciplines of stage and screen, including actors, playwrights, song writers, designers, directors and producers who have had a career on Broadway spanning at least twenty-five years with a minimum of five major theatrical credits.
Selections are made by approximately 400 voting members from the Theater Hall of Fame and the American Theatre Critics Association. Each year the induction takes place at a ceremony at the Gershwin Theatre in Manhattan, where his name would be embossed in bronze-gold lettering on a bronze plaque, which would be hung on the theater's entrance walls flanking its grand staircase and escalator; joining the other myriad of celebrities who have been honored in the past.
As to whether or not he fits the criteria, please note that Woodie King, Jr, is a renowned African-American director and producer of stage and screen, as well as the founding director of the reknowned New Federal Theatre in New York City.
The following are some of Woodie's credits in film and stage direction and production (this a partial list, the complete list would take me hours to compile):
A Raisin in the Sun - Alliance Theater (Atlanta, Georgia) 1994
Eyes (based in Zora Neales Hurston's Their Eyes were Watching God) by Mari Evans American Cabaret Theater (Indiana) 1995–1996
Splendid Mummer American Place Theatre 1987
Checkmates Bermuda International Theatre Festival 1995–1996
Good Black Don't Crack Billie Holiday Theatre (Brooklyn) 1993
Checkmates Broadway (New York) 1988
Joe Turner's Come and Gone Brooklyn College 1996–1997
Home Samm-Art WilliamsCenter Stage of Baltimore, Cincinnati Playhouse, Cleveland Playhouse 1996–1997
And The World Laughs With You Crossroads Theatre Company (New Jersey) 1994
Joe Turner's Come and Gone Detroit Repertory Theater 1990
Mudtracks by Regina Taylor The Ensemble Studio Theater 1994
Ford's Theater God's Trombone 1990
A Raisin in the Sun GeVa Theatre 1991
Angels in America Ohio State University 1998–1999
The Piano Lesson Seminole State College of Florida 2012
For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf
What the Wine Sellers Buy
Taking of Miss Janie for which he receivedThe Drama Critic Circle Award
Other Awards Include:
1985 Joseph Jefferson Award nomination for Appear and Show Cause
1988 NAACP Image Award for directing Checkmates at the Inner City Cultural Center
1993 AUDELCO awards for Best Director and Best Play for Robert Johnson: Trick The Devil
1997 Obie Award for Sustained Achievement
2003 Paul Robeson Award
2005 Rosetta LeNoire Award
2011 Induction into American Theatre Hall of Fame
On Monday evening, once again,history will be made as Woodie King joins the likes of Eubie Blake, Roscoe Lee Browne, Gregory Hines, Tennessee Williams, Bernadette Peters, Christopher Plummer, and a great many others in the American Theatre Hall of Fame. Congratulations to you, Woodie. You've got many more stars and honors coming your way.
Stay Blessed &