ERIC COLEMAN

Is a veteran New York-born actor and director who is proud to add teacher to his resume. His many acting credits include the title roles in Nat Turner, Ira Aldridge, Hamlet, and Othello for such theater companies as the original Negro Co., Riverside Shakespeare, and UBU Rep. In 1999 he was the winner of the New York Fringe Festival Best Actor Award for Strindberg's PARIA. Directing credits include The Meeting, With Grits and Gravy, Killing of Sam Cooke, Purple Hearts, 3 On the Fringe, and , J.e. Franklin's Freedom Summer. Over the past 25 seasons he has produced and/or directed more than 90 staged readings of new and classical plays, three of which went on to successful full runs. He was the 2008 AUDELCO Award winner as Best Director for two plays on Negro League baseball---- Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson, produced by Woodie King, Jr.'s New Federal Theater. A retrospective of his career was recently archived into the Hatch-Billops collection.

NEW FEDERAL THEATRE WORKSHOP INSTRUCTORS

 
ROZ COLEMAN
 This Yale Drama School graduate is a busy actress and an incredible acting coach.  Voted “Favorite On Camera Teacher’ in the 2011 Backstage Readers Poll, Roz served as on-set coach for HBO's hit series In Treatment. Roz will be covering on-camera basics, script analysis, cold reads, and techniques for working with camera, script and reader. Roz has just finished a run on Broadway as Stand By for Angela Bassett in The Mountaintop. Other Broadway credits include Radio Golf, Seven Guitars, Mule Bone and Piano Lesson. With numerous film and TV credits, including the films Brooklyn’s Finest, It’s Kind of a Funny Story and Frankie and, Alice starring Halle Berry, Roz was most recently cast in the HBO pilot Spring/Fall. With her film production company, Red Wall Productions, Rosalyn has cast and directed several award winning films that have screened on TV nationwide and in film festivals all over the world. "The greatest pleasure for me as a teacher is to facilitate the person to reach their humanity. I want my clients to leave the room knowing their personal power as a base to communicate anything that a human is capable of experiencing. It’s not a job; it’s a joy .
 
NORA COLE

Ms. Cole is a veteran performing artist of NYC theatre community and abroad. Her career highlights include Rinde Eckert’s Obie Award winning, two character chamber opera, And God Created Great Whales; Culture Project (2012 Drama League and Audelco nominee); with George C. Wolfe, Caroline Or Change, Royal National Theatre;  Jelly’s Last Jam  on Broadway opposite Gregory Hines and the National Tour opposite Maurice Hines and On The Town on Broadway. She was in Fences opposite Tony Todd at the GEVA Theatre Center, Doubt at the Milwaukee Rep and Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at the Studio Arena..  

 

Her solo shows include Voices of the Spirits in My Soul (Audelco nominated) and Olivia’s Opus.  Each presented at regional theatres, universities, churches and the National Black Theatre Festival.

 

She was a company member of Vinnette Carroll’s Urban Arts Corp (NYC) and Vinnette Carroll’s Repertory Company in Ft. Lauderdale for over fifteen years.  Those productions included, Your Arms Too Short To Box with God (Broadway, National & European tours), Medea (title role), Boogie Woogie Rumble Of A Dream Deferred (Theatre of Renewal Award), and the pre-Broadway productions, When Hell Freezes Over I’ll Skate (Kennedy Center) and Alice.  

 

She appeared in Woodie King Jr.'s National Black Touring Circuit production, I Have A Dream as Coretta Scott King.  Venues included festivals in Brighton and Birmingham, England and the first National Black Theatre Festival in 1989.

 

Her television appearances include The Cosby Mystery Movie, All My Children, Loving, Another World, The Guiding Light along with numerous commercials, and voice-overs.  She also performed for WNYC Public Radio's SELECTED SHORTS series.

 

Nora attended the Theatre School at DePaul formerly the Goodman School of Drama at the Art Institute of Chicago (BFA). In addition, she attended Beloit College and Chicago Conservatory and throughout her career studied dance with Frank Hatchett, Pepsi Bethel and Barbara Fraser.  

 

She is a recipient of the TCG Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Women in Music Award, Spencer Cherashore Fund Individual Artist Grant, alumna of renowned women's writing retreat, Hedgebrook, and for thirteen years intermittent adjunct faculty member at Eastern Connecticut State University.

 
MICHAEL DINWIDDIE
Michael’s teaching interests include cultural studies, African American theatre history, dramatic writing, filmmaking, and ragtime music. A dramatist whose works have been produced in New York, regional, and educational theatre, Florida A&M University, SUNY Stony Brook, California State University at San Bernardino, and Universidad de Palermo in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He spent a year at Touchstone Pictures as a Walt Disney Fellow and worked as a staff writer he has been playwright-in-residence at Michigan State University and St. Louis University and taught writing courses at the College of New Rochelle. Michael was a writer on ABC-TV’s Hangin’ with Mister Cooper. In 1994 he was a Sundance finalist, and in 1995, he was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Playwriting. A Gallatin graduate, Professor Dinwiddie earned his M.F.A. in dramatic writing from the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. His course offerings include Migration and American Culture; Dramatizing History I and II; Poets in Protest: Footsteps to Hip-Hop; James Reese Europe and American Music; Sissle, Blake, and the Minstrel Tradition; Guerrilla Screenwriting; and, the study-abroad-course Culture, Art, and Politics in 21st-Century Buenos Aires. Professor Dinwiddie received NYU’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2005.
PJ GIBSON
Ms. Gibson holds a M.F.A in Theatre Arts from Brandeis University and a B.A. in Drama, Religion and English from Keuka College.   To date she, has written thirty plays, several of which have totaled forty-seven productions, Long Time Since Yesterday has alone had upwards of sixty productions.  She has been the recipient of many honors, including the Whisper, Laugh…Award, the Bushfire Theatre of Performing Arts Seventh Annual “Walk of Fame”, a Shubert Fellowship for the study of dramatic writing, a playwriting grant from National Endowment for the Arts; two prestigious Audelco Awards for Long Time Since Yesterday, a PSC-CUNY Research Award grant to ‘shadow’ four African-American female judges for her upcoming play Rotating, and five playwriting commissions.  Ms. Gibson’s plays and poetry performances have been presented throughout the United States, Europe and Africa.  In addition to her writing, Ms. Gibson is a Full Professor of English at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City where she teaches Literature, English, Fiction Writing, and Poetry courses.  She has taught a graduate course in Black Theatre at the Levin Theatre – Douglass College Campus, Rutgers University; playwriting at Playwrights Horizons in NYC and the Bushfire Theater in Philadelphia, and Theatre, English, and film-related courses for summer sessions at the University of California at Berkeley.  She has been an Artist-In-Residence at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  She holds a Proclamation from the city of Trenton, New Jersey and a “Key to the City” from Indianapolis, Indiana.
 
PETRONIA PALEY 
An award winning actor has worked in classical and contemporary theatre on Broadway, off-Broadway, and regional theatre. She recently presented her one -person work On the Way to Timbuktu at Penumbra Theatre Company’s as part of the Claude Edison Purdy Festival in Saint Paul, MN. Regional acting credits include: The House That Will Not Stand LaVeuve/Marie Josephine, at Berkeley Rep and Yale; Repertory Raisin in the Sun, Lena, Crossroads Theatre; Death of a Salesman Linda Oberlin College; King Lear Regan Yale Repertory; Trojan Women Hecuba Shakespeare Theatre (Helen Haynes Nomination); The Oedipus Plays Jocasta/Eurydice Shakespeare Theatre and Odeon Herod Atticus (Greece); On Golden Pond Ethel u/s Kennedy Center; Nothing Sacred Anna Arena Stage; Midsummer Night’s Dream Hippolyta Arena Stage. New York credits: Broadway On Golden Pond; Ethel u/s Off- Broadway: Coriolanus Volumnia (Audelco nomination) Take Wing and Soar Production; ELECTRA Clytemnestra  Classical Theatre of Harlem’s (Audelco Award); Hamlet Gertrude Take Wings and Soar Production; Relativity Dr. Iris Preston Ensemble Studio Theatre (Audelco Nomination); The Revenger’s Tragedy Gratiana Red Bull Theatre; Cherry Orchard Madame Ranevskya  (Audelco Nomination) The Classical Theatre of Harlem;  The Trial…Prosecutor New Federal Theatre (Audelco Award ); Stray Dr. Tanya Baker  Cherry Lane Theatre. Ms. Paley wrote and performed her one person show On The Way To Timbuktu which was first produced at Ensemble Studio and for which she received an Audelco Award. Film Credits: Transporter, 2 Days in New York, Almost Summer, and White Girl. Television Credits include Damages and Solomon Northup’s Odyssey.  She is a veteran of daytime creating long running characters on Guiding Light and Another World. She has directed both classical and contemporary plays. Directing Credits: Munched  Sugarvalley Threaticals, Antony and Cleopatra Take Wing and Soar Productions; Medea, Wing and Soar Productions; Daughter Ensemble Studio Theatre; Kernel Of Sanity New Federal Theatre, Truth Be Told Ensemble Studio Theatre; Daughter Ensemble Studio Theatre; The I the Actor Showcases; Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre’s Raul Julia Showcases Spic Chic Ensemble Studio, Theatre’s Repertorio Espangol, and The Chelsea Playhouse; Ascension Cherry Lane Theatre, National Black theatre Festival. She is the founder of I the Actor Acting Studio. Other Teaching credits: Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre’s Raul Julia Training Unit, New Federal Theatre and the Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Center. She is a member of the Actors Studio and Ensemble Studio Theatre.
 
ARTHUR FRENCH
Recently he appeared on Broadway in A Trip To Bountiful with Cicely Tyson; other Broadway credits included, Dividing the Estate, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, You Can't Take it With You, Death of A Salesman, The River Niger, The Iceman Cometh and Ain't Supposed to Die A Natural Death. Arthur received the Obie award for Sustained Excellence of Performance and the Lortel Award as Outstanding Featured Actor.  Arthur is a founding member of the original Negro Ensemble Company.
 
CASSANDRA MEDLEY
Ms. Medley won the 1990 National Endowment for the Arts Grant in Playwriting, the New Professional Theatre Award, the Marilyn Simpson Award, the Theatrefest Regional Playwriting Award for Best Play in 2001, the 2002 Ensemble Studio Theatre 25th Anniversary Award for Theatre Excellence, the 2004 “Going to the River Writers” Life Achievement Award and AUDELCO’S August Wilson Playwriting Award in 2006. Her most recent play, Cell, was produced by Ensemble Studio Theatre Marathon in 2011.
 
CHARLES TURNER
On Broadway Mr. Turner recently appeared with Cicely Tyson in The Trip to Bountiful; he replaced James Earl Jones in On Golden Pond opposite Leslie Uggams; played "Gloucester" in Yale Reps. King Lear with Avery Brooks and Earl Hyman. Some other notable roles include Othello, Caliban, Troy Maxon, Slow Drag from the pen of August Wilson. As a director, he has been privileged to collaborate with such icons as Roscoe Lee Browne in Derek Walcott's Remembrance, Al Freeman Jr. in Walcott’s Dream on Monkey Mountain and Denzel Washington in Ceremonies in Dark Old Men.  Mr. Turner directed In Splendid Error for New Federal Theatre. He was Professor of Theatre and Artistic Director at the McGuire Theatre at SUNY Old Westbury and has taught and directed at NYU Tisch Arts, SUNY Purchase and Fisk University. 
His one man shows on Frederick Douglass and Scott Joplin have been performed in United Kingdom and at the Avignon Festival in France. Charles won an AUDELCO for directing Bessie Smith, Empress of the Blues for The Frank Silvera Writer's Workshop. He holds an MFA from Yale School of Drama.

 

 
ALICE SPIVAK
Alice Spivak having trained at HB studio with Herbert Berghof and Uta Hagen, Alice Spivak was made a teacher there in 1962, and taught on their faculty for fifteen years. Since that time, she has been a popular free-lance teacher and acting coach, teaching advanced classes in NYC, and coaching on a numerous feature films, Broadway shows, regional shows, TV mini-series, pilots, etc., receiving technical credits on a few. She also taught Film Directing Workshops and was granted the Indie Award by the Association of Video and Filmmakers in 1977. In 1981, she was on the faculty of NYU Film Grad School, teaching the course, Directing Actors in the 2nd year. In 2003-04, she again taught this course, this time at Columbia Film Grad School. As an actress, she has worked on Broadway, off Broadway and in the regional theatres (receiving the Joseph Jefferson Award in Chicago in 1975 for Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite). Most recently, she appeared off-Broadway in Ossie Davis’ play Last Dance For Sybil. On television, audience has seen her in Law & Order, Sex & The City, Law & Order CSI, etc., as a regular on Sidney Lumet’s 100 Centre Street. Her book: HOW TO REHEARSE WHEN THERE IS NO REHEARSAL-ACTING AND THE MEDIA” is currently on the shelves.
 
LAWRENCE HOLDER
Lawrence Holder is noted for writing historical, biographical plays such as ZORA NEALE HURSTON and WHEN THE CHICHENS COME HOME TO ROOST starring Denzel Washington as Malcolm X and Kirk Kirksey as Elijah Muhammad, at The New Federal Theatre (New York City) in 1981. Mr. Holder has won a numerous playwright awards including the Audience Development Committee Award for Excellence (AUDELCO) twice for WHEN THE CHICHENS COME HOME TO ROOST and M: THE MANDELA SAGA. For the body of his work, The National Black Theatre Festival presented him with both the OTTO for Political Theatre and The Garland Anderson Award. Mr. Holder is also noted for his experimental works including the multilingual BIRD OF PARADISE in 1972 with Ornette Coleman and the URBAN DECALOGUE in 1974 with Jacquie Berger. In addition to his work as a dramatist Mr. Holder is the author of several volumes of poetry and 7 novels. He has also acted in ZORA: WHU, which featured Yvonne Southerland as the famed novelist. Mr. Holder is a member of the faculty at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY) where he has taught English in the SEEK Department for the past 25 years.
 
MARY HODGES

I am an actor, director, *sometime dramaturge, and teacher.   She has been at the craft of acting for 25+ years, mostly onstage from Berkeley, California to The Berkshires of Massachusetts.  I have studied a wide variety of acting methodologies and techniques: traditional and not so traditional.  For example, Sandy Meisner and Uta Hagen to Ernie McClintock’s “Jazz Acting Technique” or Suzuki Training for Actors.  I use ALL of these teachings ALL of the time, regardless if I am acting or directing.  Is it confusing to the actor to use more than one technique? No.  You take teachings that connect to who you are as a person and an actor and utilize them to the best of your ability and keep it moving.  The more ways you can access the depths of who you are inside and out, the better and that means grasping and decoding teachings from different lenses.  I have a BFA and MFA in Acting: Virginia Commonwealth University and from The University of Connecticut at Storrs. Mary was recently in a production of MACBETH at Here Arts Center where she played five different roles, all men.  The show starred internationally acclaimed actor/director/teacher/gender-bend specialist, Lisa Wolpe and Nick Salamone of New York Classical Theatre.  Mary has worked extensively with Harlem Shakespeare’s Festival founder and producing artistic director, Debra Ann Byrd for several years in Harlem, taking on challenging roles such as “Cassio” in OTHELLO, “The Fool” in KING LEAR, and “Ophelia” in HAMLET.  

Mary Hodges full bio available upon request.

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Woodie King, Jr's

 

NEW FEDERAL THEATRE

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