Thursday, July 17, 2014

Directors of the Paul Robeson Theatre Festival.

The fearless social consciousness and command Paul Robeson had is what inspired the Robey Theatre Company to launch its first Paul Robeson Theatre Festival, to be held at the Los Angeles Theatre Center July 18-19, 2014

Paul Robeson

On Saturday, July 19th, 15 short one-act plays written by both emerging and established playwrights will be performed.  All of the plays accepted were inspired by Robeson’s principles, his dignity and intelligence.  Each play reminds us of the extraordinary scholarship, talents, suffering, and the triumphs in one man’s lifetime which forged the legacy we know as Paul Robeson.  His fight for social justice and human rights is the making of dramatic tension, joy, and celebration. The festival serves not just as homage to Robeson, but also provides a space for artists at various skill levels an opportunity to display and cultivate their craft.  Attendees will leave inspired by Paul Robeson's legacy.

In this blog post we introduce and celebrate the directors of the 2014 Paul Robeson Theatre Festival.

Ryan V. Anderson.

Director and writer of out:side.
Ryan V. Anderson

A native New Yorker residing in LA, Ryan received his MFA from Calarts.  Regional theater acting credits: Much Ado About Nothing (African-American Shakespeare Company), In The Red And Brown Water (Marin Theater Company), Queenie Pie (Long Beach Opera), Clybourne Park (PCPA), Eurydice (A Noise Within), You Can't Take It With You (Antaeus), Hamlet (Independent Shakespeare Company), The Old Settler (International City Theater), Death and the King's Horseman (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). 
Link for Ryan V. Anderson:

Robert Clements

Director of: 
Eslanda Unplugged, written by Nui Brown.
Plantin, written by George Corbin.
Robert Clements

Robert Clements (Tubby) was raised in Hartford, CT and seasoned in NYC. Robert was in the original Robey  production of The Emperor”s Last Performance, and the award-winning trilogy For the Love of Freedom. He was a regular on The Guiding Light; and has acted in many theatrical productions, including Bronzeville, Fences, West Memphis Mojo, The Tempest, Henry IV, and Doogans with James Gandolfini, among many others.

Josiah Davis

Director of La Loteria, written by Sphia Washam.

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Josiah graduated with a B.A. from the UCLA school of Theater, Film, and Television in December 2012. While there he, specialized in acting and directing.  A beginning director, his recent directing credits
Josiah Davis
include assistant directing EXPLODING LEAR at UCLA with Helena Kaut-Howson and Kathryn Hunter from the Royal Shakespeare Company; assistant directing HABITAT at The LATC with Jose Luis Valenzuela; assistant directing Pinter’s THE BIRTHDAY PARTY at the Geffen Playhouse under William Friedkin.  Most recently, Josiah finished his directing debut DRUNK TANK: THE MUSICAL, a new original musical for the Hollywood Fringe Festival with Common Good Productions.  He would like to thank his family, friends, The LATC, and The Robey Theatre Company for their support.

Ben Guillory

Director of:
Paul Robeson in Berlin, written by Robert Coles and Bartley McSwine.
We Wear The Mask, written by Paula Neiman.
I SHOT the Sheriff, written by Levy Lee Simon.

Ben Guillory studied at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, and has worked extensively in theatre, film and television for the past 35 years as an actor, director, and producer.
While at the American Conservatory Theatre, Mr. Guillory appeared in, Julius Caesar, The Taming of the Shrew, Peer Gynt, Desire under the Elms, Misanthrope, The Cherry Orchard, Othello, Athol Fugard’s Sizwe Banzi is Dead for the Arizona Theater Company, The Los Angeles Theatre Center’s production of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Sacramento Theatre”s production of Fences, the Mark Taper Forums, Miss Ever’s Boys, the Robey/Greenway co-production of Permanent Collection at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, The Piano Lesson, and The River Niger for Robey.  Currently, Mr. Guillory is the Producing Artistic Director of the award-winning Robey Theatre Company, coordinating Robey’s Playwrights Program, directing the Robey Play Reading Series, and serving as instructor for its Advanced Scene Workshop.  Co-producing with Elephant Industries, Bee-Luther-Hatchee, Yohen with East-West Players, For The Love of Freedom Part I: Toussaint; and Part II: Dessalines with the Greenway Arts Alliance, Part III: Christophe with the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, The Last Season with Legacy Productions, A Medley of One Act Plays at the Los Angeles Theatre Center with the Against Type Theatre Company, Bronzeville, The River Niger,  The Emperors Last Performance, The Reckoning, and Pity the Proud Ones, Camp Logan, and Anna Lucasta are some of his accomplishments as Producing Artistic Director, and co-founder  with Danny Glover of The Robey Theatre Company.

Ben Guillory

Mr. Guillory received the San Francisco Critic”s Circle Award, for his portrayal of Paul Robeson, in the Illustrated Stage’s production of, Are You Now or Have You Ever Been.  For his Los Angeles performances of Phillip Hayes Dean’s Paul Robeson, Mr. Guillory received the Drama Logue Award and a Special NAACP Theatre Award, and for his directing efforts on For the Love of Freedom: Part I, he was presented with an NAACP Theatre Award. In 2010 he received honors from Playwrights Arena for Outstanding Contributions to the Los Angeles Theatre Community a third award from the Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP for Best Producer of The River Niger in 2010 and again for The Reckoning in 2011.  Acting Television credits include, Mad Love, Eli Stone, My Name is Earl, The West Wing, Threat Matrix, Still Standing, Charmed, The Guardian, Dynasty, The District, Judging Amy, Linc’s, LA Law, JAG, The Young and the Restless, NCSI, Jack and Bobby, and Masters of Sex. Films acting credits include The Color Purple, Our Father, The Tuskegee Airmen, Star Wars, Maid to Order, The Kindred, 3 Strikes, Crawlers, America’s Dream and The Harimaya Bridge.  In the interest of diversity in the Television and Motion Picture industry, Mr. Guillory was invited to forge an ongoing partnership with CBS and ABC resulting in development of a nationwide Industry Diverse Showcase for actors of color.

Tommy Hicks

Director of Say Something, written by Dominique Miller.
Tommy Hicks

Mr. Hicks is more widely known for his starring roles in independent feature films, most notably, Spike Lee’s groundbreaking feature, SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT!, Julie Dash’s Sundance Award winning, DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST, and Sundance, LA Spirit, and MacArthur Genius award winning writer/director Charles Burnett’s feature film, THE GLASS SHIELD. Tommy is a former Walt Disney Studios Screenwriting Fellowship Award Winner, and has written commissioned screenplays for Robert Townsend’s Tinseltownsend Productions, and Cineville Films. Tommy has also lectured on Theater, Film, and Television at University campuses across the country for The American Program Bureau, and his company, Artist Resources Unlimited. Tommy dramaturged and directed the hit play, CHAMPION at the Beverly Hills Playhouse’s Skylight Theatre that was moved to New York City’s famed The New Federal Theatre for a critically acclaimed run. Most recently, Tommy directed ‘ROID RAGE at the Write Act Theatre in Hollywood, BIRD LIVES! at Leimert Park’s The Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center, and MIM & ROSE at the Ruskin Group Theatre in Santa Monica. Tommy is a member of the Actors Studio Playwrights/Directors Unit.

Adleane Hunter

Director of:
The Rhythm Keepers, written by Kellie Dantzler.
Rules of the Debate, written by Inda Craig-Galvin.
ETHIOP-ICA, written by Julie Taiwo Oni.
Adleane Hunter

Adleane feels fortunate to have discovered her love for new work early in her career.  She finds collaborating with playwrights the height of creativity and connectivity; and the development process with actors both gratifying and magical.  Some of the new works she has worked on are:  PIECES OF ME by Loretta Devine; BLACK WOMEN’S BLUES; BLACK RESURRECTIONS by Gus Edwards; MOMMA WAS A BAD MUTA . . . by Flyicia King; CRYIN' SHAME by Javon Johnson.  

Mohammed A. Ojarigi.

Director and writer of Greenwood 1964.
Mohammed A. Ojarigi

The Nigerian American Actor / Writer / Director / Producer Mohammed Ali Ojarigi was born in Minneapolis Minnesota. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Theater Performing Arts at UNLV. Has landed work in several National Commercial ads; currently has a reoccurring role on General Hospital as Officer Fleet Adams.  Displeased with the level of opportunity and depth in roles for people of color in Film and Television. He started his own production company Inner Child Artistry Productions private coaching sessions now available.
Link for Mohammed A. Ojarigi:

Dwain A. Perry.

Director of:
Miss Pauline, written by Cornell Hubert Calhoun.
Deep River, written by La'Chris Jordan.

Dwain A. Perry is happy to work once again with Robey Theatre Company and celebrate its 20th Anniversary.  Most recently directed Knock Me A Kiss, by Charles Smith. Previous
Dwain A. Perry
directing credits include Transitions by Kellie Dantzler, which was selected for the National Black Theatre Festival in North Carolina and also won a NAACP Award for Best Ensemble. The River Niger, by Joseph A. Walker and Permanent Collection, by Thomas Gibbons, that was co-directed with Harry Lennix for Robey and Greenway Court Theatre.  This production was moved, by the request of Michael Ritchie of the Center Theatre Group, to the Kirk Douglas Theatre were it was nominated for an LA WEEKLY AWARD for Best Revival.  

Dylan Southard

Director of:
H.U.A.C, written by Dr. Alicia Tycer.
The Agreement by Kurt D. Maxey.

Dylan is the resident dramaturg for The Robey Theatre Company. He previously served as
Dylan Southard
production dramaturg for The Emperor’s Last Performance by Melvin Ishmael Johnson, Transitions by Kellie Dantzler, The Reckoning by Kimba Henderson, and Pity the Proud Ones by Kurt D. Maxey, all developed and produced through Robey's Playwrights Program under his watch. He is the co-Artistic Director of the Los Angeles-based company Needtheater, where he directed the world premiere of Guided Consideration of a Lamentable Deed. Additional directing credits include The Lover at the Hollywood Fringe Festival and Carpe Diesal at London's inaugural Timewave Festival in 2013. Locally, he has worked in new play development with Center Theatre Group, The Geffen Playhouse, The Theatre @ Boston Court, Native Voices at The Autry, Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble, Theatre Dybbuk, LoNyLa, and the Network of Ensemble Theatres. His writing on theatre can be found at the websites Howlround and L.A. Bitter Lemons. Dylan trained as a dramaturg under a two year fellowship with Centerstage Baltimore and is a graduate of Wesleyan University.

For further information on the writers who were selected for this year's festival, please click the following link:
The Paul Robeson Theatre Festival will be performed July 18th - July 19th 
The Los Angeles Theatre Center
514 South Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Schedule of events

  • Friday, July 18, 2014 at 6pm - A reception, followed by the reading of Paul Robeson in Berlin, written by Robert Coles and Bartley McSwine, with reception to follow.
  • Saturday, July 19, 2014 beginning at 1pm - The presentation of the 15 One-Act Plays.

For tickets and pricing information:
Friday, July 18 – $25
Saturday, July 19 – $35
Festival Pass (Friday and Saturday) – $50
Online at:
Or, call (866) 811-4111.

Writing content contributor: Kellie Dantzler