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Woodie King, Jr.

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Information about Woodie King, Jr.

Profile image of Woodie King, Jr.

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Stage Director
Theater Director

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Brown
Favorite Food:
Chicken Brazalia, Spicy Chinese Shrimp
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
London, England
Favorite Quote:
Because you're in a hurry, it doesn't mean I'm in a hurry.

Birthplace

Born:
7/27/1937
Birth Location:
Bladwin Springs, Alabama

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Stage Director
Theater Director

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Brown
Favorite Food:
Chicken Brazalia, Spicy Chinese Shrimp
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
London, England
Favorite Quote:
Because you're in a hurry, it doesn't mean I'm in a hurry.

Birthplace

Born:
7/27/1937
Birth Location:
Bladwin Springs
See how Woodie King, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Award winning theater director Woodie King, Jr., was born on July 27, 1937, in Baldwin Springs, Alabama, to parents Ruby and Woodie King, Sr. Attending high school in Detroit, King graduated in 1956; he then went on to attend Leman College in New York, and later earned his M.F.A. degree from Brooklyn College.

Following his high school graduation in 1956, King worked for Ford Motor Company as an arc welder for the three years. In 1959, King went to work for the city of Detroit as a draftsman. In 1965, King joined Mobilization for Youth, where he spent the next five years working as the cultural director.

In 1970, King founded the New Federal Theatre and the National Black Touring Circuit in New York City, where he remained as producing director throughout his career. King produced shows both on and off Broadway, and directed performances across the country in venues such as the New York Shakespeare Festival; the Cleveland Playhouse; Center Stage of Baltimore; and the Pittsburgh Public Theatre. King's work earned him numerous nominations and awards over the years, including a 1988 NAACP Image Award for his direction of Checkmates, and 1993 Audelco Awards for Best Director and Best Play for his production of Robert Johnson: Trick The Devil; he also received an Obie Award for Sustained Achievement. King was awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Wayne State University, and a doctorate of fine arts from the College of Wooster.

In addition to his directing and producing of theater, King wrote extensively about the theater industry; he contributed to numerous magazines, such as Black World, Variety, and The Tulane Drama Review, as well as authoring a number of books.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Woodie King, Jr. interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Woodie King, Jr.'s favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Woodie King, Jr. discusses his family origins
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Woodie King, Jr. remembers his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Woodie King, Jr. remembers his mother and male mentors
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Woodie King, Jr. discusses the Detroit, Michigan of his youth
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Woodie King, Jr. discusses his school life in Detroit
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Woodie King, Jr. discusses his gang involvement in 1950s Detroit
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Woodie King, Jr. describes his early interests
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Woodie King, Jr. discusses his occupational choices
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Woodie King, Jr. recalls his foray into the theater arts
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Woodie King, Jr. talks about his drama school experiences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Woodie King, Jr. discusses his first theater company in Detroit and the plays they performed
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Woodie King, Jr. talks about his acting roles in New York and starting a theater company in Harlem
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Woodie King, Jr. describes the beginnings of his New Federal Theatre Project
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Woodie King, Jr. details his other theater-related projects and movies
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Woodie King, Jr. talks about his international network of theater colleagues
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Woodie King, Jr. talks about how plays by black Americans are received internationally
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Woodie King, Jr. discusses black theater and the founders of other theater companies in the U.S.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Woodie King, Jr. talks about fundraising and his business strategy for a successful theater
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Woodie King, Jr. details more of his business strategy
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Woodie King, Jr. talks about financing theater productions and gives his views on community theater
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Woodie King, Jr. shares his greatest challenges as a theater producer
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Woodie King, Jr. talks about the success of the play 'Checkmates'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Woodie King, Jr. discusses his concerns for the black community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Woodie King, Jr. gives a brief commentary on the people with whom he's worked in the theater community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Woodie King, Jr. describes two of his most important productions
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Woodie King, Jr. talks about his upcoming projects
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Woodie King, Jr. discusses his legacy and how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Photo - Woodie King, Jr. and Gertrude Jeannette, founder of the HADLEY Players, ca. 1990s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Photo - Woodie King, Jr. with Clinton Turner Davis, Rashida Ismaili Abubakr and Elizabeth Van Dyke, ca. 1990s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Photo - Candid photo of Woodie King, Jr., ca. 1990s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Photo - Woodie King, Jr. with Kojo Ade and Adger Cowans, New York, New York, ca. late 1990s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Photo - Woodie King, Jr. with actors Charles Weldon and Rony Clanton, New York, New York, ca. mid-1990s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Photo - Woodie King, Jr. and National Black Theatre founder, Dr. Barbara Ann Teer, New York, New York, 2001
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Photo - Woodie King, Jr. with Sonia Sanchez and other actors at the Black Theater Festival, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, 2001
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Photo - Woodie King, Jr. with Adam Wade, Leslie Uggams and other actors at New Federal Theatre's cast party for 'Black Girl', New York, New York, ca. 1995-1996
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Photo - Woodie King, Jr. with others at the Gwendolyn Brooks Writers' Conference, Chicago, Illinois, ca. early 1990s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Photo - Woodie King, Jr. with others at the Gwendolyn Brooks Writers' Conference, Chicago, Illinois, ca. late 1980s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Photo - Gwendolyn Brooks and others at the Gwendolyn Brooks Writers' Conference at Chicago State University, Chicago, Illinois, 1992
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Photo - Woodie King, Jr. receives the Higgs Award from the Henry Street Settlement, New York, New York, ca. 1986-1987
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Photo - Woodie King, Jr. with scenic designer Eldon Elder at a luncheon at The Players Club, ca. late 1990s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Photo - Woodie King, Jr. with others at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, New York, New York, ca. mid-1990s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Photo - Candid of Woodie King, Jr., Rochester, New York, 1994
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Photo - Woodie King, Jr. and Percy Littleton at a theater conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Photo - Woodie King, Jr. receives an award from Margaret Burroughs
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Photo - Woodie King, Jr. with others at an opening at the New Federal Theatre, New York, New York, ca. 1993
  • Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Photo - Woodie King, Jr. and others at an opening at the Lincoln Center Theater Company, New York, New York, ca. 1987
  • Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Photo - Woodie King, Jr. with Sidney Poitier, William Greaves and others at the 30th anniversary of the New Federal Theatre, New York, New York, 2001
  • Tape: 5 Story: 15 - Photo - Woodie King, Jr. with his son and playwright Laurence Holder at the 30th anniversary of New Federal Theatre, New York, New York, 2001
  • Tape: 5 Story: 16 - Photo - Woodie King, Jr. and Kim Sullivan at the Abrons Arts Center at Henry Street Settlement, New York, New York, 2001
  • Tape: 5 Story: 17 - Photo - Woodie King, Jr. receives a replica of Lorenzo Pace's art installation plan created in honor of Manhattan's African Burial Ground, New York, New York, 2001
  • Tape: 5 Story: 18 - Photo - Woodie King, Jr. introduces his son to actors at the 30th anniversary of the New Federal Theatre, New York, New York, 2001
  • Tape: 5 Story: 19 - Photo - Woodie King, Jr. with producer and playwright, Philip Rose, an honoree at the 30th anniversary of New Federal Theatre, New York, New York, 2001
  • Tape: 5 Story: 20 - Photo - Haki Madhubuti and Amiri Baraka at the 30th anniversary of New Federal Theatre, New York, New York, 2001
  • Tape: 5 Story: 21 - Photo - Woodie King, Jr. listens to Susan Taylor at the 30th anniversary of New Federal Theatre, New York, New York, 2001
  • Tape: 5 Story: 22 - Photo - Woodie King, Jr. and others at the 30th anniversary celebration of New Federal Theatre, New York, New York, 2001
  • Tape: 5 Story: 23 - Photo - Woodie King, Jr. and actor Nick Searcy at the 30th anniversary celebration of New Federal Theatre, New York, New York, 2001
  • Tape: 5 Story: 24 - Photo - Woodie King, Jr., Shaita Miusi and an unidentified at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, 1995
  • Tape: 5 Story: 25 - Photo - Woodie King, Jr. speaking at the Arts Merits Award at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, 1995
  • Tape: 5 Story: 26 - Photo - Woodie King, Jr. receives an Arts Merits Award at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, 1995
  • Tape: 5 Story: 27 - Photo - Woodie King, Jr., Ken Preston and Amiri Baraka at the 30th anniversary of New Federal Theatre, New York, New York, 2001
  • Tape: 5 Story: 28 - Photo - Woodie King, Jr. with others at the Abrons Arts Center at Henry Street Settlement, New York, New York, 1992
  • Tape: 5 Story: 29 - Photo - Woodie King, Jr.'s high school yearbook picture from Cass Technical High School, Detroit, Michigan, 1956
  • Tape: 5 Story: 30 - Photo - Woodie King, Jr. with New Federal Theatre's Coordinator, Mamie Mitchum in front of their space on East Third Street, New York, New York, ca. 1971-1973
  • Tape: 5 Story: 31 - Photo - Portrait of Woodie King, Jr. from his book 'Black Theatre Present Condition', 1981