STAGE TUBE: I AM THEATRE Project- Lou Bellamy is excited to share a new weekly series developed by the Theatre Communications Group! This week Penumbra Theatre Company's Lou Bellamy shares pivotal moments in his theatre career and why the arts matter to him!

Lou Bellamy is the founder and artistic director of Penumbra Theatre. During his thirty-four year tenure, Penumbra has evolved into one of America's premier theaters dedicated to dramatic exploration of the African American experience. Under his leadership, Penumbra has produced 35 world premieres, including August Wilson's first professional production, and is proud to have produced more of Mr. Wilson's plays than any theater in the world. Lou is an OBIE Award-winning director, an accomplished actor, and sought after scholar. He has been a member of the University of Minnesota's faculty for 33 years as an Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance. Select directing credits include Penumbra's co-production of A RAISIN IN THE SUN with Cleveland Playhouse and Arizona Theatre Company, RADIO GOLF at Kansas City Repertory, Penumbra's production of GEM OF THE OCEAN presented at the Guthrie, RADIO GOLF, FENCES and THE PIANO LESSON at Penumbra, TWO TRAINS RUNNING at the Signature Theatre in New York, and Ma Rainey'S BLACK BOTTOM at the Kennedy Center. Most recently, Lou directed Penumbra and Arizona Theatre Company co-production of Ma Rainey'S BLACK BOTTOM staged in Phoenix, Tucson and the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the world premiere of I WISH YOU LOVE by Dominic Taylor staged at Penumbra Theatre, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Hartford Stage.

I AM THEATRE spotlights the stories of theatre practitioners, in their own words. With 50 videos over the next 50 weeks, TCG is celebrating its 50th anniversary by sharing stories from a diverse group of people who are creating, supporting, and engaging with theatre. YOU ARE THEATRE: We want to hear your stories! TCG will release a new video each week of individuals sharing pivotal moments in theatre - and hope they will inspire you to tell your stories too. Join us as we seek to raise the international awareness of the depth, diversity and impact of the theatre field. WE ARE THEATRE! Today, not-for-profit professional theatres in the U.S. employ 130,000 people annually, inspire more than 30 million attendees and contribute $2 billion directly to the U.S. economy. What if thousands of theatre artists across the world posted their own video testimonies of why they do what they do and why theatre matters? How might that transform communities' awareness of our work? Please share the stories we've recorded, and we'll share the videos you make, and together we'll testify in a voIce That everyone will hear...I AM THEATRE. YOU ARE THEATRE. WE ARE THEATRE!

For 50 years, Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for the American theatre, has existed to strengthen, nurture and promote the professional not-for-profit American theatre. TCG's constituency has grown from a handful of groundbreaking theatres to nearly 700 member theatres and affiliate organizations and more than 13,000 individuals nationwide. TCG offers its members networking and knowledge-building opportunities through conferences, events, research and communications; awards grants, approximately $2 million per year, to theatre companies and individual artists; advocates on the federal level; and serves as the US Center of the International Theatre Institute, connecting its constituents to the global theatre community. TCG is North America's largest independent publisher of dramatic literature, with 11 Pulitzer Prizes for Best Play on the TCG booklist. It also publishes the award-winning AMERICAN THEATRE magazine and ARTSEARCH®, the essential source for a career in the arts. In all of its endeavors, TCG seeks to increase the organizational efficiency of its member theatres, cultivate and celebrate the artistic talent and achievements of the field and promote a larger public understanding of, and appreciation for, the theatre.


STAGE TUBE: I AM THEATRE Project- Lou Bellamy
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