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Steve H. Broadnax III Joins People's Light As Resident Director

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Broadnax has worked extensively in regional theatre for over 20 years and remains Head of the MFA Acting Program at Pennsylvania State University.

Steve H. Broadnax III joins the artistic leadership of People's Light as Resident Director.

A highly sought-after actor, educator, director, and writer, Broadnax has worked extensively in regional theatre for over 20 years and remains Head of the MFA Acting Program at Pennsylvania State University. As Resident Director at People's Light, Broadnax will play a key role in artistic decision-making and season planning, as well as direct at least one production per season. Founded in 1974, People's Light serves as one of Pennsylvania's largest professional non-profit theatres, known for forging cultural and civic connections throughout the region with an eclectic mix of productions and innovative work with young people.

"We are thrilled to have Steve join us as a leading voice in our plans and operations," says People's Light Producing Director Zak Berkman. "As a multitalented, multifaceted artist and educator, his ebullient passion for what's possible is uplifting and radical, especially now. It's no wonder so many outstanding artists from around the country are eager to work with him again and again."

Broadnax first came to People's Light in 2016 as director of Katori Hall's The Mountaintop. He returned in 2018 to helm Dominique Morisseau's Skeleton Crew, and most recently directed Morisseau's critically-acclaimed Mud Row. "I have considered People's Light an artistic home since I first directed The Mountaintop," says Broadnax. "I deeply align with the theatre's mission to create opportunities for diverse communities to discover and celebrate our shared humanity. I am honored to be of service to the theatre and community as Resident Director. As an artist and educator, I aim to continue People's Light's core values and mission as a light of and for the people."

In addition to directing, Broadnax is one of 11 writers commissioned through New Play Frontiers (NPF) at People's Light. NPF is a nationally-recognized Residency and Commission Program that invites playwrights from around the country to immerse themselves in the Greater Philadelphia region in order to create locally-inspired plays. NPF writer Dominique Morisseau first introduced People's Light to Steve when she requested he be attached to her West Chester-inspired Mud Row. As a result of the connections forged in West Chester throughout that play's development, Steve proposed a project of his own - a play with music centered on Civil Rights icon Bayard Rustin. Bayard Rustin: Inside Ashland, originally slated to premiere this past spring, would have been the third production to emerge from New Play Frontiers. Its world premiere has been rescheduled for the 2021/2022 Season. Read more about the play's journey here.

"From the very beginning, staff, board members, artists, and audiences have enthusiastically embraced Steve, admiring not only his immense talent, but his warmth, kindness, and irrepressible spirit," shares People's Light Executive Artistic Director Abigail Adams. "Steve leads with love in all aspects of his work, and it's a joy to welcome him as Resident Director."

The most recent collaboration between Broadnax and People's Light is his short film 2020 Vision, released in July 2020 and available to watch for free on People's Light - Always On. Broadnax was among a number of affiliated artists commissioned to create digital projects in solidarity with those protesting systemic racism, anti-Black violence, and nationwide inaction regarding police brutality. 2020 Vision, a co-production between People's Light and Penn State Centre Stage Virtual, follows a young Black father as he contemplates how to participate in the Black Lives Matter movement and secure his family's safety. An in-depth discussion about the film, facilitated by People's Light Resident Dramaturg Gina Pisasale, features insights from Broadnax, actor Eric B. Robinson Jr., and video editor Omkar Girish Purandare. Watch the full interview here.

Steve H. Broadnax III has directed extensively throughout the United States and beyond. Credits include the upcoming Broadway-bound Thoughts of a Colored Man by Keenan Scott II (produced by Brian Morland, Ron Simons, and Diana DiMenna), the world premiere of The Hot Wing King by Katori Hall (Signature Theatre New York City), Actors Theatre of Louisville, Hattiloo Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Ensemble Studio Theatre Company NYC, Chautauqua Theatre Company, People's Light, Apollo Theatre NYC, Classical Theatre of Harlem, Atlantic Theatre NYC, Detroit Public Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, Cleveland Playhouse, The Black Theatre Troupe in Phoenix, AZ, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Moore Theatre in Seattle, Market Theatre Johannesburg SA, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, National Arts Festival in South Africa, and The Adelaide Arts Festival Australia. Learn more at stevebroadnax.com



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