Charles Randolph-Wright

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Charles Randolph-Wright
Born York, South Carolina, United States
Occupation Film, Television, and Theatre Director, Television Producer, Screenwriter, and Playwright
Website http://www.randolph-wright.com/

Charles Randolph-Wright is an American film, television, and theatre director, television producer, screenwriter, and playwright.

Early life[edit]

A native of York, South Carolina, Randolph-Wright graduated with honors from York High School. He attended Duke University where he was a recipient of the prestigious A.B. Duke Scholarship and a pre-med student. As an undergraduate, he studied acting with the Royal Shakespeare Company in London and danced with the Alvin Ailey School in New York City. Randolph-Wright graduated with honors from Duke University with a B.A. degree in theater and religion.[1]

Career[edit]

Theater[edit]

Randolph-Wright's earliest Broadway credit was as a member of the original cast of the musical Dreamgirls.[2] He then went on to establish a distinguished career as a director. His recent credits include Motown: The Musical which opened on Broadway in April 2013; Daniel Beaty's Through The Night, which opened Off-Broadway at the Union Square Theatre in the fall of 2010.[3] He also staged a national tour of George and Ira Gershwin's Porgy and Bess that launched in 2010 in celebration of the opera's 75th anniversary.[4] Notable credits include Arena Stage's Sophisticated Ladies starring Maurice Hines, which enjoyed a record breaking run at the historic Lincoln Theatre in 2010.[5] Randolph-Wright also directed two acclaimed productions for Arena Stage of musicals written by Frank Loesser. His revival of Guys and Dolls, which also starred Hines, was selected by the Loesser estate to tour in celebration of the musical's 50th anniversary. Randolph-Wright also directed Senor Discretion Himself, the last musical written by Mr. Loesser before his death in 1969, which was based on a story by Budd Schulberg and co-written with Culture Clash.[6] The production earned a 2005 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Regional Musical.[7]

Randolph-Wright's directing credits also include Brian Stokes Mitchell's acclaimed solo show Love/Life at Lincoln Center Theater, They're Playing Our Song (in Portuguese) in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Brasil, Daniel Beaty's Emergency at the Geffen Theatre, Blood Knot, featuring music by Tracy Chapman, at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, and the world premiere of Oni Faida Lampley's Tough Titty at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Charles also directed and co-wrote Me and Mrs. Jones, a musical which starred Lou Rawls and featured the classic R&B music of the Sound of Philadelphia at the Prince Music Theatre, The Diva Is Dismissed, starring Jenifer Lewis at the Public Theater and the Hudson Theatre in Los Angeles, Homework starring Kim Coles, and Just Between Friends starring Bea Arthur, which toured internationally and was mounted in a Tony nominated run on Broadway.

Randolph-Wright's playwriting credits include Blue, which premiered at Arena Stage in April 2000. With music by Nona Hendryx and direction by Sheldon Epps, it starred Phylicia Rashad, Hill Harper, and Michael McElroy. The Roundabout Theatre Company produced the New York premiere of the play in the summer of 2001.[8] The play received a subsequent production at Pasadena Playhouse. Randolph-Wright also wrote and directed the premiere of Cuttin' Up at Arena Stage in the fall of 2005.[9] Adapted from Craig Marberry's best selling book "Cuttin' Up: Wit and Wisdom from Black Barber Shops," subsequent productions of the play were produced at Pasadena Playhouse, Cleveland Play House, and the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta. His play, The Night Is A Child, premiered at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater in March 2008 under the direction of Timothy Douglas.[10] The play received its West Coast premiere in September 2009 in a production at Pasadena Playhouse directed by Sheldon Epps and starring Jobeth Williams.[11]

Randolph-Wright received the 2010 Paul Robeson Award from Actors' Equity Association. The annual award honors individuals for their exemplary artistic and humanitarian achievements. Past recipients include Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Lloyd Richards, and Sidney Poitier.[12][13] In the summer of 2010, Randolph-Wright received a three-year playwright residency as part of Arena Stage's American Voices New Play Institute, which began in January 2011.[14][15] He serves on the Board of Directors of the Roundabout Theatre where he created the "Different Voices" workshop series and the artistic board at Duke University. He's also the founder and artistic director of "Create Carolina", a multi-disciplinary intensive arts experience first established in 2007.[16]

Television[edit]

Randolph-Wright's television credits include guest appearances on Melrose Place, Falcon Crest and Hill Street Blues. Recently, he has directed episodes on Oprah's new hit[citation needed] series Greenleaf. He has directed episodes of the series Lincoln Heights on ABC Family and South of Nowhere on the N Network. Randolph-Wright was also the producer and writer of the critically acclaimed Showtime series Linc's and a writer/consultant on the Fox series "Lush Life". He has also directed many commercials, including the European "Freestyle" campaign for Nike, which won several international commercial awards, and music videos. His musical staging has been seen on a variety of programs, including The Golden Girls.

Film[edit]

Randolph-Wright made his directorial film debut with "Preaching To The Choir", which earned the 2005 American Black Film Festival’s Best Actor and Audience awards and its Grand Jury Prize.[17] He has also developed screenplays for Showtime, HBO, Walt Disney Pictures, Victory Entertainment, Producers Entertainment Group, Tim Reid Productions, and 20th Century Fox. He also co-wrote the screenplay White Chocolate with John Leguizamo. Randolph-Wright was the co-producer of the Angela Davis Story for Castle Rock Entertainment, and developed the short film Family Tree (Disney).

References[edit]

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