Lou Bellamy (born March 10, 1944) is an American stage director, actor, producer, entrepreneur, and educator. He is the founder and artistic director, Emeritus of Penumbra Theatre Company in St. Paul, Minnesota. He taught at the University of Minnesota from 1979 until his retirement as an associate professor in 2011.
At the University of Minnesota he taught classes in acting, directing, and communication as well as specialized classes in Black theater. At Penumbra his numerous productions included 23 world premieres. He had a particularly close relationship with playwright August Wilson, and Penumbra produced more plays by Wilson than any other theater in the world. Bellamy's directing there has earned an Obie award. In 2014 his daughter Sarah Bellamy succeeded him as leader of Penumbra.
Bellamy has been quoted regarding Black theater as saying: "There's a little pressure now to widen my work, with agents and artistic directors asking if I want to do Chekhov. I can, but I don't want to. There are only a few people who get chances to be where I am in my career. I want to use it for putting the lens on black people and showing them in all their beauty, their facets and warts. These are people who I care about and love and want to see in all their complexity on the stage."
In 2017 he won the Kay Sexton award for his career as a teacher, mentor, director and promoter of African American Literature.
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