Will Power (performer)

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Will Power by AceShotThat (Adam A. Anderson)

Will Power is an award-winning American actor, rapper, playwright, and educator.

Career[edit]

Power has been a featured performer on Last Call with Carson Daly and Russell Simmons’s Def Poetry Jam on HBO. He also starred in the 1998 film Drylongso, a hit at Sundance, as well as being featured in the documentary All Fathers are Sons.

A pioneer in the genre of hip hop theatre, Power has created a unique fusion of original music, rhymed dialogue, and choreography. His adaptation of the Greek tragedy Seven against Thebes, entitled The Seven, recently completed a successful Off-Broadway run at the New York Theatre Workshop.

In January of 2010 McCarter Theatre Center premiered Fetch Clay, Make Man. The play focuses on the relationship between Muhammad Ali, the famous boxer, and Stepin Fetchit, an African-American actor, on the eve of Ali’s 1965 defense of his heavyweight championship against Sonny Liston.

Will Power is the Andrew W. Mellon Playwright in Residence at Dallas Theater Center, the Duke Foundation Resident Artist at New York Theatre Workshop, and on the Faculty at Southern Methodist University'Meadows School of the Arts.

In addition to composing the music used in his shows, Power has also written lyrics and music heard on MTV, UPN's Moesha, and NBC's Kingpin. He is also the lead vocalist of the Omar Sosa Sextet.

Power is also the son of civil rights activists, Gigi Gregory and Chris Wylie, and the grandson of George Gregory, Jr.

Discography[edit]

With Midnight Voices- Albums: Dreams Keep Blowin' My Mind (1991), Late Nite at the Upper Room (1994), Howlin' at the Moon (1997)

As a member of the Omar Sosa Sextet-Free Roots (1997), Spirit of the Roots (1999), Bembón (2000), Prietos (2000).

Theatrical works[edit]

Will Power written and performed:

  • 2017, Cure No Cure (1997-98)
  • The Gathering (premiered 1999, toured through 2002)
  • Flow - Original Music composed by Will Power and Will Hammond
  • Caliban Return

As a writer, performer, composer with Will Hammond Flow, Will Power has been in preview performances in 2002, premiered in 2003. Power also toured through 2005, with one performance being at the Sydney Festival in 2007.

Performed:

  • Blessing the Boats

Written:

Film/television appearances[edit]

Published works[edit]

  • Fetch Clay Make Man (Overlook Press, 2016)
  • Theater and Cultural Politics for a New World (Routledge Press, 2016)
  • Steel Hammer, Humana Festival 2014: The Complete Plays (Playscripts, Inc)
  • Selection from Fetch Clay, Make Man, 2014 Monologues for Actors of Color (Routledge Press)
  • Selection from Fetch Clay, Make Man, "The Best Stage Monologues of 2014) (Applause)
  • Five Fingers of Funk, "Fierce and True, Plays for Teen Audiences" (University of Minnesota Press, 2010)
  • Flow, "Plays from the Boom Box Galaxy: Theater from the Hip Hop Generation" (TCG, 2009)

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • 2016 Doris Duke Artist Award
  • 2015 Duke Foundation Building Demand for the Arts Exploration Grant
  • 2013 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence
  • 2012 TACA Donna Wilhelm New Works Family Fund
  • 2012 NEA Arts Works Grant
  • 2012 Fadiman Award (Center Theatre Group)
  • 2011 Meadows Prize (Dallas Theater Center/Southern Methodist University)
  • 2010 Aetna New Voices Fellowship (Hartford Stage)
  • 2009 Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award
  • 2008 United States Artists Prudential Fellow
  • 2007 NEA/TCG Theatre Residency Program Grant for Playwrights
  • 2006 Lucille Lortel Award (Best Musical)
  • 2006 TCG Peter Zeisler Memorial Award
  • 2005 New York Film AcademyNYFA Fellowship
  • 2005 Joyce Carol Thomas Award
  • 2004 Jury Award for Best Theatre Performance at the HBO US Comedy Arts Festival
  • 2004 Drama Desk Nomination for Best Solo Performance
  • 2004 Drama League Nomination for Distinguished Performance
  • 2004 AUDELCO award Nomination for Best Solo Performance
  • 2002 Black Theater Network Pathfinder Award
  • 2001 San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for Best Book
  • Trailblazer Award from the National Black Theater Network

References[edit]