The 49th Annual Vivian Robinson AUDELCO Recognition Awards for Excellence in Black Theatre has announced that this year’s ceremony, which is being held virtually and livestreaming from the Dwyer Cultural Center in Harlem on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021 at 7:30 p.m., will be a glorious 49-year retrospective of Black theatre excellence. For this unique awards presentation AUDELCO has put together an impressive list of 27 theater companies and each theater company on average has seven Black productions nominated. The job of the members of AUDELCO will be to vote on the best production that each of these 27 companies has blessed the stage with over the past 49 years, each show nominated, has the year it was performed included. Just reading this list is a momentous, detailed history of Black creativity, passion and community!

The production companies and list of productions is vast, so here we go: 𝐀MAS 𝐌𝐔𝐒𝐈𝐂𝐀𝐋 𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐀𝐓𝐑𝐄 (𝟏𝟗𝟔𝟖 𝐓𝐎 𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐄𝐍𝐓): Bubbling Brown Sugar (1973-1975); Dunbar (1979-1980);

From My Hometown (2002-2003); Little Ham (2001-2002); Peanut Man (1985-1986); Rollin On The T.O.B.A. (1998- 1999); and Struttin (1988-1989). 𝐀𝐅𝐑𝐎-𝐀𝐌𝐄𝐑𝐈𝐂𝐀𝐍 𝐒𝐓𝐔𝐃𝐈𝐎/(𝟏𝟐𝟕𝐓𝐇 𝐒𝐓𝐑𝐄𝐄𝐓 𝐑𝐄𝐏𝐄𝐑𝐓𝐎𝐑𝐘 𝐄𝐍𝐒𝐄𝐌𝐁𝐋𝐄): Dream On Monkey Mountain (1982); Equus (1982); Moon On A Rainbow Shawl (1984); Raisin In The Sun (1979); Tabernacle (1985); and Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright (1981). 𝐁𝐋𝐀𝐂𝐊 𝐒𝐏𝐄𝐂𝐓𝐑𝐔𝐌 𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐀𝐓𝐑𝐄 (𝟏𝟗𝟕𝟎 𝐓𝐎 𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐄𝐍𝐓): Amen Corner (1992); Black Love (1982); Blues From An Alabama Sky (2004); Healing Zone (2007); Reunion In Bartersville (2018); The Piano Lesson (2003); and Timeless: Mystery Of The Dark Water (2016). 𝐁𝐈𝐋𝐋𝐈𝐄 𝐇𝐎𝐋𝐈𝐃𝐀𝐘 𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐀𝐓𝐑𝐄 (𝟏𝟗𝟕𝟐 𝐓𝐎 𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐄𝐍𝐓): Brothers From The Bottom (2015); Freeda Peoples (2002); Inacent Black and the Five Brothers (1979); The Legend Of Buster Neal (2011); Vampire And The Dentist (1978); Young Gifted And Broke (1977); and Old Settler (2017). 𝐂𝐋𝐀𝐒𝐒𝐈𝐂𝐀𝐋 𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐀𝐓𝐑𝐄 𝐎𝐅 𝐇𝐀𝐑𝐋𝐄𝐌 (𝟏𝟗𝟗𝟗 𝐓𝐎 𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐄𝐍𝐓): Ain’t Supposed To Die A Natural Death (2006); Detroit ’67 (2013); The Blacks (2003); Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2002); Seed (2011); The Tempest (2016); Trojan Women (2008). 𝐂𝐑𝐎𝐒𝐒𝐑𝐎𝐀𝐃𝐒 𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐀𝐓𝐑𝐄 𝐂𝐎𝐌𝐏𝐀𝐍𝐘 (𝟏𝟗𝟕𝟐 𝐓𝐎 𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐄𝐍𝐓): Black Eagles (1991); Fly (2009); Jitney (1997); Sheila’s Day (1989); Spunk (1989); The Colored Museum (1986); and Two Hah Hah’s and A Homeboy (1995). 𝐅𝐑𝐀𝐍𝐊 𝐒𝐈𝐋𝐕𝐄𝐑𝐀 𝗪𝐑𝐈𝐓𝐄𝐑𝐒 𝗪𝐎𝐑𝐊𝐒𝐇𝐎𝐏 (𝟏𝟗𝟕𝟑 𝐓𝐎 𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐄𝐍𝐓): Every Moment (1986); Father’s Day (1990); Fried Chicken And Invisibility (1983); The Last Street Play (1975); Sisyphus And The Blue-Eye Cyclops (1990); Tut-Anhk-Amen: The Boy King (1982); and What Ever Happened To Amos And Andy (1982). 𝐇.𝐀.𝐃.𝐋.𝐄.𝐘 𝐏𝐋𝐀𝐘𝐄𝐑𝐒 (𝟏𝟗𝟕𝟗 𝐭𝐨 𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐄𝐍𝐓): A Bolt From The Blue (1997); Gladys’ Dilemma (2010); Home (2005); Open House (1974); Old Settler (2005); The Guest At Central Park (2006); and Who’s Mamma’s Baby Who’s Daddy’s Child (1985). 𝐇𝐀𝐑𝐋𝐄𝐌 𝐑𝐄𝐏𝐄𝐑𝐓𝐎𝐑𝐘 𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐀𝐓𝐑𝐄 (𝟐𝟎𝟎𝟒 𝐓𝐎 𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐄𝐍𝐓): Ain’t Misbehavin’ (2008); Dream Girls (2012); In The Heights (2016); Pippin (2019); Sweet Charity (2019); The Colored Museum (2018); and The Wiz (2014). 𝐇𝐀𝐑𝐋𝐄𝐌 𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐀𝐓𝐄𝐑 𝐂𝐎𝐌𝐏𝐀𝐍𝐘 (𝟏𝟗𝟖𝟕 𝐓𝐎 𝟐𝟎𝟎𝟒): Bury The Dead (1989); Dishin’ With Tish (1997); Goobie Dust (1999); Love Child (2003); Solutions And More (1988); Ti-Jean and His Brothers (1991); and Waiting Until Dark (2002). 𝐋𝐀𝐘𝐎𝐍 𝐆𝐑𝐀𝐘 𝐀𝐌𝐄𝐑𝐈𝐂𝐀𝐍 𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐀𝐓𝐑𝐄 𝐂𝐎𝐌𝐏𝐀𝐍𝐘, (𝟐𝟎𝟏𝟎 𝐓𝐎 𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐄𝐍𝐓): All American Girls (2011); Black Angels Over Tuskegee (2010); Black Sparta Dahomey Warriors (2018); Diary Of A Catholic School Dropout (2013); Kings Of Harlem (2014); Webeime (2008); and Searching For Willie Lynch (2015). 𝐌𝐀𝐍𝐇𝐀𝐓𝐓𝐀𝐍 𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐀𝐓𝐑𝐄 𝐂𝐋𝐔𝐁 (𝟏𝟗𝟕𝟎 𝐓𝐎 𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐄𝐍𝐓): Drowning Crow (2004); New Englanders (2019); Ruined (2009); Sugar In Our Wounds (2018); Talented Tenth (1998); The Past Is Past (1975); and Whipping Man (2011). 𝐍𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍𝐀𝐋 𝐁𝐋𝐀𝐂𝐊 𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐀𝐓𝐑𝐄 (𝟏𝟗𝟔𝟖 𝐓𝐎 𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐄𝐍𝐓): Affinity (1985); Black Codes From The Underground (1992); Do Wop Love (1993); Iced Out, Shackled And Chained (2010); Soljourney Into Truth (1977); Fruits Of Miss Morning (1988); and Carnival (2014). 𝐍𝐄𝐆𝐑𝐎 𝐄𝐍𝐒𝐄𝐌𝐁𝐋𝐄 𝐂𝐎𝐌𝐏𝐀𝐍𝐘 (𝟏𝟗𝟔𝟕 𝐓𝐎 𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐄𝐍𝐓): A Day Of Absence (1969); A Lovely Malfunction (2015); A Soldier’s Play (1981); Mississippi Delta (1987); River Niger (1972); The Waiting Room (2007); and War Party (1986). 𝐍𝐄𝗪 𝐅𝐄𝐃𝐄𝐑𝐀𝐋 𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐀𝐓𝐑𝐄 (𝟏𝟗𝟕𝟏 𝐓𝐎 𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐄𝐍𝐓): Black Girl (1973); Do Lord Remember Me (1976); Dutchman (2015); For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf (1975); The Chickens Come Home To Roost (1981); The Trial Of One Short Sighted Woman/Mammy Louise/Safreeta Mae (1999); and What The Wine-Cellars Buy (1973). 𝐍𝐄𝗪 𝐇𝐄𝐑𝐈𝐓𝐀𝐆𝐄 𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐀𝐓𝐑𝐄 𝐆𝐑𝐎𝐔𝐏 (𝟏𝟗𝟔𝟒 𝐓𝐎 𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐄𝐍𝐓): Black Wall Street (2014); Can I Be Me? (2007); Fat Tuesday (1975); On Strivers Row (1974); Monsieur Baptiste The Con Man (1981); Rashomon (1979); and Woza Albert (1984). 𝐍𝐄𝗪 𝐋𝐀𝐅𝐀𝐘𝐄𝐓𝐓𝐄 𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐀𝐓𝐑𝐄 (𝟏𝟗𝟔𝟖 𝐓𝐎 𝟏𝟗𝟕𝟑): A Son Come Home (1968); In New England Winter (1969); House Party (1973); Malcolm (1971); Miss Marie (1973); The Pig Pen (1970); and We Righteous Bombers (1968). 𝐍𝐔𝐘𝐎𝐑𝐈𝐂𝐀𝐍 𝐏𝐎𝐄𝐓𝐒 𝐂𝐀𝐅𝐄 (𝟏𝟗𝟕𝟏 𝐓𝐎 𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐄𝐍𝐓): The Circle Unbroken Is A Hard Bop (1993); Don’t Explain (1991); Election Machine/Jack Pot Melting (1996); Julius Caesar Set In Africa (1990); Life During Wartime (1992); Nuyorican Nights (1982); and Shango De Ima (1994). 𝐏𝐋𝐀𝐘𝗪𝐑𝐈𝐆𝐇𝐓𝐒 𝐇𝐎𝐑𝐈𝐙𝐎𝐍𝐒: A Cool Dip In The Barren (2010); Booty Call (2014); Familiar (2016); Fear Itself (1999); If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be A Muhfucka (2019); Langston In Harlem (2010); and Milk Like Sugar (2011). 𝐑𝐈𝐂𝐇𝐀𝐑𝐃 𝐀𝐋𝐋𝐄𝐍 𝐂𝐄𝐍𝐓𝐄𝐑 (𝟏𝟗𝟔𝟖 𝐓𝐎 𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐄𝐍𝐓): Black Circles Around Angela (1970); Forever My Darlin’ (1985); Linda Means Wait (2003); Long Day’s Journey Into Night (1970); Voices Of The Spirits In My Soul (2006); May Edward Chin (2010); and Welcome Home Marian Anderson (2003). 𝐒𝐈𝐆𝐍𝐀𝐓𝐔𝐑𝐄 𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐀𝐓𝐑𝐄 (𝟏𝟗𝟗𝟔 𝐓𝐎 𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐄𝐍𝐓): By The Way, Meet Vera Starks (2019);   Fabulations Or The Reeducation Of Undine (2018); First Breeze Of Summer (2008); Our Lady Of Kibeho (2014); Paradise Blues (2018); Stop.Reset (2013);  and Zooman And The Sign (2009). 𝐓𝐀𝐊𝐄 𝗪𝐈𝐍𝐆 𝐀𝐍𝐃 𝐒𝐎𝐀𝐑 𝐏𝐑𝐎𝐃𝐔𝐂𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍𝐒 (𝟐𝟎𝟎𝟑 𝐓𝐎 𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐄𝐍𝐓): Antony & Cleopatra (2011); Hamlet (2007); King Lear (2009); Pecong (2010); Richard III (2003); The Darker Face Of The Earth (2006); and The Importance Of Being Earnest (2013). T𝐇𝐄 𝐌𝐎𝐑𝐍𝐈𝐍𝐆𝐒𝐈𝐃𝐄 𝐏𝐋𝐀𝐘𝐄𝐑𝐒: Fences (2015); Heiress (2010); Old Settler (2014); and Raisin In The Sun (2011). 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐌𝐎𝐕𝐄𝐌𝐄𝐍𝐓 𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐀𝐓𝐑𝐄 𝐂𝐎𝐌𝐏𝐀𝐍𝐘, (𝟐𝟎𝟎𝟕 𝐓𝐎 𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐄𝐍𝐓): And She Would Stand Like This (2017); Bintu (2010); Black Boy And The War (2011); Hope Speaks (2011); Last Laugh (2013); Look Upon Lowliness (2013); and What To Send Up When It Goes Down (2018). 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐏𝐔𝐁𝐋𝐈𝐂 𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐀𝐓𝐄𝐑 (𝟏𝟗𝟓𝟒 𝐓𝐎 𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐄𝐍𝐓): Ain’t No Mo’ (2019); Black Terror (1971); Bring In ‘Da Noise/Bring In ‘Da The Funk (1995); Eclipsed (2015); Jonin (1985); Spell #7 (1979); and Top Dog/Underdog (2001). 𝐔𝐉𝐀𝐀𝐌𝐀 𝐁𝐋𝐀𝐂𝐊 𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐀𝐓𝐄𝐑, (𝟏𝟗𝟕𝟕 𝐓𝐎 𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐄𝐍𝐓): Barack Obama Sr. (2011); Please Don’t Take My Rhythms And Blues (1983); The Gospel Of The Harlem Renaissance (1982); This Ain’t No Place (1985); Tribute To Malcolm X (1988); and Why Don’t You Read A Book Today (2009). 𝐔𝐑𝐁𝐀𝐍 𝐀𝐑𝐓𝐒 𝐂𝐎𝐑𝐏𝐒 (𝟏𝟗𝟔𝟕 𝐓𝐎 𝟏𝟗𝟖𝟎’𝐒): Alice (1978); But Never Jam Today (1979); Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope (1971); The Boogie-Woogie Rumble Of A Dream Deferred (1983); When Hell Freezes Over I’ll Skate (1979); and Your Arms Too Short To Box With God (1975).

In addition to these companies’ productions being up for nominations, there are additional distinctive categories, for Solo Performances Female and Male. 𝐒𝐎𝐋𝐎 𝐏𝐄𝐑𝐅𝐎𝐑𝐌𝐀𝐍𝐂𝐄𝐒 (𝐅𝐄𝐌𝐀𝐋𝐄): A Song For You: Wendi Joy Franklin-2008; Eartha Kitt––Deirdra McDowell-2019; Fires In The Mirror––Anna Deavere Smith-1992; Love To All, Lorraine––Elizabeth Van Dyke-1992; Peculiar Patriot––Liza Jesse Peterson-2017; Shaneequa Chronicles––Stephanie Berry-2010; and Zora–Phylicia Rashad-1981. 𝐒𝐎𝐋𝐎 𝐏𝐄𝐑𝐅𝐎𝐑𝐌𝐀𝐍𝐂𝐄𝐒 (𝐌𝐀𝐋𝐄): Emergency––Daniel Beaty-2006; Freight: 5 Incarnations Of Abel Green––J Alphonse Nicholson-2017; The Huey P. Newton Story––(Roger Guenveur Smith-1996;  Lackawanna Blues––Ruben Santiago-Hudson-2001; Lyrics From The Lockdown––Bryonn Bain-2012;  Marcus Garvey––Ron Bobb Semple-1988 and  Monk––Rome Neal-2000. 

Marvelously also, there are categories for musicals, broken by time periods. 𝐌𝐔𝐒𝐈𝐂𝐀𝐋𝐒 (𝟏𝟗𝟕𝟎s 𝐓𝐎 𝟏𝟗𝟗9): Blues For A Gospel Queen (Billie Holiday Theatre-1986); Champeen (New Federal Theatre-1983); Deadwood Dick (Black Spectrum Theatre-1979); Empress Of The Blues (Frank Silvera Writers Workshop-1979); God’s Trombones (New Federal Theatre-1989); Raising Hell (Billie Holiday Theatre-1996); Song Of Sheba (National Black Theatre-1989); and The Legacy (National Black Theatre-1987). 𝐌𝐔𝐒𝐈𝐂𝐀𝐋𝐒 (𝟐𝟎𝟎𝟎s 𝐓𝐎 𝟐𝟎𝟏𝟗): Ain’t Misbehavin (Faison Firehouse Theatre-2014); Caroline Or Change (The Public Theater-2006); Choir Boy (Manhattan Theatre Club-2013); Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope (New York City Center-2018); 5 Guys Named Moe (Black Spectrum Theatre-2007); Great Men Of Gospel (New Federal Theatre-2004); Oya (National Black Theatre-2001) and Strange Loop ( Playwrights Horizons 2019).

AUDELCO has been there for 49 years to acknowledge what our people are doing and to say, job well done to so many of our Black Theater community family and it continues to do so. This year’s recipients of the Legacy Award are Mary B. Davis, J.e. Franklin and Lawrence Holder. Lifetime Achievement Awards will be bestowed upon Marjorie Moon (former executive director of the Billie Holiday Theatre) and Carl Clay (founder of Black Spectrum Theatre). Pioneer Award recipients will be Lynda Gravatt, Ebony Jo-Ann, Ron Cephas Jones and Shirley Faison. Outstanding Achievement Awards will be given to Jackie Alexander and Lawrence Evans. Special Achievement Awards will be received by Sade Lythcott (National Black Theatre) and Ty Jones (Classical Theatre of Harlem). Board of Directors honors will go to Don Hayden, Charles White and Linda Stewart. There will be a special tribute to the one and only Woodie King Jr.

The national virtual presentation will be live on Zoom and free tickets can be booked for your virtual seat by going to Eventbrite.com. For more information you can call 949-291-8266 or 212-368-6906 or visit www.audelco.org #BlackTheatreMatters. Let’s experience it together, live, and marvel in the creativity of our people!

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