The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis has announced a three-year artistic partnership with award-winning actress, director and playwright Regina Taylor.
Taylor may be best known for her acting – her Golden Globe and multi-NAACP Image Award-winning turn in “I’ll Fly Away,” her starring role in CBS’s “The Unit,” film work including “Lean on Me” and “Clockers,” Broadway credits such as Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth and most recently, her brilliant performance in Season 1, Episode 9 of HBO’s “Lovecraft Country” – but she is also an accomplished director and Broadway-produced playwright. Her piece Crowns, a musical celebration of Sunday hats and Black identity, received critical and commercial success in The Rep’s 2004-05 season and has been performed off-Broadway and nationally since its creation in 2002.
Now Taylor will join The Rep’s Artistic staff for three years through the National Playwright Residency Program.
“We are so proud that The Rep is one of just a handful of American regional theatres chosen for this program,” said Hana S. Sharif, Augustin Family Artistic Director at The Rep. “We are thrilled to have Regina Taylor’s multi-disciplinary artistry and activism integrated into The Rep’s artistic and community programming models for three years. Over the course of her residency, we look forward to collaborating on innovative artistic forms, grassroots community building and developing new work for the national canon. I am excited to experience the ways Regina’s artistry will be influenced by the richness of the greater St. Louis landscape and in turn how her resonant voice and vision will impact our region.”
The residency, funded in collaboration with The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and HowlRound Theatre Commons, provides three years of funding for a diverse group of American Playwrights to embed with selected theatres around the country. The National Playwright Residency Program’s stated purpose is “to reimagine what institutions might look like when an artist’s voice is at their core.”
“My goal is to create work that speaks to community,” said Taylor. “I believe the arts flow through everything, and I live and breathe it. That’s who I am and what I do. I’m very excited about this opportunity.”
Taylor’s first piece with The Rep, titled Love and Kindness in the Time of Quarantine, reflects her investment in the artistic voices of St. Louis. Taylor is currently working with local and national artists to create songs and spoken word pieces that reflect the times in which we live.
“I want to partner with a variety of local artists: writers, art-makers, musicians, museums – connecting with the art but also connecting the art to life: policy-makers, social justice groups, health, welfare, education,” said Taylor. “I think [Artistic Director] Hana [Sharif] is really brilliant. And fierce. I was very happy that she gave a call to extend this invitation to collaborate.”
Learn more about Regina Taylor in her Q&A. The Rep will release more information on Love and Kindness in the Time of Quarantine as soon as it becomes available.
Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.