The Humanity and Genius of August Wilson with discussants Kenny Leon and Phylicia Rashad speaking at the 2007 Aspen Ideas Festival. Anna Deavere Smith moderates.
In this, its third year, Aspen Ideas Festival once again gathers scientists, artists, politicians, historians, educators, activists, and other great thinkers around some of the most important and fascinating ideas of our time. As these thinkers present their provocative ideas, they engage a sophisticated and highly motivated audience.
Kenny Leon is a Broadway director whose credits include August Wilsonâ€™s Radio Golf and Gem of the Ocean and the Tony Award-winning revival of A Raisin in the Sun. He is also founding artistic director of True Colors Theatre Company, dedicated to diversity and the preservation of African-American classics. For more than a decade he was artistic director of the Alliance Theatre, and he has directed extensively at regional theatres throughout the country. Other directing credits include the world premiere of Toni Morrisonâ€™s opera Margaret Garner and the film adaptation of A Raisin in the Sun, to be released on network television. He will also be collaborating with the Kennedy Center to showcase all 10 of August Wilson's plays.
Whether she is bringing laughter to millions of television viewers around the world, moving theatre-goers to tears, thrilling movie fans, offering new insights to students by teaching Master Classes at renowned learning institutions that include Howard University, Julliard, and Carnegie Mellon, serving on Boards of prestigious organizations, or breaking new ground as a director, Phylicia Rashad is one of the entertainment world's most extraordinary performing artists.
A native of Houston, Texas, Rashad graduated Magna Cum Laude from Howard University.
Anna Deavere Smith
Anna Deavere Smith is perhaps best known to television audiences as Nancy McNally on The West Wing and Gloria Akalitus on Nurse Jackie. In addition to her work in television and film, Smith is said to have created a new form of theatre. Following her interviews with scores of individuals, usually on a topic of civic and political interest, she creates theater works in which she plays many characters – as many as 52 in one production – representing multiple points of view.