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Carlyle Brown. A writer/performer and artistic director of Carlyle Brown & Company based in Minneapolis, WVSU is proud to host Brown as he performs THE FULA FROM AMERICA: An African Journey. In addition, Brown will lead two workshops for WVSU students and the general public All performances, workshops and master classes are free and open to the public.

Thurs. 9/18/14 7:30pm
THE FULA FROM AMERICA: An African Journey  Based on a true story
Written and Performed by Carlyle Brown
Lighting Design by Mike Wangen

Meet and Greet Artist Reception
Fannin S. Belcher Theatre in the Davis Fine Arts Building
Fri. 9/19/14 Noon Workshop: “In Your Own Words…Creating Theatre.” (Brown) Fannin S. Belcher Theatre in the Davis Fine Arts Building
Fri. 9/19/14 2pm Workshop(Lighting): “Throwing Light On the Playwright’s Words” (Wangen) Fannin S. Belcher Theatre in the Davis Fine Arts Building

      The Fula from America: An African Journey is based on Mr. Brown's own travels in West Africa.The Fula from America is the story of one African-American’s search for an African Identity.  Set in 1981, the traveler sets off on a journey that takes him to Senegal, Mali, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea and Sierra Leone. From deep in the bush to the corridors of the African elite, he discovers friendship, generosity, poverty, wondrous beauty and civil war.  As his adventures unfold, he finds himself on the boundary of the African-American hyphen where the question arises: how much of him is African and how much is American?

    FULA.jpg Writer/performer and artistic director Carlyle Brown’s first professional theater production was his Little Tommy Parker Celebrated Colored Minstrel Show at Penumbra Theatre Company in 1986.  The next year Penumbra premiered his now famous The African Company Presents Richard III.  With a Penumbra premier of Buffalo Hair in 1994 and a National McKnight Fellowship, Brown moved to the Twin Cities and it has been his artistic home ever since.  Other Twin Cities productions: Beggars’ Strike at the Children’s Theater Company, the Mixed Blood production of Pure Confidence that moved to off-Broadway in New York and American Family at Park Square Theater. His plays include The Negro of Peter the Great, A Big Blue Nail, Armor Prison, The Pool Room, Yellow Moon Rising, Down in Mississippi and others.  He has received commissions from Arena Stage, the Houston Grand Opera, the Children’s Theatre Company, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Goodman Theater, Miami University of Ohio and the University of Louisville.  He is recipient of playwriting fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, McKnight Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, Jerome Foundation, Theatre Communications Group and the Pew Charitable Trust. 
      Mr. Brown has been artist-in-residence at New York University School of the Arts Graduate Acting Program, The James Thurber House in Columbus, and Ohio State University Theater Department.  He has been a teacher of expository writing at New York University; African-American literature at the University of Minnesota; playwriting at Ohio State University and Antioch College; African American theater and dramatic literature at Carlton College as the Benedict Distinguished Visiting Artist, and “Creation and Collaboration” at the University of Minnesota Department of Theater.  He has worked as a museum exhibit writer and story consultant for the Charles Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, and the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage in Louisville, Kentucky.  Mr. Brown is a Core Writer at the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis and he is an alumnus of New Dramatists.

      He has served on the board of directors of Theatre Communications Group, the national organization for the non-profit professional theater. He is a member of the board of directors for the Playwrights’ Center and the Jerome Foundation and a Trustee of the Camargo Foundation.  He is the 2006 recipient of The Black Theatre Network’s Winona Lee Fletcher Award for outstanding achievement and artistic excellence, a 2008 Guggenheim Fellow, a 2010 recipient of the Otto Rene’ Castillo Award for Political Theatre, and 2010 United States Artists Fellow.

      Brown will be joined by Michael Wangen. Wangen has been a part of Carlyle Brown & Co. since its inception and has served as lighting designer for Brown’s productions of The Masks of Othello, Down in Mississippi, Therapy and Resistance, Are You Now.., and The Fula From America which they have performed all over the country.

      He is a well-known lighting designer in the Minneapolis area and has been active for over 30 years.  In that time, he has designed for almost every theater there.  He served as resident designer for Penumbra Theatre from 1987-2000 and is currently the resident designer with Pillsbury House Theatre as well as the lighting director at the Fitzgerald Theater where he lights Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion when it is in residence in St Paul.  Regionally, his work has been seen at Trinity Rep, CenterStage of Baltimore, The Guthrie, and Children’s Theater Co.  He is also a recipient of a 2012-2013 Playwrights Center McKnight Theater Artists Fellowship.

      As a lighting artist, he finds himself constantly inspired and challenged by Brown’s work and cannot think of a better collaborative environment than that of working with Carlyle Brown & Co.


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