Mical Whitaker Scholarship presented recently
The Georgia Southern Theatre program recently celebrated the first presentation of the Mical Whitaker Scholarship for the Study of African American Theatre to Tyair Blackman, a rising senior theatre major. Blackman has been an active member of the theatre program appearing in shows such as “Crumbs from the Table of Joy”, “House of Yes,” “Amen Corner” and received National Recognition from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre festival for his performance in “An Octoroon”. This spring he took on the role of Assistant Director for the season closer “Master and Margarita.”
Mical Whitaker is a Professor Emeritus at Georgia Southern. He joined the University in 1981 as the theatre program’s first African-American instructor and directed the “The Amen Corner” in 1982 as the campus’s first all-black cast production and the play served as a significant step in the school’s integration process. At GSU he has directed nearly 50 plays ranging from “Othello” to classics from the August Wilson Cannon such as “Joe Turner has Come and Gone.” He played Lear in the inaugural production at the Center for Art and Theatre of “King Lear”.
In addition, Whitaker has been an active member of the Statesboro community as an actor, director and instructor at the Averitt Center for the Arts where he held the position of director of the Youth Theatre program as well as appearing onstage in shows including “Driving Miss Daisy”. Whitaker has directed at the Averitt such productions as “A Black Nativity”, “Dream Girls” and “Jungle Book.”
Whitaker attended Howard University, but left to go to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. There, the Metter, Georgia, native found work as a teacher at a daycare in East Harlem where he marked the beginning of his career in theater production. From there he went on to produce “The Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee Story Hour” and became a founding member of the Everyman Strett Theatre Festival – now known as the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Theatre Festival.
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