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Spirit of Diversity Awards

Diversity in the Central Region..…..All Year Long

By Luther Goins
Central Region Business Representative
and National EEO Coordinator

The Central Region Equal Employment Opportunity Committee (EEOC) presented the sixth annual Spirit, a Celebration of Diversity on Monday, March 21, 2011 at Chicago’s Smart Museum and at the Court Theatre.

Spirit, a Celebration of Diversity, honors Central Region members of color, minority-based and focused theatres, and theatres that make non-traditional casting a priority all season long.

Cree Rankin

EEOC Co-Chairs Cheryl Lynn Bruce and E. Faye Butler presented the 2011 Spirit Recognition Award to Court Theatre’s Cree Rankin for his educational outreach work and his ongoing commitment to minority-based theatre, and to Joyce Foundation Senior Program Officer Michelle T. Boone, for her minority-based theatre mentorship, and her campaign for minority-based theatre leadership training.

Central Regional Director Kathryn V. Lamkey received a special Spirit Recognition Award. Ms. Lamkey, for over 24 years, has placed a high priority on racial understanding, support, and the creation of opportunities (nationally) for Producers and members of color.

Michelle T. Boone

When it comes to opportunities for members of color to audition and work, the Central Region boasts an embarrassment of riches. The Chicago theatre community includes many theatres that highlight the diversity of our culture such as About Face, Black Ensemble, Chicago Dramatists, Chicago Shakespeare, Collaboraction, Court, Congo Square, Goodman, Illinois Theatre Center, Pegasus Players, Remy Bumppo, Silk Road Theatre Project, 16th Street Theatre, Steppenwolf, Teatro Vista, Teatro Luna, Urban Theatre Company, Victory Gardens, and Writer’s Theatre.

In the Central Region, but outside of the office city, diversity is seen at theatres such as Detroit Repertory, Cincinnati’s Ensemble Theatre Company, Milwaukee’s Hansberry-Sands and the newly-formed Uprooted Theatre Company, Human Race in Dayton, Ohio, Mixed Blood and Penumbra in Minneapolis, St. Louis Black Repertory, and the Unicorn Theatre in Kansas City.

The EEO: One Voice brand, which was adopted by the Western, Central, and Eastern EEO Committees in 2009, was highlighted and celebrated by the performance of One Voice, a terrific song by Butch Stewart. One Voice was performed by the Central Region AFTRA/SAG Singers (Greta Pope, Paul Zimmerman, Joe Wright, Barbara Ann Martin and Kevin Smith).

With the recent sad, and shocking, happenings in Madison, WI, we felt that having the AFTRA/SAG Singers open this very special Equity event would be a fitting tribute to unions and to union work. It was!


Award pages:

Arizona Theatre Service
Diversity on Broadway
Spirit of Diversity

Cheryl Lynn Bruce, Kathyrn Lamkey, E. Faye Butler

Recipients of the Kathryn V. Lamkey Award are:
Year Recipient Company/Theatre/Organization
2008 Elizabeth Geddes Chicago Agent
Harrise Davidson Chicago Agent
Jacquelyn Conard Chicago Agent
2009 Charlie Newell Court Theatre, Chicago, IL
Jack Reuler Mixed Blood Theatre, Minneapolis, MN
Dennis Zacek Victory Gardens Theatre, Chicago, IL
Roche Schulfer and Robert Falls Goodman Theatre, Chicago, IL
2010 William "Bill" Brown Independent Director
Ron "OJ" Parson Independent Director
Russ Tutterow Independent Director
Frank Galati Independent Director
2011 Cree Rankin Court Theatre
Michelle T. Boone Joyce Foundation
Kathryn V. Lamkey Central Regional Director, Actors’ Equity
2012 Erica Daniels Steppenwolf Theatre
Evan Hatfield Steppenwolf Theatre
Lois Weisberg Chicago’s Commissioner of Cultural Affairs
Luther Goins Central Region Business Representative
2013 Sandy Shinner Producer, Director, Theatre Instructor
Jamil Khoury Silk Road Rising
2014 E. Faye Butler AEA Member
Tom Joyce AEA Member
2015 Ellen Alberding Joyce Foundation President
2016 Barbara Gaines Chicago Shakespeare Theater Founder and Artistic Director
Criss Henderson Chicago Shakespeare Theater Executive Director
Chuck Smith Goodman Theatre Resident Director
Henry Godinez Goodman Theatre Resident Artistic Associate

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