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    Posted December 15, 2011

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CenterStage's New Artistic Director Addresses Equity Liaison Committee

By Gregory Gorton and Emily Townley

Kwei-Armah new Artistic Director of Baltimore's CenterStage, was the special guest at the summer membership meeting of the Washington/Baltimore Equity Liaison Committee.

He began the evening speaking of his vision for his new theatre and his new city: "I'm committed to promoting this particular community's voice as I believe cultural specificity translates to universality. My goal is for CenterStage to have national and international prominence."

Mr. Kwei-Armah is deeply committed to the quality of the plays to be performed at CenterStage as well. "I wish to serve the theatre by serving the truth. I want to produce work that is a catalyst for debate. And I wish never to forget that, quintessentially, in my heart, I'm an actor first and wish to run the theatre as an artist with a responsibility to empower, not as an administrator."

Mr. Kwei-Armah went on to say, "I consider it part of my job to promote other up and coming theatres in this area, to make sure we are all part of one large thriving theatre community. I want to hold the doors open very wide to local actors."

He concluded with a challenge: "I hope that you do invite me back in three to five years and that you do hold me to account for the things I hope to accomplish."

Mr. Kwei-Armah has had a successful career throughout Britain as an actor, director, singer and playwright. His play, ELMINA'S KITCHEN, was nominated for the 2004 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best New Play. As an actor, he is perhaps best known for his role as "Finlay Newton" in the BBC drama series, Casualty.

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