Directing Playwright Alice Childress

Directing Playwright Alice Childress:

Revivals and Revisitings

Sunday, June 11, 11:00AM at Hartford Stage


How does the work of Alice Childress activate and inspire contemporary theater makers? How do directors re-examine, interpret, and approach great works to resonate with the world today?

Join us for a conversation about reviving work by Alice Childress, an exploration of her impact on the generations she inspired, and a celebration of her enduring legacy.


Panelists include Christopher D. Betts (Trouble in Mind, Hartford Stage; Hartford Stage’s Joyce C. Willis Fellow) as well as members of CLASSIX, who have each engaged deeply with the work of Childress: directors Awoye Timpo (Wedding Band, Theater for a New Audience) and Dominique Rider (Workshops: Wine in the Wilderness, Roundabout Theatre Company; Trouble in Mind, National Black Theatre) and dramaturg Arminda Thomas (Trouble in Mind, Hartford Stage; Wedding Band, Theater for a New Audience) who will be moderating the conversation.


For those who have already seen Trouble in Mind, you’ll gain insight into how Childress developed the play, her politics, and the process of bringing the play to Hartford Stage this season. If you haven’t seen Trouble in Mind yet, you’ll enjoy getting a taste of Childress and hearing from these remarkable theater-makers.

To learn more about Hartford Stage’s production of Trouble in Mind, visit: 


CLASSIX is a collective that explodes the ‘classical’ canon through an exploration of Black performance history and dramatic works by Black writers. We define these classic works as plays by authors of African descent from around the world that speak profoundly to the times in which they were written and resonate deeply with our own. CLASSIX engages artists, historians, students, professors, producers and audiences to launch these plays into the public imagination and spark productions worldwide. LEARN MORE

 To learn more about CLASSIX, and to tune in to their podcast on the life, work, and legacy of Alice Childress, visit: 


About Arminda Thomas:

Arminda Thomas (she/her) is a dramaturg, director, and archivist. She is a resident dramaturg and producing member of CLASSIX, and a resident dramaturg/curator for New Perspectives Theatre’s On Her Shoulders reading series. She has served as associate artistic director and resident dramaturg for the Going to the River Festival and Writer’s Unit and as archivist and literary manager for Dee-Davis Enterprises, where she was an executive producer for the Grammy-awarded audiobook, “With Ossie and Ruby: In This Life Together,” and consultant for the film Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee. Selected dramaturgy credits include The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window (Brooklyn Academy of Music), Death of a Salesman (Hudson Theatre), Wedding Band (Theatre for a New Audience), Black Picture Show (Artists Space), Mirrors (Next Door at New York Theatre Workshop), Black History Museum…According to the United States of America (HERE Arts Center), and Jazz (Marin Theatre Company).

About Christopher D. Betts:

Christopher D. Betts is a New York-based Director from Chicago, Illinois. Christopher is a recent graduate of Yale School of Drama’s MFA Directing program. Prior to Yale Christopher traveled the world (with a focus on African countries) as the 2017-2018 recipient of The Julie Taymor World Theater Fellowship. Christopher received a BFA in Drama with triple honors from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts (NYU Commencement Bachelor’s Representative for Tisch). At NYU, Christopher studied Experimental Theatre and Musical Theatre. Christopher began directing after having his production of CARRIE: The Musical discovered by the author of the musical and original film, Lawrence Cohen. This led Christopher to direct a professional production of CARRIE as well as collaborate with the show’s writing team to update the script and score (2015 Boston Best Musical Nomination). Christopher’s contributions to CARRIE can be found on The Rodgers and Hammerstein website.

At The Public Theater, Christopher has worked as a Movement Director for the World Premiere of Barbecue, after which working as a Playwright’s Assistant to Tarell Alvin McCraney (Head of Passes/Moonlight). At Steppenwolf, Christopher assisted Phylicia Rashad on The Roommate. Other collaborations include the Obie Award–winning Fire this Time Festival, the workshop of Goodnight Tyler (Kennedy Center/Alliance Theatre), and the New York Premiere of The Cave: A Folk Opera. Christopher is the recipient of The Williamstown Theatre Festival’s Christopher Reeve Full-Ride Apprentice Scholarship. In addition, Christopher is a founding member of The Youth Arts Council at The Goodman Theatre, member of the 2016-2017 & 2017-2018 SDCF Observership class, Artist-in-Residence at Kampala International Theater Festival, Artist-in-Residence at Pop Art Johannesburg, Teaching Artist at The Market Theatre Lab.

Christopher is currently a professor in the Department of Undergraduate Drama at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, New Studio on Broadway, a support team member at artEquity, and The Joyce C. Willis Fellow at Hartford Stage.

About Awoye Timpo:

Awoye Timpo is a Brooklyn-based Director and Producer. Her New York credits include Elyria by Deepa Purohit (Atlantic Theater), Wedding Band by Alice Childress (Theatre for a New Audience), In Old Age by Mfoniso Udofia (New York Theatre Workshop), The Loophole by Jay Adana and Zeniba Britt (Public Theater), Carnaval by Nikkole Salter (National Black Theatre), Good Grief by Ngozi Anyanwu (Vineyard Theatre and Audible) and The Homecoming Queen by Ngozi Anyanwu (Atlantic Theater Company). Regionally she has directed The Bluest Eye (Huntington), Pipeline (Studio Theatre), Paradise Blue (Long Wharf), Everybody Black (Actors Theatre of Louisville), School Girls (Berkeley Rep), Jazz (Marin Theatre Company). Other projects include concert performances for independent artists and for the NBA, Ndebele Funeral (59E59, Edinburgh, South African Tour), “Black Picture Show” (Artists Space/Metrograph), and Bluebird Memories (Audible). Awoye is a Creative Arts Consultant for the African American Policy Forum and a Founding Member of CLASSIX. 

About Dominique Rider:

Dominique Rider is a Brooklyn-based director and curator whose work seeks to answer the question: “What is a world unmade by slavery?” while attempting to analyze the layers of anti-blackness that maintain the world we live in. Deploying theatre and performance as tools of Afropessimism, Dominique has developed and staged work with The Park Avenue Armory, Audible, The New Group, NYTW, Roundabout, The Atlantic, Princeton, Rattlestick, BRIC Arts, Two River, Portland Center Stage, and more. Past fellowships/residencies include Hi-Arts, The National Black Theatre, TheaterWorks Hartford, NYSAF, BRIC Arts, Roundabout, and NAMT. Dominique is a producer with CLASSIX.