The Kennedy Center

African Continuum Theatre Company


African Continuum Theatre Company (ACTCo) Excerpts from Hubert and Charlie Book and Lyrics –Jennifer L. Nelson Music – Mel Nelson The Cast Beverly Cosham Fred Strother Stan Weiman Jennifer L. Nelson (Playwright) is the Producing Artistic Director of the African Continuum Theatre Company (ACTCo). She has worked in professional theatre for thirty years as an actress, arts administrator, educator, playwright and director. She has directed at theatres throughout the Washington area and around the country. Before leading ACTCo, she was the Artistic Director of the Everyday Theatre Company. Ms. Nelson began her playwriting career while with the Living Stage Theatre Company, scripting plays developed by the company through improvisation. She was subsequently commissioned to write original plays for Living Stage’s young audiences. Most notable of these was A Mile in My Shoes, which was performed by the company for two seasons. Ms. Nelson was also commissioned by Round House to write No Harm Done, and has been performed throughout the Montgomery County schools. Her play Torn From the Headlines won the 1997 Charles MacArthur/Helen Hayes Award for Most Outstanding New Play. Ms. Nelson has had two short plays produced as part of the Source Summer Theatre Festivals and a third play received Honorable Mention in the Source Ten Minute Plays. In 2001, Ms. Nelson’s commissioned three-minute telephone play was featured at the Actors’ Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival of New Work. Mel Nelson (Composer/Multi-Instrumentalist) is a jazz pianist and composer who has worked professionally in theatre, recording and live concerts for over 20 years. Musical theatre discovered Nelson while he was living in Los Angeles when the Mark Taper Forum contracted Nelson to assist composer Luther Henderson in the score development for the Broadway hit Jelly’s Last Jam. Soon afterwards, he moved to Washington, DC where he became Resident Musical Director with Arena Stage’s The Living Stage Theatre Company. He later composed music for a new comedy, Tabloids, for Gallaudet University, and a new ballet for string quartet, Tragedy in Black, which premiered at the Kennedy Center. Currently Nelson resides with his family in San Jose where he has served as Resident Musical Director for the San Jose Rep Red Ladder Theatre Company and has contributed to several projects including Music Director of 1940’s Radio Hour, bassist for Beehive and Archietypes, keyboards and score development for thunder Knocking on the Door and the gala grand opening of the new theatre building.

Watch Past Performances

Video 9/15/2013: FOUR LITTLE GIRLS: Birmingham 1963

Project1Voice and Howard University—in cooperation with the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, African Continuum Theatre Company, and the Kennedy Center—present a staged reading of the play written by playwright Christina Ham and directed by Tony®-winning actress Phylicia Rashad, with original music and arrangements by Kathryn Bostic. The reading commemorates the 50th anniversary of the bombing that took the lives of four young girls at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Stay after the reading for a post-performance discussion. Free tickets for reserved seating will be distributed, 2 per person in line, beginning at 5 p.m. in the Hall of States.

African Continuum Theatre Company