The Douglas Turner Ward Quarterly Issue #1


Douglas Turner Ward co-founder and Artistic Director of the famed Negro Ensemble Company (or: NEC) is one of the most important artists/contributors to the American Theatrical scene in the past half century. His list of accomplishments as actor, playwright, director, producer and dramaturge are so numerous that they have become legendary. For many years he has been called “The Godfather of Black Theatre” and rightfully so.  Because through the plays he produced, the actors he introduced through those productions  and through the people trained under the auspices of the NEC he revitalized American Theatre and made the African American theatre artists and craftspeople a permanent part of that landscape.

It is to his work, his achievements and his vision that this quarterly is devoted. With each issue we will be bringing you interviews, narratives and historical information along with other assorted data concerning this man and the state of African American Theatre then and now.

Editor’s Note

Over the years I have known Douglas Turner Ward which goes back to 1977 when he produced my first play, I have been taping our conversations on a regular basis in order to preserve his opinions on various aspects of both the history of the Negro Ensemble Company and his perspectives on African American Theatre.

The Douglas Turner Ward Quarterly is an attempt to call attention to this important figure  who deserves recognition for both his body of work and his achievements in situating Black Theatre into the corpus of contemporary American Theatre.  As editors, we feel it our responsibility to record and publish this material so that others may share and engage with the ideas of Douglas Turner Ward.

Gus Edwards, Chief Editor

Travis Mills, Assistant Editor

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5 thoughts on “The Douglas Turner Ward Quarterly Issue #1

  1. Ves Weaver says:

    Always a pleasure to read your writing. I went to NYC to see Doug a few weeks ago. He was in good spirits and said his post- kemo theorapy was working. He looked good for a guy who has lost over 60 lbs over the course of his illness. Love the emag. How are Steve & Brenda Jones doing (are you still in-touch?).

    Ed De Shea turned me onto this site.
    Hope all is well with you and yours,

    • gustravis says:

      Hey Ves,
      Good to hear from you and thanks for a response. For a while there I felt that I was whistling in the dark but with the responses I have been getting lately I feel encouraged and energized. I just finished the second issue (Winter) and that will be posted on December 1, 2010…Once again, it was good to hear from you.


    • milada Letnanska says:

      Hi Ves
      How is live? I hope, you still remeber me… Milada from St. Gallen, Switzerland? Would be nice to heer from you….


  2. We are studying the works of NEC and others developed through NEC in my class I’d like to post this link on my blackboard for African American Theatre.

    • gustravis says:

      Hi Susan,
      Yes, do post the site. I have just completed the second issue (Winter) and it will be up on December 1,2010.
      Thanks for the response. It’s good to know that somebody is actually reading this stuff.

      All the best,

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