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Paul Carter Harrison: Bio Notes

Paul Carter Harrison

– Bio Notes

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Paul was born in New York City. He earned his B.A in psychology from Indiana University and an M.A. in psychology and phenomenology from NYC’s New School for Social Research. He taught theatre at Howard University where his students included Phylicia Rashad, Debbie Allen, Linda Gross, Pearle Cleage and Clinton Turner Davis….While teaching at Cal State University in Sacramento he conceived and directed Melvin Van Peebles’ Aint Supposed to Die a Natural Death prior to its Broadway production. His play The Great Mac Daddy was first produced by the NEC in 1973 then revived in 1977    both times to great critical acclaim.


As a teacher he taught at University of Massachusetts Amherst then moved to Columbia College Chicago to function as Chair, Professor and Writer-in-Residence before retiring in 2002. He is currently Professor Emeritus.

Paul is a writer and theatre theorist who has been produced and published in the United States and Europe. He has written and edited many books including: The Drama of Nomo (1972), Totem Voices (1989), Black Light: The African American Hero (1993), Classic Plays from The NEC (1995) and Black Drama: Ritual Performance in the African Diaspora (2002).


He has won both the Obie and Audelco Award and in 2009 was awarded the Living Legend citation at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem.

His current work includes explorations in conceiving and writing the librettos for his Doxology Opera: The Doxology Canticles, Goree Crossing, along with dramaturging and directing at various theatres. He developed Marcia Leslie’s highly successful play The Trial of One Short –sighted Black Woman vs. Mammie Louise and Safreeta Mae. He currently resides in New York City and Panama. During the summer he conducts The August Wilson Theatre Poetics Workshop at the Norman Mailer Writers Colony.


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