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Legendary Award-Winning Director Passes Away At 83

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la-et-cm-phillip-hayes-dean-playwright-paul-ro-001By Dr. Sinclair Grey III

The theatre world is dealing with the loss of a legend. Actor, playwright, and director, Phillip Hayes Dean died from a heart condition on Monday, April 14. The news of his death was announced by a family spokesperson. He was 83-years-old.

“Phillip Hayes Dean might be best known for his Broadway play Paul Robeson, performed by James Earl Jones in 1978, and in Avery Brooks’ revivals in 1988 and 1995, and now by Ebony Repertory Theatre’s production with Keith David, which Mr. Dean directed. His play continues performances and will close on April 27, 2014.”

Dean was born in Chicago and later moved to Pontiac, Michigan. He got his initial taste of theatre at the Will-O-Way Playhouse in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan where was working as an apprentice. Would you believe his first assignment was pulling the curtain for the play Life with Mother? Through hard work and determination, he would later appear in the production of Heaven Can Wait.

Dean was getting his feet wet in the industry and decided to move to New York City. While in New York, he appeared on Broadway in Wisteria Trees. In addition to this, he also appeared in an all-black version of Waiting for God.

Here is a list of some of the plays written by Dean and his accomplishments:

“The Last American Dixieland Band; Moloch Blues: The Owl Killer and Dink’s Blues, The American Nightmare, Thunder In The Index, This Bird Of Dawning Singeth All Night Long, and Dream Of Passion.”  His plays have been produced throughout the United States, and in New York City, at the American Place Theater (This Bird Of Dawning Singeth All Night Long, Freeman, and Every Night When The Sun Goes Down), and at the Negro Ensemble Company (The Sty of the Blind Pig). The Sty of the Blind Pig won the Hull-Warriner Award and the prestigious Drama Desk Award, and was named one of the season’s ten best plays by Time magazine the year it was produced.”

As mentioned, he is well known for his play Paul Roberson which has had three Broadway productions and has toured throughout the United States.  With his vast experience, he found time to teach acting and playwriting at the University of Michigan. Without a doubt, a great legend has been lost.

[Note: Please make all donations in the memory of Phillip Hayes Dean to the Southern Poverty Law Center at SPLCenter.org or by calling 334-956-8200.]

Source: Eurthisnthat and Eurweb

Dr. Sinclair Grey III is a speaker, activist, author of (5) books, business consultant, life coach, and liberator of persons from all intellectual, social and cultural walks of life. He is a committed advocate for change. Email: drgrey@sinclairgrey.org. Follow him on Twitter @drsinclairgrey. Visit his website: www.sinclairgrey.org

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  2. The name is Paul Robeson, Not Roberson.

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