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Arts/Culture

Theater Talk: Yao Kahlil Newkirk, new AD at PRT, to add installations to traditional stage offerings

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Yao Kahlil Newkirk
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The Paul Robeson Theatre of the African American Cultural Center at 350 Masten Ave. in Buffalo has a new Artistic Director, Yao Kahlil Newkirk, with a vision to continue offering traditional stage plays by noted black playwrights such as Lorraine Hansberry, August Wilson or Dominique Morisseau, while adding a new element of installations.

With a BFA and MFA in Theater Performance, Buffalo native Newkirk is currently working on his Ph.D. at UB in Transnational Studies. His work focuses on Original Stories and trans-racial/intraracial identities.

He was mentored by Iris Stevenson, and spent considerable time based in Los Angeles as what he calls "one of the 'Sister Act' kids" on tour. 

For a sample of his installation concepts, watch his video of I WISH A N***^ WOULD

Inspired by the series Game of Thrones. Newkirk uses the Royalty Free Music titled "Battle Fury" to good effect. (Tip: Be sure to watch all the way to the end title card.)

Newkirk comes from a Buffalo family rich in performance history and his brother is the current Simba on Broadway (when it reopens) in THE LION KING.
 

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