Von Washington

Von Washington

School of Communication

Von Washington

2007 Alumni Academy Inductee

Von WashingtonVon is currently director of the Multicultural Theatre Program at Western Michigan University and the Artistic director for Washington Productions, Inc., a theatrical/educational video company created by Von and his wife Fran. Since graduating from WMU, Von has written, directed, performed in and/or supervised more than 300 theatrical projects, while working professionally in three performing arts areas: SAG, AFTRA, AEA. He has worked as an actor, playwright, teacher, director, and theatrical consultant at various theatres across the country, including the Missouri Repertory Theatre, The Meadow Brook Theatre of Detroit, The Los Angeles Theatre Center, The Kalamazoo Festival Playhouse, and The Epic Theatre, Civic Theatre, and The Whole Art Theatres of Kalamazoo. In addition he has worked for the Attic, Detroit Repertory, and Hilberry Theatres of Detroit. He is also an active member of the National Black Theatre Network.

His directing credits include productions and programs for Wayne State University , The University of Michigan, The University of Missouri, Kalamazoo College , Lake Michigan College , New York 's New Federal Theatre, The National Black Theatre Festival, Western Michigan University , and many others. He has directed state, regional and national touring shows for Washington Productions, Inc., Western Michigan University, the University of Michigan, Wayne State University, and The Afro-American Studio Theatre of Detroit, and the New Federal Theatre. He has worked on theatre panels for the American Theatre Association, The Michigan Council for the Arts, The Detroit Council for the Arts, The Michigan Foundation for the Arts, The Arts council of Greater Kalamazoo, and is a founding member of the Black Theatre Network.

As a performer, Von has appeared in more than forty commercials, industrial/feature films, and TV productions. Among those are a national television commercial for Apple Computers, and a guest starring role on the very popular Bill Cosby production of, "A Different World."

Recently he performed a leading role in CHINA , a feature film for National Public Television.

WPI has produced an educational video series for the National Alliance of Bla ck School Educators, and a state tour of the play Kentucky at Sunrise , sponsored by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. Recently, he wrote, produced and directed the World Premiere of Down by the Riverside , a drama depicting the life of Sojourner Truth, for the Sojourner Truth Institute of Battle Creek, Michigan. This production was premiered before a monument commemorating Sojourner Truth's life was unveiled in that city. His production of Rosa Parks was offered by the National Black Theatre Touring Circuit of New York, in 2006.

Von has written more than 15 plays. Among them are Remnants from Senegal (produced at the 2007 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, NC), Conspiracy , The Black American Dream, Looking for Talika, The Hollywood Monster, Inside Tracks , Let the Brotha Talk, Kentucky at Sunrise, Fighting Fires, and Looking for a Good Thing (recently produced by the ETA theatre in Chicago, Ill.) The Black American Dream has been produced at numerous theatres across the country. The Operation was produced at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. Seven Stops to Freedom , a play about the Underground Railroad, has been staged more than 500 times. It was the winner of the Junteenth New Works competition at the University of Louisville, in 2000. His play, Fighting Fires was a 2007 Strawberry Festival finalist in New York City.

During the last three years, Von completed The Path to Everywhere, The Dream Tunnel, and When Freedom Came , story theatre presentations dealing with the African American experience, for the Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency (KRESA). The Children of Herero , was preformed for the first time in the 1999-2000 season. Two productions were used for the All Ears Radio Theatre of Kalamazoo. In the last five years, Von's presentations have been performed for more than 100,000 persons in Michigan and throughout the USA. Recently he was presented the Community Medal of the Arts award by the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo. Von's newest play, Conspiracy received readings at the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre in San Francisco and the New Federal Theatre in New York City.


School of Communication
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008 USA
(269) 387-3130 | (269) 387-3990 Fax