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FLIPPING THE LENS

A Cultural Professional 

Introducing
Mary Ann Washington
Artistic Director/ Executive Director/ Founder : The Actors Renaissance Theatre

I am just a hometown Memphis girl who wants to work in the Performing Arts, forever. There were no opportunities, so I had to create one. I thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for his anointing on my life. I am more than just a conqueror, I am a World Overcomer. ~ Mary Ann

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Favorite Actor: Leonardo Dicaprio/ Denzil Washington
Favorite Actress: Angela Bassett/ Farrah Fawcett- Majors
Favorite Movies:
FRIDAY 1, 2, & 3
What's Love Got to Do With It, Casino, Goodfellas, Malibu Most Wanted, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Ten Commandments. The Burning Bed.

Favorite Show: Curb/General Hospital/ Saturday Night Live

Favorite Playwrights: 
Katori Hall
Lynn Nottage
James Baldwin
Ruby O'Gray

Mary Ann Washington can be described as a quintessential Renaissance woman.

Born in Memphis, Tennessee Mary's early passion for the arts was kindled by her family's affinity for daytime dramas and the iconic tunes of Motown & Stax. Known affectionately as 'Ann', she embarked on her creative journey in acting and writing from a tender age. A proud alumna of Booker T. Washington High School, Mary pursued further education at Shelby State Community College, honing her acting skills under the tutelage of Ron Gephart. Her college years were marked by her participation in a variety of plays such as "Black Girl," "Everybody Loves Opal," "The Odd Couple," and a notable nomination for a Memphis Theatre award (presently known as the Ostrander Award) for her role in "The Diviners," directed by Deborah Frazier, and Hager's Children directed by Ron Gephart. 


Taking a hiatus from the limelight to devote time to her family, Mary later reconnected with her artistic roots at her childhood congregation, now known as World Overcomers Outreach Ministry Church. It was here that Mary's dormant talents were reignited. She became an integral part of the drama ministry, which paved the way for her resurgence in the realms of performance, playwriting, acting coaching, and directing, with "The Blood Covenant" by Apostle Alton R. Williams being a significant work during this period.


Mary's artistic journey continued with performances at Southwest Tennessee Community College Theatre, Blues City Cultural Center, Bluff City Tri-Art Theatre, Inner City South, and a vibrant stint at Hattiloo Theatre, a black repertory theatre established by Ekundayo Bandele, from 2011 to 2016.


In 2015, Mary returned to academia at Southwest Tennessee Community College, where she encountered Levi Frazier Jr., who played a pivotal role in nurturing her 'Artistic Wings'. It was here that her artistic prowess flourished, leading to the inception of The Actor's Renaissance vision.


Her directorial excellence was recognized with an Ostrander nomination for Best Director in a college production for "THE AMEN CORNER' and acting ensemble for 'Five Women Wearing the Same Dress. She also garnered a Mtenzi Award for Best Stage Activist for "THE SEX PLAY," and in 2020, Mary clinched the Best Actress accolade in a college production for her portrayal in "A RAISIN IN THE SUN."
To date, Mary has been the creative force behind all original productions at The Actor's Renaissance Theatre.


In her civic life, Mary has served on The Ostrander Judging Committee for five years and holds positions as an Associate Company Member and board member at Theatre Works @ The Evergreen Theatre.
Mary Ann is an esteemed graduate, holding an AS in Speech & Theatre from Southwest Tennessee Community College and a BA in Professional Studies from The University of Memphis. She is also an alumnus of the Assisi Foundation's 'Before You Ask' program.


In a landmark moment for her career, THE ACTORS RENAISSANCE THEATRE was granted its 501c3 status in December 2022.


On the home front, Mary Ann is a mother to four children—LaShondra, Tomecka, Latrell, and Jimmy Jr., and a grandmother to eight grandchildren—Emmanual, Akya, Quintin Jr., Randy Jr., Jonah, Christie Joann, Joi, and Baby Chase. She shares her daily life with her feline companion, 'Mr. Kitty'.

A wrong connection will give you shock throughout your life, but the right one will light up your life~ Leonardo Dicaprio

Why We Do What We Do?

DRIVEN BY PASSION

'There is something brave about starting theatre from a new form'.-Mary Ann Washington

This is what I do, this is who I am.

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'What sets people apart is their vision, and how they see their art. Everyone deserves an opportunity to pursue their God-given talent through their own lens, their own voice, and their own life  
experience. '-Mary Ann Washington

The Actors Renaissance Theatre
Founding Board Members

 

Latricia 'Pat' Parks- President
Que Hulett- Vice President
Janice Joslin- Secretary
Chi Chi Mason- Treasurer
Renwick Malone- At Large

 

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SPECIAL THANKS 

Pink Roses


World Overcomers Outreach Ministry Church
Apostle Alton R. Williams
Elder Sherrilyn Williams
Trecie Williams
Sheronda Williams
Myra Moses
Sherri Walker
Black Butterfly Media TV
Ekundayo Bandele
Eric Brooks
Doug Bedford
Tramaine Morgan
Patsy Fancher 
Que Huellétt
Tim & Dee Dotson
Tomecka N. Freeman
Latrell Freeman
Jimmy Ray Freeman Jr.
Lashondra Y. Washington
Akya Washington
Emmanual Washington
Ron & Karen Gephart
Darlis Armstrong
Ruby O' Gray
Levi Frazier Jr.
Deborah Frazier
Hattiloo Theatre
Leslie Reddick
Patricia Smith
Southwest Tennessee Community College Theatre
Inner City South
University of Memphis Department of Theatre & Dance
Latoya 'A Plus' Slater
Le Tekay
Evelyn Little 
Holly Lau
Larry Clark
Cam Mtenzi
Jackie Nichols

Sam Weakley
Chris Blank
Annie Freres
Hal Harmon
The Evergreen Theatre
Theatre Works at The Square
Germantown Community Theatre

Honey Baby Productions

Gregory Anthoney Jones

 

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