FLIPPING THE LENS

A Cultural Professional 

Introducing

Mary Ann Washington

Artistic Director

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.~ Mary Ann

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Favorite Actor: Leonardo Dicaprio
Favorite Actress: Angela Bassett
Favorite Movies:
FRIDAY 1, 2, & 3
What's Love Got to Do With It, Casino, Goodfellows, Malibu Most Wanted, The Wolf of Wallstreet, The Ten Commandments. 


Favorite Show: Curb/General Hospital/ Saturday Night Live

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

Mary Ann Washington was born in Memphis, Tennessee. Inspired by her mother and aunt's love for daytime soap operas, and the soulful sounds of Motown & Stax's music, 'Lil Ann" started acting and writing at a very young age. After graduating from Booker T. Washington High School, Mary enrolled at Shelby State Community College and studied acting under Ron Gephart. Mary was in numerous plays at Shelby State, including Black Girl, Everybody loves Opal, The Odd Couple, and was nominated for a Memphis Theatre award (Ostrander's Award) for her performance in The Diviners directed by Deborah Frazier. After taking a 20-year absence from the stage to raise her family, Mary joined her childhood church, Lane Ave,(now renamed World Overcomers Outreach Ministry Church), where she joined the Drama Ministry. It was at World Overcomers Church that her Artistic Gateway was rediscovered, and revitalized. Mary was able to utilize her artistic gifts and get the exposure back into theatre in acting, playwright, acting coaching, and directing, most notably, The Blood Covenant, written by Apostle Alton R. Williams.  

Mary has performed with Southwest Tennessee Community College Theatre, Blues City Cultural Center, Bluff City Tri-Art Theatre, Inner City South, and was drawn to the mission as a volunteer for a nonprofit black repertory theatre in Memphis for five years. Mary reentered College in 2015 where she met Levi Frazier Jr. whom she credits to giving her, her 'Artistic Wings'. It was at Southwest Tennessee Community College that her artistic gifts was further realized AND, the vision for The Actor's Renaissance was conceived. 

Mary received an Ostrander nomination for Best Director in a college production for  THE AMEN CORNER, at Southwest Tennessee Community College. She also received a Mtenzi Award for Best Stage Activist for, THE SEX PLAY. In 2020, Mary won Best Actress in a College production for her performance in A RAISIN IN THE SUN. 

  So far, Mary has written and directed all original productions for The Actor's Renaissance Theatre.

  Mary Ann's civic duties include being a member of The Ostrander Judging  Committee for 5 years, and an Associate Company Member and board member at Theatre Works @ The Evergreen Theatre.

    Mary Ann holds an AS in Speech & Theatre and received her BA from The University of Memphis in Professional Studies.

Mary is currently a grad student at The University of Memphis Public Administration Master's program, with plans to seek a doctorate in Creative Writing. 

 

Mary Ann has 4 children, LaShondra, Tomecka, Latrell, Jimmy Jr., and 7 grandchildren, Emmanual, Akya, Quintin Jr., Randy Jr., Jonah, Christie Joann, and Joi! Mary Ann has 1 cat, 'Ms. Kitty' that keeps her company throughout the day. 

 'The Actor's Renaissance Theatre

To contact Mary Ann  Washington please email:

Maryannmemphis2@gmail.com

Maryannmemphis2@aol.com

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.

The Actors Renaissance Theatre First Annual Honorary Community Actor Award 2020 goes to 

JESSE DUNLAP

Thank you Jessie for your years of commitment to the Memphis Theatre Community. 

Jesse Dunlap

Mary Ann Washington

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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

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
Doug Bedford
Tramaine Morgan
Patsy Fancher 
Que Huelett
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
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
Ekundayo Bandele
Hattiloo Theatre

The Evergreen Theatre
Theatre Works At The Square