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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

A true example of a RENAISSANCE woman; 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 in Memphis, 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 (Now re-named 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 Baptist Church renamed World Overcomers Outreach Ministry Church. It was at World Overcomers Church that her artistic gifts were rediscovered. Mary joined the drama ministry which started her career path back into performance, 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 from 2011-2015 was an active member of the artistic culture at Hattiloo Theatre, a black repertory theatre founded by Ekundayo Bandele in Memphis, Tn.

 

 Mary reentered College in 2015 where she met Levi Frazier Jr. whom she credits with giving her, her 'Artistic Wings'. It was at Southwest Tennessee Community College that her artistic gifts were further realized AND, the vision for The Actor's Renaissance was born. 

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 at Southwest Community College. 

  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 from Southwest Tennessee Community College and received her BA from The University of Memphis in Professional Studies. Mary is also a graduate of the Assisi Foundation's 'Before You Ask' program in Memphis. 

In December 2022, THE ACTORS RENAISSANCE THEATRE received its 501c3 Status. 

 

Mary Ann has 4 children, LaShondra, Tomecka, Latrell, and Jimmy Jr.. She has 8 grandchildren, Emmanual, Akya, Quintin Jr., Randy Jr., Jonah, Christie Joann,  Joi, and Baby Chase.  Mary Ann has 1 cat, 'Mr. Kitty' keeps her company throughout the day. 

 'The Actor's Renaissance Theatre

To contact Mary Ann  Washington please email:

Maryannmemphis2@gmail.com

Maryannmemphis2@aol.com

Why We Do What We Do?

DRIVEN BY PASSION

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

'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. 

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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

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

 

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

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

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
Chris Blank

The Evergreen Theatre
Theatre Works At The Square

 

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