Charlayne Woodard, Albany's own star of stage and screen
Charlayne Woodard, Albany’s own star of stage and screen, will present the 23rd Annual Burian Lecture at 8 p.m. Monday, February 4, in the Studio Theatre, Performing Arts Center on UAlbany's uptown campus, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany.
Earlier that same day, at 4:15 p.m. in the Studio Theatre, Woodard will hold an informal craft talk.
Free and open to the public, the events are presented by the Jarka and Grayce Burian Endowment and the UAlbany Theatre Program in association with the New York State Writers Institute.
Woodard graduated from Albany High School in 1972. She earned her MFA from the Goodman School of Theatre of DePaul University in 1977, moved to New York City, and within two weeks was cast in the original production of the Fats Waller musical "Ain’t Misbehavin'." She won a Drama Desk Award and received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress for her role, which she recreated in 1982 in the televised version of the Broadway hit.
Woodard went on to receive Obie Awards for her work in "The Witch of Edmonton" and "In the Blood." As a playwright, Woodard won multiple awards for her solo plays, including "Pretty Fire," "Neat," and "The Night Watcher." Her film credits include M. Night Shyamalan’s GLASS and UNBREAKABLE, and John Sayles’ SUNSHINE STATE. She plays the character of Helena St. Rogers on the new FX series "Pose" and has portrayed recurring characters on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," "ER," "Chicago Hope," "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," Roseanne," and "Days of Our Lives." She also starred in the title role of "Cindy," an ABC-TV movie adaptation of “Cinderella,” featuring an all-Black cast.
Previous Burian Lecture guests include Tina Howe, John Lahr, Harold Gould, Ruby Dee, Wallace Shawn, Michael Mayer, A.R. Gurney, Rita Moreno, Chris Durang, and Eugene Lee among others.
The late Jarka Burian taught in the Theatre Department at UAlbany from 1955 to 1993. He was the leading American scholar of Czech theatre and the author of the award-winning book The Scenography of Josef Svoboda, a seminal critical study of the work of one of the twentieth century's most influential theatrical designers. Grayce Susan Burian, who received her M.A. degree from UAlbany and also taught there, is best known for her long tenure as the director of the theatre program, which she founded, at Schenectady County Community College.
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