BIO: Reginald T. Jackson
Mr. Jackson In 1994 was named a National Shakespeare Pioneer by the New York Shakespeare Festival of the Joseph Papp Public Theater for his groundbreaking and strikingly innovative adaptation of KING LEAR as a Black Drag Queen dying of AIDS, entitled: HOUSE OF LEAR. He has also received a New York City Mayor’s Citation and a Arts and Cultural Foundation Award for his work in Arts-In-Education teaching creative writing throughout the New York City School System.
With dual bachelor degrees in both Music and Theatre from CCNY, he has served as the Education Director for the Foundation of The Dramatists Guild’s Young Playwrights Festival, and an Arts-Educator/creative writing instructor for the New York City High School Division of the New York City Board of Education; where he authored the only official curriculum for playwriting which continues to be used by the New York State Regents Board for Regents Certification in Theatre. He has also worked as an Arts-Educator/creative writing instructor for Arts Partners Program, Arts Connection, The New York State Council On The Arts and Henry Street Settlement.
He is a certified “Cultural Treasure” of New York City by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. He has been a guest lecturer at Stoneybrook College, Antioch University, Brown University and New York University. He has been a founding member of the OTHER COUNTRIES: Black Gay Men’s Writing workshop for the past twenty five years. He was the poetry editor for their second anthology SOJOURNER: Black Gay Men Respond To AIDS, and was co-editing their new anthology OTHER COUNTRIES: Voices Rising. His play “ LOVE SICKNESS” was a permanent teaching tool for freshman students at New York University.
He is a graduate of the New York based Downtown Television Documentary and video programs and the THIRD WORLD NEWSREEL Film program. He has had film works in the Frameline and New Film Festivals. He is legendary for his appearances in the films TONGUES UNTIED, ANTHEM and AFFIRMATIONS by Critically acclaimed filmmaker MARLON RIGGS , a close personal friend who he also assisted with the technical and production aspects of each film. As a writer/director he has presented productions at the following prominent theaters: the National Black Theater, The New York Shakespeare Festival at the Joseph Papp Public Theater, the Intar Theater, The Painted Bride Performing Arts Center of Philadelphia, The Directors’ Company Theater, The Ernie Martin Studio Theater, The Schomburg Center for African American Research and Culture, The Young Playwrights Festival, Dance Theater Workshop, New York Theater Workshop, PS 122 Performing Arts Space, Musical Theater Workshop, H.E.R.E. Theater, La Mama Etc, The Juilliard School.
As an independent writer his literary works have appeared in many many publications including; the anthology Brother To Brother, edited by Essex Hemphill on Alyson Publications, the anthology Flesh and The Word 2, edited by John Preston on Plume Books, BlackOut Magazine edited by Angela Bowen on Boston Towne Press, the anthology Sojourner edited and published by OTHER COUNTRIES, BGM Magazine edited by Sidney Brinkley on Blacklight Press, OUTWEEK Magazine edited by Sarah Pettit, American Writing Magazine, The Pyramid Poetry Periodical, Pyramid Periodical, etc. He has completed one novel entitled: MY HOMEBOY LOVE. He is the author of more than a dozen plays and seven screenplays. His play “ STRAIGHT BOYS” was named the best gay play of the decade by the New York City Gay Cable Network. As a writer/director he has presented productions at the following prominent theaters: the National Black Theater, The New York Shakespeare Festival at the Joseph Papp Public Theater, the Intar Theater, The Painted Bride Performing Arts Center of Philadelphia, The Directors’ Company Theater, The Ernie Martin Studio Theater, The Schomburg Center for African American Research and Culture, The Young Playwrights Festival, Dance Theater Workshop, New York Theater Workshop, PS 122 Performing Arts Space, Musical Theater Workshop, H.E.R.E. Theater, La Mama Etc, The Juilliard School, and the St. Pauli Theater of Hamburg, Germany where he was commissioned to write and direct a musical based on the life of Soul singer Aretha Franklin entitled: ARETHA! QUEEN OF SOUL. He was also commissioned to write a Broadway musical based on the life of 70’s Soul Singers The Emotions entitled: BIGGER THAN BUBBLE GUM.
Currently he continues to be the founder and artistic director of RAINBOW REPERTORY THEATER which is now more than twenty five years old.
He was a staff writer for the national magazines: FLAVALIFE magazine and also a regular contributor to the national magazine: CLIK magazine. He was prominently featured in the reprint of the legendary Essex Hemphill anthology BROTHER TO BROTHER. AS an AIDS and Community activist he has worked for over twenty years in the New York and national community. He has partnered with Gay Men of African Descent, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, People Of Color In Crisis and many other organizations to educate and advocate for people with HIV and AIDS. His Books STICKS AND STONES and HEJIRA: From Cradle To Grave WERE BOTH NOMINATED FOR THE 2008 AND 2009 Lambda Literary Foundation’s Poetry Award. They are both available through online book retailers. His HOUSE OF LEAR play is currently being produced by the International Studio Theatre, directed by Alfred Preisser and starring theatre legend Andre’ DeShields in Fall 2013. His play D.L. AS IN DEADLY was also read by the Sugar Valley theatrical Company.