Phil Davis, who launched the Alemaedae Theater company in 2007, feels the influence of his mentors more acutely than most. He got his start among the tight-knit Paul Robeson Theatre in the African American Cultural Center on Masten Avenue, working with its artistic director, Paulette Harris, and eventually meeting directors and mentors who helped him find his voice and form his company.
Now, Davis is honoring those who gave him his start with an award ceremony at 4 p.m. Sunday in the Mason O. Damon Auditorium in the Central Library (1 Lafayette Square). The 2014 Alemaedae Theater Awards are Davis’ thank-you card to the veteran members of Buffalo’s tight-knit African American theater community.
“I’ve always been the type of person where, I want to give people their flowers while they’re here. A lot of these veterans have helped me in so many different ways with what we’re doing and trying to give back and start a new crop of actors,” Davis said. “I wanted to reintroduce them, because there’s a lot of people that don’t even know some of these veterans. I just wanted to make sure that they got something from us to know that, even if nobody else says it, thank you.”
Along with actors from Alemaedae’s recent productions, film projects and sketch comedy performances, the event will honor theater veterans Willie Judson, Verneice Turner, June L. Saunders Duell, Lorna C. Hill, Mary Craig and Paulette Harris.
Admission to the event, which features a performance from the company’s SNLMAO sketch comedy troupe and a preview of its upcoming play “Rock & Blow: The Rad Tale of Brad Glade,” is $10 in advance or $20 at the door. Call 602-6253 or visitwww.atpgalaxy.com for more information.
– Colin Dabkowski