Cuban Theater Digital Archive

Dianne Kirksey


Born in Alabama, Dianne first came to international attention as a student at the University of Alabama, where she shattered racial barriers. After discovering the Theatre department and the renowed Dr. Marion Galloway, a powerhouse in the Southeast Theatre Conference, she had found her home. In conjunction with her studies in the English department, she explored the Greek classics as well as Shakespeare, winning an invitation to study at Stratford-on-Avon. She continued to find artistic expression through dance and contemporary theatre.

After arriving in New York, she immediatly began to work in the theatre, film, television, and commercials, working for or co-starring with Joe Papp, Joshua Logan, Morgan Freeman, John Lithgow, Alec Baldwin, Redd Foxx, and Sammy Davis, Jr., among others. Directing assignments also began about that time. Her quest to know, learn and appreciate has led her to study the rituals, dance and storytelling of other cultures including ritual dances of both East and West Africa. She has studied the Japanese Noh and Kabuki as well as the South Korean court and folk dance forms. Most recently she has researched Native American expressions of dance and storytelling, doing intensive study in Eastern Cherokee and viewing the dance, crafts and artwork of over fifty tribes at Kituwah Festival in Nashville, North Carolina. She continues to seek out opportunities for artistic growth and expansion.

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