CHARLES RANDOLPH-WRIGHT(Director) has built a dynamic and diversified career in directing, writing and producing for film, television and theatre. Most recently, Charles directed the Pulitzer Prize winning play RUINED and the record breaking musical SOPHISTICATED LADIES at Arena Stage (starring Maurice Hines), the 75th anniversary international tour of the opera PORGY AND BESS and Daniel Beaty’s THROUGH THE NIGHT at the Union Square Theatre.
Charles’ directorial film debut PREACHING TO THE CHOIR swept the feature film prizes at the American Black Film Festival and was featured in numerous festivals (including the Pan African Film Fest, Cannes and London) prior to its theatrical release. Charles' screenplay credits include THE EMMETT TILL STORY for Showtime, SHADES OF GREY for HBO, FOOL'S HILL for Walt Disney Pictures, LEGACY for Victory Entertainment, WHITE COUSINS for Producers Entertainment Group, RAW PASSION for Tim Reid Productions, and HOMEWORK (with Kim Coles) for 20th Century Fox. He also co-wrote the screenplay WHITE CHOCOLATE (with John Leguizamo). He was the co-producer of the ANGELA DAVIS story for Castle Rock Entertainment and developed the short film FAMILY TREE (Disney).
For television, Charles has directed episodes of the series LINCOLN HEIGHTS on ABC Family and SOUTH OF NOWHERE on the N Network. He was producer and writer of the critically acclaimed Showtime series LINC’S and a writer/consultant on the Fox series LUSH LIFE. Charles has directed many commercials and music videos. His musical staging has been seen on a variety of programs, including THE GOLDEN GIRLS. Charles also directed the European “Freestyle” campaign for Nike, which won several international commercial awards.
For theatre, Charles wrote the play BLUE starring Phylicia Rashad, which broke box office records in its premiere at Arena Stage, Roundabout Theatre Company and the Pasadena Playhouse (also starring Diahann Carroll and Clifton Davis) and has had subsequent productions throughout the United States. CUTTIN’ UP (based upon the bestselling book by Craig Marberry) also premiered at Arena Stage in D.C., followed by productions at the Pasadena Playhouse, Cleveland Playhouse and the Alliance Theater in Atlanta. THE NIGHT IS A CHILD premiered at Milwaukee Rep and Pasadena Playhouse (starring Jobeth Williams). Charles also co-wrote JUST BETWEEN FRIENDS starring Bea Arthur, which toured internationally and received a Tony nominated run on Broadway. Charles recently was chosen for a playwright residency in Arena Stages’ American Voices New Play Institute.
Charles directed the smash hit revival of GUYS AND DOLLS (starring Maurice Hines at Arena Stage and was selected by the Loesser estate to become a national tour celebrating the musical’s 50th anniversary); Brian Stokes Mitchell in his acclaimed solo show LOVE/LIFE at Lincoln Center; THEY’RE PLAYING OUR SONG (in Portuguese) in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brasil; EMERGENCY (with Daniel Beaty) at the Geffen Theatre in LA; VICTORIA AND FREDERICK FOR PRESIDENT at the NY Fringe Festival; BLOOD KNOT at ACT in San Francisco (featuring music by Tracy Chapman); the world premieres of TOUGH TITTY by Oni Faida Lampley at the Williamstown Theatre Festival and SENOR DISCRETION HIMSELF (winner of the Helen Hayes Award for Best Musical and the last musical written by Frank Loesser, based on a story by Budd Schulberg and co-written with Culture Clash).
Charles also directed and co-wrote ME AND MRS. JONES (a musical which starred Lou Rawls and featured the classic R&B music of the Sound of Philadelphia) at the Prince Music Theatre; THE DIVA IS DISMISSED (starring Jenifer Lewis) at the NYSF Public Theater and the Hudson Theatre (LA); HOMEWORK (starring Kim Coles) in NYC, Crossroads (NJ) and LA; AGENCY in NYC and LA. He also directed ANTHEMS, a play about Washington, D.C.’s response to 9/11 and OAK AND IVY at Arena Stage as well as TARTUFFE, INSURRECTION: HOLDING HISTORY and BLITHE SPIRIT at ACT. Other directing credits include MISS COCO PERU’S LIQUID UNIVERSE at the Westbeth Theater, THE TRAGIC AND HORRIBLE LIFE OF THE SINGING NUN at the Coast Playhouse, HUNDREDS OF SISTERS at New York Theatre Workshop, THE LETTER at the Hudson Theatre and CABARET VERBOTEN at CSC Rep (NYC) and Mark Taper Forum (LA).
Charles has directed numerous benefit performances, including HAIR ... FOR THE NEXT GENERATION, the 20th anniversary show at the United Nations which was the first event of its kind for children with AIDS, VALENTINO'S THIRTY YEARS OF MAGIC at the New York Armory and MUSIC AND REMEMBRANCE (starring Leontyne Price, Itzhak Perlman, and James Galway) at Carnegie Hall. His productions have received numerous awards, including NAACP Image, Backstage Garland, Dean Goodman Choice, Bay Area Critics, Drama-logue, LA Weekly Theatre, Robbie, Helen Hayes, Ovation and Audelco as well as Grammy and Tony nominations. Charles was awarded grants from the Theatre Communications Group, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the NEA, and also is the recipient of the S.C. Medal of Honor in the Arts, the Creative Spirit Award from the New Professional Theatre, The Pasadena Playhouse Theatrical Diversity Award, an honorary MFA from ACT, and is the 2010 recipient of the Paul Robeson Award from Actors’ Equity.
As a performer, Charles’ credits include Broadway (the original cast of DREAMGIRLS), television (HILL STREET BLUES and MELROSE PLACE), music (a disco group which will remain nameless that nonetheless garnered three gold records), film, numerous shows in theatre and countless television commercials. A native of York, South Carolina, Charles is an honor graduate of Duke University where he was an A.B. Duke Scholar and a pre-med student. He subsequently studied acting with the Royal Shakespeare Company in London and dance with the Alvin Ailey School in New York City. He serves on the Board of Directors of Roundabout Theatre Company, the artistic board at Duke University and is a founding member of the Wright Family Foundation of South Carolina. Charles established the workshop series “Different Voices” at Roundabout and “Create Carolina,” an arts festival in the Carolinas.
Charles’ website is www.Randolph-Wright.com.