| Cookie Settings. The River Niger was written by Joseph A. Walker (playwright) and won a Tony Award for best play.. Though “Buck White” had only a short run, it got him some auditions. But in 2013 Mr. Weldon said one thing that kept him going was when young theater aspirants came into his office, filled with photographs of actors who had worked with the company. He was 78. Mr. Weldon is survived by a son, Charles Jr.; a daughter, Barbara Rae Pettie; three sisters, the actress Ann Weldon, the singer Maxine Weldon and Mae Frances Weldon; and 10 grandchildren. By the time he left Blues for Sale, his sister, the actress Ann Weldon, was working with the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. During his career, he directed numerous company productions, … The group appeared on the Dick Clark's American Bandstand television show and also toured with James Brown and Fats Domino. The death of his friend and fellow actor Adolph Caesar in 1986 — he had a heart attack at 52 — knocked Mr. Weldon even further off course, and the return to truck driving followed. Yet Mr. Weldon’s path was not without obstacles and detours. He appeared in episodes of “Police Story,” “Kojak” and other series, and continued to play TV roles occasionally for the rest of his career. Charles Weldon (June 1, 1940 – December 7, 2018) was an actor, director, educator, singer, and songwriter. TWITTER NEC has been a touchstone for African-American theater artists since 1965. “Mr. He was the co-founder of the Alumni of this company and directed many of their productions. He was the brother of actress Ann Weldon, singer Maxine Weldon, and Mae Frances Weldon. I wanted to be, like, a cabinetmaker.”. Mr. Weldon was also beginning to get television and film work as the 1970s progressed. He died on , Weldon began his acting career in 1969, with a role in the Oscar Brown Jr.'s musical Big-Time Buck White starring as Muhammad Ali. Charles Weldon and S. Epatha Merkerson in the play “Birdie Blue” at the Second Stage Theater in Manhattan in 2005. He was 78. He went there. Weldon starred in the role of the Jamaican Grim Reaper (the body-snatcher) in Sophia Romma's (playwright and Literary Manager of the Negro Ensemble Company from 2012) allegorical satire, The Blacklist at the 13th Street Repertory Company in 2016. He was an actor and producer, known for Malcolm X (1992), Stir Crazy (1980) and A Woman Called Moses (1978). Oscar Brown Jr. was doing music for the play and would adapt it into the Broadway version. Charles Weldon, a prolific actor and director who was artistic director of The Negro Ensemble Company (NEC) since 2005, died December 7 at age 78. The Hollywood Reporter is part of MRC Media and Info, a division of MRC. Privacy | Mr. Weldon’s work in the show drew a favorable mention from Clive Barnes in The New York Times. I really didn’t. Years later, when he was with the Denver Center Theater Company, he would draw on his trucker experiences to create, with Randal Myler and Dan Wheetman, a revue called “Mama Hated Diesel,” which centered on stories and songs about truckers. “I hated it. Born in Wetumka, Oklahoma, in 1940, Weldon worked in cotton fields as a teenager and achieved early success as a member of a doo-wop group called The Pardons, and, subsequently, a soul group. © 2020 The Hollywood Reporter It was Mr. Weldon’s last stage role. He sang around the United States with the group for several years. Charles Weldon, an actor and director who led the New York theater troupe the Negro Ensemble Company for the past 13 years, died on Dec. 7 in Manhattan. He became artistic director of the Negro Ensemble Company in 2005. He was the artistic director of the Negro Ensemble Company for thirteen years. The group, unable to recapture that lightning in a bottle, disbanded. Weldon's final stage appearance was as the central character of the Mayor in a 2016 revival of NEC co-founder Douglas Turner Ward's Day of Absence. Mr. Weldon was the artistic director of the Negro Ensemble Company for the past 13 years. Charles Weldon, the artistic director of the Negro Ensemble Company, has died. In 1973 he was part of the Broadway cast of “The River Niger,” an Ensemble show written by Joseph A. Walker that won the Tony Award for best play. Yet one thing led to another. For the Denver Theater Center, he appeared in twelve productions.
About Our Ads As a young boy, he worked in the cotton fields of Bakersfield until the age of seventeen, when he joined a local doo-wop group. After the group disbanded, Weldon joined the soul group Blues for Sale.
That experience helped him refocus — “I didn’t go off and drive a truck because I wanted to be saved, but it saved me,” he told The Denver Post in 2010 — and he resumed acting and directing, continuing to work until his death. “The new MacDaddy,” Mr. Barnes wrote in his review in The Times, “humorous and resourceful, is Charles Weldon, who strides through the play resplendent in his white suit, carrying his juju stick with charm and courage.”. Charles Weldon, an actor and director who led the New York theater troupe the Negro Ensemble Company for the past 13 years, died on Dec. 7 in Manhattan.
He was soon appearing in that company’s productions, and by 1977 he was playing the title character, a bootlegger, in its revival of “The Great MacDaddy,” a musical survey of a century of African-American history that the company had first staged in 1974. All rights reserved. Mr. Welson’s marriages to Barbara Sotello and Debbie Morgan ended in divorce. That show closed after seven performances, but it started Mr. Weldon on a career in New York that included roles in a string of Negro Ensemble Company productions. He graduated from Bakersfield High School in 1959. He was the artistic director of the Negro Ensemble Company for thirteen years. For the Canadian lawyer and politician, see, https://www.broadwayworld.com/people/Sophia-Romma/, "Charles Weldon, Artistic Director of Negro Ensemble Company, Dies at 78", "Charles Weldon, Who Led the Negro Ensemble Company, Dies at 78", "Actor, Director, and Artistic Leader Charles Weldon Dies at Age 78", "Remembering NEC Artistic Director Charles Weldon, dead at 78", "Actor Charles Weldon, Director Of Negro Ensemble Company, Dead At 78", "Interview: Living Legend Charles Weldon, A.D. of The Negro Ensemble Company", "All That Chat - CHARLES WELDON, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF NEGRO ENSEMBLE COMPANY, DIES AT 78", "Diamonds and Pearls" - Charles Weldon of The Paradons, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Charles_Weldon&oldid=971197893, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Negro Ensemble Theater Companies 50th Anniversary revival of, This page was last edited on 4 August 2020, at 18:44. “Charles Weldon was very funny as a kind of black pantherine Hell’s Angel,” Mr. Barnes wrote. Weldon acted in many more, among them The Great McDaddy and The Brownsville Raid. by “I ended up in a play called ‘Do Your Own Thing,’ ” he said in a 1977 interview with The Times. He also appeared in the original San Francisco production of Hair. Charles Weldon, the artistic director of the Negro Ensemble Company, has died. During his career, he directed numerous company productions, including Colored People Time, Savanna Black and Blue, The Waiting Room and NEC's 50th-anniversary revival of Charles Fuller's Pulitzer Prize-winning A Soldier's Play.
From left, Kevin Carroll, Stephen McKinley Henderson and Mr. Weldon in the Signature Theater Company’s 2006 revival of August Wilson’s “Seven Guitars.”. Prominent actors who have come through the New York-based company's ranks include Phylicia Rashad, S. Epatha Merkerson, Laurence Fishburne, Louis Gossett Jr., Adolph Caesar, Esther Rolle and Ruben Santiago-Hudson.
The theater company said the cause was lung cancer. “I used to borrow her car sometimes,” he told the website StageBuddy in 2013, “and I’d have to pick her up, and she would be in rehearsals for all these plays, and I use to sit there and wait for her, but I never thought about being an actor — just waiting to give her car back.”.
, In 1973, he was a part of the Broadway cast of The River Niger, with Cicely Tyson and James Earl Jones. Another son, Nick, died in 2015. EMAIL ME. He joined the Negro Ensemble Company in 1970 and later became its artistic director in 2005. Weldon’s underplaying of Hedley, if ungainly at times, is a welcome relief from the usual barnstorming associated with such characters,” Ben Brantley wrote in his review in The Times. But we were playing across the street from the Negro Ensemble Company.”.
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