Charles Dumas Web Page

Prof, School of Theatre, College of Arts and Architecture
Penn State University , University Park, PA 16802

Brief Bio

Charles Dumas is a professor in the School of Theatre at Penn State University. Formerly he was the Director of the Acting in Media program at Temple University and associate professor in PSU's Department of African and African-American Studies. He was a Fulbright Fellow at The University of Stellenbosch. Dumas is a professional actor, director and writer and the artistic director and co-founder (1986) of The Loaves and Fish Traveling Rep Company. Most recently Dumas could be seen as Colin Powell in Seattle ACT's Stuff Happens,as Polonius in PA. Shakespeare's Hamlet. and Troy in Center Stage's Fences. Dumas has directed many of August Wilson's plays including Fences at Pa. Stage, Seven Guitars for Kuntu Rep.Ma Rainey's Black Bottom for Temple Theatre, and Joe Turner Has Come And Gone for the Wilson Festival. Dumas' 9/11 A Day in The Life of A People was chosen for the Philadelphia Fringe and performed at The National Constitution Center. His Wolf By The Ears was one of the five finalist as the best play written by an African-American. Dumas is a past receipient of A Pennsylvania Council of the Arts Playwriting grant and multiple AUDELCO nominee. He was chosen best lead actor by the Beverly Hills/ Hollywood NAACP for his portrayal of MUSA in B.C. Historia. He has had recurring roles on ED, 100 Centre Street, Law and Order, Homefront. He also writes a bimonthly column for the CDT called UNDER THE BAOBOB. He was recently appointed senior professor at The University of The Free State in The Republic of South Africa.

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    If you are interested in courses I teach.

    AFRICAN FILM STUDIES AAAS 497C/COMM452.2 Co-taught with Dr. J. Ann Dumas of the College of Communications. This course explores African social and political realities through the medium of African film. It is usually offered in the Spring semester.

    THEATRE WORKSHOP IN DIVERSE CULTURES.AAAS 208/ THEA208 The course offers the theatre major and nonmajor an opportunity to explore other cultures through theatre. It is primarily a performance course and culminates with public performances. Suggested prerquisites are: a basic acting course, a basic diversity course. It is primarily offered in the Fall

    THE LIFE AND WORK OF AUGUST WILSON, THEA 497D, A seminar on the works of August Wilson. An examination of his decade series, a group of ten plays dedicated to each decade of the 20th Century. The seminar will also take advantage of any visiting any August Wislon plays being performed in the area. The class usually has a field trip to Wilson's home and burial site in Pittsburgh. Suggested preliminary courses are: African-American Drama Thea/AAS 412. Usually offered in the Fall

    ACTING FOR THE CAMERA, THEATRE 497 E A workshop which trains actors in camera acting techniques including commercials, PSAs, film, industrials, sitcoms, weather and news, dramatic presentations. This is a course for those who have already had some acting training or experience. IT IS NOT FOR BEGINNING ACTORS. Permission of the instructor is required. Usually taught in the Fall.

    AFRICAN-AMERICAN THEATRE, THEATRE 412/ AAAS 412 A literature seminar focusing on the history of African-American drama from slavery times until the present

    OTHER CLASSES I HAVE TAUGHT INCLUDE; Acting 1,2,3; Playwriting; Directing, African-American Film; The Life and Work of Martin Luther King; Feature Film practicum, Intro to acting for nonmajors.




    2008-present Tenured professor, Penn State University, School of Theatre
    CLASSES TAUGHT: Acting for the Camera, Diverse Culture Workshop, African Film, Life and Work of August Wilson, African-American Theatre

    2006- 08   Director, Acting in Media Program, Temple University, School of Communications and Theatre.

    CLASSES TAUGHT: Acting, Acting for The Camera, The Life and Work of August Wilson

    COMMITTEES: Executive, National and International Visibility, Recruitment, Grievance


    2002-03 Fulbright Professor in Drama,Stellenbosch University,  Drama Department, Republic of South Africa,

    CLASSES TAUGHT: Senior Acting, Film and TV Acting, Theatre for Development, Senior Thesis Project


    2001-04 Associate professor, PSU, Department of African-American Studies,

    CLASSES TAUGHT: African-American film, Africa as Seen Through the Perspective of Film, African Roots of African and Diasporic Drama, Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement

    1995-06   Associate professor, Penn State University, School of Theatre,
    CLASSES TAUGHT: Acting 1,2,3; Playwriting, Acting for the Camera, African-American Performance Technique. African-American Drama, Theatre Workshop in Diverse Cultures, Practicum in Feature Film Production

    1982- 86   Lecturer, State University of New York, New School for Social  Research, Adelphi University
    Classes taught: Constitutional Law, Blacks and The Law, Case Studies in  Criminal Law, Art and Society, Graduate Seminar in Urban Affairs



    1995-2008 Artistic Director, Loaves and Fish Theatre Company.

    2009 –present             Special correspondent, Center Daily Times, bi-monthly columnUnder The Baobob, cultural and social observations

    2008- present              Barrymore Voter, Philadelphia Theatre Alliance

    1999-01                        Arts and Entertainment Editor. VOICES OF CENTRAL  PENNSYLVANIA

    1997-01                        Reader, evaluator, Theatre section, Pennsylvania Council on The Arts


    President, Mid Hudson Legal Services,  (MHLS) Managed  legal services operation for six upstate New York Counties, supported three class action law suits  before the U.S. Supreme CourtAttorney, IBM Corporationassisted in SEC filings for stock splits, debt offerings, corporate acquisitions. Preliminary legal investigation of the Company’s position in South Africa. Assisted at annual meetings, wrote and filed responses to shareholder resolutionsLegal research assistant, United Nations, New York; assisted in drafting Code of  Conduct for Multinational Corporations, help draft report on multinationals in South AfricaParalegal  MHLS , field operator for farmworker legal services Case worker assistant, Congressman Charles Rangel,,D.C.


    Yale Law School, Juris Doctorate,  Earl Warren Legal Scholar –NAACP Legal Defense Fund; Bakke Amicus Brief Project, prisoners legal defense fund, Anti-Apartheid Committee, Community Equal Housing Project

    State University of New York at New Paltz  BA Degree, magna cum laude, major: political science, minor: Black Studies; model UN, debate team, political science club.

    Dutchess Community College, AA Degree, liberal arts with a concentration in theatre
    Dean’s list, commencement speaker

    American Film Institute, graduate program in film and screenwriting

    New School for Social Research, Department of  Urban Affairs and Policy Analysis, Kaplan Fellow in Urban Policy, graduate assistant

    Hunter College, Graduate studies in theatre

    Writers Guild of America, Sitcom East, Concentrated project in sitcom writing

    The Shakespeare Company of Washington DC – Minority professional workshop in classical drama


    Fulbright Scholar, Teaching and research Republic of South Africa (02-03)
                Special United States Delegate to the Conference on Sustainability
                Special delegate to the Namibia Conference on Film Development
                Special Delegate to Sithengi, First RSA film conference
                Special State Department envoy to the University of Mozambique

     Earl Warren Fellow, Yale Law School
    Hendler Fellow, AFI
    Kaplan Fellow, New School for Social Research
    Alumni of the Year New Paltz College,
    Alumni of the Year Dutchess Community College,
    Pennsylvania Council of the Arts, Playwriting Fellow - SURFACING
     New York State Theatre Award RETURN TO THE RIVER,
    Hollywood/Beverly Hills NAACP Best Actor of the Year (B.C. Historia)
    New York Film and TV Awards Finalist (UP FROM SLAVERY),
    Four time AUDELCO nominee for acting and writing: RETURN TO THE RIVER, ANNA, BOOGIE WOOGIE AND BOOKER T., CAST ME DOWN. Winner David Award (2010) for the Best play celebrating socail activism (9/11 A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A PEOPLE)



    THE SHADOW BOX                               Joe                                        Circle in The Square
    In this Broadway revival of the Pulitzer Prize winning play I started as the understudy for both Joe and The Interviewer. I went on in both roles.

    REVENGE OF A KING,                         Uncle                                     NYC Fringe
    This was the NYC premiere of an original hip-hop play

    DARKER FACE OF EARTH                 Hector                                     NBT
    The New York premiere of the Rita Dove play directed by Tony Award winner Trazana Beverly

    AS YOU LIKE IT                                    Jacques                                     ATA

    TITUS ANDRONICUS                           Aaron                                       Riverside Shakespe


    ANTHONY AND CLEOPATRA  Soothsayer, etc.            Shakespeare Co., DC

    DISTRICTLINE                                          Doc                                 Negro Ensemble Co.
    I was an early member of the NEC. The original play written by Pulitzer prize winning Joe Walker was directed by Doug Ward

    BURNERS FROLIC                                   Burner                            NEC
    These four plays were originals by Charles Fuller (Soldier’s Play) were produced in NYC and then toured in Repertory throughout the countrySALLY                                                        Burner                            NEC
    PRINCE                                                       Abe                                NEC
    JONQUIL                                                    Soldier                            NEC

    BOOGIE WOOGIE                                     Booker T.                     New Federal Theatre
    AUDELCO nomination best actor

    AS YOU LIKE IT                                         Jacques                        ATA
    CAST ME DOWN                                        Washington                 \CMD Productions
    AUDELCO nomination best actor
    TITUS ANDRONICUS                               Aaron                           Riverside Shakespeare
    UP FROM SLAVERY                                 B.T. Washington          laf Theatre Company
    RETURN TO THE RIVER                         Al Gilroy                       laf Theatre Company            


    STUFF HAPPENS                                        Colin Powell               ACT,Seattle
    WHOSE LIFE IS IT?                                     Judge                           PA. Stage
    HAMLET                                                       Polonius                       Penn Shakespeare Com.
    DRIVING MISS DAISY                               Hoke                            Penn. Shakespeare
    DEATH OF A SALESMAN                         Charlie                         Penn. Center Stage
    SOUNDING THE RIVER                            Old Jim                         Mil. Rep. Company
    Original play

    FENCES                                                        Troy                              Pioneer Stage,
                                                                                                                 PA Center Stage
    MASTER HAROLD...                                 Sam                               McCarter, NJ Rep

    A CHRISTMAS CAROL                            Christmas Present           McCarter
    I was a member of The McCarter Company

    ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE                         Captain Horster              McCarter
    TALE OF TWO CITIES                               Citizen Moreau              McCarter

    THE MEETING                                            Martin Luther King       The Group Theatre
    B.C. HISTORIA                                            Musa                              LA Theatre Center
    (Hollywood/Beverly Hills Best Actor Award)

    PYGMALION                                               Doolittle                          Arena Stage
    ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA                   Soothsayer,seller             Shakes Co.(DC)
    OTHELLO                                                     Othello                            Arena Rep
    MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING               Sir Toby                          Shakes Co. (DC-wkshp)
    AMAZING GRACE                                       Officer Jones                 Alliance Theatre
    YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU            Donald                          Theatre by The Sea           


    JOE TURNER HAS COME AND            Seth                                    Baxter Theatre (RSA)
         AND GONE

    MISS EVERS BOYS                                Dr. Brodus                            Barbican (London
                                                                                                                      Old Vic (Bristol)
    YEARS OF STRUGGLE                        Various roles                           Edinborough Fringe

    WOLF BY THE EARS                             Tom                                       Grahamstown (RSA

    )UP FROM SLAVERY                             Washington                            Amsterdam, Rotterdam


    RAGTIME                                                B.T. Washington                    Temple University
    MY CHILDREN, MY AFRICA               Professor                                 Messiah College
    THE ILLUSION                                        Magician                                 URTC

    A CHRISTMAS CAROL                         various                                    PSU



    Project                                                                   Character                                            Director
    THE TESTED                                                      Pastor Stuart                                    Russel Costanzo

    WHERE GOD LEFT HIS SHOES                     Morris                                                Salvatore Stabile
    KNOCK “EM DEAD                                           Rudy                                                Jose Cruz
    HARD TO GET                                                   Cabdriver                                         Mat Montemorano
    HALL MONITOR                                               The principal                                    Kevin Hartman
    RED WATER                                                       Hank Ellis                                       Charles Carner
    DEEP IMPACT                                                    Jeff Worth                                        Mimi Leder
    COPLAND                                                           Cyril Johns                                       James Mangold
    PEACEMAKER                                                   Agent Barrigan                                 Mimi Leder
    DIE HARD III                                                      Agent Cross                                      John McTiernan
    JUMPING JACK FLASH                                    Officer Thomas                                Penny Marshall
    SEPARATE BUT EQUAL                                  Bob Ming                                         George Stevens Jr
    A BETTER TOMORROW                                  Det, Sanders                                    John Woo
                YING HUNG BOON SIK 2
    SEERIE NOIRE                                                     Lumumba                                       Caroline Huppert
                THROUGH TIME                                     Lead                                                 Dorn Hetzel

    IN AND OUT                                                        Court Marshall Officer                     Frank Oz
    HELLO AGAIN                                                    Reporter                                           Frank Perry
    NEW JACK CITY                                                 Father of the Groom                        Mario Van Peebles
    JUNGLE FEVER                                                   Crowd                                             Spike Lee
    STREETWALKIN’                                                Pimp                                                Joan Freeman
    ANGEL HEART                                                    Funeral pastor                                 Alan Parker
    FATAL ATRRACTION                                        Night worker                                   Adrian Lyne
    OK CONNERY                                                      Arab sheik                                      Alberto De Martino
    THE COTTON CLUB                                           Crowd                                              Stan Latham

    WALL STREET                                                     Airline worker


                                                                                    SELECTED PRINCIPLE ROLES IN TELEVISION

    NEW AMSTERDAM                         Lionel
    CONVICTION                                    Judge Murray
    ED                                                        Judge LaRue (re-occuring)
    100 CENTRE STREET                       Sergeant Delmain (re-occuring)
    LAW AND ORDER (C.I.)                   Chief Of Detectives 
    LAW AND ORDER                             Don  Van Buren (re-occuring)
    LAW AND ORDER                              McNelly
    DEADLINE                                           Officer
    MATLOCK                                            Judge Roy Marcus
    JAKE AND THE FATMAN                  Rev Styles
    HOMEFRONT                                        Thomas
    A MAN CALLED HAWK                     Col. Dessaline(re-occuring)
    ALL MY CHILDREN                            Various Judges, doctors and lawyers
    ANOTHER WORLD,                             ibid
    AS THE WORLD TURNS,                    ibid
    LOVING,                                                 ibid
    ONE LIFE TO LIVE,                              ibid
    EQUALIZER,                                          Foreign minister Oman
    MOLLY DODD                                     Train conductor

     American Express                                    Scope
    Ikea                                                            Coast rides
    Wall Street Journal                                    Accupril
    Budweiser                                                Con-ed
    Miller Lite
    Barbican                                                Channel 5 News
    AT & T
    DC Rail



              SHOW                                                                        COMPANY            

    Professional Fully Staged

    9/11 A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A PEOPLE            Philly Fringe
                                                                                        National Constitution Center
                                                                                        Capetown RSA
    This play was first commissioned by the US Consulate General in Capetown South Africa. It has been produced every year on the anniversary of the attack on the WTC. In 07 it was invited to the National Constitution Center and in 09 it was part of the Philadelphia Fringe Festival.

    SEVEN GUITARS                                                            Kuntu Rep, Pittsburgh
    This was the first production of an August Wilson play in his Hometown of Philadelphia. It was produced by Dr. Lilly who had directed Wilson’s first play

    FENCES                                                                        Pennsylvania Center Stage
                                                                                        PA. Stage
    I directed full productions of this play twice. The last production was part of the August Wilson festival and Conference. I played Troy as well as directed.

    UNCLE TOMS CABIN                                                Mint Theatre
    I may have been the first African-American to direct a straight version of this melodrama in New York. The Times thought it was interesting

    BROTHERS KEEPER                                                Samuel Beckett
                                                                                            Walnut Street Workshop

    WOLF BY THE EARS                                                Grahamstown Int. Festival
    This production at the Grahamstown International Festival in South Africa followed several workshop productions. It was favorably received by critics and audiences

    I OUGHTA BE IN PICTURES                                     PA. Stage
    DIARY OF ANNE FRANK                                            PA Stage
    I directed three plays for Pennsylvania Stage. The main company in Allentown Pennsylvania

    THEM THAT'S GOT                                                John Houseman
    An original play produced on Theatre Row in New York City

    FAST BLOOD                                                            Ensemble StudioTheatre
    An original piece for the Women’s section of Ensemble Studio Theatre

    491 ST. MARKS PLACE                                                Main Street Theatre
    One of my plays showcased in New York

    OTHELLO                                                                     State College Shakespeare
    ROMEO AND JULIET                                                State College Shakespeare
    MIDSUMMER’S NIGHT’S DREAM                        State College Shakespeare
    In the past ten years I have directed three Shakespearian plays for SCS

    SIZWE BANSI IS DEAD                                                Loaves and Fish
    I have directed several African plays but Sizwe is the only one that a fully supported professional production

    A VISIT WITH  MR. JUSTICE MARSHALL            Yale Law School
                                                                                                Temple Law School

    Academic Mainstage or fully produced

    MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM                               Temple University
    DARKER FACE OF EARTH                                          Temple University
    THE COLORED MUSEUM                                            URTC-PSU
    THE KENTUCKY CYCLE                                             Stellenbosch –RSA
    THE MEETING                                                                 PSU
    THE PIANO LESSON                                                      PSU
    RAISIN IN THE SUN                                                       URTC
    ONCE ON THIS ISLAND                                                PSU
    GOD'S TROMBONES                                                      PSU
    WE ARE THE DREAM                                                   PSU
    SHARING THE DREAM                                                PSU
    DICE OF BONE                                                                Next Stage


    911, A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A PEOPLE – A presentational full length play based on the observations of twelve people who are directly affected by the attacks against the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and Pennsylvania. Premiered on 9/11/2002 at a reading sponsored by the American Consulate General in Cape Town South Africa. Produced at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia in 07. Selected for the Philly Fringe in 08.

    WOLF BY THE EARS - A full length, six character play based on the relationship between Sally Hemmings and Thomas Jefferson which takes place during a visit to Monticello by John Adams in 1811. A workshop production premiered at the Grahamstown International Arts Festival in South Africa in 2003. This play was one of the five finalist for the best play by an African-American playwright in 2004.

    BROTHERS KEEPER - A full length, five character play about a African-American lawyer who defends his corporate gun manufacturing client against a wrongful death lawsuit brought by a working class mother whose son was killed. Showcase production premiered at the Samuel Beckett Theatre in 1997 featuring Penn State MFA graduates..

    491 ST. MARKS- A full length, four character play, about three actresses being stalked by a serial killer.  Showcase production premiered at Main Street Theatre in 1996 featuring Penn State MFA graduates.

    FRANCIS, FOOL OF GOD- A full length play about the early life of Saint Francis of Assisi. Produced by LAF Company in residence at St. Peters College in Jersey City.

    PIERRE TOUSSAINT – A full length musical about the Haitian holy man written in collaboration with Guy Davis. Commissioned by Rosetta Lenoire’s AMAS Rep.

    AVISIT WITH MR. JUSTICE MARSHALL –Written to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision at the 25th reunion of the class 1979 Yale Law School also performed at Temple Law School.

    MIRACLES -  The book for a full length musical by Tony Award winning Charlie Smalls showcased at Sardis in New York about an urban youth who returns South.

    SURFACING -  A full length, seven character play about six activists reuniting after several years have passed. Produced by the American Folk Theatre in New York.

    ANNA - Full length play about the disruption in a family caused by child abuse.  Produced by Olac in New York.  Nominated for AUDELCO Award

    YEARS OF STRUGGLE, YEARS OF FREEDOM – A one act presentational piece written to commemorate  the Bicentennial of the ratification of The Constitution. Presented at the Bicentennial Celebration in Philadelphia, Bushfire Theatre. Also presented at The Edinburgh Theatre Festival and toured to various high schools in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

    UP FROM SLAVERY – A one man show based on the life of Booker T. Washington premiered at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival, toured schools in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, produced by the McCarter Theatre Company.  The video of the production won several film festival awards.

    I’LL HUFF AND I’LL PUFF -  A full length theatrical thriller produced by the Royal Court Theatre in New York City

    BARBI DON’T HAVE NAPPY HAIR – One act play about the child of a mixed marriage.  Quaigh Lunchtime Theatre

    LONG TIME NO SEE – One act play about the reunion of a two members of a high school basketball team. Quaigh Dramathon, St. Peters (NYC) Lunchtime Theatre,

    ENCOUNTER WITH THE GODS –One act fantasy about a family of road creatures. Quaugh Theatre Dramathon.

    PAUL ROBESON – A one act presentational piece about Robeson commissioned and produced by The New York State Parks and Recreations.

    CUFFEE’S BURDEN – A one act, one person show about slavery in upstate New York commissioned and produced by New York Parks and Recreations.

    WORKERS ON THE RAILS – A one act, one person performance piece about railroad workers commissioned and produced by New Jersey Parks and Recreation.

    MOUNTAINS AND RIVERS – One act play about the dissolution of a marriage upon the death of a child. MSP Theatre Group

    RETURN TO THE RIVER – Full length play examining the workings of a modern corporation. Productions: Riverside Church Theatre Group, Olac, MSP, Main Street Theatre, Negro Ensemble Company, New Federal Theatre (reading) Several AUDELCO nominations including best play

                                                                                         OTHER COMMISSIONED WORKS
       James Weldon Johnson Awards, Schomburg Center for African-American Culture, NYC:
    BLACK MANHATTAN – Adaptation of JWJ’s book about New York

    AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AN EXCOLORED MAN – Adaptation of  the JWJ novel.

    ALONG THE WAY –Adaptation of JWJ autobiography

       Martin Luther King Commemoratives, Penn State University

        Other PSU special productions
    Miss Penn State 1998 -2003
    Women in Science and Engineering Workshop
    Health and Human Services Workshops
    Regional University Libraries Conference
    Summer Encampment
    Ebony and Ivory Multicultural Presentation
    Voices of the Harlem Renaissance – Panhellenic Association

    THE GARDEN – 16mm, 29.5 minute narrative short about a holocaust survivor and an African-American history professor who overcome their animosity sharing a garden plot in New York City.
    SURFACING –A full length narrative based on the NYC play shot on DVD.
    CULTURAL CROSSING –  Docudramas based on the workshop focusing on diversity
    THREE FROM STELLENBOSCH – Three short films, modern retellings of TROJAN WOMEN, ROMEO AND JULIET, and THREE SISTERS  set in South Africa