My Own Directions: A Black Man's Journey in the American Theatre (Paperback)
Life in the theatre is often a rollercoaster ride, with all the excitement and occasional anguish that come with the highs and lows. The author's journey in the American theatre has been amplified by his experience as a Black man who has frequently been "one of the few," "the first" or even "the only." His directing career has been full of rewards and opportunities as well as huge challenges and frustrations, along with the anger that has come from being "chased by race" for so many years. Much of the author's experience comes from two decades artistic director of Pasadena Playhouse, one of the oldest and well-known theatres in America, and for a time early in his career, one of the whitest.
This is the story of how the author came into leadership at Pasadena Playhouse after a successful career directing on Broadway, in London and all over the world. It relates how the theatre was radically changed and reignited by his leadership, including his insistence on making diversity a priority onstage and off. This is the very personal story of a person who wanted his race to be recognized, but never used as a reason to be less than fully respected. In many ways, this memoir tells the story of what people of color in America must face repeatedly to make their lives matter.
About the Author
Sheldon Epps has directed major productions on and off Broadway, in London and at many theatres across America. In addition, he has had an active television career helming some of the classic shows of recent years. He was the artistic director of the renowned Pasadena playhouse for two decades, and currently serves as senior artistic advisor at historic Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C.