Reginald Lawrence/Shepsu Aakhu
Reginald Lawrence is currently the Executive Producer for the Ma’at Production Association of Afrikan Centered Theatre (MPAACT). As a producer he has helmed more than seventy productions over his twenty year career. Practicing his craft under the name Shepsu Aakhu, he continues his commitment to MPAACT as a playwright, scenic designer, photographer, musician, and arts educator.
Shepsu has developed several critically acclaimed works with MPAACT. Among his 18 produced works are Speaking in Tongues: The Chronicles of Babel, Ghosts of Atwood, Ten Square, Kiwi Black, Kosi Dasa, and Fascia. Shepsu Aakhu is a recipient of the Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Scriptworks. He is a two time recipient of the Theodore Ward Prize for Playwriting- Ten Square and Kiwi Black. He is a six time nominee for best Original Stage play by the BTAA of Chicago. He is a two time recipient the Ira Aldridge Award (playwriting) for The Abesha Conspiracy and Trouble the Water. Shepsu is also a three time nominee for the Joseph Jefferson citation in multiple categories.He is a two time recipient of the Joseph Jefferson citation for original music.
Monologue and scenes selections from several of Shepsu’s plays may be found in BlaQ Market Monologues and Scenes (Sakhu Press 2008). Kiwi Black is available in the anthology Seven Black Plays, edited by Chuck Smith (Northwestern University Press 2004), and Fascia, and other critical essays is available in an anthology entitled The BlaQ Market (Sakhu 2006)
Working in Arts Education and Arts Integration since 1992, Shepsu is currently a lecturer at the Theatre School at DePaul University. He continues his commitment at the primary and secondary levels as both an arts instructor, curriculum designer, and consultant. Shepsu specializes in two areas or instruction: Playwriting/Literacy; and Performance/Applied Sciences. He continues a twenty year affiliation with Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (C.A.P.E) and several other cultural institutions in Chicago and throughout the U.S.