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Fri, 03.10.1944

Lou Bellamy, Theatrical Director born

Lou Bellamy

*Lou Bellamy was born on this date in 1944. He is a Black Theatrical Director, actor, entrepreneur, and educator.

Born and raised in the Rondo district of St. Paul, Minnesota, Louis Richard Bellamy’s mother was Elveeda Bellamy.  His stepfather got in touch with his biological father later in life.  During his childhood, a neighbor took young Bellamy rabbit hunting, and he has become an avid outdoorsman, relishing hunting and fishing ever since.  At 12, he shined shoes at St. Paul Athletic Club and worked on the railroad unloading sheet metal and as a bus sweeper.  Bellamy's brothers and sisters include actor Terry Bellamy and judge Gabrielle Kirk McDonald, former head of the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

In 1967, Bellamy received his B.A. in psychology and sociology at Minnesota State University-Mankato and his M.A. in theater arts at the University of Minnesota in 1978. In April 1972, he married Irish-American graphic artist Colleen Gavin; they have two children, Sarah and Lucas.  Between his marriage and finishing his master’s degree, Bellamy founded Penumbra Theatre (1976). He has directed dozens of world premieres and is recognized for his expertise in staging August Wilson's writings.

Bellamy won the 2006 McKnight Distinguished Artist Award and the 2007 Obie Award for his staging of August Wilson's "Two Trains Running." Bellamy has been quoted regarding Black Theater as saying: "There's a little pressure now to widen my work, with agents and artistic directors asking if I want to do Chekhov. I can, but I don't want to. There are only a few people who get chances to be where I am in my career. I want to use it for putting the lens on Black people and showing them in all their beauty, their facets, and warts. These are people who I care about and love and want to see in all their complexity on the stage."

Bellamy has been on the faculty of the University of Minnesota’s Theater Department for over thirty years.

To become an Art Director.


Image, Rohan Preston

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