Stephen McKinley Henderson

Actor / Workshop Presenter / Professor

Fee TBD. Travel & accommodations required

Stephen McKinley Henderson


tephen is honored to be considered in such outstanding company as a significant interpreter of August Wilson’s work during his lifetime. Jitney ran for an unprecedented full LORT season during 1998-99 in Boston, Baltimore, Buffalo, Rochester and Chicago. The production played Los Angeles and New York in 2000. During its off-Broadway run in 2000, Jitney garnered the New York Drama Critic’s Award for Best Play and Drama Desk, Obie and Audelco awards for each actor as members of the outstanding ensemble of the New York season. In Los Angeles, Mr. Henderson won the NAACP Theatre award for Outstanding Dramatic Performance by a Male as well as a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award as an outstanding featured actor. The London run of Jitney garnered the Olivier Award for Best New Play of the London season, 2002.

Stephen’s early education in Kansas City, Kansas, led to an academic scholarship to attend Lincoln University in Missouri, a historically black institution, where he met and was directed by Dr. Thomas D. Pauley. In his freshman year at Lincoln, he auditioned for John Housman and Michael Kahn, and became a member of Group 1, Juilliard Drama Division in 1968. Mr. Housman includes Henderson’s work at Juilliard in his memoirs, Final Dress, Simon & Schuster, 1983 and Unfinished Business, Applause, 1988. Stephen was among the alumni interviewed for the PBS American Masters documentary on The Juilliard School first aired in January 2003. His educational pursuits continued at North Carolina School of the Arts (BFA) where he served as president of the student government, and at Purdue University Graduate School (MA), where he was Director of the Drama Workshop for it the Black Cultural Center. He has attended summer sessions at Rose Bruford Academy in Britain and William Esper studio, New York. In the summer of 2001, Stephen was part of a master class taught by Lloyd Richards at The Actors Center., New York City. The master class is featured in a documentary on Mr. Richards being prepared by filmmaker Michael Schultz.

In Buffalo where Stephen is professor and former chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance for the State University of New York at Buffalo, he is also a member of the LAByninth Theater Company (NYC), the Actors Center and is a Fox Foundation Fellow. Mr. Henderson is available for “informances” (informational performances) on college campuses and other venues, interviews, workshops and panel discussions.

In his eloquent obituary for renowned African-American playwright, August Wilson, Michael Feingold of the Village voice wrote:

“To think of the great characters and scenes in August plays is to think of an epic parade of great African-American actors who have seized their moment to make theater history: James Earl Jones and Mary Alice in Fences. Charles S. Dutton in Ma Rainey and the Piano Lesson, S. Epatha Merkerson, confronting him in the latter, Roscoe Lee Browne sagely ironic in TwoTrains Running, Stephen McKinley Henderson oozing malice in Jitney, Ruben Santiago-Hudson and Lisa K Hamilton glaring a sky full of weaponry at each other in Gem of the Ocean.”