I am a first-generation Haitian American multi-hyphenate artist (actress/director/writer/producer/teacher/mentor). I received my B.A. from Columbia University, MBA from Binghamton University, and MFA in Acting from Yale School of Drama. My acting credits include Blue Bloods, Law & Order SVU, Law & Order Criminal Intent, Guiding Light; Sex and the City; regional and Off-Broadway theatre; short films, and national commercials.
I write screenplays and plays from a viewpoint heavily influenced by the stories my family members have shared about the complexities and wonders of Haitian culture and history, as well as my experiences as a born-and-bred New Yorker. As the Founder/Producing Artistic Director of Conch Shell Productions my company’s mission is to develop/workshop/produce new works by Caribbean Diaspora & Caribbean screenwriters and playwrights who have a passion for innovative story telling that inspires social change.
I had the pleasure of playing a Haitian mother "Antoinette Pierre" in Netflix Original Series “Grand Army,” "Ruth Lockhart" (1999-2001) on "The Guiding Light," "CSU Tech Kallman" (2002-2010) on "Law & Order Criminal Intent" as well a number of other fantastic television, film and theatre roles. My journey continues to be filled with life altering and purpose affirming creative experiences both on camera and behind the camera.
MEMBERSHIPS: The Actors Center; JCAL Building Equity Advisory Council; Dramatist Guild; The Actors Studio PDU; SAG/AFTRA. Black Theatre Network. Craft Institute.
TEACHER/COACH: On-Camera Acting Instructor at HB Studio; Private Coach
First generation Caribbean America (her parents were from Nevis) Cecily Tyson's impact on my life started when I saw "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman" on television. Her transformational portrayals of complex, multi-layered women continue to inspire me. Ms. Tyson's decades long commitment to her craft set an example that keeps my faith and creative flame blazing.
Bahamian American Sidney Poitier made a huge impression on me as a child. So elegant. So confident. Favorite movie: IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT. The fire in his eyes. His presence....powerful. His contributions as an actor, director, activist...well let's just say when I am directing, producing my own plays/screenplays...when I am producing works by Caribbean Diaspora artists who are "artivists" like me... I thank Mr. Poitier for demonstrating "yes I can be someone better."
Thanks to a generous Individual Artist Grant that I received from Flushing Town Hall, Aftershocks: A Tetralogy of Our Times will be screening and uplifting & healing community story sharing in Queens starting June 10th 2022 at www.JCAL.org and ending with a staged reading of the collected community stories at JCAL in October 2022. Stay tuned for announcements.
I had the pleasure of making "theatre history" when I directed virtually readings of 3 never before produced together plays written by Marita Bonner (works published between 1927-1928). Special thanks to New Perspective Theatre's artistic director, Melody Brooks for inviting me to direct.
Special thanks to Samuel Archer of Muzilog.com for inviting me to guest host this inspiring conversation with the film artists commemorating the work of Mr. Paul DeSilva.
Paul DeSilva's film, "Crackdown: Big City Blues" is now streaming on www.Fandor.com
My short film "Her Tory" will be screened online as part of Conch Shell Int'l Film Fest's Pre-Fest Events.
Presented along with Mr. Crab written & directed by Faisel Lutchmedial and DoDo Titi written and directed by Nadhege Ptah - these films explore the power of thought.
Artist chat & udience q&a will follow.
Joyfully and passionately I continue to be artist and administrator at my company Conch Shell Productions.
We have a great 2022 season planned. We are currently programming our 2nd annual Conch Shell International Film Fest, accepting submission for CS New Works Reading Series (Nov. 2022), and we have founded our first artist collective with the aim of creating a space for new work development.
Conch Shell Productions has received three grants, and we rely on these funds and the generosity of donations to create a space for Caribbean and Caribbean Diaspora playwrights and screenwriters to infuse American theatre and film with their unique and underrepresented voices.
Click on the link below to learn more.
Aftershocks: A Tetralogy of Our Times, is a multi-media film/animation/collage film about the effects of the pandemic on the Caribbean American community co-written by myself and Juan Ramirez, Jr.. Each screening will be followed by audience participation in writing exercises and community testimonials related to the impact of the pandemic. A new play based on the experiences shared by audiences that will be presented in a staged reading presentation at Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning in Oct 2022.
Intended community impact:
Inspired by the effective practice of community storytelling (https://www.wired.com/insights/2014/01/power-community-storytelling/) this project will give underrepresented Caribbean Diaspora and Caribbean communities as well as other Queens communities a space to come together and share their experiences of persevering in the face of unimaginable challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. As they share their stories during our moderated discussions (the moderator will read a selection of stories out loud and/or attendees will share their stories out loud) “Any one person’s story can change the way we think — and in changing the way enough people think, it can change our world.” - wired.com . By curating a selection of community stories, the goal is to inspire other marginalized and misrepresented people to put themselves in the center of focus and represent their authentic stories about the impact of this pandemic on their lives.
Do you have more questions? Are you interested in collaborating on a project? Send me a message, and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
Copyright © 2022 Magaly Colimon - All Rights Reserved.