1 Wash Pl, Room 407
B.A. Individualized Study, New York University, 1980
M.F.A. Dramatic Writing, New York University, 1983
Michael D. Dinwiddie (GAL BA '80, TSOA MFA '83)’s teaching interests include cultural studies, African American theater history, dramatic writing, filmmaking and ragtime music. A dramatist whose works have been produced in New York, regional, and educational theater, he has been playwright-in-residence at Michigan State University and St. Louis University and taught writing courses at the College of New Rochelle, Florida A&M University, SUNY Stony Brook, California State University at San Bernardino, and Universidad de Palermo in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He spent a year at Touchstone Pictures as a Walt Disney Fellow and worked as a staff writer on ABC-TV’s Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper. He was awarded a 1995 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Playwriting. Professor Dinwiddie received a 2005 NYU Distinguished Teaching Award in recognition that one of NYU's primary institutional priorities, along with research, is exceptional teaching inside and outside of the classroom setting. In 2015, he was awarded a team-teaching grant from NYU Humanities Initiative for the course Movements for Justice and Rights: Let Them Lead the Way. His course offerings include Migration and American Culture; Dramatizing History I and II; Poets in Protest: Footsteps to Hip-Hop; James Reese Europe and American Music; Sissle, Blake and the Minstrel Tradition; Guerrilla Screenwriting; Motown Matrix: Race, Gender and Class Identity in “The Sound of Young America;” and the study-abroad course Buenos Aires: In and of the City. For the fall 2015 semester, he is teaching the course "Cultural Memory and Resistance" at NYU Abu Dhabi.
Playwright and Gallatin faculty member Michael Dinwiddie (BA ’80, TSOA MFA ’83) was featured in the February 1, 2020, On Stage segment that aired on NY1 at the start of Black History Month and spotlit African American trailblazers in American theater.
“Part of what African Americans have done, and have had to do continuously since the beginning, was claim a sense of ownership of their identity, ownership of how they should be depicted, and to create a roundness in our culture,” said Dinwiddie.
Highlighting some of the first productions about African American culture that hit Broadway, the episode tracks the history of the pioneering artists who earned numerous Tony awards and other recognition as their stars rose. Along with Dinwiddie, the segment features playwright and author Dominique Morisseau, who spoke at Gallatin last February, and legendary Broadway press agent Irene Gandy, both of whom echoed the call for better representation as African American women in the arts.
Watch the video below to learn more about the artists and performances that continue to define the growth of African American Theater. Dinwiddie’s current course offerings are “Poets in Protest: Footsteps to Hip-Hop,” and “Sissle, Blake and the Minstrel Tradition.”
— Mary Gonzalez (BA ’20)
Michael Dinwiddie (BA ’80) was elected as one of the 2018 fellows of The College of Fellows of the American Theatre, a high honor bestowed on select educators and professionals of America’s educational and theater community.
African American culture; theatre history and criticism; filmmaking; dramatic writing; ragtime music
AWARDS AND HONORS
In July 2018, Michael Dinwiddie received an Honorary Lifetime Membership at the Black Theatre Network Conference in Memphis, Tennessee.
Dinwiddie was named as one of the ten fellows who, in 2018, will be inducted into the into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre, one of America's educational and theater community's highest honors.
He currently serves as chairman of the Duke Ellington Center for the Arts, which will host the 24th International Duke Ellington Study Conference in New York City in 2016 (see short film to the right). Professor Dinwiddie sits on the advisory boards of the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival, the International Colloquium of the National Black Theatre in Winston-Salem, NC, the Black Theatre Network, and the New Federal Theatre, among others. He is a member of the Writers Guild of America (East) and The Dramatists Guild.
In November 2018, Michael Dinwiddie’s one-act play “Actuary”, directed by Kristi Papailler, was produced in Louisville, Kentucky, as a benefit for the Stand Up Sundays Organization.
A staged reading of Dinwiddie’s full length play The Carelessness of Love was directed by Clinton Turner Davis and produced by Woodie King at Castillo Theatre on June 23, 2018.
Northern Lights 1966, which was written by Professor Dinwiddie to commemorate the student walkout that established the first northern "Freedom School," is being revived by Detroit's Mosaic Youth Theatre. Performances begin May 11, 2018.
Michael Dinwiddie contributed “Black Panther Meets Pink Panther” to Black Panther: Paradigm Shift Or Not? a collection of essays and Rreviews.
Dinwiddie’s chapter “World War I: The Harlem HellFighters” is included the textbook Music and War in the United States by Sarah Mahler Kraaz (Routledge, 2018).
CONFERENCES AND TALKS
On January 6, 2020, Michael Dinwiddie moderated a panel at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture with actors David Alan Grier, Blair Underwood, and director Kenny Leon of the Broadway show A Soldier's Play.
In April 2019, Dinwiddie interviewed author Imani Perry for the book launch of Looking For Lorraine: The Radiant And Radical Life Of Lorraine Hansberry at the Institute of African American Affairs & Center for Black Visual Culture at New York University.
In January and February 2019, Dinwiddie attended several screenings and was interviewed
about the American Masters documentary Sammy Davis, Jr: I’ve Gotta Be Me.
On November 17, 2018, Dinwiddie moderated a talk at Signature Theater on Lynn Nottage’s play Fabulation. Participants included director Lilieana Blain-Cruz, costumier Montana Levi Blanco, and actress Heather Alicia Sims.
On November 4, 2018, Dinwiddie spoke on a panel entitled Black Forum at MoMA PS1 along with Sadie Barnette and James Mtume. The panel was moderated by Rick Medina.
Dinwiddie spoke on a panel discussing the play The African Mean Girls Play for a talk entitled “The Complexity of Complexion,” with playwright Jocelyn Bioh, Marta Effinger-Crichlow, Amber Iman and Adepero Oduye on MCC Theater at Lucille Lortel Theatre on November 3, 2018.
Dinwiddie was a special guest at the event entitled “The Bandleader Who Changed America: A Musical Journey Through the Life of James Reese Europe”, sponsored by the New York Office of General Services in conjunction with the exhibition “Their Glory Can Never Fade: The Legacy of the Harlem HellFighters.”
Dinwiddie was a moderator for a talkback after the performance of Antoinette Nwandu’s play Pass Over at Lincoln Center on July 26, 2018. Panelists included Mo Beasley, Esmeralda Simmons, and Marquis Jenkins.
On May 16, 2018, Dinwiddie moderated a theatre talk series entitled Black Queer Characters: Staging Diversity featuring playwrights Tarell Alvin McCraney and Donja R. Love at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
In March 2018, Professor Dinwiddie delivered the keynote speech, "Creative Classroom Strategies for Teaching English as A Second Langauge" for the 44th Annual PRTESOL Conference in Guayanilla, Puerto Rico.
In February 2018, he delivered the 17th Annual Spencer Cave Lecture under the auspices of Park University and the American Jazz Museum at the Gem Theatre in Kansas City, MO, "James Reese Europe: From Bandanna Land to 'No Man's Land.'"
Professor Dinwiddie moderated a panel and presented the paper, “(R)evolutionary Landscapes: Hamilton and Motown: The Musical Duke It Out for America’s Soul!,” at the Black Portraiture[s] II: Revisited Conference, which was held in February 2016 in New York, New York.
In 2015, Professor Dinwiddie was a session convener for the Black Portraiture(s) II Conference held at Villa La Pietra in Florence, Italy. A year earlier he was appointed to the national governance task force of the Theatre Communications Group (TCG).