In August 2010, Jennifer Justice founded Durham Family Theatre, inspired by the idea that our city needs an intentionally multi-racial theatre serving children through adults (entire families!) with high quality educational and performance opportunities. This theatre is available to people in all economic circumstances. It builds lives, community and careers through the creative medium of theatre.
An actress, director, storyteller and educator, Jenny’s professional credits include The New Shakespeare Company of San Francisco & The Ends & Means Committee, Boston, MA. In Boston she co-founded The Three Apples Storytelling Festival, now in its 3rd decade. With Storytellers in Concert, she performed in and produced story theatre concerts for adults in Cambridge, Mass. and was named a “Master Storyteller” by the Boston Globe. She has been featured at The National Storytelling Festival, The National Storytelling Conference, The Vermont Storytelling Festival and Pete Seeger’s Hudson River Revival. For 10 years, Jenny toured New England schools as a teaching artist for Young Audiences of Massachusetts. She was an adjunct faculty member for Lesley University for more than 8 years, training teachers around the country to use the arts in curriculum development. In 2006, Jenny received an Arts Can Teach grant from the WANG Center for the Performing Arts in Boston & worked as a Teaching Artist for The Huntington Theatre, Boston. She was the education director of The Little Theatre of Winston-Salem and taught theatre classes for The Walltown Children’s Theatre and The Durham Arts Council Summer Arts Camps (2009 & 2010) in Durham, NC. She was an enrichment teacher for the successful EK Powe STARS after-school program in Durham, NC (2010 – 2013.) In 1985, the National Educational Film & Video Association awarded Jenny the “Silver Apple Award,” for her performance in “Sharing the Circle.” Other published works include a storytelling CD, “Breath of Life” and the book, “The Ghost & I, scary stories for participatory telling,” published by Yellow Moon Press, Cambridge, MA. Jenny’s short story, “Breathing Together,” was included in the 2008 Yellow Moon Press anthology, “A Tribute to Brother Blue.”
DFT BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Sybil Bond Dorsey holds a Juris Doctorate degree from the NCCU School of Law. She has worked as an assistant professor at Livingstone College and an adjunct professor in Environmental Law & Policy at NCCU. Sybil was an active member of the Toronto Theatre Ensemble in Canada. At home in Durham, NC Sybil jumped into DRT with both feet as head of props/stage manager for our first annual family musical, the world premiere of “Alice, a mad musical adventure,” (based on the works of Lewis Carroll.) She has remained involved in DRT on the advisory council and the board while assisting her daughter, Jerri Dorsey Hall, in running the DRT box office. Sybil also works with press and other media to spread the story of what is happening at DRT.
Jerri Dorsey Hal – DFT Board President
Jerri Dorsey Hal has been active with her family in DFT since it’s first production. In 2011 she volunteered to run box office for “As You Like It.” Now Jerri is in charge of the box office and front of house for all DFT productions, supervising and partnering with our front of house volunteers.
Professor Kenneth Hinton
Mr. Kenneth Hinton is a husband (Denise) and a father. He was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina. He has one son 26 years old – Kenneth Hinton, Jr. Mr. Hinton earned his Masters of Art in Dramatic Art in 1995 from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Mr. Hinton is currently on the faculty at Shaw University, teaching drama in the Visual and Performing Arts/Theatre Program since 1997. Mr. Hinton has taught in the Dept. of Theatre and Dance at North Carolina Central University since 2004. Mr. Hinton enjoyed a 20 year career as an educational television Producer/Director for the University of California and has won three national awards for is documentary videos in educational television.
Tara-Whitney Rison is a recent graduate of the The University of NC Greensboro, holding an MFA in Acting as well as a BA in Theatre Performance with a 2nd Concentration in Business Mngmt. from North Carolina Central University. Tara-Whitney has performed in numerous productions in the Triangle and Triad including but not limited to: BRABO, Harriet Jacobs, I am the Raven, Banned Books Project, For Colored Girls, MiddleTown, Burning Coal Summer Festival and others. She has worked at numerous Durham theatre companies including ManBitesDog Theater, LittleGreen Pig, Burning Coal, Durham Family Theatre and UNC. Regionally Tara has performed with Triad State and The Hanesbrand Theatre. She consistently does film and voice-over work in the area. This past summer she worked with a Peppercorn Children’s Theatre in Winston-Salem Touring, starring in an original piece on Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African-American Female Astronaut to go in to outer space. She was Development Coordinator for Durham Center for Senior Life.
Tara currently serves as an Actor/Facilitator at UNC Chapel Hill with the Wellness Dept.; it is called Interactive Theatre Carolina, a troupe that uses Theatrical pieces and performances to spark discussions about different topics that affect health and well-being along with Social Justice topics including Racism, Sexism, Gender Stereotypes, Emotional Abuse, and others.
Taylor Dorsey Flowers is a student at Durham School for the Arts. Taylor served on the DFT Advisory Council for three-years. She has been involved in DFT since before it began. She has studied acting with Ms. Jenny for almost six years and performed in or assisted with every DFT production to date. She also assistant teaches for DFT classes and summer camps.
In her busy life, Ms. Taylor is dance captain for Collage Dance Company and often stage manages for the African American Dance Ensemble where her family has been active since her early childhood.
Francesca Suarez has studied acting with Ms. Jenny since 2008 and was on the first DFT advisory council. In 2013-2014, she is a junior at Durham School for the Arts where she was recently chosen to represent their theatre program in the cast of their festival play. In the fall of 2013 Francesca was nominated for application to the summer theatre program at North Carolina Governor’s School. With Ms. Taylor, Ms. Francesca was part of the 2012 DFT original production of “Between the Bells,” a play about surviving and thriving in public high school. She also teaches in our acting classes and serves as an intern for our summer theatre camps.