NEW YORK CITY: Vineyard Theatre artistic directors Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern, along with actor/playwright/director/producer Colman Domingo, have named York Walker the inaugural recipient of the Colman Domingo Award.
The Colman Domingo Award will be bestowed annually to a multifaceted Black male or male-identifying theatre artist to provide support and resources to develop new work. The Vineyard and Domingo will select the recipients, who receive a cash stipend, workshops, developmental opportunities, access to writing and studio space, mentorship, and the ongoing support of the company.
“It has been my hope to support the next generation of multi-hyphenate theatre artists in some impactful way,” said Domingo in a statement. “Not only by mentorship, but with a financial award. I knew that this was a perfect partnership with Vineyard Theatre, which has been a New York home for me for over 10 years. They helped me flex my artistic muscles as an actor and playwright with my productions of A Boy and His Soul and Dot. They were the cheerleader who helped me see that I had something to offer The Scottsboro Boys, for which I am eternally grateful. I was so honored that they chose to honor my body of work at the 2019 gala. I wanted to give a gift back in return. To create an award for an African American man who could use the hand, access, and support that the Vineyard and I could provide. It seems fitting that we are ready to announce our inaugural recipient during this profound moment of change, when we truly need to hear African American voices. It is our pleasure to gift this award to York Walker.”
Walker is an award-winning writer based in Harlem, New York City. He is currently a member of Lena Waithe’s Hillman Grad Mentorship Program. His work includes The Séance (winner of the John Singleton Short Film Competition, 48 Hours… in Harlem), You’re Gonna Be Famous (Atlantic Theatre Company Conservatory), Covenant (Fire This Time Festival, Access Theatre’s 4 Flights Up Festival), White Shoes (Fire This Time Festival), Summer Of ’63 (The Actors Company Theatre’s New TACTics Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Apprentice Reading Series) and Of Dreams To Come (American Conservatory Theater’s New Work Series). York received his MFA in Acting from the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.
“I am so grateful to Colman Domingo and the Vineyard Theatre for this award,” said Walker in a statement. “At this moment when our country is being forced to reconcile with its history, I believe we need Black narratives now more than ever. I am excited to use this opportunity to uplift and empower Black people through my work and continue to utilize storytelling as an instrument for substantive change.”