"Art offers us a wonderful opportunity to be
human, to be human with the guards pulled down."
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Lou Bellamy, Penumbra Theatre
Lou Bellamy was born in 1944. He is an African American Theatric Director, actor, entrepreneur and educator.
Born and raised in the Rondo district of St. Paul Minnesota, Louis Richard Bellamy’s mother was Elveeda Bellamy and his stepfather, getting in touch with his biological father later in his life. During his childhood a neighbor took young Bellamy rabbit hunting and he has become an avid outdoorsman, relishing hunting and fishing ever since. Bellamy's brothers and sisters include actor Terry Bellamy and judge Gabrielle Kirk McDonald, former head of the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
In 1967, Bellamy received his B.A. in psychology and sociology at Minnesota State University-Mankato and received his M.A. in theater arts at the University of Minnesota, 1978. In April 1972, he married Irish-American graphic artist Colleen Gavin; they have two children Sarah and Lucas. In between his marriage and finishing his master’s degree Bellamy founded Penumbra Theatre (1976). He has directed dozens of world premieres and is recognized for his expertise in staging the Wilson writings. Bellamy won the 2006 McKnight Distinguished Artist Award and also won the 2007 Obie Award for his staging of August Wilson's "Two Trains Running." Bellamy has been quoted regarding black Theater as saying: "There's a little pressure now to widen my work, with agents and artistic directors asking if I want to do Chekhov. I can, but I don't want to. There are only a few people who get chances to be where I am in my career. I want to use it for putting the lens on black people and showing them in all their beauty, their facets and warts. These are people who I care about and love and want to see in all their complexity on the stage."
Bellamy has been on the faculty of the University of Minnesota’s Theater Department for over thirty years.