The August Wilson Red Door Project Presents

Master Acting Workshop Taught by Tony-Award Nominated Actor Stephen McKinley Henderson

November 1, 9:00–11:00am
Portland Center Stage

An August Wilson Red Door Festival Event

Stephen McKinley Henderson is considered to be among the celebrated interpreters of August Wilson’s work. He received a Tony nomination for his work in the 2010 revival of Wilson’s Fences with Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. A stage and screen actor with extensive credits, Henderson will be familiar to TV viewers from HBO’s new show, The Newsroom, as the whistle-blowing NSA agent, and in episodes of other popular television series, such as Law and Order. Henderson appeared in the recent films Tower Heist and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and also has a role in Spike Lee’s recent film Redhook Summer. He will offer a master class for actors on November 1 and a public forum on his experiences working with August Wilson at Portland Playhouse on November 2 from 6:00 to 7:00pm.

Class Details

Where: Portland Center Stage (meet in lobby of Armory Building)
When: Thursday, November 1, 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.
Cost: Pay what you can. Full price: $175
Preparation: Stephen asks that you have an August Wilson monologue or scene to work on (with partner). Please read the play before taking the class.
To Register: Email “I’ll be there” to, include your phone number, and bring cash or your check to the class.

About Stephen McKinley Henderson

Stephen McKinley Henderson has worked on stages throughout the United States and abroad, on and off Broadway, in television and film. Considered among the celebrated interpreters of August Wilson’s work, he received a Tony nomination as featured actor for his work as Bono in the 2010 revival of Fences with Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. He also won the Actor’s Equity Richard Seff Award that season for his performance. Stephen waspart of the ceremony naming the August Wilson Theater in 2005. In 2007 he was cast in two productions of Signature Theatre’s critically acclaimed Wilson season, and in three productions of Kenny Leon’s historic Century Cycle Readings at Kennedy Center in 2008. He made his first Broadway appearance as Stool Pigeon in Wilson’s King Hedley II during the 2001 season, and in 2003 he played Slow Drag in the Broadway revival of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom with Charles S. Dutton and Whoopi Goldberg.

Critical Praise for Henderson’s Work

“To think of the great characters and scenes in August’s plays is to think of an epic parade of great African American actors who have seized their moment to make theater history: James Earl Jones and Mary Alice in Fences, Charles S. Dutton in Ma Rainey and The Piano Lesson, S. Epatha Merkerson confronting him in the latter, Roscoe Lee Browne sagely ironic in Two Trains Running, Stephen McKinley Henderson oozing malice in Jitney, Ruben Santiago-Hudson and Lisa Gay Hamilton glaring a skyful of weaponry at each other in Gem of the Ocean.”
-Michael Feingold, The Village Voice

During its off-Broadway run in 2000, Jitney garnered Drama Desk, Obie, and Audelco awards for each actor as members of the outstanding ensemble of the New York season. In Los Angeles, Mr. Henderson won the NAACP Theatre Award and a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for his performance as Turnbo.

Workshop Description

The workshop will use Lloyd Richard’s approach to text and performance. The work is grounded in the principle that all answers regarding character, motivation and action are embedded in the text.

For more information, or to apply, please email