Mr. Babatundé is an accomplished actor, director, and writer whose theatrical career spans Broadway, regional theatre, film and television. He has been a resident company member of prestigious theatrical institutions throughout the country: Trinity Rep (Providence, R.I.), Alley Theater (Houston, TX), La Mama Theater (NY City) and the Dallas Theater Center. He is founder and artistic director of Vivid Theater Ensemble of Dallas and founder of Ebony Emeralds Classic Theater Company. Mr. Babatundé was the first African-American to direct for the Dallas Shakespeare Festival in the celebrated diverse production of Taming of the Shrew in 1993.
As a writer Mr. Babatundé’s work has been commissioned by Florida Stage, La Mama Theater, the Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, Brown University, the Black Academy of Arts and the and Core Ensemble. His most recent work Shakespeare – Midnight Echoes tours in Texas paying homage to black performing artists who performed Shakespeare from slavery to the present. He has toured extensively with Core Ensemble in Of Ebony Embers – Vignettes of the Harlem Renaissance. His one-man show, Before the Second Set – A Visit with Satchmo has received critical acclaim at theaters across the country. Mr. Babatundé wrote and starred in Blind Lemon Blues, which toured in Europe (Paris, Geneva, Brussels, Amsterdam) and received rave notices in the New York Times at its 2004 New York premiere at Central Park’s Summer Stage. Television appearances includeLaw and Order and Wishbone, the PBS literary show for children.
His work has been awarded a Dallas Observer Best Actor Award (the first African-American to receive this distinction), 1991 and 2004 Dallas Critics Forum Award, the 2004 Legacy of Success, and the Alvin Ailey Performing Arts Award. He received the prestigious Individual Artists Grant from the Palm Beach County Cultural Council to create a new work Harvest of Voices based on oral histories.
Mr. Babatundé is a renowned arts educator, having undertaken five long-term artist residencies in underserved communities in Florida, creating new music theatre works alongside at-risk teens and community members. Theater impresario Ellen Stewart of LaMama Theater describes him as “one of those rare geniuses who comes into our lives.” Mr. Babatundé holds a Master of Arts degree in Arts and Humanities from the University of Texas at Dallas.