Kate T. Billingsley and Gabriel Lawerence named 2018 Theater Hall of Fame Emerging Artist Fellows


Kate received one of two Emerging Artist grants by the Theater Hall of Fame at their annual luncheon at The Friars Club in NYC. Estelle Parsons presented Kate with the award at a luncheon honoring Theater Hall of Fame inductee, Susan Stroman and her remarkable body of work. Gabriel Lawerence was also honored by Dana Ivey as a 2018 Fellow. (Pictured above are Beau Gravitte, Estelle Parsons, Ellen Burstyn, Kate T. Billingsley and Michael Billingsley).

(pictured above: Kate T. Billingsley, Susan Stroman, Gabriel Lawerence (2018 THF Fellow), and Debra Monk)


An Actors’ Adaptation of UNCLE VANYA at The Actors Studio

Kate will play Yelena in Anton Chekhov’s UNCLE VANYA at The Actors Studio, directed by, Estelle Parsons. Thursday- Sunday, NOV. 2-26. Tickets are free and available on Eventbrite for reservations. 

Cast includes: Timothy Doyle, Kip Gilman, Mary Anisi, Fig Chilcott, Susan Burns, Jim DeMarse, Kate T. Billingsley, David Amram, Shashwat Gupta, Daria Karic, Eva Cavadini & Omar Ezat. 

A MAN OF HIS TIME by Kate T. Billingsley

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In A Man of His Time by Kate T. Billingsley, a descendant of Supreme Court Chief Justice Taney (who handed down the disastrous 1857 Dred Scott decision) invites a descendant of Dred Scott to meet him at a highway diner halfway between Virginia and Vermont. Scott shows up.

It stars Sam Waterston (The Killing Fields, “Law and Order,” “The Newsroom,” “Grace and Frankie”) as the contemporary Taney and the acclaimed stage star John Douglas Thompson (TONY nomination for Jitney, Satchmo at the Waldorf, Othello) as the contemporary Scott. Estelle Parsons (Oscar win for Bonnie and Clyde, “Roseanne,” August, Osage County) directs. It is written by Kate T. Billingsley and recorded and co-presented at the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at New York Public Radio. Stay tuned after the performance for a conversation moderated by our Producing Artistic Director, Claudia Catania.

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Dred Scott 160th Anniversary Festival of Freedom

On March 6, 1857, the Supreme Court denied Dred Scott his freedom on the basis that he wasn’t considered a person according to the U.S. Constitution. We will commemorate Scott’s sacrifice and commitment.

Source: Dred Scott 160th Anniversary Festival of Freedom

11:00am: A Man of His Time, by Kate Taney Billingsley, is a short theatrical performance exploring what might happen if the descendants of Dred Scott and Judge Taney had a conversation.

1:00pm: Scott descendant Lynne Jackson presents Dred Scott: The History You Never Knew.

2:30pm: Panel discussion

Presented in collaboration with the Dred Scott Heritage Foundation and with support from Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard P.C.

When: Saturday, August 12 | 11am–5pm
Where: Throughout the Museum
How Much: Free
Exhibit(s): #1 in Civil Rights: The African American Freedom Struggle in St. Louis

Historic Healing & Reconciliation 160th Annversary Of Dred Scott Decision Monday March 6, 2017

The descendants of Dred Scott and Roger Brooke Taney were brought together by a work of art. In May 2016, the renowned Actors Studio in New York City produced the premiere of A Man of His Time, a one-act play centered on an emotional meeting of the descendants of Scott and Taney set in today’s time.  The playwright is Kate Taney Billingsley, an actor and member of the Actors Studio.  The Actors Studio invited Lynne Jackson, the great-great-granddaughter of Dred Scott and Charlie Taney, the great-great-great nephew of Roger Brooke Taney to come to New York to participate in a talk-back session with the audience after the play.  Jackson lives in Missouri, Taney in Connecticut.

After meeting in New York, Lynne Jackson and Charlie Taney formed a working relationship.  Jackson says; “Only Divine Providence could have set up the Scott and Taney descendants’ first meeting around an amazing play written by a Taney about Scott and Taney descendants meeting for the first time!  I had hoped to meet and draw them out over time to build a relationship through the Foundation’s work and they actually contacted me.  It was a highlight for me personally and for the Foundation’s 10th anniversary.”

Jackson is the founder and president of the Dred Scott Heritage Foundation in St. Louis and was working on a strategic plan for her foundation.  Taney consults with non-profits and offered to work pro bono with Jackson on this project.  After successfully completing the strategic plan, Jackson invited Taney to Dred Scott Presents Sons & Daughters of Reconciliation, a December 2016 conference in St. Louis hosted by the Dred Scott Heritage Foundation.  At this event, the Taney and Scott families participated in a public reconciliation.  Taney recognized the harm caused to African Americans by the infamous Dred Scott decision authored by Roger Brooke Taney, and formally apologized for the Taney family to the Scott family.  In turn, the Scott family formally forgave the Taney family.  The result is a new foundation of trust, and a commitment to work together on the reconciliation of black and white America.  Charlie Taney says, “Working with Lynne Jackson and the Scott family on reconciliation has been an important and deeply moving experience. “

On the morning of March 6th at 10 AM, a reading of “A Man of His Time” written by Kate T. Billingsley will be performed at The Prayer Breakfast Calvary United Methodist Church ~ 301 Rowe Boulevard, Annapolis, MD 21401. A Postreading conversation will follow with Charles Taney IV and LynnJackson.  For additional information                                                     ( See https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/13/arts/a-fictional-apology-to-dred-scott-born-of-a-real-familys-painful-legacy.html?_r=0)

As President Obama said in his remarks at Reverend Clementa Pickney’s funeral after the 2015 Charleston massacre, “Justice grows out of our recognition of each other.” This public reconciliation between these two families yoked together by history, is a further attempt at achieving justice through mutual recognition and reconciliation.

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Source: Historic Healing & Reconciliation 160th Annversary Of Dred Scott Decision Monday March 6, 2017