Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre
Ricardo Khan is a director, writer and Tony Award-winning Artistic Director. He co-founded the Crossroads Theatre Company, one of history’s few African American theatres to rise to national prominence. On June 5, 1999, it became the first black theatre ever to receive the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in America. During his time at Crossroads, he nurtured over 100 new plays, working with artists including Ntozake Shange, former US Poet Laureate Rita Dove, George C. Wolfe, August Wilson, Anna Deveare Smith, Melba Moore, Leslie Lee, Kathleen McGhee-Anderson, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. On Broadway in 2000 he was on the producing team of the Tony Award-nominated “It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues”, and in 2005 returned to Broadway to write, stage, and with co-producer Woodie King, Jr., present the Broadway tribute to August Wilson in the theatre that now bares Mr. Wilson’s name.
Currently, Mr. Khan’s play, “Fly”, about the Tuskegee Airmen of WWII and co-written with award-winning author Trey Ellis, is being performed by major theatres across the country. His latest, “Satchel Paige and the Kansas City Swing”, also with Ellis, is as well. It was an original commission of UMKC and the third in a line of original works he developed through UMKC’s professional theatre training program during his tenure there as Visiting Professor. Mr. Khan also currently serves as a lead producer for the 2016 opening ceremonies of the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC., and is the Founder and Artistic Director of the World Theatre Lab, a multi-national writers’ collective based simultaneously in Johannesburg, London and New York. He has an Honorary Doctorate and an MFA from Rutgers University where he is also in the University’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni.