5 episodes

Our Voices on The Yard is a celebration of Black voices of The Juilliard School, their passion, contributions and sacrifices. Through our lens, we explore the historic intersection of Black art, culture, faith and activism in our communities and beyond, while sharing the triumphs and struggles of the extraordinary Black.

Hosted by Juilliard Drama Division alum, Denise Woods, Our Voice on The Yard prides itself on authentic, no-holds-barred conversations with former and current Juilliard students of the African
diaspora. Our goal is to inform, educate and inspire.

Our Voices on The Yard Denise Woods

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 6 Ratings

Our Voices on The Yard is a celebration of Black voices of The Juilliard School, their passion, contributions and sacrifices. Through our lens, we explore the historic intersection of Black art, culture, faith and activism in our communities and beyond, while sharing the triumphs and struggles of the extraordinary Black.

Hosted by Juilliard Drama Division alum, Denise Woods, Our Voice on The Yard prides itself on authentic, no-holds-barred conversations with former and current Juilliard students of the African
diaspora. Our goal is to inform, educate and inspire.

    Stephen McKinley Henderson and Elijah Jones Pt 2

    Stephen McKinley Henderson and Elijah Jones Pt 2

    Denise is joined by Tony nominated and OB award-wining actor Stephen McKinley Henderson and up and coming star Elijah Jones. So we see an actor who we all know and an actor who we're just getting ready to know share the same space and it's extraordinary.  Most people know Stephen from the multi Oscar nominated film Dune.  Did you know that he has also appeared in five other Oscar nominated films? Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close 2011, Lincoln 2012, Fences 2016, Manchester By the Sea 2016 and Ladybird 2017. He's the recipient of a Drama Desk award and Obie award and an AUDELCO award. He really is best known for his August Wilson work in the century cycle of plays. It's been said that audiences who watch August Wilson plays have grown first accustomed to, and then pendant on Stephen McKinley Henderson. He's also been deemed one of the 32 greatest character actors working today. I wonder where they came up with that number 32, but I am sure glad that Stephen McKinley Henderson made the list because he is an exceptional character actor. Stephen says, “It's not about getting it right. It's about getting it true”.  Elijah Jones was elected by the Juilliard drama division faculty to receive a prize for outstanding achievement and exceptional professional promise. He's the MFA Class of 2021.  He recently starred in  Dominique Morisseau’s  Confederates at the Signature Theater in New York.  Elijah says, “What sets me apart is me.”. 
    Sit back and enjoy this extraordinarily exceptional interview.
    What You Will Hear
    How Stephen learned about Juilliard and what informed his decision to enrollStephen’s audition in 1968 and his first experience with the KKKElijah’s journey to JuilliardThe Juilliard experience during Martin Luther King Jr and George Floyd assassinationsKent State and Jackson State killingsCut system and policy.  James HoughtonThe inception and struggles of drama divisions early yearsPoliticsRepresentation and opportunity
    Quotes
    “The initial incarnation of the drama division, The Julliard School did not see drama as a fine art they did not see it as, as a performance art form….It began as a music school…..the drama division was hard won. It couldn’t be an american theatrical traditions say like The Actors Studio or something like that, it had to be the classical training.”
    “Another thing about our people, you know, we can read between the lines, we can see the look that you don't think we see.” 
    “We had to talk about the politics. You remember, we had to discuss whether having a black man playing Richard the Second, and whether doing Shakespeare at all was really addressing this thing? Are we still lifting another culture by giving our strengths to it?” 
    “That's where I'd like to take this conversation, just how we represent ourselves in that classical space. How do we bring our tones in richness and rhythms, vocal rhythms, and physical rhythms into the classical space and be proud of it.” 
    Mentioned
    James Moody
    Wendell B. Franklin
    Steve Broadnax
    Stori Ayers 
    Jim Wise
    Actors Theater of Louisville
    a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/19/theater/moni-yakim-juilliard-school.html"...

    • 24 min
    50 Years of Excellence with Stephen McKinley Henderson and Elijah Jones

    50 Years of Excellence with Stephen McKinley Henderson and Elijah Jones

    Denise is joined by Tony nominated and OB award-wining actor Stephen McKinley Henderson and rising star Elijah Jones. We see an actor who we all know and an actor who we're just getting ready to know share the same space and it's extraordinary.  Most people know Stephen from the multi Oscar nominated film Dune.  Did you know that he has also appeared in five other Oscar nominated films? Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close 2011, Lincoln 2012, Fences 2016, Manchester By the Sea 2016 and Ladybird 2017. He's the recipient of a Drama Desk award and Obie award and an AUDELCO award. He really is best known for his August Wilson work in the century cycle of plays. It's been said that audiences who watch August Wilson plays have grown first accustomed to, and then pendant on Stephen McKinley Henderson. He's also been deemed one of the 32 greatest character actors working today. I wonder where they came up with that number 32, but I am sure glad that Stephen McKinley Henderson made the list because he is an exceptional character actor. Stephen says, “It's not about getting it right. It's about getting it true”.  Elijah Jones was elected by the Juilliard drama division faculty to receive a prize for outstanding achievement and exceptional professional promise. He's the MFA Class of 2021.  He recently starred in  Dominique Morisseau’s  Confederates at the Signature Theater in New York.  Elijah says, “What sets me apart is me.”. 
    Sit back and enjoy this extraordinarily exceptional interview.
    What You Will Hear
    How Stephen learned about Juilliard and what informed his decision to enrollStephen’s audition in 1968 and his first experience with the KKKElijah’s journey to JuilliardThe Juilliard experience during Martin Luther King Jr and George Floyd assassinationsKent State and Jackson State killingsCut system and policy.  James HoughtonThe inception and struggles of drama divisions early yearsPoliticsRepresentation and opportunity
    Quotes
    “The initial incarnation of the drama division, The Julliard School did not see drama as a fine art they did not see it as, as a performance art form….It began as a music school…..the drama division was hard won. It couldn’t be an american theatrical traditions say like The Actors Studio or something like that, it had to be the classical training.”
    “Another thing about our people, you know, we can read between the lines, we can see the look that you don't think we see.” 
    “We had to talk about the politics. You remember, we had to discuss whether having a black man playing Richard the Second, and whether doing Shakespeare at all was really addressing this thing? Are we still lifting another culture by giving our strengths to it?” 
    “That's where I'd like to take this conversation, just how we represent ourselves in that classical space. How do we bring our tones in richness and rhythms, vocal rhythms, and physical rhythms into the classical space and be proud of it.” 
    Mentioned
    James Moody
    Wendell B. Franklin
    Steve Broadnax
    Stori Ayers 
    Jim Wise
    Actors Theater of Louisville
    a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/19/theater/moni-yakim-juilliard-school.html" rel="noopener...

    • 37 min
    In Conversation with Lisa Gay Hamilton Pt 2

    In Conversation with Lisa Gay Hamilton Pt 2

    Denise continues her intimate conversation with actress, director and producer Lisa Gay Hamilton.  A graduate of the Juilliard School’s 18th class Lisa Gay Hamilton is known for her film about the life and work of Beah Richards, Beah: A Black Woman Speaks as well as her role as attorney Rebecca Washington on the ABC legal drama The Practice, and for her critically acclaimed performance as young Sethe in Jonathan Demme's film adaptation of Toni Morrison's Beloved. Her theater credits include Measure for Measure (Isabella), Henry IV Parts I & II (Lady Hotspur), Athol Fugard’s, Valley Song and The Ohio State Murders. Hamilton was also an original cast member in the Broadway productions of August Wilson’s, The Piano Lesson and Gem of the Ocean.
    What You Will Hear
    Lisa’s connection with Beah RichardsChoosing projects and setting limitsAaron SorkinDepth, truth and meter in scriptBeah RichardsBeah: A Black Woman SpeaksWhat Beah wanted for young peopleBeing a student at Juilliard
    Quotes
    “This connection you have with people sometimes, it's because of your age, it's because of your journey and it's because of the experience that you've had. It's also how you see the world and what you want from the world and what you want as an artist and how you want to tell that story and what stories you don't want to tell and what stories you do want to tell.
    “Deep investigation, that is so necessary because iambic pentameter and poetry is just fluff and words if you don't start from that place.”
    “I think it's so important to have a sense of the world and to have an opinion about it and
    not be afraid of it.”
    “Speak it into existence” - Beah Richards
    “Giving voice to the truth is all that we have and it's the most powerful thing we have as artists.”
    “Our greatest political being in the theater community, the film community next to Harry Belafonte is Danny Glover”.
    Mentioned
    LisaGayHamilton.com
    Beah Richards
    Marie Louise and William Patterson
    Paul Robeson
    Alice Childress
    Francis Williams
    Watch Beah: A Black Woman Speaks
    Harry Belafonte
    Danny Glover
    Robert Williams
    Edith Skinner 
    Liz Smith
    Tim Monick

    • 42 min
    In Conversation with Lisa Gay Hamilton

    In Conversation with Lisa Gay Hamilton

    Lisa Gay Hamilton is that soul, that spirit that when she walks in a room, she changes the energy of the room. She's so authentic, so committed to excellence, so committed to cultural viability and cultural awareness. Lisa Gay produced and directed a wonderful documentary about a soldier, Hollywood theater Beah Richards. Lisa Gay was group 18, of 55 at Juilliard and in the time that we've known each other every single time we see each other, we just connect. We go in, we open up, we tell each other, not just how we're doing, but how our families are doing, what our families are doing, the significance of what it's like being a working mom in Hollywood. We go very deeply and that is very special and highly appreciated in a town where people are transient because you work with people, you become a family, and then the next job comes and you get a new family and the next job comes and you get a new family,but every time I see Lisa Gay Hamilton, she is that cousin, that sister, that friend who will always be family, so enjoy.
    What You Will Hear
    Experiences and opportunities attending and graduating from JuilliardBeing the only black student in her graduating classWorking with Lloyd Richards and moments of awe inspiring artistryEvolution of arts Athol Fugard and LisaGay’s first OBIBeah Richards
    Quotes
    “I've always based my work on emotion.”
    “What is it to be?” - Beah Richards
    "I don't care if you play a prostitute, I don't care if you play a maid. Whatever the role is you must bring the truth to that." - Beah Richards
    Mentioned
    Juilliard
    NYU
    Yale
    The Public Theater
    12th Night
    Lloyd Richards
    August Wilson
    The Piano Lesson
    Kennedy Center
    Eugene O’Neill
    Audra McDonald
    Manhattan Theater Club
    Lady Hotspur
    Joseph Papp

    • 37 min
    Our Voices on the Yard - Introduction

    Our Voices on the Yard - Introduction

    Our Voices on the Yard is a podcast where black artistic excellence meets every day life. Host Denise Woods will take you from the black church to the bright lights of Broadway, from tiny music studios to the mega stages of International Opera houses, from rustic dance studios to ornate Vaudeville theaters. Exploring and celebrating the achievements of the black artist that conservatories and fine arts institutions all around the world.
    Social Media
    Instagram @ourvoices_ontheyard

    • 4 min

Customer Reviews

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6 Ratings

6 Ratings

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