Producing Artistic Director
Jackie Alexander is an award-winning actor, writer, producer, and director. Jackie’s debut novel, Our Daily Bread, was published by Turner Publishing. His debut feature film, Joy, on which he served as actor, writer, and director, was awarded Best Feature Film by the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame and received a national tour that included screenings at the Director’s Guild of America in Los Angeles, the Museum of Modern Art in Chicago, the French Embassy in Washington D.C., and the Walter Reade Theatre at Lincoln Center in New York. The film also earned Best Actor and Best Screenplay honors for Jackie on the festival circuit.
In 2013 Jackie was named Artistic Director of the OBIE and AUDELCO award-winning Billie Holiday Theatre (BHT) in New York. Under Jackie’s leadership, the theatre experienced a renaissance, expanding its programming to include a reading series, developmental workshops, film screenings, and community discussion panels. He spearheaded innovative fundraising initiatives, notably the “Back the Billie” campaign, and hosted high-profile cultivation events that attracted influential figures from the entertainment industry, including Tony winner Wendell Pierce, who would go on to star in BHT’s 2015 sold-out production of Jackie’s play, Brothers from the Bottom. This strategic approach garnered significant media attention and fostered partnerships with organizations such as The Brooklyn Historical Society and BRIC Media. During his three-year tenure, the Billie Holiday Theatre received a prestigious Mellon Grant, its first private funding in over three decades, and earned an astonishing seventeen AUDELCO award nominations for excellence in Black Theatre, taking home the top prize nine times.
Stage directing credits include his critically acclaimed plays Brothers from the Bottom (AUDELCO award for Best Play), The High Priestess of Dark Alley, The Legend of Buster Neal, The Right Reverend Dupree in Exile, The Desire, and Birthright. A short list of additional directing credits includes Jelly’s Last Jam by George Wolfe (New Orleans’ Big Easy Award Winner for Best Musical), Ragtime at Piedmont Opera, and world premieres of Phenomenal Woman: Maya Angelou by Angelica Cheri, Freedom Summer by Cynthia G. Robinson, and Maid’s Door by Cheryl L. Davis (Seven AUDELCO awards including Best Play).
As a producer, Jackie has brought eighteen world premieres to the stage. As a playwright, the Billie Holiday Theatre in New York devoted its entire 2010-2011 season to Jackie’s work; commissioning him to write three new plays and making him the only playwright in the storied history of the theatre to receive that honor. The Black Theatre Network (BTN) honored Jackie with its 2018 Presidential Pathfinder Award, which is presented to an artist or an institution that illuminates a path to innovations and new concepts in Black Theatre. In February 2019, Jackie was honored by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper for his theatrical contributions to the state, and at the 49th Annual AUDELCO awards in NYC in November 2021, he was honored for Outstanding Achievement in Black Theatre.
India Mack is a creative, arts administrator, and researcher whose personal mission is to preserve and affirm black culture through storytelling and social enterprise. Her work lies at the intersection of art, culture, education, and social change. India holds a BFA in Theatre Arts/Speech Communication from Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana, and an MFA from Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah.
With over 15 years of arts management experience, India is best known for her work as an AEA stage manager. India has stage-managed over 100 theatrical productions, concerts, and events in every region of the United States, including the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespeare Festival, Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, Theatre Horizons in Philadelphia, and NC Black Rep.
India co-founded No Dream Deferred, a community-anchored theatre production company that prioritizes New Orleans in 2015. She was instrumental in building community partnerships, developing the inaugural board, programming, and fundraising efforts that led to NDD being the only black-led theatre organization with performance space in New Orleans. In 2020, NDD won the Big Easy Award for Best Production for In the Red and Brown Water by Tarrell Alvin McCraney, in which India led the ensemble as Oya.
In 2021, India was selected by the Association for Arts Administration Educators (AAAE) to be a 2020-2021 EDI Research Fellow to expand her research that asked, “What do black-led arts organizations in the South need to thrive?” The fellowship resulted in her latest work, Investigating the Need for Arts Leadership Programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), which can be found on AAAE’s website.