Dennis A. Allen II
An Artist's Life...
Dennis A. Allen II was born and raised in Hempstead, New York. He takes his mantra from Paulo Coehlo’s The Alchemist: “To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only real obligation.” After receiving his BA in Communications, Dennis tried his hand at acting, thinking it would be a hobby, he landed the role of Moon in a production of Tom Stoppard’s The Real Inspector Hound and since that first taste of the stage has cultivated his love for theatre in every way.
His play The Mud is Thicker in Mississippi was a winner at the 35th annual Off Off Broadway Samuel French festival in 2010 directed by Dennis’ frequent collaborator Christopher Burris. He is a recipient of Atlantic Theater Company's inaugural 2014-15 Launch Commission and National Black Theatre's, 2016-17 "I Am Soul Playwright Residency". He’s received the Himan Brown Creative Writing Award two years running, and has developed and produced plays with The New Black Fest, The Lark Play Development Center, the Classical Theatre of Harlem, The Fire This Time Festival, Working Theater, New York Madness, The Bowery Poetry Club (Sticky), JACK, The Naked Expedition Project, 48 Hours in Harlem and the National Black Theatre. He has also kept up his cutting exploration of racial interaction and black identity in collaborative writing projects with The American Slavery Project’s Unheard Voices, 2014 Schomburg Junior Scholars theatrical reading of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, and The New Black Fest's Hands up: 7 Playwrights, 7 Testaments.
As an actor Dennis helped to develop and performed in Reid Farrington's Tyson vs. Ali and the world premiere of Kate Benson's, A Beautiful Day in November on the Banks of The Greatest of the Great Lakes. Dennis teaches artist workshops around the country, most recently at Indiana University, Atlantic Theater Company, The National Black Theater and Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival region 1.
In 2013 he received his MFA from Mac Wellman and Erin Courtney's Brooklyn College Playwriting program. March 18, 2016 marks the date of the world premiere of his play When We Wake Up Dead, produced by Brooklyn College. It would be safe to say that he is fulfilling his obligation.