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Val Gray Ward is an internationally-known actress, producer and theater personality who has made major contributions to the cultural life of Chicago and America through her work as dramatist, founder and artistic director of the Kuumba Theatre. Since its founding in 1968, Kuumba has never missed a season in which plays were offered to a grateful Chicago audience. Kuumba has also produced many shows that toured in cities such as Louisville, Atlanta, San Antonio, Milwaukee, Montreal, and Osaka, Japan. As the principal creative force behind the Kuumba Theatre, Ward has produced and directed such plays as Sister Son / ji by Sonia Sanchez, Ricky by Eugenia Collier, Five on the Black Hand Side by Charles Fuller, and The Image Makers by Eugene Perkins. She also created the Emmy Award Winning Precious Memories: Strolling 47th Street which aired over the PBS network in September 1988. Val Gray Ward has also appeared in her one-woman show, I Am A Black Woman from 1966 to the present at colleges and universities, conferences and educational meetings across the country. She currently lives in Syracuse, New York.


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