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In This Issue: pg 2 Director’s Letter pg 3 Student Spotlight pg 4 Tigers Speak pg 5 Commuter Appreciation WK pg 6,7,8 Upcoming Community and Campus Events Volume 05 Issue 002 October 2013 Founder Of Hattiloo Theatre Speaks to Students at the University of Memphis Hattiloo Theatre is a black repertory theatre company that stages at least seven major productions and six special performances every season. Their goal is to highlight the diversity of Black artistic expression, including music, theatre, and dance ( On Tuesday, October 2, the founder of the Hattiloo theatre, Ekundayo Bandele, came to speak at the University of Memphis. During his speech he talked about the challenges and hardships that he had to overcome with founding the theatre, he also discussed life experiences that led to the theatre’s success, along with encouragement to individuals who are striving to become leaders. “Leveraging relationships,” is one of the topics that Bandele discussed during his speech. Many of the people who Bandele came in contact with were all a part of his success in founding the Hattiloo theatre. He traveled all over Europe meeting artists and, painters and directors. While traveling he met an American playwright, George C. Wolfe. George had seen his plays and he asked Bandele to workshop some of his shows at the Karamu house, which is a playhouse settlement, in Cleveland, Ohio. He then met other playwrights who encouraged him to write and produce more plays, which gave Bandele the idea to start a theatre. “Every person you meet is an opportunity for development,” Bandele said. He said that when he met all of these people he didn’t know the reason, but every time he met someone, it opened the door for more opportunities. Bandele, shared a story about two drunk “white” guys, Randy and Percy, that he met in midtown. He said that he was telling them about his theatre and the guys asked who was working on the building. Bandele had no one working on his building and very little money to pay anyone to do it. Coincidentally, Randy and Percy were contractors and said they would build it. He told the guys that he could only pay them $10 per hour, and they still agreed. When they arrived, they had a confederate flag on the back of their pick- up truck and Randy had on a hat that said “Go back where you belong.” Bandele had no idea what he was getting himself into, but the irony of it all is that when it was time to pay the contractors he gave them the check and they said, “You paid us too much.” Bandele said, “No we agreed $10/hour.” They said they were splitting the money so they were working for $10 an hour. That opened Bandele’s eyes to something; you never know who you’re going to meet and the opportunities for development.” Bandele’s last point was to encourage African American students to surround themselves with people who have what we want, not with people who are just like us. He said that there is no opportunity for growth if you are hanging around individuals who are in the stagnant place that you are in. Meet people who have more money or experience than you have. Ask them questions, connect the dots with the information that you get from those questions, and fill the gaps. Bandele proposed a question, “What can you bring that is non-existent?” He said it is important to look and see what is missing and capitalize on it, don’t recreate what has already been done.

October 2013

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