Freeman, Kenn, 1917-1991.

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Kenn (Kenneth) Freeman (1917-1991) was a versatile performing artist during the 1940s and 1950s. In addition to his acting career, he was a singer/dancer, writer, director, and also designed costumes and sets. His exposure to the theatre occurred when, as a young boy, he toured with his mother, the actress, Bee Freeman.

Kenn Freeman began performing in high school, and in the early 1940s secured his first professional acting roles in a number of theatrical productions, including "Hell's Half Acre." After World War II, he appeared in the Broadway and British productions of "Anna Lucasta," and during the 1950's he directed several productions of "Anna Lucasta" in Great Britain. He also appeared in off-Broadway and off-off Broadway productions, including "Because I Am Black," a play performed by the Birmingham Repertory Company in England. In the 1950s Freeman began his directorial career and worked with the Carib Singers, the New Lafayette Players, and the Stanley Woolf Players. Freeman's career also included roles in films and television.

In addition to acting and directing, Freeman wrote several dramatic plays and sketches including: "Tis Cricket," "Imoinda," "Calypso Carnival," "Blessed Are the Fruits," and also designed the scenery and costumes for his own plays as well as others. In later years, he became the drama critic and theatre columnist for the "West Indian American" newspaper, and was the historian for the Negro Actors Guild. In the 1980s due to ill health, Freeman became a resident of the Actors Fund Nursing Home in New Jersey, where he died in January 1991.

From the description of Kenn Freeman papers, 1930-1988. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 78310842

Kenn (Kenneth) Freeman (1917-1991) was a versatile performing artist during the 1940s and 1950s. In addition to his acting career, he was a singer/dancer, writer, director, and also designed costumes and sets. His exposure to the theatre occurred when, as a young boy, he toured with his mother, the actress, Bee Freeman.

Kenn Freeman began performing in high school, and in the early 1940s secured his first professional acting roles in a number of theatrical productions, including "Hell's Half Acre." After World War II, he appeared in the Broadway and British productions of "Anna Lucasta," and during the 1950's he directed several productions of "Anna Lucasta" in Great Britain. He also appeared in off-Broadway and off-off Broadway productions, including "Because I Am Black," a play performed by the Birmingham Repertory Company in England. In the 1950s Freeman began his directorial career and worked with the Carib Singers, the New Lafayette Players, and the Stanley Woolf Players. Freeman's career also included roles in films and television.

In addition to acting and directing, Freeman wrote several dramatic plays and sketches including: "Tis Cricket," "Imoinda," "Calypso Carnival," "Blessed Are the Fruits," and also designed the scenery and costumes for his own plays as well as others. In later years, he became the drama critic and theatre columnist for the "West Indian American" newspaper, and was the historian for the Negro Actors Guild. In the 1980s due to ill health, Freeman became a resident of the Actors Fund Nursing Home in New Jersey, where he died in January 1991.

From the guide to the Kenn Freeman papers, 1930-1988, (The New York Public Library. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Freeman, Kenn, 1917-1991. Kenn Freeman papers, 1930-1988. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Kenn Freeman papers, 1930-1988 The New York Public Library. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Brewster, Townsend, 1924- person
associatedWith Freeman, Bee person
associatedWith Freeman, Bee. person
associatedWith Mason, Cliff. person
associatedWith Micheaux, Oscar, 1884-1951. person
associatedWith Yordan, Philip. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Subject
African American actresses
Theatrical producers and directors--United States
African American motion picture actors and actresses
Theatrical producers and directors
Television actors and actresses--United States
Television actors and actresses
African American singers
African American entertainers
African Americans in the performing arts
African American actors
Occupation
Scrapbooks
Activity

Person

Birth 1917

Death 1991

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