Sheldon Epps has directed major productions on the stages of many theaters across America, and on television, recently directing “Christmas Party Crashers” for BET+ has released a new book that chronicles his journey in the arts, MY OWN DIRECTIONS: A Black Man’s Journey in the American Theatre.

With an active television career helming some of the classic shows of recent years and acting as the artistic director of the renowned Pasadena Playhouse for two decades, as well as currently serving as senior artistic advisor at historic Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., Epps’ whole life has been as a Black man inside the arts.

Epps directing Ford’s Theatre: “12 Angry Men”

The High & Lows of the Theater

In MY OWN DIRECTIONS: A Black Man’s Journey in the American Theatre, Epps recounts his rollercoaster-ride-of-a-life in the theatre, with all the excitement and occasional anguish that come with the highs and lows. The author’s journey in the American theatre has been amplified by his experience as a Black man who has frequently been “one of the few,” “the first” or even “the only.”

“Working on this memoir has been a reflective journey that has brought back vivid images of moments in my long and blessed career. It has also been a reminder of the many challenges that have resulted from being ‘chased by race’ personally and professionally. …I hope that this book contributes to the ongoing evolution of the theatre industry.”

Sheldon Epps.

Chased by Race

Epps’ directing career has been full of rewards and opportunities as well as huge challenges and frustrations, along with the anger that has come from being “chased by race” for so many years. Much of the author’s experience comes from two decades as artistic director of Pasadena Playhouse, one of the oldest and well-known theatres in America, and for a time early in his career, one of the whitest.

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