Donald G., producer, director, educator, technical advisor, and lecturer
on African American Theater, at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Williams has presented plays, presentations, and workshops throughout
California. He is a member of the California Educational Theater Association,
Black Theater Network, National Black Theater Festival, and United States
Institute of Theater Technology.
Williams is a graduate of Michigan State University Theater Arts Program, where he was the founder and organizer of The Last Minute Hookup and the 101% Theater Troupes, while doing his undergraduate work. Upon moving to Los Angeles, California, Williams began working with the University of Southern California Theater Arts Department in 1982 as a SounWideo Director until 1987. There while pursuing his M.F.A. in directing, he was recruited by UCSC Theater Arts Department. Williams became the founder and Artistic Director for the African American Theater Arts Troupe in 1991, which has raised over 30,000 in annual scholarship funding. In 1994, Williams established the Rainbow Theater, multicultural theater with emphasis on African American, Chicano/Latino, Asian Pacific Islander, and Native American perspectives. In recognition of his work, Williams received the Meritous Achievement Award in 1996 from the American Theater Festival and presented pieces of his work in the regional festival. Williams was a recipient of the Hewlett Foundation Grant for the 1996-1998 season in creating a educational course focusing on playwrights, and historical aspects of diversity in multicultural theater.
The African American Theater Arts Troupe serves to enhance the climate of cultural diversity on the UCSC campus and the community while focusing on the recruitment, recognition, and retention of underrepresented students by providing a sense of belonging, inclusion, and bringing in productions about people of color, and encouraging the celebration and respect of American diversity. The AATAT is dedicated to producing a wide variety of plays that reflect the African American culture. The troupe under the direction of Don Williams has performed: Ceremonies In Dark Old Men by Lonnie Elder IlI (1992), The Amen Corner by James Baldwin (1993), Streamers by David Rabe (1993), Joe Turner's Come and Gone by August Wilson (1994), Once ln A Wifetime by Celeste Walker (1995), Tambourines To Glory by Langston Hughes (1996), A Soldier's Play by Charles Fuller (1997), and this year's production Fences by August Wilson (1998).