Actor, Dancer, Director and Choreographer Debbie Allen at Columbia College Chicago


Online Reservations for Free Public Lecture Open at 10 a.m. on January 17


CHICAGO (January 16, 2013) – Columbia College Chicago continues its Conversations in the Arts series with dancer, choreographer, actor and director Debbie Allen at 6 p.m. on February 27. The program series offers in-depth dialogue with some of the world’s most notable cultural figures in an intimate setting.

The free, public lecture will be in the Film Row Cinema, 1104 S. Wabash Ave. Theater seating is limited so advanced registration is highly recommended. RSVP at

As an actress, Allen is world-recognized for her portrayal of dance teacher Lydia Grant in the 1980 film “Fame” and on the ensuing television series of the same name. She also played Beneatha in the 1973 Tony Award-winning musical “Raisin” based on the play “A Raisin in the Sun.”  She was awarded the Drama Desk award as Best Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Anita in the 1980 Tony Award-winning revival of “West Side Story.” Allen was honored as the first recipient of the Astaire Award as Best Dancer for her title role of “Sweet Charity,” which also won the 1986 Tony Award for Best Revival.

Allen won three Emmy awards for her choreography on the television series “Fame.” Since 2007, Allen has participated as a judge and mentor for the U.S. version of “So You Think You Can Dance.”

Her directing and producing credits range from television to film, including directing episodes of “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Hellcats,” “Girlfriends” and more and producing the Oscar-nominated Steven Spielberg film “Amistad” in 1997. Her 2008 Broadway directorial debut, an all-African-American production of Tennessee William’s classic, “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof,” went on to London and won the Olivier Award in 2010. She is the founder of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Los Angeles and has choreographed the Academy Awards a record 10 times.

Allen devotes most of her life’s work to the development and inspiration of young people in the arts. By acting as America’s cultural ambassador for dance, Allen has fulfilled missions in China, India and the Middle East, helping to narrow the culture gap through dance. As the artist in residence at the Kennedy Center for more than 15 years, Allen has developed major works, including her original production of “Oman…O Man!,”  a Kennedy Center commission which used the art of music and dance to bridge the gap between Muslim and Christian cultures.

Event Information:

WHEN:            Wednesday, February 27, 6 p.m.

WHERE:          Film Row Cinema of Columbia College Chicago, 1104 S. Wabash Ave., Eighth Floor

ADMISSION: This event is free and open to the public. Theater seating is limited. RSVP at beginning at 10 a.m. Jan. 17.

INFO:              For questions or additional information, write to

Columbia College Chicago is an urban institution that offers innovative degree programs in the visual, performing, media and communication arts for nearly 11,000 students in 120 undergraduate and graduate programs. An arts and media college committed to a rigorous liberal arts curriculum, Columbia is dedicated to opportunity and excellence in higher education. For further information, visit



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