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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Minnesota State Mankato grad Lou Bellamy wins Obie Award

For 'Two Trains Running'

Penumbra Theatre Company founder and Minnesota State Mankato graduate Lou Bellamy won an Obie Award May 21 for his New York directorial debut.

By Dominic P. Papatola, Pioneer Press theater critic [published in the Pioneer Press, St. Paul, MN, 5/23/2007]

Penumbra Theatre Company's Lou Bellamy won an Obie Award for his New York directorial debut, a production of August Wilson's "Two Trains Running" that played at Signature Theatre Company last winter.

Bellamy, the founder and artistic director of St. Paul's Penumbra, was one of five directors, 13 performers and a half-dozen choreographers, designers and playwrights honored Monday night at New York University's Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts.

The Obies are the best-known and most prestigious awards honoring excellence in New York's off-Broadway theater community. Unlike Broadway's Tony Awards, there are no preset categories and no nominations.

Back in St. Paul for a rehearsal of Penumbra's upcoming production of "Get Ready," Bellamy said he was pleased with the award. "Working in New York for the first time, getting an Obie isn't too bad," he said.

Bellamy and Penumbra have had a long association with Wilson and his plays. Next season, the theater will embark on a multi-year plan to stage all 10 plays in Wilson's chronicle of the black experience in America during the 20th century.

In other Minnesota connections to the awards ceremony, former Guthrie Theater artistic director Alvin Epstein was presented with a lifetime achievement award. Twin Cities native and "Grey's Anatomy" star T.R. Knight co-hosted the ceremony along with "Sex in the City's" Cynthia Nixon.

Bellamy said he felt a bit out of place during the Obie party among the New York theater glitterati. "But, I'm a little too old to get too many stars in my eyes," he said. "I'm going to just keep trying to do the work. That's what got me here."

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