The Heart Of What I Do. . .
Jamil A.C. Mangan is a gifted actor, director, and teaching artist, whose artistic journey began at the tender age of five, when he first discovered his passion for the performing arts. Today, he is a renowned figure in the world of theatre, with a diverse body of work that spans across acting, directing, and teaching.
Early Beginnings: From Newark Boys Chorus School to University of the Arts
Born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, Jamil began his artistic journey as a concert chorus member at the Newark Boys Chorus School. A place that would eventually shape the rest of his life. While a member, he toured the East Coast, Prague, Czechoslovakia and performed at former President Bill Clintons 1992 Inauguration. He continued to pursue his craft at the Newark’s Arts High School, the oldest performing arts high school in the U.S., where he discovered his passion for acting. During his time there, Jamil took on some of the most iconic roles in theater history, including Paul Robeson in Phillip Hayes Dean's one-man show. He also made his directorial debut with "The Colored Museum" by George C. Wolfe, which left audiences spellbound.
Jamil pursued his love for the arts and enrolled at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He successfully earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Arts. During his academic years, he showcased his talent by participating in numerous theatre productions, including "The Colored Museum" and "Mojo," directed by Johnnie Hobbs Jr., and "Front," directed by Jen Childs. Jamil also gained a comprehensive understanding of movement, voice, and directing through his studies. He also studied musical theatre at Syracuse University and piano with the late jazz pianist, Duke Anderson.
A Versatile Actor and Director: Touring the U.S. and Receiving Accolades
Jamil launched his acting career in Philadelphia with the role of Orpheus Fisher, the love interest of Marian Anderson, in the biographical play My Lord, What a Morning. He later toured the United States in My Soul is a Witness, a play written by David Barr III and produced by the Jena Company. Additionally, he performed in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, an adaptation of the novel by Mildred D. Taylor. Jamil played Friar Lawrence in a touring production of Romeo and Juliet and received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Osembenga in Lynn Nottage's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Ruined at the Philadelphia Theatre Company.
Some of Jamil's other noteworthy performances include Lost Boys Found in Whole Foods (Premiere Stages) alongside Emmy Award winner Kim Zimmer, The Three Musketeers (Connecticut Free Shakespeare), The Greeks (Manhattan Ensemble Theatre), Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, and Flat Black (Theatre Row, NYC), Grandmothers, Inc. (Billie Holiday Theatre), and Camp Logan (Kimble Theatre) with T.C. Carson, directed by Chuck Paterson. Jamil received the 2010 AUDELCO Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in What Would Jesus Do? and for Best Ensemble for August Wilson's Women. He has also appeared in numerous productions of Katori Hall's award-winning play, The Mountaintop and was nominated for "Best Actor" by the Connecticut Critics Circle for his performance as Martin Luther King Jr. in the Hartford, CT production at TheatreWorks. Jamil received critical acclaim for his role as Martin Luther King Jr. in Craig Alan Edward's one-man play, The Man in Room 306, at Luna Stage. He played Harmon Wilks in August Wilson's Radio Golf at Everyman Theatre, the iconic role of Troy in Fences at Playhouse on Park, and most recently portrayed Monsieur Boc in Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express at The Rep Theatre of St. Louis. He has provided voiceovers on numerous projects, most recently the award-winning documentary Gone Too Soon: The Life, Legacy and Loss of Newark’s Cultural Icons. Jamil has also made appearances on popular television shows such as Blue Bloods, Gotham, and Manifest.
Using the Arts to Inspire Self-Discovery and Social Change: Jamil's Artistic Mission
Jamil's artistic mission is to awaken the subconscious mind of the community around him, using the power of the arts to promote self-expression, empathy, and social change. as a teaching artist for more than twenty years, collaborating with various arts organizations located in the tri-state area. He has worked with the prestigious New Jersey Performing Arts Center, where he taught acting and poetry, and with the acclaimed Creative Arts Team at CUNY University, where he honed his skills in devised theater and public speaking for high school students as part of former New Jersey State Representative Steve Adubato Jr.'s Stand & Deliver program. He has also taught playwriting, devised theater, monologue, and scene study at Premiere Stages (Kean University) and many other institutions.
Jamil believes that the arts have the power to transform people's lives and to bring about positive change in the world. His work is a testament to this belief, and he continues to be an active member of the performing arts community, bringing his unique vision and talent to audiences around the world. His passion for the arts, combined with his deep understanding of the human experience, has made him a renowned figure in the world of theatre. Through his work as an actor, director, and teaching artist, he has used the power of the arts to promote self-expression, empathy, and social change. His artistic mission is a noble one, and it is one that will continue to inspire and transform the lives of many people.
Mangan entered the world of directing with his debut at Newark Symphony Hall, where he directed the production of Gospel at Colonus. The performance was praised for its precision by critic Peter Filichia of The Star-Ledger. Mangan's directing talents took him to South America, where he produced and directed two shows in Ecuador with Dramatic Adventure Theatre. These shows were later performed at Teatro Iati and the Richmond Shephard Theatre in New York City. Other noteworthy directing credits include Omar M'sai's Leap at The Episcopal Actors' Guild of America, Sons of Johnny Johnson at Davenport Theatre NYC, and Alayna Jacqueline's All Of The Everything at Renaissance Theaterworks, which starred Malkia Stampley and Chikè Johnson. Mangan's directing of Pipeline by Domonique Morisseau at Next Act Theatre in Milwaukee earned him critical acclaim and a Broadway World Award for Best Director. He has also directed productions and readings for institutions such as Playwrights of New Jersey and Summer Music Institute.
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Man In Room 306
(Mangan as MLK)