Resident acting company member to receive award Feb. 18

Trinity Rep announced that resident acting company member Joe Wilson, Jr. will be honored by the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society later this month. An annual Black History Month tradition, the event will take place on Saturday, February 18 from 2 – 4 PM at the Metacomet Country Club in East Providence.

“On behalf of the Trinity Rep staff and acting company – we are all so proud of Joe, and could not be more thrilled that he is being recognized for all that he brings to the community,” said Artistic Director Curt Columbus. “We’re so lucky to have him here in our family at Trinity Rep – as well as in the larger community of Providence and Rhode Island.”

Wilson, who can be seen playing Antonio in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, opening tonight, is now in his seventh season with Trinity Repertory Company. He said that he was honored to receive the award from RIBHS, and to be in the company of fellow pioneers and honorees, like company member Barbara Meek, who was recognized by RIBHS in 2006. “I could not be more honored to be in the company of folks who have been here a lot longer. I’m always humbled to be in the company of people like this because,” he concluded, “I don’t look at what I do, quite frankly, as a big deal. I just do it. I couldn’t be more thankful for being welcomed in such a robust way into this community, and being given the opportunity to call Rhode Island home. More importantly, I am thankful to all Rhode Islanders for entrusting me with the privilege to serve!”


Born in New Orleans, LA, Wilson holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame as well as an MFA in Acting from the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theatre training program. He lived and worked in Minnesota until moving to New York in 2000, where he was soon cast in the 2000 Tony Award-nominated production of Jesus Christ Superstar on Broadway. He worked in New York City for 5 years on and off Broadway as well as regionally. In 2005, he joined the company of Trinity Rep. He was nominated for an Elliot Norton Award as Best Actor for his performance in All The King’s Men at Trinity Rep, and was twice named Best Actor by the Independent Reviewers of New England for Top Dog/Underdog in 2005 and Ain’t Misbehavin’ in 2006, both at Trinity Rep. He has taught acting at the University of Minnesota, Brown University/Trinity Rep MFA Programs, Tulane University, Notre Dame, The Childrens’ Theatre Company, The Penumbra Summer Institute in St. Paul, MN, and at Trinity Repertory Company. He has served on the board of Trinity Rep, and currently serves on the board of the Manton Avenue Project as Vice Chair. He is a member of the Downtown Improvement District.


Wilson has been honored by many other community organizations: He was honored by the youth of Providence in Partnership with MetLife Foundation, and What Kids Can Do, Inc. as a “Mentor that Matters” in May of 2007; he received a citation from the Rhode Island House of Representatives for his participation in the First Annual Joint Legislative Black History Month Celebration in February 2010 and 2011; and was a featured guest of the New Bedford Youth Summit in 2011 and 2012. He was also featured in an exhibit curated by Robb Dimmick and sponsored by the Rhode Island Council for Humanities which highlighted the contributions of black gay men in Rhode Island, entitled Black Lavender, in 2009-2010.


Also being honored by the RIBHS at the event will be Mildred Nicholas and Onna Moniz-John. Hosted by co-chairs Elayne Walker-Cabral and Carolyn Pemberton and RIBHS President Joyce Stevos, the reception will include an art auction, hors d’oeuvres and refreshments.


To purchase tickets, please call 401-421-0606 or send $50 to The Rhode Island Black Heritage Society, 101 Dyer Street, Providence, RI 02903. The reception is one of three 2012 Black History Month events organized by the Society. Proceeds are tax deductible and help support RIBHS.



Since its founding in 1963, Trinity Repertory Company has been one of the most respected regional theaters in the country. Featuring the last permanent resident acting company in America, Trinity Rep presents a balance of world premiere, contemporary, and classic works for an estimated annual audience of approximately 120,000. In its 47-year history, the theater has produced 58 world premieres, mounted national and international tours, and, through its MFA program, trained hundreds of new actors and directors. This season marks the 45th year of Project Discovery, Trinity Rep’s pioneering educational outreach program. Last season, Trinity Rep’s educational programs reached nearly 15,000 Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut students through matinees as well as in-school residencies and workshops. Brown University/Trinity Rep offers professional training for actors and directors in a three-year MFA program. The 2011-2012 Season continues with The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare; the world premieres of Sparrow Grass by Curt Columbus, Love Alone by Deborah Salem Smith, and The Mourners’ Bench by George Brant and closes with Marc Camoletti’s Boeing-Boeing, translated by Beverley Cross and Francis Evans. For more information or to subscribe, call the box office at (401) 351-4242 or visit Trinity Rep’s website at

  • Gisell

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