DePaul University Theatre School > About > Faculty & Staff > Theatre Studies > Reginald Lawrence

Reginald Lawrence

  • rlawren2@depaul.edu​
  • Playwriting​
  • MS Ex-Physiology, BS Kinesiology, University of Illinois
  • Theatre Studies
Shepsu Aakhu (Reginald Lawrence) is currently the Executive Producer for the Ma’at Production Association of Afrikan Centered Theatre (MPAACT). Practicing his craft under the name Shepsu Aakhu, he continues his commitment to the company as a playwright, scenographic designer, photographer and musician. As a playwright in residence with MPAACT, Shepsu has developed several critically acclaimed works in the Playwright's Laboratory, among them are: Relevant Hearsay, SOST, Kiwi Black, Kosi Dasa, Fascia, The Glow of Reflected Light, The Abesha Conspiracy, Beneath A Dark Sky, Piece-Meal Clan and Otherworld Lovers. In 2004 Shepsu Aakhu was awarded the prestigious Artistic Fellowship in Scriptworks by the Illinois Arts Council. He is the recipient of the 16th annual Theodore Ward Prize for Playwrighting for Kiwi Black. He is a five time nominee for best original stageplay (Aldridge Award) by the BTAA of Chicago. He received the Ira Aldridge Award in 1999 for The Abesha Conspiracy. He has also received a nomination for best new work by the Joseph Jefferson Awards committee (Kiwi Black). Shepsu’s Softly Blue was featured in The Goodman Theater’s New Stages Series (2004). Other projects currently in development include the stage plays: Ten Square, Port Chicago, Atwood and A Thousand Negative Confessions. Also in development is the screenplay The Preachers’s Game, co-written with J. David Shanks, and a musical commissioned by the Westside Theatre Guild of Gary, IN. Shepsu Aakhu, along with his long-time cohorts and mentors Georges Blaise, Danjuma Gaskin, and Aum Mu Ra, anchor MPAACT’s resident musical ensemble Red Clay (Formerly Poh’ro). The musical ensemble has twice been recognized for its work by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee for Original Music (Kosi Dasa and Kiwi Black). Additionally Red Clay was honored with the Scott Joplin Award for best song (Kiwi Black 2003).​​