CELEBRATING THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF GARLAND LEE THOMPSON, SR., FOUNDER OF THE FRANK SILVERA WRITERS' WORKSHOP
(Extensions of Remarks - February 12, 2015)

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[Congressional Record Volume 161, Number 24 (Thursday, February 12, 2015)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E208-E209]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




 CELEBRATING THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF GARLAND LEE THOMPSON, SR., FOUNDER 
                 OF THE FRANK SILVERA WRITERS' WORKSHOP

                                 ______
                                 

                         HON. CHARLES B. RANGEL

                              of new york

                    in the house of representatives

                      Thursday, February 12, 2015

  Mr. RANGEL. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to celebrate the life and 
legacy of Garland Lee Thompson, Sr., a New York theatre producer, 
writer, director, actor, and co-founder and Executive Director of the 
Frank Silvera Writers' Workshop. Garland Lee Thompson, Sr. will be 
memorialized and honored in a Three Act Performance Tribute on 
Saturday, February 14, 2015, which would have been his 77th Birthday. 
Garland was recently honored at the ``Harlem is . . . Theater'' 
Exhibition at The Interchurch Center in New York, that was on view 
through January 6, 2015.
  Act 1: At 11:00 a.m., New York's theatre and film elite will gather 
at St. James Presbyterian Church at 409 West 141st Street on St. 
Nicholas Avenue in Harlem, New York for a memorial tribute in 
remembrance of Garland Lee Thompson, Sr.
  Act 2: At 3:00 p.m., Garland Thompson, Jr. and Sean C. Turner will 
host an afternoon of readings, poetry, and performances, concluding 
with a birthday celebration and reception in Garland's honor at the 
Johnson Theater for the New City, located at 155 First Avenue, between 
9th and 10th Streets.
  Act 3: The Final Act will take place on Thursday, August 6, 2015 at 
Harlem's historic National Black Theatre, located at 2031 5th Avenue 
and Dr. Barbara Ann Teer Way, where Garland created the Readers Theatre 
Series at the prestigious National Black Theatre Festival.
  Born on February 14, 1938 in Muskogee, Oklahoma, Garland Lee 
Thompson, Sr., passed on November 18, 2014. He was 76 years old. He is 
survived by his two children, Alexandria Dionne and Garland Lee 
Thompson, Jr.; his two grandchildren, Colson Oliver and Hazel Duncan; 
his sisters Shirley Thompson and Addie Jean Haynes; his brother, Jim 
Thompson; his nephews, Dr. Bryan Haynes and Oscar Haynes Jr.; his niece 
Karen Haynes; and a host of other cousins and relatives.
  Garland is best known to television audiences as Transporter 
Technician Ensign Wilson on the classic original series, ``Star Trek.'' 
He also appeared in several other popular television series, including 
``Bewitched'' and ``Perry Mason.''
  Garland co-founded the Frank Silvera Writers' Workshop in 1973, along 
with famed actor/director Morgan Freeman, director/actress Billie Allen 
Henderson, and journalist Clayton Riley, as a living memorial to the 
life, and work of his mentor, the late actor, director, teacher and 
producer, Frank Silvera. Under Garland's reputation, for the past 41 
years, the Writers' Workshop built a prestigious reputation as a 
nationally and internationally renowned playwright's development 
theater for emerging, featured and established writers and artists of 
color from all over the world. With the workshop, Garland passed on 
decades of wisdom to rising and established artists of all walks of 
life. Members of the

[[Page E209]]

workshop included the late Ruby Dee, poet Mari Evans, scholar Larry 
Neal, and playwright Ntozake Shange.
  Mr. Speaker, Garland Lee Thompson, Sr. was also a founding member of 
the Harlem Arts Alliance, Incorporated and served on the Board of 
Directors. It should also be noted that while Garland did not land many 
large roles, his greatest impact may have been behind the scenes, where 
he worked to pass on his gifts to other budding playwrights. Garland's 
genius and generosity will be greatly missed by all of us. The theater 
community has lost a colleague, friend, and dedicated actor and 
producer. I ask you and my colleagues to join me in honoring the 
theatrical life and legacy of Mr. Garland Lee Thompson, Sr.

                          ____________________