Photos courtesy of Dorothy Smith
Award-winning actor and director Yolanda Marie Franklin was recently appointed as Executive Artistic Director of San Diego’s Common Ground Theatre (CGT). Ms. Franklin succeeds the late Charles Westley Patmon, Jr., who led Common Ground Theatre from 2011 until January of 2020.
Also a professional actor, Ms. Franklin has starred in numerous roles in San Diego theaters, including The Old Globe Theatre, Cygnet Theatre, Moxie Theatre, Lambs Players Theatre, Ion Theatre, New Village Arts Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Diversionary Theatre, On Stage Playhouse, San Diego Repertory Theatre, and Common Ground Theatre. She has directed plays at Common Ground Theatre, Ion Theatre, Point Loma Playhouse, and Community Actors Theatre. She has received several Critics Circle acting awards and, in 2017, received two Craig Noel Critics Circle Awards, one for Best Direction in a Dramatic Production and another for Best Dramatic Production of the Year for her direction of “The Ballad of Emmett Till” by Ifa Bayeza.
The accomplished actor/director has had a long association with Common Ground Theatre, appearing under the direction of legacy director Dr. Floyd Gaffney in “Four Queens, No Trump,” later in Handel’s Messiah” directed by Dr. Rose Buchanan, and in “For Colored Girls. . .” directed by Charles W. Patmon, Jr. She served as Guest Artistic Director of Common Ground Theatre from July 1, 2019 until June 30, 2020, directing James Weldon Johnson’s “God’s Trombones” and Rajendra Maroon Maharaj’s “Little Rock: The True Story of the Little Rock Nine.” Common Ground Theatre’s Board of Directors named her its Executive Artistic Director on July 8, 2020. Ms. Franklin recently announced Common Ground Theatre’s 2021 Season, in collaboration with the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation. See below for CGT’s summer theatrical enticements available via Zoom. Visit commongroundtheatre.com, for specific dates and times. It looks to be an exciting year for theatre in Southeast, both now and in the coming year.