Executive Artistic Director
An award-winning poet, actor, playwright, filmmaker, theater designer and producer, Garland got his start in his hometown of Hollywood, acting in the film MADGAME, written by his father when he was five years old. After moving to NYC in his early teens he found himself doing theater with some of the greatest companies ever including The Public Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, American Place Theatre, Negro Ensemble Company, New Federal Theatre, and the Big Apple Circus. At 18, after coming to service the sound system, Garland was hired as the first official sound and lighting engineer for the Blue Note Jazz Club where he worked with seminal musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, Carmen McCrae and Betty Carter. From 1997-2007 he produced the West Coast Championship Poetry Slam at the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur. He also brought the national recitation program POETRY OUT LOUD to Monterey County. He’s worked with California Poets in the Schools, the Arts Council for Monterey County, and he was the 2007-08 Poet Laureate of Pacific Grove, CA. Until Covid-19 hit he produced and hosted the longest running poetry slam and open mic in Monterey County (17+ years), known as the Rubber Chicken Poetry Slam & Open Mic at the East Village Coffee Lounge in downtown Monterey, CA. Currently he’s the executive director of the Frank Silvera Writers’ Workshop, a nearly 50 year old theatre company in residence at the Billie Holiday Theatre in Brooklyn, NY, founded by his father Garland Lee Thompson, Morgan Freeman, Billie Allen Henderson and Clayton Riley, and in 2021 Garland's new book, GARLAND AT 18: NEW BOOK OF POEMS, will be published by Old Hat Press in Los Angeles.
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