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JD Lawrence, known as the "King of Dramedy," is an American playwright, actor, comedian, author, director and producer of film, television and stage plays. The multi-hyphenate plays as many as seven characters in a single production and has been dubbed The Man of Many Faces by EBONY Magazine. Lawrence even at the age of eight has always had a passion and respect for entertainment. It was only natural that he would one day become the force that he is in the industry today.
Born with a profound speech impediment, the road to success has not come easy for Lawrence. He hit several roadblocks early in his career when he discovered his handicap would prevent directors, producers and promoters from hiring him. Yet Lawrence would let nothing stand in his way. He turned what others would consider a stumbling block into his stepping stool. Overcoming his obstacles, he began writing, producing and starring in his own productions. Today, his productions provide jobs to over 1,000 people across the country including some of the very same industry executives that once turned him down. JD Lawrence has repeatedly performed to sold-out audiences across the country and is one of only two African American playwrights in the world to direct, produce and star in their own production in Las Vegas' Planet Hollywood.
Lawrence has discovered how to turn his passion into profit with the triumphant runs of several stage plays such as Bless Them Anyhow, Family Affair, When A Man Cries, Cut the Devil Loose, Scissors, If You Don't Stand for Something You'll Fall for Anything, Rumors, The Clean Up Woman and his latest production, Me & Mrs. Jones. His productions have grossed over $20 million.
JD Lawrence is not only a prolific playwright; he is also the founder of The Lawrence Method. Comprised of discipline, dedication and integrity along with rigorous drills to achieve character self-evaluations, these are just some of the unique and unorthodox approaches that make up The Lawrence Method.
The Grammy and Emmy Award winning director has worked with the likes of Emmy Award winner Jackee' Harry, Ashford & Simpson, Fred Hammond, El DeBarge, Letoya Luckett, Dave Hollister, Darrin Dewitt Henson, Telma Hopkins, Red Grant, Edwin Hawkins, Darius McCrary, Natalie Wilson, Eva Pigford, Nephew Tommy (Steve Harvey Morning Show), George Willborn (Michael Baisden Show), Alyson Williams, Latrice Pace, Robin S.,Tony Terry and the late Ali Woodson, Ronald Winans and Willie Neal Johnson, just to name a few.
Further expanding on his multiple talents, Lawrence's brand will launch a sitcom in 2011 along with a theatrical and DVD release of his hit stage play, The Clean Up Woman. Lawrence will live up to his brand and nickname, "The Man of Many Faces", as he, yet again, plays multiple characters in all offerings. Adding to his list of firsts, Lawrence is the first playwright to make the Network Journal's (in association with Time Warner) Top Forty African American Entrepreneurs List. The 2007 Telly Award winner is also a two-time "Keep America Beautiful" National Award-winning writer and director. His unique talents have earned him two public performing arts Special Recognition Awards from the town of Babylon, New York, a Legislature Distinguished Achievement Award from the City of Chicago, and a Certificate of Special Recognition from Congress. Lawrence has received the key to the city in Lafayette, Louisiana and was given his own day (JD Lawrence Day, February 20th) by Mayor John C. Tkazyik in Poughkeepsie, New York.
JD Lawrence has given back to his own community selflessly as well, most notably, adopting a highway and creating the first theatrical health fair in his hometown. To date, he has raised over a million dollars for countless churches and community organizations. While on tour, he lectures at grade schools, churches, community centers and universities, to inspire youth to pursue the arts. As his success continues to skyrocket, JD Lawrence has remained true to himself and steadfast in his faith. Lawrence is humble and grateful to share his knowledge and gift of laughter with the world around him. JD Lawrence is a star in every aspect of the word and his light will only shine brighter in the years to come. You can catch Lawrence in his new stageplay JD Lawrence's I'll Always Love My Momma now on tour. Starring Lawrence playing over seven HILARIOUS characters also starring Johnny Gill, Dottie Peoples, Dave Hollister and Jackee Harry.