Al Letson has garnered national recognition with his multidisciplinary work as a playwright/performance poet/actor/public radio host. Drawing on his background as a performance poet, Letson weaves spoken word into the fabric of his theatre work. Griot: He Who Speaks the Sweet Word (2004), a genre mixing choreo-poem, was commissioned by the Baltimore Theatre Project. In 2005, Letson “remixed” Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, with the last days of Malcolm X, to create Julius X. His solo show, Summer in Sanctuary, opened off-Broadway with the Abingdon Theatre Company and later moved to the New Jersey Rep where it received rave reviews.
In 2008, Letson won the Public Radio Talent Quest, an effort by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to find new voices and innovative programming on NPR. Since that time Letson’s program State of the Re:Union (SOTRU) has become one of the fastest growing shows in public radio, airing on more than 200 stations, and receiving critical acclaim. SOTRU is currently in production of its fifth season.
While his many interests are diverse, the common theme in Letson’s work is his effort to bring people together. By examining difficult topics and influential historical themes, Letson strives to focus on our common humanity—and always present a production with consummate artistry.