Barry Scott is widely known for his successes as an actor, writer, producer, director, motivational speaker and voice over artist. The founder and producing artistic director of the American Negro Playwright Theatre at Tennessee State University, Scott has become one of the leading theatre artists in his home town of Nashville, on top of his impressive acting credits nationwide, including television’s I’ll Fly Away and In the Heat of the Night. He is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, Actor’s Equity Association, American Film Radio & Television Association and serves on the board of the Tennessee Arts Commission.
An authority on the life and works of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Scott wrote and starred in Ain’t Got Long to Stay Here as a tribute to Dr. King and to teach a generation of students about a man who literally changed the entire nation. Scott is so convincing in his portrayal of Dr. King, that Coretta Scott King once complimented him on his realistic and honest depiction of her late husband. He has performed excerpts of King’s speeches for the Humanitarian Awards Ceremony honoring President Jimmy Carter and was recorded on the March On album benefiting the National Civil Rights Museum.
Scott’s professional work as a writer include the plays Lisa’s Story, Harlem Voices, An American Slavery Play, Stones of Promise, Joyful Noise, When I Grow Up I’m Gonna’ Get Me Some Big Words, Oh Freedom, A Man Named York and The Last Negro.
He has performed for the Tennessee Repertory Theatre in many productions including Fences, Macbeth, Othello, Taming of the Shrew, Blood Knot, Man of La Mancha, Camelot, Jesus Christ Superstar, Pirates of Penzance, Evita, Ain’t Misbehavin’, and Big River.
He has conducted workshops on acting and has received several awards including the Ingram Fellowship Award for Theatre and the Partnership in Access and Appreciation Grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission. He also won the Ralph Edmondson National Award for Play Writing for Lisa’s Story, in which he starred, wrote, produced, and directed.
Scott is a much-requested motivational speaker, lecturer and orator. His leadership speech Courage To Lead is a regular part of the curriculum at the prestigious Owen School of Management at Vanderbilt University.
Scott created the Living With Theatre program a forum to discuss important social issues with school aged children. He also wrote and directed the video series, Stones of Promise, an inspirational teaching tool celebrating the black family for United Methodist Communications. He wrote Oh Freedom a play with music that starred Scott and Grammy award winner Patti Austin along with the Nashville Symphony. Scott was recognized for his altruistic work by being named Nashvillian of the Year in 1993.
In 2004 Scott received rave reviews for his performance in the play Looking Over The President’s Shoulder directed by Emmy Award winning actor Mr. Robert Guillume. In 2005 Scott was named Best Actor by the Nashville Scene Newspaper for his starring role in August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson directed by the Tony Award winning producer-director Mr. Woodie King Jr. In an interview with the Tennessean Newspaper Mr. King commented that “ Barry Scott is a brilliant artist. He easily moves from actor to playwright to director. In a unique world of theatre, Barry has mastered each, and he is so giving. He shares his knowledge with younger blacks who want to be a part of the black theatre. He always brings new insights into a rehearsal.”