Colby Christina, age 13, receives a 2014 AUDELCO Rising Star Award

Kathy Perkins: A Tale of Two Passions

by Phil Andrews

Colby Christina is truly New York's very own "rising star" and she continues to achieve much success. At the age of fifteen, Colby has been labeled a formid-able "triple threat" nationally and internationally. Her work to date in the areas of acting, dancing, singing, community service, choreography, modeling and STEM advocacy catapulted her to the national stage of the 2015 National Black Theatre Festival (NBTF) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The same success that led to her appearance at NBTF has this young woman on a path that only a few can imagine, even when they dream big, as Colby does.

Born in Manhasset, New York on May 29, 2001, Colby has trained professionally, ever since she was two years old, in Brooklyn at the Center for Arts and Culture of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Cor-poration (under the leadership of President Colvin Grannum), as well as at other performing arts training locations. She particularly credits Peggy Alston, emeritus director of Restoration's Youth Arts Academy, with igniting a spark in her. An accom-plished singer/dancer/act-or herself, Alston was the very first "triple threat" Colby ever met in a formal setting. Following in her footsteps, Colby Christina has become a professional actor, TV show host, singer, dancer, model, choreographer, mentor and advocate.

In 2014, at the age of twelve, Colby landed the lead role of "Alice" in the stage-to-TV production, The Liberation of Mother Goose by playwright Aduke Aremu. The show was directed and choreographed by Abdel Salaam and produced by Colby's instructor and mentor, Peggy Alston. It played to sold-out audiences and captured the attention of many in the theater world and beyond. As a result of her stellar "triple threat" performance she was honored, at the age of thirteen, with the 2014 AUDELCO Rising Star Award for Excellence in Black Theatre. This accom-plishment elevated her into the ranks of famed artists such as Denzel Washington, Kerry Wash-ington, and Sanaa Lathan, who also received AUDELCO Rising Star Awards early in their careers.

This recognition as well as her dedication and hard work also led to her being chosen to serve as Teen Co-Chair and Parade Grand Marshall for the 2015 National Black Theatre Festival, where she served alongside the Festival Chairs Darnell Williams and Debbie Morgan from All My Children. This summer, she has again been selected to serve as Teen Co-Chair beside Festival Chairs Anna Maria Horsford and Obba Babatunde.... (continued)

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Phil Andrews is the president of the Black Public Relations Society of New York, an affiliate chapter of the National Black Public Relations Society. He is a sought-after entrepreneur, strategist, mentor and keynote speaker. He has been featured in Black Enterprise as a BE Modern Man and has been interviewed by Cision Behind the Headlines.


Winter Spring 2017

This article is featured in Vol. 23, No. 2

Also in this issue:

  • Effective Marketing for the African American Theater Audience

  • 1960s Black Theater History: Reminiscences of an Actor Who Lived It

  • Editor's Notes: Why We Must Save the NEA

  • Arts Hotline

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    Colby Christina, at age 12, performing as Alice in the production of The Liberation of Mother Goose.