Cornell Hubert Calhoun III is the former Arts & Culture Coordinator for Mayor Frank G. Jackson and the City of Cleveland, Ohio. Cornell is the host of TV 20 We Are Cleveland’s Talk Show Creative Focus. He is an accomplished and widely applauded actor, producer, film maker, director and an award-winning playwright. His play, The Mighty Scarabs (An East Tech Story), received its World Premiere at the Karamu Performing Arts Theater in 2015. The play was selected by the Cleveland Plain Dealer as one of the Top Ten Plays during the 2015-2016 Theater Season and was selected for Outstanding Achievement by the Cleveland Theater Critics Circle. Mr. Calhoun also received Special Mention for his portrayal of Cleveland from the Cleveland Theater Critics Circle. The Mighty Scarabs was selected as the Top Play by a Local Playwright by Scene Magazine in 2016 and is published by the Original Publishing Company in Los Angeles, California. It was their top selling play in 2016. TMS also is part of the Cleveland Public Library System.
Mr. Calhoun received a writing fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center in Johnston, VT. He is a winner of the Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for his play, Bloooz 4 an Early Autumn. Two of his plays, Rae of Autumn & Portraits of November were featured at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center and Paul Robeson Theater in Los Angeles, California. He is an eight-time nominee for the Cleveland Art Prize for Literature and three-time semi-finalist at the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference in New Haven, Connecticut. His play, Blues Theme for Talladega was selected for a reading at the prestigious John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. Laurel was a semi-finalist at the Playwrights Foundation in San Francisco, California.
His films A Raging Silence, Van’s Ice Cold Lemonade, Silent Story, Longwood, So Here We Are, Flawed Flowers and Paradise have been selected for the Cannes International Film Festival in Canes, France, New Wave Film Festival in England, Boston Independent Film Awards, Cali Indies Film Festival, Los Angeles Indies Film Festival, Atlanta Film Festival, Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, Cleveland 48 Hour Film Festival, Cleveland Short Sweet Festival, Cleveland International Film Festival, Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival, Indie Film Festival, San Diego Black Film festival, Toronto Script and Film Festival, San Francisco Black Film Festival, San Antonio Black Film Festival, International Black and Diversity Film Festival, Boston International Film Festival, Best Shorts Film Festival, Los Angeles, Calf, Kids Video Connection Children’s Film festival and the Jolly Fest Film Festival 6.
Among a long long list of acting credits, Mr. Calhoun was last seen as Cutler in 2021 Karamu Performing Arts Theater’s Production of August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. His portrayal of Caesar in Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean, was dubbed by critics as must watch theater. Of his role as Elmore in King Hedley II, the Cleveland Scene Magazine’s 2007 Production of the Year, the Cleveland Jewish News deemed Calhoun a “smooth operator,” while Clevescene.com called his portrayal “mesmerizing.” Mr. Calhoun credits his artistic success to his mentors, Professor Shedrick Lyons of Talladega College as well as Cleveland Theater legends Dr. Reuben and Dorothy Silver.
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