When Tony Award-winning playwright/composer/performer Stew first came to the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab in 2004, the script for Passing Strange was just a stack of coffee-stained pages he had brought in his backpack. The play then went from Berkeley to the Public Theatre to Broadway winning a 2009 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical. Stew returned to Sundance in 2009 with the film Passing Strange, a documentary directed by Spike Lee that premiered at the Festival. And now the critically acclaimed singer/songwriter who has attended both the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab (Passing Strange, 2004 and 2005) and Sundance Institute Directors/Screenwriters Lab (We Can See Today, 2005) is a member of our first-ever Sundance Institute Alumni Advisory Board Member. Next up Stew will be donating his time and expertise to the Institute as a Creative Advisor at the 2011 Theatre Lab to be held at the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada the end of the month.
Here’s a look back at Stew after the premiere of the Passing Strange documentary at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, and how Sundance has influenced his career.