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Alumni

Dave Chappelle

Class of 1991 – Chappelle started doing stand-up comedy in Washington, D.C. when he was a teenager. Just after graduating from Duke Ellington School of the Arts he went to New York, where he quickly became a regular on the comedy club circuit. A year later he was in Hollywood, lured by development deals for TV shows and the chance to appear in movies. Chappelle hit the big time in 2003 with Chappelle’s Show, a cable TV comedy series made up of skits, short films, and music performances. His film credits include Half Baked (1998), You’ve Got Mail (1998, starring Tom Hanks) and Undercover Brother (2002, with Denise Richards).

Marjuan Canady

Marjuan CanadyClass of 2003 – Marjuan Canady is an actress, playwright and producer for both film and stage. Her One-Woman play, Girls! Girls? Girls. has been featured Off-Broadway at The United Solo Festival, The Performing Arts Marathon Festival (NYC), The Girl Talk Tour (National), Love Us Festival (Philadelphia, PA), The New Orleans Fringe Festival (New Orleans, LA). She received the 2012 Harlem Stage Fund for New Work Grant for her play Girls! Girls? Girls. She is currently collaborating with Trinidadian jazz trumpeter Etienne Charles on her second solo play, Callaloo: A Jazz Folktale. Canady graduated from Fordham University Lincoln Center (B.A. Theatre Performance and African/Caribbean Studies) and New York University (M.A. Arts Politics-Tisch School of the Arts).

Yvette Heyliger

Class of 1978 – Heyliger played “Aunt Sarah” on the NBC hit, Cosby Show. In recent years she was seen in Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Uptown/Downtown performing artist workshop where she wrote and performed, Yvette X: Bridge to Baraka. Prior to that she was seen in Tribecca Performing Arts Center’s Writers in Performance where she wrote and performed her original poetry. Twice a graduate of New York University with her Masters of Arts and Bachelor of Arts degrees, she received her Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing—Playwriting from Queens College, NY. She was a member of the first graduating class of Duke Ellington School of the Arts.

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