Darlene was honored to be featured in the groundbreaking series 22 HOMES produced by the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its global stay-at-home orders. 22 HOMES presents newly commissioned monologues on the subject of "home" written by 22 of the South's most prominent, diverse writers, and is performed by 22 leading actors. Darlene was incredibly honored to work with best-selling novelist, essayist, poet, and playwright Pearl Cleage to develop the heartbreaking and funny original monologue "Coming Home". 22 HOMES was featured in the April 2020 issue Time Out as the "Best Theater To Watch Online". Click the media link at the top of the page to view Darlene's from home performance of "Coming Home" and much more!
Darlene was thrilled to jumpstart 2020 starring in the world premiere musical A WONDERFUL WORLD at Miami New Drama in her home state of Florida. A WONDERFUL WORLD follows the life and music career of jazz icon Louis Armstrong, and Darlene was honored to originate the role of Lucille Wilson, Satchmo's last and best known wife. Though its opening night was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, this new musical has already captured the imagination of the entertainment industry, garnering features in The Miami Herald, American Theater Magazine, Lighting And Sound America, Playbill, Broadway World, Backstage, amongst many others. A WONDERFUL WORLD features a book by Aurin Squire, music direction and arrangements by Michael O. Mitchell and Anastasia Victory, choreography by Rickey Tripp, set design by Adam Koch Associates, lighting design by Cory Pattak, sound design by Tony Award winner Kai Harada, and it is directed by Tony Award nominee Christopher Renshaw. Click the media link at the top of the page to view the promo video for this stunning new musical, and stay tuned for its soon return!
Darlene was honored to make her Chicago-area theatrical debut in a new adaptation of William Shakespeare's timeless love story Romeo and Juliet at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater in autumn 2019. This highly anticipated, re-imagined new production featured a multi-ethnic cast helmed by CST's founding Artistic Director Barbara Gaines, who has lead the Tony and Olivier Award-winning theatre for over 30 years. In her surprising first turn directing this classic tale, Gaines' groundbreaking vision included Darlene portrayed the Friar and performing original music, a transformational decision that won rave reviews from Chicago theatre critics and will surely change the way this play lives on at theatres around the world!
Darlene was pleased to make an unprecedented network television debut on two different CBS primetime series in the same week, Dick Wolf's FBI and GOD FRIENDED ME! Season 1, Episode 13 of GOD FRIENDED ME, entitled "Miracle on 123rd Street" aired to 8.25 million viewers, and Season 1, Episode 11 of FBI , entitled "Identity Crisis" aired to 9.3 million viewers. That's 17. 55 millions viewers who enjoyed Darlene's co-starring performances on their favorite new primetime series in the same week. Click the media link at the tope of the page for clips of Darlene's performance on each series, or check out full episodes of GOD FRIENDED ME and FBI streaming on CBS.com now!
Darlene was excited to star in Christina Ham's compelling drama NINA SIMONE: FOUR WOMEN at Alabama Shakespeare Festival in February 2019. NINA SIMONE: FOUR WOMEN tells the story of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham Alabama, and Nina Simone's journey writing the iconic Civil Rights anthem Mississippi Goddamn in its wake. This multi-award winning production which was honored with the autumn cover of Southern Theatre Magazine, allowed the cast and creative team to engage with Alabama leaders and audiences in a very special way as the first time this incredible musical has been presented in the state where the 1963 bombing took place. Since that time, Darlene is thrilled to have been invited back to ASF to perform and sing several times, and it is fast-becoming one of her favorite places to create and play! Click the media link at the top of the page to listen to songs from NINA SIMONE: FOUR WOMEN and much more!
Darlene's first national commercial is airing now! Featured in a campaign for the NFL Experience, Darlene is currently at the center of all of the 2018 Superbowl season excitement! Airing on major cable networks, including the NFL Network, 'Doctor's Office' is directed by Max Sherman, the genius behind the award-winning 'A Visit From Aunt Flo' viral video. Darlene is thrilled to partner once again with Mr. Sherman and the team at OPC Productions for more hilarious moments that will capture this special time of year! Click the media link at the top of the page to view all of Darlene's commercials and much more!
Darlene is thrilled to star in a new campaign by the NJ Devils and RWJ Barnabas Health, reaching sports fans across the Northeast region. The new campaign features the NJ Devils head coach John Hynes, and the team's mascot the NJ Devil. Additional ads in this series include the mascots for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Seton Hall Pirates. Look for these campaigns on television, new media, and on the Jumbotrons at your favorite professional and college sports games. Click the media link at the top of the page to view all of Darlene's commercials and much more!
Darlene is honored to be performing the lead role in Lynn Nottage's Intimate Apparel, presented by Playhouse On Park in Hartford, CT. Originated Off Broadway at Roundabout Theater Company, and then starring the blazingly talented Viola Davis, Intimate Apparel tells the tender story of Esther Mills, a seamstress in 1905 who sews intimate apparel for a patchwork of clients, from heiresses to prostitutes. When Esther's longing for love and marriage lead her into corresponding with a strange man from Panama, her life and the lives of everyone in her fragile world are changed forever. Performances of Intimate Apparel run from February 14 - March 4, 2018. Visit PlayhouseOnPark.org for tickets and information.
Darlene was honored to guest star in Episode 5, Season 1 of the award winning web series Don't Shoot The Messenger. Don't Shoot the Messenger follows the adventures of Jacob, a klutzy sign language interpreter, as he fumbles through life in NYC hopelessly lost in translation. Darlene brings her signature daring hysterics to the character Aleka, whose unexpected "encounter" with Jacob is priceless! Click the Media link at the top of the page to view Episode 5 of Don't Shoot The Messenger and much more!
Darlene is thrilled to be the face of a new campaign for HelloFlo, in partnership with U by Kotex and Poise! HelloFlo is a fast-growing company well known for its hilarious viral videos, and Darlene brings a special brand of humor to the character of Aunt Flo that you'll never forget! 'A Visit From Aunt Flo' has garnered over 1 million combined views on YouTube and Facebook, and has was shortlisted for the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity! Click the Media link at the top of the page to view Darlene's latest Aunt Flo videos and more!
Darlene is excited to star in a new viral video by CoupleThing, in partnership with GoatCase! Conceptualized and directed by 2017 Hermes Award winner Frank Boccia, 'When Bae Doesn't Pay Attention' is the newest comedic offering by the popular dating and relationship media juggernaut. Exploding onto the new media scene and garnering nearly 4 million Facebook views within its first month, Darlene hilariously demonstrates in 'When Bae Doesn't Pay Attention' the disasters that ensue when your partner discovers a new toy. Click the Media link at the top of the page to view 'When Bae Doesn't Pay Attention' and much more!
Darlene was pleased to return to the Off-Broadway stage recently in a 6 month run of Sistas The Musical! Sistas is the story of African-American women told through popular music, from "God Bless the Child" to "Destiny's Child," using hit tunes to trace the history of black women, from the trials of the 1930's through the Girl Groups of the 60's to the empowerment of the 90's. This soulful, laugh-out-loud show takes the audience on a musical journey from pain to pride to power! Writer: Dorothy Marcic, Director: Kenneth Ferrone, Producers: Hinton Battle, Jenkay LLC.
HopeFull Productions is finally here! Darlene Hope's new home for theatrical, film, and music production successfully launched in the Fall of 2016 and 4 new scripts are in development! For information on how to become an Angel Donor or Launch Sponsor, click the HOPEFULL PRODUCTIONS link at the top of the page. To join our email list and receive information on our upcoming events, click the CONTACT link at the top of the page. Stay connected for all of the exciting details.
Darlene was pleased to join the cast of AFTER MIDNIGHT for the inaugural season of Norwegian Cruise Lines' newest and largest ship, The Norwegian Escape! Tony® Award-winning director/choreographer Warren Carlyle revives his outstanding Broadway production of that electrifying time when Harlem’s Cotton Club was the place to be! Winner of the 2014 Tony®, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Astaire Awards for Best Choreography, AFTER MIDNIGHT is the smash-hit musical that combines the big-band songs of Duke Ellington, a stageful of megawatt performers, a roof-raising onstage jazz band, and the best dancing from Broadway. Witness The Cotton Club come to life in a never-before-seen phenomenon at sea!
In celebration of Black History Month Darlene had the incredible privilege of presenting a program of Negro Spirituals and Historic Gospel Songs at St. Ann and the Holy Trinity, the oldest Episcopal church in Brooklyn, founded in 1778. Darlene performed with pianist Michael O. Mitchell, Music Director for the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. Mr. Mitchell's conducting credits include Broadway's Motown the Musical, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Memphis, and Baby It’s You. He is music director and arranger for Leslie Odom Jr. (Tony/Grammy/Astaire/Princess Grace Award Winner), LaChanze (Tony/Emmy/SAG Award Winner), Capathia Jenkins (Newsies, The Look of Love), Darius de Haas (Obie Award Winner), Mykal Kilgore (Motown, Hair).
Darlene's full length drama, Property, was selected as a finalist in the Castillo Theatre's fourth annual Mario Fratti-Fred Newman Political Play Contest. It was also accepted by Theater For The New City for its New City, New Blood Staged Reading Series. The initial TFTNC staged reading featuring FOX Empire’s Grace Gealey, Broadway’s Quentin Darrington, and celebrated stage veteran Frank Anderson in the leading roles! Property is based on the life of a 19 year old slave whose 1855 landmark court case heralded the beginning of the American Abolitionist movement. Fusing race relations, gender relations, and socio-political drama seamlessly, you won't want to miss this amazing new work! Click the CONTACT link at the top of the page to join our email list and receive information on developmental readings & workshop productions.
Darlene recently directed a staged reading of Property with Off-Broadway’s Theatre East. The reading featured Normalcy co-star Sarah Joyce, Motown the Musical’s Nik Walker, and Theatre East Artistic Director Judson Jones leading a stellar cast. Theatre East is an up and coming Off Broadway company producing gutsy new scripts with passion and great warmth. Darlene counts herself blessed to have the opportunity to develop a thriving creative relationship with such an incredible group of artists!
Darlene received rave reviews in the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway play Normalcy, written by Bennett Windheim, and directed by Benard Cummings. Normalcy was performed at the Peter J. Sharp Theater @ Playwrights Horizons, and was presented by Theatre East. Click on the MEDIA tab at the top of this page, or visit www.theatreeast.org and www.normalcytheplay.org for production photos, reviews, and additional information.
Darlene has had the pleasure of participating in staged readings for several stellar NYC theatre companies! At Abingdon Theater Company, she performed the role of Mrs. Hendricks in Jericho by Michael Weller, directed by Austin Pendleton. At MCC Theater she performed the role of Evelyn, the Goddess of Seduction in Allegiance by Rocio Perez, directed by Ross Evans. At Second Generation Theatre (2G) she performed the role of Inner Voice in Under Her Tongue by Edgar Mendoza, directed by Kathleen Amshoff. And once again, Darlene had the great privilege of performing with Theatre East in Shirley Lauro's Piece Of My Heart and Romulus Linney’s Holy Ghosts, both directed by Artistic Director Judson Jones.
Darlene's newest full-length play, Kosciuszko Stop, is now in the early developmental process. Kosciuszko Stop is the spell-binding coming-of-age story of a young African American woman pursuing a dangerous path to success. An urban tale about our destructive obsession with celebrity, Kosciuszko Stop is a riveting drama that you wont want to miss! Darlene's two new screenplays, preliminarily titled ‘The Railroad’ and ‘The Gatekeepers’ are also nearing completion. Click the CONTACT link at the top of the page to join our email list and receive information on developmental readings & workshop productions.