Cathy Simpson discovered her gift for acting while she was in high school in St. Louis. After graduation, she joined their local community theater, performing in Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun. At that time, a young black girl did not usually aspire to be an actor. But a friend convinced Cathy to audition a Langston Hughes poem for Carnegie Mellon’s BFA program: Ms. Simpson was not only admitted to the program, but was awarded a scholarship. And Cathy had the opportunity to study with Katherine Dunham, the Matriarch and Queen Mother of Black Dance. Cathy has been featured in performances from New York to Washington, D.C. and was nominated twice for the Helen Hayes Awards. Cathy’s home is now Philadelphia, where she has been a company member of People’s Light & Theatre since 1994 and has performed with companies that include the Wilma Theater, Arden Theatre Company, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Young Playwrights, and InterAct Theatre. Nominated three times for Barrymore Awards, Ms. Simpson won the Best Supporting Actress Award for her performance in Freedom Theatre’s The Old Settler.
Referred to the American Historical Theatre by AHT’s Mr. Bruce Robinson, Ms. Simpson worked with AHT’s Producing Director, Pamela Sommerfield in preparation for the July 4th Millennium Celebration on the Mall in Washington D.C. Other venues graced by Cathy Simpson’s interpretations include the White House Visitor’s Center, Congress Hall, Deshler-Morris House, the Environmental Protection Agency, Naval Yard, and Peddler’s Village / Cock & Bull Restaurant. Cathy is part of a permanent installation at the African American Museum, where she is featured in film clips of freedom fighters.
Characters portrayed by Cathy Simpson: Mary McLeod Bethune, Oney Judge, Harriett Tubman (Simpson),