Actor, dancer, and director Jasmine Guy has been slated to give the keynote address for the annual Women’s History Month Celebration at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. The free, public event will be held Thursday, March 9 at 10:30 a.m. in the John McLinn Ross theater of the Hathaway-Howard Fine Arts Building.
Guy continues to enjoy a diverse career in television, theater and film. She began her professional career at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City. She starred on Broadway in the original productions of Beehive and Leader of the Pack, and reprised hit productions of Grease, The Wiz and Chicago (as Velma Kelly). Guy is currently performing Raisin’ Cane, a one-woman musical journey through the Harlem Renaissance, throughout the U.S., backed by the Avery Sharpe Trio, and will be seen next in the BET drama The Yard. She has had recurring roles in the Disney Channel hit series KC Undercover, If Loving You is Wrong, Tyler Perry’s hit drama series on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, and as Grams on the popular CW series Vampire Diaries. She appeared in the feature film Big Stone Gap, which premiered in late 2015.
After years on Broadway and touring the globe, Guy landed the role of Whitley Gilbert on the Cosby Show spinoff “A Different World.” She won six consecutive NAACP Image Awards for her portrayal of the pretentious but funny southern belle.
She recently appeared in an episode of BET’s Zoe Ever After, and other television performances which include: Melrose Place (with Heather Locklear); NYPD Blue (with Jimmy Smits); Fresh Prince of Bel Air (with Will Smith) and Living Single (with Queen Latifah). One of her favorite roles was that of Roxy, the grim reaper meter maid on Showtime’s hit series Dead Like Me (with Mandy Patinkin.).
Guy has also worked with performers and directors in other films and mini-series such as Spike Lee’s School Daze; Eddie Murphy’s Harlem Nights; Alex Hailey’s Queen and Debbie Allen’s Stompin’ at the Savoy. She received stellar reviews for her work on the film October Baby, and co-starred with Lynn Whitfield in the film My Other Mother, which premiered recently on the UP cable network. Most recently, she appeared in Big Stone Gap, the feature film version of Adriana Trigiani’s best-selling book series.
Jasmine has worked extensively in theater with Kenny Leon, Susan Booth, Andrea Frye and Pearl Cleage. She has starred in or directed many productions, including: for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf; Miss Evers’ Boys; Blues for an Alabama Sky; The Colored Museum; The Fourposter; The Nacirema Society; Broke-ology; Fool For Love, and God of Carnage, at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre, where she also directed the world premiere of the opera I Dream, celebrating the life and journey of Martin Luther King, Jr.
In 1991, she released her self-titled album on Warner Bros. Records, featuring the hit single Try Me. Try Me was produced by Full Force and features Xscape with Kandi Burruss. The song shot up the R & B charts quickly to Gold status, and fueled the success of the album’s second and third chart singles Another Like My Lover and I Just Wanna Hold You.
In 2004, Jasmine penned the biography Evolution of a Revolutionary (Atria Books), which chronicles the life and journey of Afeni Shakur — Black Panther, activist and mother of slain rapper Tupac Shakur.
As a frequent motivational public speaker, Jasmine is called upon to share her story openly with those who may benefit from her trials and triumphs. Her ongoing desire to blend balance and discipline with ambition and service continues to fuel her passion for the arts.
She has traveled throughout the U.S. and appeared at more than 100 speaking engagements, addressing diverse audiences at colleges, universities, conventions, corporations, affinity groups, churches, high schools and countless charitable and fundraising events. She delivered keynote addresses in 2015 at Ultimate Women’s Expo events in Atlanta, Chicago and Phoenix, and appears as part of their 2016 series as well.