Stephen McKinley Henderson, Professor of Theatre and Dance
Photo Credit: Bruce Jackson
Stephen McKinley Henderson, professor of Theatre and Dance and director of Theatre Performance, has been a member of the UB faculty since 1987.
Critically acclaimed for his work on stages from Buffalo to Broadway and beyond, as well as in film and television, Henderson is best known for his excellent work in supporting roles, including those in nearly all of August Wilson’s cycle of 10 plays about the lives of African-Americans in 20th-century America – in particular for his performance in Wilson’s “Jitney,” for which he and the rest of the cast received a Drama Desk Award for Best Ensemble and an Olivier Award (London’s Tony).
Henderson also performed in the 2014 Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of “A Raisin in the Sun” and was nominated for a Tony for his work in the 2010 production of Wilson’s “Fences.” Both plays starred Denzel Washington. That season, he also received the Actors’ Equity annual Richard Seff Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor.
He has appeared in such films as “Lincoln,” “Tower Heist” and “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close,” which was nominated for an Academy Award in the best picture category. His television work includes roles in HBO’s acclaimed film “Everyday People”; “Law & Order,” in which he played a recurring role as a judge for 15 years; “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”; “The Newsroom”; “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”; Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne”; “Third Watch”; and “Blue Bloods.” He co-starred in the FOX TV series “New Amsterdam” and performed in the PBS American Playhouse film production of “A Raisin in the Sun,” which starred Danny Glover and Esther Rolle.
Henderson attended the Juilliard Drama Division and is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts and Purdue University.
His award-winning career was recently celebrated in the 2015 Signature Series, an annual spring tradition celebrating UB’s legacy of innovation and distinction in arts and letters. This year’s Signature Series focused on the performing arts. UB alumnus and theater critic Anthony Chase conducted an intimate and candid interview with Henderson, in which he discussed his storied career as a performer, director and educator.