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Atlanta actor Tonia M. Jackson has won a $25,000 grant to deepen her relationship with True Colors Theatre Company and the community it serves. She’s among six artists nationwide recognized today (April 16) for a Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship via the Theatre Communications Group, the national service organization.

Tonia M. Jackson

Tonia M. Jackson

Jackson will use the fellowship in partnership with True Colors to study movement for aging actors and immerse herself in Shakespeare, storytelling and voice/dialect techniques, according to TCG’s statement. The goal is for her to build new skills and get even more work as a professional actor.

Her ultimate goal, the statement said, is to build a bridge between young disenfranchised African Americans and the world of theater at two critical stages of their lives: their first introduction to theater and when starting a career. In addition to acting, Jackson is a teacher and acting coach.

In Atlanta, she’s been seen in Detroit ’67, King Hedley II and Skeleton Crew at True Colors; The Nacirema Society Requests the Honor of Your Presence at a Celebration of Their First One Hundred Years, Gem of the Ocean and Radio Golf at the Alliance Theatre; Right On at Horizon Theatre; and The Young Man From Atlanta at Theatrical Outfit.

In his 2019 review of Skeleton Crew, ArtsATL critic Jim Farmer saw Jackson’s Faye as the unexpected center of the drama about a shuttering Detroit auto factory. Her character has 29 years in at the plant, has health issues and is the union rep. “Jackson makes Faye a fascinating presence,” Farmer wrote, “observant and unafraid to show the pain and scar tissue she’s developed and tried to hide.”

Jackson has been a company member at Penumbra Theatre in St. Paul, Minnesota, for more than 20 years and has worked nationally at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival; American Stage in St. Petersburg, Florida; Baltimore Center Stage; the Guthrie and Mixed Blood theaters in Minneapolis; the Lorraine Hansberry and Magic theaters in San Francisco; Pan Asian Repertory in New York City; Steppenwolf in Chicago; and Trinity Rep in Providence, Rhode Island.

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