T.J. Hemphill brings to the theatre world a myriad of talent. He is a gifted and talented playwright as well as an accomplished songwriter and musician. Hemphill brings a complete and unique package to all of his endeavors.
Born and raised in Detroit, MI, Hemphill graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in Education. Immediately following graduation, he was hired by the Detroit Public School where he taught for eight years. During his tenure with the school system, Hemphill voluntarily took over the music and theatre programs after state and city cuts eliminated these programs from his school. From his work with inner city youth, he discovered his love for the stage and theater.
A musician and lyricist, Hemphill has penned over one hundred songs including the musical score of the best running gospel musical, Perilous Times, which features the emotionally climatic masterpiece, Oh What Love. IN 1977 Hemphill co-founded The Thomas Whitfield Company, and subsequently has developed and managed some of the brightest and most respected names in contemporary gospel music including: Vickie Winans, Thomas Whitfield, William Murphy III and others. Hemphill recently directed Michael Matthew's stage play, Too Good To Let Go.
In February 2005, he was awarded the 2005 Agape Gospel Eagle Award for his extraordinary achievement in directing and writing gospel plays.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION
Hemphill's stage play, Lord, All Men Can't Be Dogs recently on national tour, featured Regina Bell, Carl Payne, A.J. Johnson and Carvin Winans. Ticket Master distinguished Dogs as one of the "top ten ticket sellers" in the nation. Also playing in theaters across the country is Hemphill's Crazy Love featuring Tommy Ford and the electrifying vocalist D'atra Hicks. Hemphill is also the writer and producer of the hit gospel musical stage plays: Perilous Times, which holds the distinction of being Detroit's longest running gospel play (14 years), Gotta Find Me An Angel, and The Return of Mr. Scrooge, which are soon to be released on DVD. An avid writer, Hemphill has two more plays ready for stage, and his new comedy The Good, The Bad, and My Mother is showcasing March 3-5 at the newly renovated City Theatre in downtown Detroit.