FORT BEND ISD (Covering Fort Bend News) – LeKethia Dalcoe, a Willowridge High School alumna, is living her dream as an actor and playwright and she credits her career choice to her high school drama teacher, Ezekiel Morgan.
“Mr. Morgan inspired me to pursue theatre. He made his classroom magical and taught me how to be a good storyteller. Most importantly, he taught me the value of hard work,” said Dalcoe.
As a member of Willowridge’s theater troupe, known then as The Ridge House Players, Dalcoe recalls being among the school’s first troupe to advance to the State UIL Drama competition with the play, “Before It Hits Home.”
“The joy and rush I felt during that experience solidified my love and passion for theatre,” she said. “Participating in UIL made me want to give my all. We were winning numerous competitions, and those moments have forever been etched in my heart and mind.”
After graduating high school, Dalcoe studied at Prairie View A&M University and later obtained a Master’s in Theatre from Texas A&M University-Commerce and a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from the New York School for Drama.
Among one of her proudest moments as a playwright was having her play, “A Small Oak Tree Runs Red,” commissioned by the Congo Square Theatre in Chicago during its 2015-16 Power of Her season. The play was directed by Tony award nominated actor/director Harry Lennix. The play also received a 2016 Chicago Black Excellence Award for Outstanding Production and Best Director. The play was again produced at The Billie Holiday Theatre during its 2017-18 season.
A few of Dalcoe’s acting credits includes performances in “Autumn,” starring Pauletta Washington, wife of actor Denzel Washington (The Billie Holiday Theatre), “ZooHouse” (National Black Theatre), Royal Shakespeare Company’s “Julius Caesar” (Harvey Theatre BAM) and “In the Blood” (The Performance Space NSD).
Regardless of their career choice, Dalcoe wants to remind students to remain focused on their dreams, no matter what.
“It’s okay to be a dream chaser, but only with hard work and tenacity,” she said. “There will also be times when you think you’ve failed, but that’s okay, because it helps you learn what doesn’t work for you. There’s not one way to make dreams happen. You have to find what works best for you, and you’ll eventually live your dreams.”
Dalcoe is the daughter of Edres and Denise Dalcoe.