Nancy Cheryll Davis is a faculty member at the USC School of Dramatic Arts. She is an alumna of the American Conservatory Theatre and a critically acclaimed actress, director, producer and the founding artistic director of the Towne Street Theatre, L.A.’s premiere African-American theatre company.
Davis’ directing credits include In Response: Year of the Woman, Langston & Nicolas, In Response, Millennium in Black, Passing (conception on all five as well), The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window (USC SDA), Counting (USC SDA), Sister Cities, Nevis Mountain Dew, Joleta, Five on the Black Hand Side, JackLeg, 1969, The Madwoman of Chaillot, Story in Harlem Slang and two short films – Family and Summer Dreams.
Her adaptation of PassingSOLO, from the TST play Passing, is published in the anthology black/woman/solo by Northwestern University Press. PassingSOLO was performed at the University of Duisberg in Essen, Germany, in 2016, after a critically acclaimed run at the Stella Adler Theatre in Hollywood. The play is now part of the syllabus in Performance Studies at Stanford University, University of Santa Barbara and the University of Duisberg, Germany.
She is the winner of the NAACP best actress award for her portrayal of Clare Kendry Bellew in the 1997 Towne Street Theatre production of Passing and a best actress nominee for her portrayal of Sophie in Pearl Cleage’s award-winning play Flyin’ West at the St. Louis Black Repertory Company. In addition to a number of theatre productions, she has also been featured in iconic films such as Robert Townsend’s Hollywood Shuffle, Keenan Ivory Wayans’ I’m Gonna Git You Sucka!, The Hughes Brothers’ Menace to Society and The Court Martial of Jackie Robinson, which starred a young Andre Braugher and Kasi Lemons. Television credits include Dexter, 1600 Penn, Sparks (with Terrence Howard and James Avery), The Young & The Restless, and others.
As the founding artistic/producing director of Towne Street Theatre, she has executive-produced all shows in its 25-year history. As a result, Towne Street Theatre has become a home for many local artists of color with a loyal audience following. TST has received numerous NAACP theatre awards and nominations, Valley Theatre League nominations, a DramaLogue nomination, along with honors of recognition from the city of Los Angeles, Women in Theatre and The League of Allied Arts. In 2017, TST was awarded the Kashi Dotson Award from the Inner City Cultural Center.