Livingstone professor’s ‘Background Check’ play to debut at Knight Theater in Charlotte

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 4, 2023

SALISBURY — Livingstone College’s Dr. Curtis Dean will debut a play he wrote at the Knight Theater in Charlotte in March and it will feature some of R&B’s iconic voices.

“Background Check” will on stage for one day only, Sunday, March 26, at 3 p.m., and will star Tony Terry, dubbed the Prince of R&B; Grammy-award nominated Sunshine Anderson; and BET’sSunday Best” winner Y’Anna Crawley.

The play also stars former member of R&B’s Blackstreet, J-Stylz and producers “KQ” and Ryan Davis.

“Background Check,” presented by Kenny Quiller and Cole Dean Productions, dives into the popularity of social media and its effect on the dating scene today as high school friends reunite to plan and celebrate their 20-year class reunion. It will explore the questions: Can friends be lovers? And how well do you know your roommate, co-worker, friend, lover, family or partner?

Dean and producer and director Jermaine “J Cole” Coleman Sr. combine comedy, drama, music and pop culture all into one play.

Dean said it took about three months to write the script. The cast has been rehearing since October.

“We’re proud of Dr. Dean, his artistic craft, and his debut production at such an esteemed venue in uptown Charlotte,” said Livingstone President Dr. Anthony J. Davis in a news release. “Dr. Dean is a reflection of the caliber of talent that we have on our campus among our faculty, staff and students. His success demonstrates our multi-dimensional levels of excellency and relevancy collectively as an institution and individually.”

Dean has served at Livingstone for 20 years. He is director of the Evening and Weekend College, which is the program in which he earned his bachelor’s degree from Livingstone. He is also coordinator of the U.S. Army and Air Force ROTC Program at the college and serves as an assistant professor in the Division of Business.

He earned his master’s degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix, and his doctorate degree from Walden University.

Dean  is a veteran of the United States Army, where he served in the band and in the 7th Army Soldiers Show, where he traveled extensively abroad to perform for world dignitaries and for politicians including President Ronald Reagan and Queen Elizabeth.

After leaving the Army, he jointed Payton Production and served as one of the producers of “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” which became a Paramount motion picture. He later joined SPP Entertainment, where he was vice president, writer and producer of “Just be a Man About it,” which premiered on Broadway.

He is known for his talent as a musical director and scoring for many off Broadway gospel stage plays such as “Lord, Why Do I Keep Choosing the Wrong Man,” My Grandmother Prayed for Me,” “It’s Your Time to Cry” and “Karma.”

A portion of the proceeds will benefit the West Charlotte High School National Alumni Association.

Tickets are available at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Box Office, located in the Belk Theater lobby at 130 North Tryon St., Charlotte. Phone: 704-372-1000. Website: Or click this link: “Background Check” The Stage Play | Blumenthal Performing Arts ( Doors open at 2 p.m. on March 26.


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