|Subject: Actress Cecelia Antoinette
Dies at 70
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Date Posted: Tuesday, June 30, 08:45:15pm
Ms. Cecelia Antoinette Bruton
November 24, 1949 - May 28, 2020
~BROWN GAL RISING~
Once a twin, always a twin. That is how life began for CeCelia (CeCe) Antoinette on November 24, 1949 with her twin brother Cecil Anthony. They were born to the parents of Naomi Marie and Cicero Hamilton Bruton, Sr. This was no ordinary set of twins as the birth of twins in the 40’s was rare. They were immediately recognized by the Carnation Pet Milk Co.; had their picture taken and an article was written up in the newspaper–so CeCelia Antoinette had her first photo shoot. CeCe, along with her siblings Laura Kathleen, Cecil Anthony, and Cicero Hamilton, Jr. (professional name Ciscoe II) grew up in a nurturing, loving, church going family in the community of Hamilton Park. It was the first neighborhood built for black families in Dallas, TX. CeCe dearly loved her family and her community and wrote about these connections in her one woman show.
CeCelia attended Hamilton Park School from the 1st to the 12th grade. The daily walks for one block to the building were always enjoyable. The school provided an environment that was safe, comfortable, and an extension of home. CeCe excelled in school. She made above average grades. She participated to the fullest in school programs and activities such as the Girl Scouts, class leader, the Go Mighty Bobcat cheerleaders, and Vice-President of the 1968 senior class. CeCe’s greatest achievement in her education development was her passion for writing. She worked for the school newspaper– the Bobcat Informer. Her work with the newspaper allowed her opportunities to develop and hone her skills for writing poetry.
The Hamilton Park School and the community churches were the foundation for the community. All activities centered on these two institutions. CeCelia’s family was early members of the Hamilton Park Methodist Church (now Hamilton Park United Methodist Church). CeCelia was confirmed as a member. Her parents made sure that she was as active in the church as she was at the school—MYF (Methodist Youth Fellowship); singing in the choir, youth usher, and all other activities that the church arranged.
A new phase in her life began when she graduated from Hamilton Park High School and traveled to Norman, OK to become a “Sooner” at the University of Oklahoma. Deciding to attend OU had special meaning since that was the birth state of both her grandmother, Princella Hartman and her mother, Naomi. She earned her B.A in Communications. Upon returning to Dallas after graduating from O.U. she worked for Taylor Publishing Company and the Post Tribune. After learning the how to at these two prestigious companies, she decided to start her own publishing company, “PLUMEings Productions.” Thus she was able to self-publish her own book of her poetry “Just as I Am.” She also became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. in 1979, joining the Dallas graduate chapter, Alpha Xi Omega
Her adventurous spirit wanted to explore more of what the world had to offer. So when a friend in New York City invited CeCe to join her in the “Big Apple” she agreed to come for a short visit. Well that visit lasted for many years and CeCe’s career path changed from communications to the theatre, yes, acting. While visiting her friend in NYC she started dabbling into acting—taking classes. Just note that she had performed in some theatrical productions in Dallas, following in the footsteps of her mother who performed in several Dallas productions and her brother Ciscoe II who performed in several Broadway productions, “My One and Only,” Bob Fosse’s “Dancin” and “Big Deal.” She got the opportunity to travel extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan.
In CeCe’s own words “I love my life”—as an actor I have performed to critical acclaim on Broadway in MULE BONE by Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston and in regional productions of MEMBER OF THE WEDDING, THE RIDE DOWN MT. MORGAN, and ST. LUCY’S EYES (where I originated the role and understudied Ruby Dee). I have appeared on several national commercials and network and CABLETV shows like LAW & ORDER, THE CHRIS ROCK SHOW, SEX AND THE CITY, and STAGE LEFT which was ACE nominated. My film credits include NEW JERSEY DRIVE, MOTV, and several independents that are award winning.”
“As a writer I have studied with Alice Childress, Charles Fuller, J. E. Franklin and Aiesha Rahman. My writing has culminated in a book of poetry, ‘JUST AS I AM’, a produced play, “BROWN GAL’S RISING”, and produced One-Woman Show “WATERMELON GIT IT WHILE IT’S HOT, a comedic tour-de-force of 8 and growing characters whom I have seen or they have seen me in a life time. I was nominated for “Best Supporting Female-Local in the production “Coffee Will Make You Black” by the 19th Annual Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP Theatre Awards. I formed the group MOSAIC JEWELS—The Gems of Comedy—who are taking Funny to a whole new dimension.”
“I have distinct directorial visions and the ability to motivate and inspire actors and technicians to work to their greater potential. I was one of the 100 international candidates selected to participate in the 1998 Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. I am one of the few black females to direct full productions and numerous readings at the Frank Silvera Writers Workshop. I am a member of the Women’s Project Directors Forum where I have directed productions and readings by such writers as P.J. Gibson and Bridgette Wimberly. A significant number of the plays and readings I have directed have gone on to productions.”
“In addition to my B.A. degree I have completed the Performing Artists in Schools program at Columbia University. I have taught theater at Penn State University; have been an artist in residence at NYC public schools; worked as an Entertainment Reporter for the Dallas Post Tribune; worked as a DJ for a radio station in Elmira, NY and worked as a Production Associate for People Are Talking (and host Maury Povish) with KYW-TV3, Philadelphia. I earned the job KYW TV through an internship with the institute of New Cinema Artists founded by Ossie Davis.”
“I have mentored and shared my knowledge and wisdom with many and I chant that it is used to benefit the universe.”
“I remain on my spiritual journey as a Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist to my future life (existence) where more happiness and a more fulfilling life awaits me.”
CeCelia is preceded in transition by her parents, Naomi and Cicero, Sr., brothers Cecil and Ciscoe. She is survived by her sister Laura. CeCe is also survived maternally by Clara Cole and family Joyce, Janice, Gerald, Princella Robert and their families; by Patricia Banks and family Patrick and their families; and by a host of paternal relatives Varee and Sammie Minafee; Alex, Albert, Alpha, Diane, Clayton, Stephanie Bruton and their families; Billie Mohair and Vivian and a host of many relatives and friends too numerous to name here.
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