Lynn Manning, the beloved co-founder of the Watts Village Theater Co., will be remembered at a public tribute Monday evening in downtown Los Angeles.
Manning died Aug. 3 of liver cancer at age 60. The event at the Los Angeles Theatre Center begins at 5:30 p.m. It will feature testimonials, song and dance, and poetry readings.
Manning was a writer, an actor and a well-known supporter of arts education. He taught playwriting in Watts and won three NAACP Theater awards for his play “Weights.”
Manning grew up in South LA. He bounced between six foster homes before he was blinded in a Hollywood bar by a gunshot to his face at age 23.
He spent his life writing and helping connect communities.
“Lynn really used theater as a social justice vehicle,” said Eric Inman, managing director of the theater company.
Manning was also a former world champion of blind judo. He won a gold medal during the 1990 World Games for the Disabled in the Netherlands.
Last month, Manning met President Obama at a White House event celebrating the Americans with Disabilities Act.
His sister, Dorothy Raybon, called Manning a “genius and a survivor.”
The Monday memorial is open to the public, but a RSVP is requested and can be completed online. Inman said if all spots are reserved, people will be welcomed at the door.
Manning's family requests that anyone who wants to honor his memory buy his book, “Private Battle and Other Plays.” The proceeds go to the Watts Village Theater Co.