Lynn Manning

Lynn Manning is an award winning poet, playwright, and actor. He has performed to rapt audiences world wide. He is also a former world champion judo player. He accomplished all of this after being shot and blinded at age 23.


Click on the audio file below to hear "The Magic Wand" as spoken by Lynn Manning

Lynn Manning is a man in motion.  He’s an award winning poet, playwright, actor, and former World Champion of blind judo.

He has had upwards of a dozen plays produced.  His autobiographical, solo play, WEIGHTS, received three NAACP Theater awards in 2001, including Best actor for Lynn.  He has since performed WEIGHTS from London to Off Broadway, and from Edinburgh to The Adelaide Fringe.  An audio CD version, WEIGHTS(ONE BLIND MAN'S JOURNEY) was released by Bridge Multimedia in 2005. 

Lynn is currently working on a screenplay based on WEIGHTS, also a second solo stage play, QUIET AS IT’S KEPT, and an adaptation of S. Ansky’s, THE DYBBUK, for a collaborative 2011 production between Cornerstone Theater Company and Watts Village Theater Company.

In 1996, Lynn co-founded LA’s Watts Village Theater Company which celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2011.


Lynn        Lynn has written several critically recognized plays, including, WEIGHTS, OCHRE & ONYX (THE LANGSTON HUGHES PROJECT), UP FROM THE DOWNS, PRIVATE BATTLE, THE LAST OUTPOST, THE COLORIZED VERSION, SHOOT, and central ave. chalk circle.  Lynn's Dramalog Award winning play, SHOOT, is included in the ground breaking 2007 TCG anthology, BEYOND VICTIMS AND VILLAINS (CONTEMPORARY PLAYS BY DISABLED PLAYWRIGHTS).  Lynn both wrote and starred in the short film adaptation of SHOOT, by the same title.  It premiered at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival, and was distributed to cable television by HBO.


Lynn’s most produced play to date is his autobiographical solo play, WEIGHTS.  Center Theatre Group's original 2001 production of WEIGHTS garnered three NAACP Theater awards, including Best actor for Lynn.  Lynn has since performed WEIGHTS in national and international venues large and small--most recently at The 2010 Adelaide Fringe Festival in Australia.  In 2008, Lynn received a 'Fringe Review 'Teapot Award' for excellence in theatre for his WEIGHTS production at the 2008 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.  Lynn has performed Weights at venues as diverse as Urban Stages (Off Broadway), The Kennedy Center (Washington DC), Chicago's Museum Of Contemporary Art, and Philadelphia's Amaryllus Theatre.  International productions also include Croatia, Toronto, Vancouver, and a 2005 tour of The United Kingdom.  A live performance audio CD of WEIGHTS (one blind man's journey), was released by Bridge Multimedia in 2005.  Lynn's poetry spoken word CD, CLARITY OF VISION, WAS RELEASED ON New Alliance Records in 1994.  


Lynn’s television credits include a variety of commercials, as well as appearances on , SEINFELD, NIP/TUCK, 8 SIMPLE RULES, POPULAR, DREAM ON, and THE SINBAD SHOW. Behind the camera, Lynn was technical Advisor for the tv series, BLIND JUSTICE, and the movies, BLIND FURY, and QUEST FOR CAMELOT.   


Lynn earned an AA in English at Los Angeles City College.  He honed his play writing skills in Center Theater Group’s BLACKSMITHS and MENTOR PLAYWRIGHTS workshops, and The Actors’ Studio Writers/Directors Unit–West.  He serves on The Performers With Disabilities Committee of The Screen Actors Guild, as well as The Equal Employment Opportunity Committee of The Actors' Equity Association.


In 1996, Lynn co-founded Watts Village Theater Company (WVTC) in partnership with late actor and community activist, Quentin Drew.  The company develops and produces new plays of relevance to the underserved Afro-Latino communities of Watts and South Los Angeles.   Lynn is currently Chair of the Board Of Directors.  He is also President of The Firehouse Theater Company—dedicated to including artists with disabilities in all aspects of the theatrical performing arts. 


While pursuing a career in the fine arts, Lynn also achieved 'world class' status in the martial art of Judo.  He was honored as the U.S. Olympic Committee's "Blind Male Athlete Of The Year" after winning the Blind Judo World Championship at the 1990 World Victory Games in Holland.  He also won the first World Cup  for blind judo in Sassarre, Sardinia in 1991, and took a silver medal in the 1992 Paralympic Games at Barcelona.  He retired from competition in 1998.


Copyright 2011 Lynn Manning