Lynn Manning


Lynn-ManningLynn Manning is an award-winning poet, playwright, actor, and former Blind Judo Champion of the world. He accomplished all of this after being shot and blinded in a bar fight at age twenty-three.

Lynn has written several critically recognized plays, including, Weights, Shoot, Up from the Downs, Private Battle, The Last Outpost, and an adaptation of The Central Ave. Chalk Circle. Lynn’s original one act play, Shoot, is included in the ground breaking 2007 TCG anthology, Beyond Victoms 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 is currently distributed by HBO.

As a television actor, Lynn has appeared on TV shows such as 8 Simple Rules, Popular, Sienfeld, The Sinbad Show, and Dream On. He has been featured in commercials for Nike Shoes, Hewlet Packard, Sweppes, Bank Of America, Sprint Long Distance, and more. Lynn is a member of The Screen Actors Guild, Actors’ Equity Association, and The American Federation Of Radio And Television Artists.

In 1996, Lynn co-founded Watts Village Theater Company, in partnership with late actor and community activist, Quentin Drew. The ensemble company’s mission is the development and production of works relevant to the underserved community of Watts.

Lynn is currently Literary Manager of the company and President of The Firehouse Theater Company—dedicated to involving artists with disabilities in all aspects of the theatre arts. In addition, Lynn is on the Board Of Trustees of the national nonprofit Network Of Ensemble Theaters.

Lynn Manning’s most produced play to date is his autobiographical solo play, Weights. Since its year 2000 world premiere, Lynn has performed it in national and international venues large and small. Center Theatre Group’s original 2001 production garnered three NAACP Theater awards, including Best actor for Lynn. Lynn has since performed Weights off-Broadway for New York’s Theater By The Blind; at The John F. Kennedy Center For The Performing arts, in Washington D.C.; at The National Black Theater Festival in Winston-Salem, NC; at The International Blind And Visually Impaired Theater Festival in Zagreb, Croatia; at The Oval House Theatre in London; and most recently, at The 2007 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. . A live performance audio CD of Weights: One Blind Man’s Journey, was released by Bridge Multimedia in 2005 and is available at, www.bridgemultimedia.com/weights.

While pursuing his career in the fine arts, Lynn achieved ‘world class’ status in competitive judo. He represented the United states in the 1988 Paralympic Games in Seoul, South Korea. He went on to become 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 (Italy) in 1991, and took a silver medal in the 1992 Paralympics at Barcelona. Lynn also took Silver at the 1991 Tokyo International Invitational For Blind Judo and Bronzes at The International Blind Sports Association World Championships at Colorado Springs (1995) and Madrid, Spain (1998)