Zora Neale Hurston Institute for Documentary Studies

Anthony B. Major

Anthony B. Major, M.F.A.

ANTHONY B. MAJOR is program director for the Zora Neale Hurston Institute for Documentary Studies, the Africana Studies Program in the College of Arts and Humanities  and associate professor of film in the School of Visual Art and Design at the University of Central Florida. In his 22 years at UCF, Mr. Major has produced and directed several theatre and film productions, in collaboration with the nationally renowned, Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts, in Eatonville, Florida. Among them: Celebrating Fifty Years of Black Theatre, honoring Sidney Poitier and the late Ossie Davis; Zora! Celebration of New Black Cinema Film Festival, honoring Mr. Gordon Parks, with Mr. Richard Roundtree and a world premier of the film Against The Ropes directed by Charles Dutton.

His students document the Zora Festival for research purposes. He produced documentaries and exhibits on Jesse L. Brown, the 1st. African- American Navy Ensign Fighter Pilot, shot down during the Korean War and Goldsboro, An American Story about an African-American incorporated town, unincorporated by the town of Sanford, Florida. He is currently editing a documentary on the Trayvon Martin shooting, which also took place in Sanford Florida. He won a Grant for the UCF Theatre Department for teaching and directing 3 black students to 1st. place winners in the A&E Great Gatsby National Screen Test andhelped to secure four full Disney scholarships, each year since 1996, for his minority students. Mr. Major’s students have awarded him many awards, including Faculty Member of the Year (twice) and The Black Female Development Circle of UCF awarded him Outstanding Faculty in their 14th. Annual Tribute to a Black Man: Envisioning a Dream Leaving an Everlasting Legacy in 2011. The Black History Committee of Orange County, Inc. honored him with their 2010 Excellence in Education Award. The Booker Performing Arts High School in Sarasota, FL. recently honored him with the first "Leaving a Legacy" Award by renaming their rehearsal hall the Anthony B. "Tony" Major Rehearsal Hall. For years Mr. major has been the faculty advisor for the John T. Washington Honor Society and Project SPIT, a nationally recognized spoken word group. He has published a book by one of its founders, “LIT” by Shelby Birch.

Mr. Major served the Dean of UCF/CAS as the Acting Program Director of the UCF Film Program for the school year 1999-2000, Associate Chair/Film Department 2002-2003, Assistant Director, School of Film and Digital Media 2003-2005 and as Managing Director of the UCF CIVIC THEATRE, (currently known as The Orlando Repertory Theatre), 2001/2002. He spent seven years in UCF Conservatory Theatre where he directed A Raisin in the Sun, The Odd Couple, Nunsense, To Be Young Gifted and Black (which he also guest starred in), No Place To Be Somebody, I'm Not Rappaport, Biloxi Blues, In The Well Of The House, with Broadway Guest Star Mr. Gilbert Lewis playing Adam Clayton Powell Jr. He guest starred in Theatre UCF's production of an African-American version of Death of a Salesman, as Willy Loman; Sgt. Waters in A Soldier's Play, and the 'Woodcutter' in Rashomon. Mr. Major began his acting career with the New York Shakespeare Festival, acted on Broadway in We Interrupt This Program ... and toured in the Negro Ensemble Company's award winning production of Charlie Fuller's Pulitzer Prize winning Drama A Soldier's Play in the lead role of Sgt. Waters. He directed the play Home, with Broadway Guest Star, Mr. Gilbert Lewis, for a United Negro College Fund college tour. His music background led him to manage and record Grammy and Tony award winning, million-dollar recording artists.

Prior to coming to UCF, Major was Vice President of the Redd Foxx Corporation for six years, where he negotiated Redd Foxx's contracts for the movie Harlem Nights, Ghost of a Chance - a CBS-TV movie of the week with Dick Van Dyke and Geoffrey Holder, The Motown Christmas Special and The Royal Family - CBS-TV Series, which he also worked on. He produced Foxx and Friends on Broadway with, Redd, Slappy White and “Aunt Esther”, LaWanda Page. Mr. Major returned to Florida to work as Stage Manager with Dolly Parton on her television series Heavens to Betsy at Disney/MGM Studios. He began his teaching career on the Tisch School of the Arts Graduate and Undergraduate Film faculties. He has been listed in the Black Directory of Performing Arts and was appointed by Florida's Secretary of Education to the board of The Florida Institute of Film Education (FIFE) and also served on the State Board of Independent Colleges and Universities of the State of Florida.

His career spans three decades of directing, acting, teaching, producing, and working with Academy Award winners Alan Pakula, Robert Mulligan, Robert DeNiro, Hal Ashby, Beau Bridges, Sidney Poitier, James Earl Jones, William Friedkin, Harry Belafonte, Eddie Murphy, Della Reese and Gil Lewis, to name a few. He wrote and directed the Award winning short Off-Duty, segments for the NBC-TV syndicated That Teen Show and the nationally and internationally distributed feature film, Super Spook, a parody on super heroes. Mr. Major was the 1st. Assistant Director to Sandy Tung on the feature Across the Tracks, which starred Brad Pitt and Rick Schroder. He again worked in Hollywood with Mr. Tung as Assistant Director on the feature film Confessions of a Sexist Pig, starring Orlando's own, Traylor Howard, (Monk & Boston Common).

Education

  • M.F.A. in Film and Television from New York University (1973)
  • B.A. in Theatre from Hofstra University (1964)

Research Interests

  • Documenting the history and contributions of under served communities.

Recent Research Activities

  • Developing a ZNHIDS Digital Repository/Archive of Zora Neale Hurston and her work here at UCF.
  • Developing Exhibits on Zora Neale Hurston, Goldsboro and Jesse L. Brown to tour nationally and be permanently housed in the national Navy Museum in Pensacola. Fl.
  • Developing Documentary of Zora and her Eatonville and Sanford roots.
  • Developing Documentary on History of Black Churches in Winter Park, Fl.
  • Developing Documentary series on Minorities at UCF.

Awards

  • 2009 - Mr. Major was the recipient of the EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION AWARD by the Black History Committee of Orange County.
  • Booker Performing Arts High School in Sarasota, FL. (his former H.S.), recently honored Mr. Major with it's first "Leaving a Legacy" Award by renaming their rehearsal hall the Anthony B. "Tony" Major Rehearsal Hall.
  • He won a Grant for the UCF Theatre Department for teaching and directing the 1st. place winners in the A&E Great Gatsby National Screen Test.
  • Judges Best Film short Award "OFF-DUTY", Long Island, N. Y. Film Festival - Writer/Director/Editor
  • Best Director Oscar, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf, Los Angeles, Ca.
  • Best Director Award, Heritage Players of Florida, Sarasota, Fl.
  • Best Acting Award, Hofstra University.
  • Listed into Directory Of Blacks In The Performing Arts.
  • Highest Rating/FIFE workshop on Acting for Film and TV, given at the Fifth Annual TV and Video Production Conference for High School Teachers

Activities

  • Developing a ZNHIDS Digital Repository/Archive of Zora Neale Hurston and her work here at UCF.
  • Developing Exhibits on Zora Neale Hurston, Goldsboro and Jesse L. Brown to tour nationally and be permanently housed in the Pentagon Museum in Washington, D.C.
  • Developing a TV Special Documentary on Eatonville's 125th. year anniversary celebration as the oldest incorporated African-American town.
  • Developing Documentary of Zora and her Eatonville and Sanford roots.
  • Developing Documentary on History of Black Churches in Winter Park, Fl.
  • Developing Documentary series on Minorities at UCF.
  • Developing Documentary on Conway Neighborhood in Orlando, Fl
  • Developing Documentary on Trayvon Martin
  • Taping Documentary on Ericka Dunlap, Miss America 2004 and UCF Grad.

Courses

Course Number Course Title Mode Date and Time Syllabus
11335 AFA3850 Research Africana Herit & Life Web Web Not Online
No Description Available

No courses found for Fall 2017.

Course Number Course Title Mode Session Date and Time Syllabus
50841 AFA4105 Docum Africana Heritage & Life Face2Face A Tu,Th 1:00PM - 4:50PM Not Online
No Description Available
Course Number Course Title Mode Date and Time Syllabus
11418 AFA3850 Research Africana Herit & Life Web Web Not Online
No Description Available

No courses found for Fall 2016.

Course Number Course Title Mode Session Date and Time Syllabus
50864 AFA4105 Docum Africana Heritage & Life Face2Face A Tu,Th 1:00PM - 4:50PM Not Online
No Description Available

Updated: May 11, 2017

Zora Neale Hurston Institute for Documentary Studies • College of Arts & Humanities at the University of Central Florida
Phone: 407-823-0076 Fax: 407-823-2297 • Web site Technical Support: cahweb@ucf.edu