Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Garland Lee Thompson, Sr., Co-founder of the Frank Silvera Writers Workshop, Injured in Fall; Campaign Established for Medical Expenses

Garland Lee Thompson as Transporter Technician Ensign Wilson in "THE ENEMY WITHIN" - STAR TREK: TOS - Episode #5

Garland Lee Thompson as Transporter Technician Ensign Wilson in “THE ENEMY WITHIN” – STAR TREK: TOS – Episode #5

Garland Lee Thompson, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang

Garland Lee Thompson, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang

November 4, 2014
Garland Lee Thompson Jr. on Monterey, CA, writes,

“Garland Lee Thompson, Sr., well known for playing Transporter Technician Ensign Wilson on “Star Trek: the Original Series”, as well as for being one of the original founders of the Frank Silvera Writers Workshop (along with director Billie Allen, actor Morgan Freeman, and the late broadcaster Clayton Riley) who has led and shepherded this theatrical institution to support black, and other minority playwrights, and their new works for 41 years, was hospitalized recently after a serious fall at home.

He was found by his landlord who I’d asked to check on him after getting no answer when I called. Paramedics were summoned and upon arrival they immediately rushed him to the intensive care unit at Harlem Hospital, where he currently remains listed in critical condition. He’s unable to really speak, and has been breathing with the aid of a ventilator as he continues to receive treatment for pneumonia and other infections, with around the clock care. There are times he seems very alert, and other times not so much. As of today it’s still unknown how long he’ll be in the ICU and hospital, as well as what kind of continued care, and treatment he’ll need when he’s released.

My sister Alex, and I are Dad’s nearest next of kin. Unfortunately we both live in California, 3000 miles away. After taking a look at our own situations, we realized we need some help. We need to be able to cover various items such as:
– his personal bills through this period (rent & utilities)
– his rehabilitation
– family travel, and living expenses while caring for him
– the securing of his work and archives. (secure storage space and waterproof containers).

So we’ve set up this campaign to raise the money needed to support him as he fights to regain his health. Any contribution will be very much appreciated. No donation is too small. Every dollar helps!

If you’re someone Garland has ever helped, taught or supported, if you know someone he’s helped, or if you just appreciate, and support his consistent, tireless service to the Black Theatre community, American Theatre in general, and The Arts for all these decades, this is a chance to give back to him in his hour of need.

Click here to make a donation.

Can’t make a donation? No problem! You can still help by sharing this campaign with your friends, Facebook buddies, and family. Of course, cards or notes of support sent to Harlem Hospital will always be welcome!

With much gratitude and thanks for all your good thoughts and consideration.”

November 5, 2014 update:
Garland was transferred to Bellevue Hospital today to have some procedures done on his throat that Bellevue is better equipped to do. He arrived safely, and is in the 10th floor ICU. He’s still listed as critical, and they’re watching him very closely.

We’ve been in daily contact with the medical team at Bellevue Hospital, and they’re doing everything they can to help him. He’s still listed as critical, as he battles a number of infections that have been difficult to get under control, and he’s breathing with the help of a ventilator. His medical team are looking at some procedures that might really help them to ultimately destroy these infections that are ravaging him, and allow his body to heal itself. We’ll find out about that this week. In the meantime thanks again for all your support for Dad, and our family.

If anyone would like to send cards or flowers they can be sent to the 10th floor Medical ICU at Bellevue Hospital, 462 First Avenue (at 27th Street) New York, NY 10016

Thanks again!
Garland Thompson Jr.

Voza Rivers. Photo by Lia Chang

Voza Rivers. Photo by Lia Chang

A note from Voza Rivers, Executive Producer
Co-Founder New Heritage Theatre Group

“Under Garland’s reputation, for the past 41 years, the Writers’ workshop has built a prestigious reputation as a nationally and internationally renowned playwright’s development theater for emerging, featured and established writers and artists of color.

Please support Garland through his medical challenges.”

Other articles by Lia Chang:
Nov. 17: Chapman Roberts, Loretta Abbott, André De Shields, David Greer, Norm Lewis, Cherine Anderson, Lawrence Evans, Colby Christina & Nicholas A. Jenkins to Receive Special AUDELCO Awards
2014 AUDELCO Nominations Announced; Ceremony at Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space on November 17
Suzan-Lori Parks’ Father Comes Home From The Wars, Extends at The Public Theater through November 30
Opening Night Photos: Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) by Suzan-Lori Parks at The Public Theater
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Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Garland Lee Thompson and Lia Chang at the Schomburg in New York on October 18, 2012. Photo by Will Chang

Garland Lee Thompson and Lia Chang at the Schomburg in New York on October 18, 2012. Photo by Will Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the 2013 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman, and made her jazz vocalist debut in Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz “LADY” at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York. She is profiled in Jade Magazine.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2014 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at

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