Hope Clarke is an American actress, dancer, vocalist, choreographer, and director. Clarke performed as principal dancer with the Katherine Dunham Company and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, 1960s; actress on stage, film, and television, 1970s–1980s; choreographer and director, 1980s--. Clarke served on the Tony Awards Nominating Committee for the 2011–12 Broadway season. Clarke made history in 1995 when she became the first African American, as well as the first African-American woman, to direct and choreograph a major staging of the opera-musical Porgy and Bess. Clarke's production of the George Gershwin classic was staged in celebration of the work's 60h anniversary, and it toured not only major American cities but Japan and Europe as well. Clarke drew critical acclaim for her commitment to staging the show as a monument to African-American community and pride, giving a more hopeful, positive aura to a story that has been criticized for its stereotypes. As for the director herself, the success of Porgy and Bess is just the latest accolade in a long career devoted to dance and drama.