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J. Divinelove


J. Divinelove, aka Dean Ponder, is a high school Dean of Arts, educator, actor, writer, and director of film and stage in the Atlanta area. With over twenty years of art making experience, his current project, Waiting for JT,  is both inspirational and personal. He explains how he came to write it and press for its production. "This play was inspired by Antoinette Nwandus' play Pass Over which I had never seen until a fellow actor and best friend told me I should check it out a year ago. So, I did. Now let me say that at this time I was in a grieving space as I had recently lost a nephew to a drug overdose (He would later lose a second nephew to drugs while writing the script). So when I saw the production I was moved to tears. It was exactly what I needed at that time in my life.

I was seeking to relate to  and understand the frustration and obstacles of a new African American male generation and there it was, beautifully laid out in theater. The same as generations before them, before them and so on. I was immediately inspired. Not to make it better, that would be impossible, but to add a different perspective. I had more I wanted to say. So I did. And, very cautiously, we presented the project to Utopian Academy For the Arts and they agreed to produce/executive produce it and, here we are." 

J. Divinelove's powerful adaptation can be seen this coming fall on August 23rd 2023 at the Linda Faye Stevenson Theater in Ellenwood, Georgia. 

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