Production Photos: Phylicia Rashad, John Earl Jelks, Alana Arenas, Francois Battiste, J. Bernard Calloway and More in HEAD OF PASSES at the Mark Taper through October 22

Kyle Beltran, John Earl Jelks, Phylicia Rashad and Jacqueline Williams Photo by Craig Schwartz

Academy Award winner and playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Head of Passes opens Sunday, September 24 at 7 p.m. at the Mark Taper Forum. Directed by Tina Landau, the poetic and powerful new play, which is part of Center Theatre Group’s 50th anniversary season at the Taper, continues through October 22, 2017.

 

Phylicia Rashad  Photo by  Craig Schwartz
Phylicia Rashad  Photo by  Craig Schwartz

Phylicia Rashad, Alana Arenas, Francois Battiste, Kyle Beltran, J. Bernard Calloway, John Earl Jelks have reprised their roles from the critically-acclaimed production at The Public Theater, and are joined by James Carpenter and Jacqueline Williams.

 

Phylicia Rashad  Photo by Craig Schwartz
Phylicia Rashad  Photo by Craig Schwartz

Family and friends are gathering to celebrate Shelah’s (portrayed by Rashad) birthday under the leaky roof of her home at the mouth of the Mississippi River. But an unwanted birthday party and unrelenting rains are only the first challenges in this contemporary parable inspired by the Book of Job in which unexpected events turn the reunion into the ultimate test of faith and love. As her world seems to collapse around her, Shelah must fight to survive the rising flood of life’s greatest challenges in this poetic and piercing new play.

Kyle Beltran, John Earl Jelks, Phylicia Rashad and Jacqueline Williams Photo by Craig Schwartz
Kyle Beltran, John Earl Jelks, Phylicia Rashad and Jacqueline Williams
Photo by Craig Schwartz

Tickets to “Head of Passes” are available by calling (213) 628-2772, online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org or at the Center Theatre Group Box Office located at the Ahmanson Theatre. Tickets range from $25 – $95 (ticket prices are subject to change). The Mark Taper Forum is located at The Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012.

Phylicia Rashad and J. Bernard Calloway Photo by Craig Schwartz
Phylicia Rashad and J. Bernard Calloway Photo by Craig Schwartz
Phylicia Rashad and J. Bernard Calloway Photo by Craig Schwartz
Phylicia Rashad and J. Bernard Calloway Photo by Craig Schwartz
Francois Battiste and Phylicia Rashad  Photo by Craig Schwartz
Francois Battiste and Phylicia Rashad  Photo by Craig Schwartz
Francois Battiste and James Carpenter Photo by  Craig Schwartz
Francois Battiste and James Carpenter Photo by  Craig Schwartz
Phylicia Rashad and Jacqueline Williams  Photo by Craig Schwartz
Phylicia Rashad and Jacqueline Williams  Photo by Craig Schwartz
Alana Arenas and Phylicia Rashad  Photo by Craig Schwartz
Alana Arenas and Phylicia Rashad  Photo by Craig Schwartz
Kyle Beltran and John Earl Jelks Photo by Craig Schwartz
Kyle Beltran and John Earl Jelks Photo by Craig Schwartz
Kyle Beltran and Phylicia Rashad  Photo by Craig Schwartz
Kyle Beltran and Phylicia Rashad  Photo by Craig Schwartz
James Carpenter and Phylicia Rashad  Photo by Craig Schwartz
James Carpenter and Phylicia Rashad  Photo by Craig Schwartz
James Carpenter, Jacqueline Williams and John Earl Jelks Photo by Craig Schwartz
James Carpenter, Jacqueline Williams and John Earl Jelks  Photo by Craig Schwartz

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Don’t Miss Out – KPOP VIP Night to Benefit Ma-Yi Theater Company on October 3

The highly anticipated world premiere of KPOP presented by Ars Nova, in association with Ma-Yi Theater and Woodshed Collective is currently in previews and will open on Friday, September 22 at 8pm at the A.R.T./New York Theatres, located at 502 West 53rd Street in Manhattan. The high-octane immersive event  gives you a backstage pass to a K-pop music factory and has performances through October 7 .

Tickets for most of the run are already sold-out but Ma-Yi Theater released a LIMITED block of tickets for the benefit on Tuesday, October 3, 2017.  Tickets, priced at $45 general/$75 premium, can be purchased by visiting arsnovanyc.com or by calling 212-352-3101.

Julia Abueva, Cathy Ang, Katie Lee Hill (Nerds), Joomin Hwang, Jinwoo Jung, Vanessa Kaihave, Jiho Kang, Deborah Kim, Susannah Kim, Ashley Park (Sunday in the Park with George, The King and I), Amanda Morton, Sun Hye Park, James Saito, James Seol (A Naked Girl on the Appian Way, Small Mouth Sounds), David Shih, Jason Tam (If/Then, Lysistrata Jones), John Yi and Ebony Williams (Beyoncé’s Formation World Tour).

KPOP was conceived by Woodshed Collective and Jason Kim (The Model American, HBO’s “Girls”) and features a book by Kim, music & lyrics by Helen Park and Max Vernon (The View UpStairs), an immersive design by Woodshed Collective, choreography by Bessie-nominee Jennifer Weber (The Hip Hop Nutcracker, TruTV’s “Face Off”) and is directed by Teddy Bergman (Empire Travel Agency).

The creative team includes Gabriel Hainer Evansohn (Production Design), Tricia Barsamian (Costume Design), Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew (Lighting Design), Will Pickens(Sound Design), Phillip Gulley (Projection and Video Design), Sujin Kim-Ramsey (Music Director), Helen Park & Max Vernon (Orchestration, Vocal Arrangements, Music Production) and LIzzy Lee (Production Stage Manager).

Click here to learn more about the artists.

Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Examiner.comJade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2017 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 liachangpr@gmail.com

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BLACK MIRROR Star Denise Burse and Peter Jay Fernandez Attend 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards

Peter Jay Fernandez and his wife Denise Burse attend the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.
Peter Jay Fernandez and his wife Denise Burse attend the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.
Peter Jay Fernandez and his wife Denise Burse attend the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

Before Denise Burse begins rehearsal for John Henry Redwood’s The Old Settler at The Billie Holiday Theatre (The Billie), she is attending the 69th Annual Emmy Awards with her husband Peter Jay Fernandez (“Luke Cage”)  at the Microsoft Theater in LA tonight for the “San Junipero” episode of Netflix’s sci-fi anthology series  “Black Mirror,” where she played Elder Kelly, the elder version of Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s character, shot on location in London and Capetown.

Critically-acclaimed and a fan favorite, “San Junipero” is up for two Emmy nominations: the first is for Charlie Brooker, for Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special, and the second is in the Outstanding TV Movie category.

Denise Burse as Elder Kelly in the "San Junipero" episode of "Black Mirror".
Denise Burse as Elder Kelly in the “San Junipero” episode of “Black Mirror

Ms. Burse shared, “I was very proud of the “Black Mirror” episode “San Junipero”. Our episode was written and produced by Charlie Brooker the creator of the “Black Mirror” series. It was very exciting to be on the set with the mastermind behind a show that has been so well received from fans across the country, but this episode has been submitted in film festivals around the globe and received critical acclaim as a stand alone story. It was an honor to be a member of such stellar cast and crew. We owe a great deal of the positive outcome of the episode to our director Owen Harris.”

Collider.com: ‘Black Mirror’: Charlie Brooker and Gugu Mbatha-Raw Talk “San Junipero” in Our Spoiler Interview

Emmys 2017: why San Junipero’s heartbreaking vision of Heaven will live forever

Black Mirror wins Outstanding Television Movie Emmy

Updated: 9/17/17

“Black Mirror” won in both categories -Charlie Brooker, for Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special, and for Outstanding TV Movie. Below are the acceptance speeches.

Ms. Burse had a blast working on one of her favorite shows, the very popular “Greenleaf” on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, appearing as Kevin’s mother, Ethlin Satterlee, in the season 2, episode 3 entitled, “A Mother’s Love.”

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THE OLD SETTLER at The Billie, October 20 – November 19

Maechi Aharanwa, Pauletta Washington Denise Burse and Warner Joseph Miller.
Maechi Aharanwa, Pauletta Washington Denise Burse and Warner Joseph Miller.

Helmed by Tony Award nominee Michele Shay, The Billie is launching its 46th season in the newly renovated theater with The Old Settler, October 20 – November 19, 2017.  In addition to Ms. Burse (Brownsville Song: b side for Trey, “House of Payne”), the cast also features Pauletta Pearson Washington (Two Trains Running, Autumn), Warner Miller (“Luke Cage”), as well as newcomer and Juilliard graduate Maechi Aharanwa (An Octoroon).

Set in 1943 Harlem, The Old Settler focuses on two sisters’ struggle to afford their rising rent. Faced with a choice between giving up their apartment and renting out their extra room to a stranger, they decide to take a chance on a boarder, newly arrived from the South. In equal measures funny and poignant, The Old Settler is a glimpse into the heart of an American City.

The Old Settler will be stage managed by Carolyn Reich. The design team includes lighting design by David Moodey, sound design by Kevin Novinsky, costume design by Niiamar Felder, and scenic design and props by Frank Oliva.

Tickets are available at TheBillieHoliday.org. Subscriptions to the 2017-2018 season are on sale by calling 718-636-6995 or by visiting the website.

Ms. Burse can be seen in Tim Blake Nelson’s Anesthesia and Bruce Beresford’s Peace, Love, and Misunderstanding opposite Jane Fonda. Her favorite film roles include her co-starring turns as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s mother opposite Howard Rollins in The Boy King (WSB); as Buster Marshall, Thurgood Marshall’s wife in Simple Justice (PBS American Experience); as Sister Marcie in Preaching to the Choir, directed by Charles Randolph Wright, as Sergeant Martin in A Time to Triumph (CBS) starring Patty Duke; and as Eleanor Clark in Resting Place (CBS, Hallmark Hall of Fame), starring John Lithgow and Morgan Freeman. Other film and TV credits include the BET/STARZ movie Funny Valentines, with Alfre Woodard and Loretta Devine, Angel, Basquiat, The Juror, Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Third Watch, 100 Centre Street, The Sopranos, The Cosby Show, New York Undercover and One Life to Live.

Ms. Burse appeared on Broadway in Wendy Wasserstein’s An American Daughter, directed by Daniel Sullivan. Her Off-Broadway credits include Eisa Davis’ Angela’s Mixtape (Ohio Theatre), Don Juan of Seville (Classical Stage Company), Ground People (American Place Theatre), Harriet’s Return (Cherry Lane Theatre), Hannah Davis (Negro Ensemble Company) and Bill Harris’ Robert Johnson: Trick the Devil (New Federal Theatre). Her regional credits include Marcus Gardley’s dance of the holy ghosts with Michael Genet (CENTERSTAGE); Pearl Cleage’s Flyin’ West with Ruby Dee at The Kennedy Center; Charles Randolph Wright’s Blue (Cincinnati Playhouse, Geva); Miss Evers’ Boys (Illusion Theater); African Company Presents Richard III (Cleveland Playhouse); Fences (CENTERSTAGE); A Raisin in the SunThe Piano Lesson (Seattle Repertory Theatre, director Lloyd Richards) and James Baldwin’s The Amen Corner (True Colors Theatre Company/Alliance Theatre). Helmer Kenny Leon has directed her in August Wilson’s Fences (Alliance Theatre), Radio Golf (CENTERSTAGE, Mark Taper Forum, Seattle Repertory Theatre), The Piano Lesson and Seven Guitars (Alliance Theatre). Ms. Burse garnered a Theatre World Award for her Off-Broadway debut in Ground People and an AUDELCO Award for Robert Johnson: Trick The Devil.

Claudine Mboligikpelani Nako (Beneatha Younger), Mia Ellis (Ruth Younger), Denise Burse (Lena Younger), Catalino Manalang (Travis Younger), Richard Prioleau (Walter Lee) in A Raisin in the Sun at Seattle Repertory Theatre. Photo credit: Alan Alabastro
Claudine Mboligikpelani Nako (Beneatha Younger), Mia Ellis (Ruth Younger), Denise Burse (Lena Younger), Catalino Manalang (Travis Younger), Richard Prioleau (Walter Lee) in A Raisin in the Sun at Seattle Repertory Theatre. Photo credit: Alan Alabastro

BWW Review: Classic RAISIN IN THE SUN at Rep Spotlights How Far We Haven’t Come

A native of Atlanta, Ms. Burse honed her craft performing at the Just Us Theatre, The Alliance Theatre and The Atlanta Children’s Theater.

Ms. Burse is repped by Brett Adams Ltd. Artists’ Agency.

BWW Review: Classic RAISIN IN THE SUN at Rep Spotlights How Far We Haven’t Come

Q & A: Denise Burse talks ‘Anesthesia’, Netflix’s ‘Black Mirror’, and ‘Brownsville Song (B-Side for Tray)’

Denise Burse as Claretha Jenkins in House of Payne’s “Payneful Visit” 

MR ROBOT’S BD Wong Talks Emmy Nomination, MR. HOLLAND’S OPUS, JURASSIC WORLD, Academy Invite, #OscarsSoWhite and More

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com

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Multimedia: Brandon J. Dirden, Crystal A. Dickinson, Brenda Pressley, Willie Dirden and More at Two River Theater’s Opening Night Party for A RAISIN IN THE SUN

Willie Dirden, Brandon J. Dirden, Andrew Binger, David Joel Rivera, Brenda Pressley, Jasmine Batchelor, Charlie Hudson III, Crystal A. Dickinson, York Walker, Owen Tabaka, and Nat DeWolf during the opening night curtain call for Two River Theater's A RAISIN IN THE SUN on September 15, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
Willie Dirden, Brandon J. Dirden, Andrew Binger, David Joel Rivera, Jasmine Batchelor, Charlie Hudson III, Crystal A. Dickinson, York Walker, Owen Tabaka, Brenda Pressley and Nat DeWolf during the opening night curtain call for Two River Theater's A RAISIN IN THE SUN. Photo by Lia Chang
Willie Dirden, Brandon J. Dirden, Andrew Binger, David Joel Rivera, Jasmine Batchelor, Charlie Hudson III, Crystal A. Dickinson, York Walker, Owen Tabaka, Brenda Pressley and Nat DeWolf during the opening night curtain call for Two River Theater’s A RAISIN IN THE SUN on September 15, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

Two River Theater has another splendid hit in the Rechnitz Theater with the opening of the searing and powerful production of Lorraine Hansberry’s American classic A Raisin in the Sun, brilliantly helmed by Carl Cofield.

Willie Dirden, Brandon J. Dirden, Andrew Binger, David Joel Rivera, Brenda Pressley, Jasmine Batchelor, Charlie Hudson III, Crystal A. Dickinson, York Walker, Owen Tabaka, and Nat DeWolf during the opening night curtain call for Two River Theater's A RAISIN IN THE SUN on September 15, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
Willie Dirden, Brandon J. Dirden, Andrew Binger, David Joel Rivera, Brenda Pressley, Jasmine Batchelor, Charlie Hudson III, Crystal A. Dickinson, York Walker, Owen Tabaka, and Nat DeWolf during the opening night curtain call for Two River Theater’s A RAISIN IN THE SUN on September 15, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

Brandon J. Dirden stars as Walter Lee Younger, his wife Crystal A. Dickinson as Ruth Younger, his father Willie Dirden as Bobo, Brenda Pressley as Lena Younger, Jasmine Batchelor as Beneatha Younger, Nat DeWolf as Karl Lindner, Charlie Hudson III as Joseph Asagai, Owen Tabaka as Travis Younger, York Walker as George Murchison, with Andrew Binger and David Joel Rivera as the Moving Men.

Brandon J. Dirden, Crystal A. Dickinson, Willie Dirden, Andrew Binger, Brenda Pressley, Director Carl Cofield, Nat DeWolf, York Walker, Jasmine Batchelor, Charlie Hudson III (not pictured: Owen Tabaka and David Joel Rivera. Photo by Lia Chang
Brandon J. Dirden, Crystal A. Dickinson, Willie Dirden, Andrew Binger, Brenda Pressley, Director Carl Cofield, Nat DeWolf, York Walker, Jasmine Batchelor, Charlie Hudson III (not pictured: Owen Tabaka and David Joel Rivera) Photo by Lia Chang

A Raisin in the Sun marks the first time that Brandon and his father Willie have shared the same stage.

Willie and Deborah Dirden with their daughter, Maria, granddaughter, Emerson, and their sons, James Dirden, Jason Dirden and Brandon Dirden. Photo by Lia Chang
Willie and Deborah Dirden with their daughter, Maria, granddaughter, Emerson, and their sons, James Dirden, Jason Dirden and Brandon Dirden. Photo by Lia Chang

There were more than 50 family members in attendance including Two River alum and brother Jason Dirden (Topdog/Underdog, Seven GuitarsMa Rainey’s Black Bottom) who currently appears as Basie Skanks on “Greenleaf” on the OWN Network.

Jason Dirden Discusses ‘Greenleaf’ and the Family Business

The Dirden-Dickinson clan came out to celebrate opening night and Willie Dirden's 72nd birthday. Photo by Lia Chang
The Dirden-Dickinson clan came out to celebrate opening night and Willie Dirden’s 72nd birthday. Photo by Lia Chang

The double celebration included a cake for Willie Dirden who turned 72 and became a member of Actors Equity Association.

Video produced by Garth Kravits.

The creative team includes scenic designers Christopher Swader & Justin Swader, costume designer Elivia Bovenzi, lighting designer Kathy A. Perkins, sound designer Karin Graybash, wig designer Valerie Gladstone and stage manager Lloyd Davis, Jr.

Scenic Designers Justin Swader, Christopher Swader, Brandon J. Dirden, Willie Dirden, Andrew Binger, Owen Tabaka, Director Carl Cofield, Constume Designer Elivia Bovenzi, Nat DeWolf, York Walker, Jasmine Batchelor, Crystal A. Dickinson and Charlie Hudson III. Photo by Lia Chang
Scenic Designers Justin Swader, Christopher Swader, Brandon J. Dirden, Willie Dirden, Andrew Binger, Owen Tabaka, Director Carl Cofield, Constume Designer Elivia Bovenzi, Nat DeWolf, York Walker, Jasmine Batchelor, Crystal A. Dickinson and Charlie Hudson III. Photo by Lia Chang

Don’t miss the masterful work being done by these artists. Performances continue through Sunday, October 8 in Two River’s Rechnitz Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank, NJ.  Tickets are available from 732.345.1400 or tworivertheater.org

Brandon J. Dirden, Crystal A. Dickinson, Willie Dirden, Brenda Pressley and More in Two River Theater’s A RAISIN IN THE SUN, Opens September 15 

In the Rehearsal Room with Brandon J. Dirden, Crystal A. Dickinson, Willie Dirden, Brenda Pressley and More in Two River Theater’s A RAISIN IN THE SUN 

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Brandon J. Dirden, Willie Dirden, Deborah Dirden, Lia Chang, Jason Dirden. Photo by Garth Kravits
Brandon J. Dirden, Willie Dirden, Deborah Dirden, Lia Chang, Jason Dirden. Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in  Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2017 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 lia@liachang.com

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André De Shields, Ellen Burstyn, Hannah Cabell, Kyle Scatliffe, Quincy Tyler Bernstine and More Set for AS YOU LIKE IT at CSC

The full company of AS YOU LIKE IT at Bay Street Theater. Photo by Lenny Stucker
The full company of AS YOU LIKE IT Photo by Lenny Stucker
The full company of AS YOU LIKE IT Photo by Lenny Stucker

Classic Stage Company is presenting AS YOU LIKE IT by William Shakespeare, with Tony Award winner John Doyle at the helm, with music by Stephen Schwartz, beginning Thursday, September 14th as the first production of CSC’s 50th Anniversary Season. As You Like It is a co-production with Bay Street Theater, where the cast ended their run on September 3rd. Opening night is September 28th, and the production will play through October 22nd. Click here for tickets. Classic Stage Company is located at 136 E. 13th St., New York, NY  10003.

André De Shields​ as Touchstone and Hannah Cabell​ as Rosalind in AS YOU LIKE IT. Copyright Lenny Stucker
André De Shields​ as Touchstone and Hannah Cabell​ as Rosalind in AS YOU LIKE IT.
Copyright Lenny Stucker

The production stars two- time Tony nominee and Emmy Award nominee André De Shields (The Full Monty, Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Wiz) as Touchstone, Hannah Cabell (The Father, Men on Boats, Major Barbara) as Rosalind, and Academy Award, Emmy Award and Tony Award winner Ellen Burstyn (Same Time, Next Year, The Last Picture Show, The Exorcist) as Jacques.

Ellen Burstyn as Jacques. Copyright Lenny Stucker
Ellen Burstyn as Jacques. Copyright Lenny Stucker

The production also features Quincy Tyler Bernstine (In The Next Room, Small Mouth Sounds) as Celia, Kyle Scatliffe (The Color Purple, Les Miserables) as Orlando, Noah Brody (Co-Artistic Director of Fiasco Theater) as Oliver/Corin, Leenya Rideout (War Horse, Company, Cabaret) as Phoebe, Tony Award nominee Bob Stillman (Grey Gardens, Songbird, As You Like It) as Duke Frederick/ Duke Sr., Cass Morgan (Memphis the Musical, Mary Poppins) as Old Adam/Audrey and David Samuel (The Diamond in the Rough, To Kill a Mockingbird) as Silvius.

Quincy Tyler Bernstine as Celia, Hannah Cabell as Rosalind and André De Shields as Touchstone in AS YOU LIKE IT. Copyright Lenny Stucker
Quincy Tyler Bernstine as Celia, Hannah Cabell as Rosalind and André De Shields as Touchstone in AS YOU LIKE IT.
Copyright Lenny Stucker

An exiled Duke, his banished daughter, a gentleman in love, and a melancholy traveler. Tony Award-winning director John Doyle and Tony Award-winning composer Stephen Schwartz bring Shakespeare’s pastoral romance into the Jazz Age, with lovers in disguise, troubadours in trouble, and some of Shakespeare’s most beloved characters.

Kyle Scatliffe and Hannah Cabell in AS YOU LIKE IT. Photo by Lenny Stucker
Kyle Scatliffe and Hannah Cabell in AS YOU LIKE IT.
Photo by Lenny Stucker

AS YOU LIKE IT will feature scenic design by John Doyle, costume design by Ann Hould-Ward and lighting design by Mike Baldassari. David Arsenault is Associate Scenic Designer and Amy Sutton is Associate Costume Designer.

André De Shields​, Noah Brody and Ellen Burstyn in AS YOU LIKE IT at Bay Street Theater​. Copyright Lenny Stucker
André De Shields​, Noah Brody and Ellen Burstyn in AS YOU LIKE IT at Bay Street Theater​.
Copyright Lenny Stucker

André De Shields (Touchstone) In a career spanning forty-eight years, André De Shields has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, choreographer and educator. He is the recipient of three Jeff Awards, one as Director for Victory Gardens’ 1987 production of The Colored Museum, and two as Featured Performer in a Musical for the Goodman Theatre productions of Play On! (1998) and Mary Zimmerman’s The Jungle Book (2013). In fact Mr. De Shields’ professional career began at Chicago’s Shubert Theatre, now the Bank of America Theatre, in the 1969 production of Hair. From there he moved on to The Me Nobody Knows at the Civic Opera House, and ultimately became a member of The Organic Theatre Company, where he created the role of Xander the Unconquerable, Ruler of the Sixth Dimension in the cult sensation Warp. A multiple Tony Award nominee, he is best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway musicals: The WizAin’t Misbehavin’Play On! and The Full Monty.

His numerous accolades include an Emmy Award for the NBC Special based on Ain’t Misbehavin’, the 2007 Village Voice OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance, the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award, a 2012 Fox Foundation Fellowship in Distinguished Achievement, Florida Atlantic University’s 2014 Making Waves Award, the Theatre School at DePaul University 2015 Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Riant Theatre’s 2016 Pioneer of the Arts Award, the Black Theatre Network’s 2016 Winona Lee Fletcher Award, a 2016 Beinecke Fellowship at Yale School of Drama and nine AUDELCO Awards. and two Doctor of Fine Arts degrees honoris causa one each from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the State University of New York-College at Buffalo.

Ellen Burstyn and André De Shields Photo by Lia Chang
Ellen Burstyn and André De Shields
Photo by Lia Chang

Ellen Burstyn (Jaques) Ellen Burstyn’s sixty-year acting career encompasses film, stage, and television. In 1975 she became the third woman in history to win both a Tony Award and an Academy Award in the same year, for her work in Same Time, Next Year on Broadway and the film Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. She has received five other Academy Award nominations. She has been nominated for seven Golden Globe awards, winning in 1979 for Same Time, Next Year. She became a “triple crown winner” when she received her first Emmy for a guest appearance in Law & Order: SVU (2009), and won again in 2013 for her role in the miniseries Political Animals. She has been nominated for an Emmy six additional times. In 2014 she was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. Early films include The Last Picture Show (1971 – Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations) and The King of Marvin Gardens (1972), among others.

Her recent films include Draft Day (2014), The Calling (2014), Interstellar (2014), The Age of Adaline (2015), Custody (2016), and Wiener Dog (2016). Soon to be released are The Tale, Nostalgia, A Little Something For Your Birthday and House of Tomorrow. She made her Broadway debut in Fair Game (1957). Other Broadway credits include 84 Charing Cross Road (1982), Shirley Valentine (1989), Shimada (1991), and Sacrilege (1995). She also performed off-Broadway many times, including The Little Flower of East Orange (2008) and The Atmosphere of Memory (2011). In London, she starred in The Children’s Hour (2011). She was the first woman elected president of Actors Equity Association (1982-1985) and serves as co-president of The Actors Studio. In 2006 she published her memoir, Lessons in Becoming Myself.

Hannah Cabell (Rosalind) Broadway credits include The Father (MTC), A Man for All Seasons (Roundabout). Off Broadway includes Men On Boats (Playwrights Horizons/Clubbed Thumb), Major Barbara (The Pearl), Grounded (Page 73) for which Cabell won a Drama Desk nomination, best solo performance. Others include 3C (Rattlestick), Compulsion (Public Theater), Pumpgirl (Manhattan Theatre Club), The Zero Hour (13P), Gentleman Caller (Clubbed Thumb), Mark Smith (13P). Regional and International theater includes The Moors Marjorie (Yale Rep), Marie Antoinette (Polignac ART, Yale Rep) , Compulsion (Woman Berkeley Rep, Yale Rep), Three Sisters (John Doyle, dir.) Irina Cincinnati Playhouse; In the Next Room; or the Vibrator Play (Berkeley Rep). Film and Television includes “The Path” (Hulu – recurring), “Mr. Robot” (USA), “Happyish” (Showtime), “The Leftovers” (HBO), “Law and Order: Criminal Intent”. Voice over includes “Grand Theft Auto” and “The Electric Company.” Cabell received her M.F.A, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and later the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship for Young Artists, 2011.

Director John Doyle and André De Shields Photo by Lia Chang
Director John Doyle and André De Shields
Photo by Lia Chang

John Doyle (Director and Set Designer) is the new Artistic Director of Classic Stage Company where he has directed Passion, Allegro, Peer Gynt and the recent production of Dead Poets Society. Broadway: Sweeney Todd (Tony and Drama Desk Awards, Best Director of a Musical), Company (Tony Award, Best Musical Revival), A Catered Affair (Drama League Award, Best Musical Production), The Visit (Tony nom., Best Musical), The Color Purple (Tony nom., Best Musical Revival). Off-Broadway: Wings (Second Stage); Road Show (Public Theatre); Where’s Charley?, Irma La Douce (Encores!). Regional: Kiss Me Kate (Stratford); Caucasian Chalk Circle (ACT); Merrily We Roll Along, The Three Sisters (Cincinnati); Ten Cents a Dance (Williamstown); The Exorcist (LA). In the UK, John has been artistic director of four regional theaters. Numerous credits include: The Gondoliers, Mack and Mabel (West End); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Regent’s Park); Oklahoma! (Chichester); Amadeus (Wilton’s Music Hall). Opera includes Madama Butterfly (Grange Park), Lucia Di Lammermoor (Houston/La Fenice/ Sydney Opera House), Peter Grimes (Metropolitan Opera, NY), The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (LA Opera). He directed the feature film “Main Street.”

Stephen Schwartz (Composer) wrote the music and lyrics for the current Broadway hit Wicked, and has also contributed music and/or lyrics to Godspell, Pippin, The Magic Show, The Baker’s Wife, Working (which he also adapted and directed), Rags, and Children of Eden. His most recent musical, Schikaneder, premiered in 2016 in Vienna. He has also worked in film, collaborating with Alan Menken on the songs for Disney’s Enchanted as well as the animated features Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and writing the songs for the DreamWorks animated feature The Prince of Egypt. In the classical music field, he collaborated with Leonard Bernstein on the English texts for Bernstein’s Mass, and composed the opera Séance on a Wet Afternoon. Schwartz has been inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and has been given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Awards include three Academy Awards, four Grammy Awards, and the Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award.

Leenya Rideout, André De Shields, Hannah Cabell, David Samuel, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Kyle Scatliffe and Bob Stillman, Artistic Director Scott Schwartz and Executive Director Tracy Mitchell Photo by Lia Chang
Leenya Rideout, André De Shields, Hannah Cabell, David Samuel, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Kyle Scatliffe and Bob Stillman, Artistic Director Scott Schwartz and Executive Director Tracy Mitchell Photo by Lia Chang

Classic Stage Company (CSC). CSC is committed to re-imagining classic stories for contemporary audiences. The company has been a home for New York’s finest established and emerging artists to grapple with the great works of the world’s repertory that speak directly to the issues of today. CSC serves an average of 35,000 audience members annually, including more than 4,000 students through its nationally recognized education programs. Productions have been cited repeatedly by all the major Off-Broadway theater awards including the Obie, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work.

André De Shields as Touchstone in the John Doyle Helmed AS YOU LIKE IT at Bay Street Theater through September 3 

André De Shields, Ellen Burstyn, Hannah Cabell, Quincy Tyler Bernstine and More Celebrate AS YOU LIKE IT Opening Night at Bay Street Theater

André De Shields, Ellen Burstyn and More Set for Stephen Schwartz’s Jazz Era AS YOU LIKE IT at CSC

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in  Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2017 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 lia@liachang.com

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Laura Osnes, Beth Leavel, Geoff Packard, Brandon James Ellis and Garth Kravits Backstage at BANDSTAND

Brandon James Ellis, Garth Kravits, Geoff Packard and Laura Osnes. Photo by Lia Chang
Joe Carroll, Corey Cott, Laura Osnes, Brandon J. Ellis, Geoff Packard, James Nathan Hopkins and Alex Bender. Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel
Joe Carroll, Corey Cott, Laura Osnes, Brandon J. Ellis, Geoff Packard, James Nathan Hopkins and Alex Bender. Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel

The Tony Award winning production of the new American musical Bandstand, directed and choreographed by three time Tony Award winner Andy Blankenbuehler (Hamilton, In The Heights) and featuring music by Richard Oberacker and a book and lyrics by Robert Taylor and Richard Oberacker, will conclude its critically acclaimed engagement on Broadway on Sunday, September, 17, 2017 following 24 previews and 166 regular performances.

The company of Bandstand. Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel 
The company of Bandstand. Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel

Bandstand began performances on March 31, 2017 and officially opened April 26 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre (242 West 45 Street) on Broadway.

Corey Cott, Joe Carroll, Laura Osnes, Brandon J. Ellis, Alex Bender, James Nathan Hopkins and Geoff Packard. Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel
Corey Cott, Joe Carroll, Laura Osnes, Brandon J. Ellis, Alex Bender, James Nathan Hopkins and Geoff Packard. Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel

Bandstand stars two time Tony Award nominee Laura Osnes (Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella) and Corey Cott (Gigi) and features Tony Award winner Beth Leavel (The Drowsy Chaperone), Joe Carroll (Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella), Brandon James Ellis (Once), James Nathan Hopkins (What’s It All About: Bacharach Reimagined), Geoff Packard (Matilda) and Joey Pero (Broadway debut).

Brandon J. Ellis, Corey Cott, Joe Carroll, James Nathan Hopkins, Alex Bender and Geoff Packard. Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel 
Brandon J. Ellis, Corey Cott, Joe Carroll, James Nathan Hopkins, Alex Bender and Geoff Packard. Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel

1945. As America’s soldiers come home to ticker-tape parades and overjoyed families, Private First Class Donny Novitski, singer and songwriter, returns to rebuild his life with only the shirt on his back and a dream in his heart.

Corey Cott and Laura Osnes. Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel
Corey Cott and Laura Osnes. Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel

When NBC announces a national competition to find the nation’s next great musical superstars, inspiration strikes! Donny joins forces with a motley group of fellow veterans, each an astonishing musician. Together, they form a band unlike any the nation has ever seen. Along the way, they discover the power of music to face the impossible, find their voice and finally feel like they have a place to call home.

Corey Cott and Laura Osnes (center) with the company of Bandstand. Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel 
Corey Cott and Laura Osnes (center) with the company of Bandstand. Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel

The Bandstand ensemble features Carleigh Bettiol (Hamilton), Mary Callanan (Mamma Mia!), Max Clayton (Something Rotten!), Patrick Connaghan (Broadway debut), Matt Cusack (One Man Two Guvnors), Andrea Dotto (Broadway debut), Marc A. Heitzman (Broadway debut), Ryan Kasprzak (Broadway debut), Andrew Leggieri (Broadway debut), Erica Mansfield (Finding Neverland), Morgan Marcell (Hamilton), Drew McVety (The Front Page), Kevyn Morrow (The Color Purple), Becca Petersen (Broadway debut) , Keven Quillon (Shrek), Jonathan Shew (Broadway debut), Ryan VanDenBoom (Something Rotten!), Jaime Verazin (Finding Neverland), Mindy Wallace (An American in Paris) and Kevin Worley (On the Town).

 The company of Bandstand. Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel 
The company of Bandstand. Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel

The award winning Bandstand design team includes Tony Award nominee David Korins (Scenic Design), Tony Award winner Paloma Young (Costume Design), Tony Award winner Jeff Croiter (Lighting Design), Tony Award nominee Nevin Steinberg (Sound Design), 2017 Tony Award nominee Greg Anthony Rassen (Co-Orchestrator, Music Supervisor and Music Arranger), Tony Award winner and 2017 Tony Award nominee Bill Elliott (Co-Orchestrator), Fred Lassen (Musical Director and Conductor), Mark Stuart (Associate Choreographer) and makeup, hair and wig design by J. Jared Janas and Dave Bova.

Corey Cott and Laura Osnes (center) with the company of Bandstand. Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel 
Corey Cott and Laura Osnes (center) with the company of Bandstand. Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel

Bandstand played a critically acclaimed world premiere engagement at Paper Mill Playhouse last fall.

Brandon James Ellis, Garth Kravits, Geoff Packard and Laura Osnes. Photo by Lia Chang
Brandon James Ellis, Garth Kravits, Geoff Packard and Laura Osnes. Photo by Lia Chang
 Joe Carroll, James Nathan Hopkins, Alex Bender, Laura Osnes, Geoff Packard, Corey Cott and Brandon J. Ellis. Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel
Joe Carroll, James Nathan Hopkins, Alex Bender, Laura Osnes, Geoff Packard, Corey Cott and Brandon J. Ellis. Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel

Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Examiner.comJade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2017 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 liachangpr@gmail.com

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Brandon J. Dirden, Crystal A. Dickinson, Willie Dirden, Brenda Pressley and More in Two River Theater’s A RAISIN IN THE SUN, Opens September 15

Jasmine Batchelor (Beneatha Younger), Owen Tabaka (Travis Younger), Brenda Pressley (Lena Younger), Brandon J. Dirden (Walter Lee Younger) and Crystal A. Dickinson (Ruth Younger) in A Raisin in the Sun at Two River Theater. Photo by T. Charles Erickson

Two River Theater (Artistic Director John Dias, Managing Director Michael Hurst) presents A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, directed by Carl Cofield. The press opening is Friday, September 15 at 7pm and performances will continue through Sunday, October 8 in Two River’s Rechnitz Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank, NJ.  Tickets are available from 732.345.1400 or tworivertheater.org

Brandon J. Dirden (Walter Lee Younger), Crystal A. Dickinson (Ruth Younger), Brenda Pressley (Lena Younger) and Owen Tabaka (Travis Younger) in A Raisin in the Sun at Two River Theater. Photo by T. Charles Erickson
Brandon J. Dirden (Walter Lee Younger), Crystal A. Dickinson (Ruth Younger), Brenda Pressley (Lena Younger) and Owen Tabaka (Travis Younger) in A Raisin in the Sun at Two River Theater. Photo by T. Charles Erickson

The cast includes Jasmine Batchelor (Beneatha Younger), Nat DeWolf (Karl Lindner), Crystal A. Dickinson(Ruth Younger), Brandon J. Dirden (Walter Lee Younger), Willie Dirden (Bobo), Charlie Hudson III (Joseph Asagai), Brenda Pressley (Lena Younger), Owen Tabaka (Travis Younger), and York Walker (George Murchison). Andrew Binger and David Joel Rivera play the Moving Men.

Crystal A. Dickinson (Ruth Younger) and Brandon J. Dirden (Walter Lee Younger) in in A Raisin in the Sun at Two River Theater. Photo by T. Charles Erickson
Crystal A. Dickinson (Ruth Younger) and Brandon J. Dirden (Walter Lee Younger) in in A Raisin in the Sun at Two River Theater. Photo by T. Charles Erickson

The creative team includes scenic designers Christopher Swader & Justin Swader, costume designer Elivia Bovenzi, lighting designer Kathy A. Perkins, sound designer Karin Graybash, and wigs designer Valerie Gladstone. The casting is by Jack Doulin + Sharky, and the stage manager is Lloyd Davis, Jr.

Jasmine Batchelor (Beneatha Younger), Owen Tabaka (Travis Younger), Brenda Pressley (Lena Younger), Brandon J. Dirden (Walter Lee Younger) and Crystal A. Dickinson (Ruth Younger) in A Raisin in the Sun at Two River Theater. Photo by T. Charles Erickson
Jasmine Batchelor (Beneatha Younger), Owen Tabaka (Travis Younger), Brenda Pressley (Lena Younger), Brandon J. Dirden (Walter Lee Younger) and Crystal A. Dickinson (Ruth Younger) in A Raisin in the Sun at Two River Theater. Photo by T. Charles Erickson
Crystal A. Dickinson (Ruth Younger), Brenda Pressley (Lena Younger) and Owen Tabaka (Travis Younger) in A Raisin in the Sun at Two River Theater. Photo by T. Charles Erickson
Crystal A. Dickinson (Ruth Younger), Brenda Pressley (Lena Younger) and Owen Tabaka (Travis Younger) in A Raisin in the Sun at Two River Theater. Photo by T. Charles Erickson
Brandon J. Dirden (Walter Lee Younger), Crystal A. Dickinson (Ruth Younger), Nat DeWolf (Karl Lindner) and Jasmine Batchelor (Beneatha Younger) in A Raisin in the Sun at Two River Theater. Photo by T. Charles Erickson
Brandon J. Dirden (Walter Lee Younger), Crystal A. Dickinson (Ruth Younger), Nat DeWolf (Karl Lindner) and Jasmine Batchelor (Beneatha Younger) in A Raisin in the Sun at Two River Theater. Photo by T. Charles Erickson
Charlie Hudson III (Joseph Asagai) and Jasmine Batchelor (Beneatha Younger) in A Raisin in the Sun at Two River Theater. Photo by T. Charles Erickson
Charlie Hudson III (Joseph Asagai) and Jasmine Batchelor (Beneatha Younger) in A Raisin in the Sun at Two River Theater. Photo by T. Charles Erickson
Jasmine Batchelor (Beneatha Younger) and York Walker (George Murchison) in A Raisin in the Sun at Two River Theater. Photo by T. Charles Erickson
Jasmine Batchelor (Beneatha Younger) and York Walker (George Murchison) in A Raisin in the Sun at Two River Theater. Photo by T. Charles Erickson
Willie Dirden (Bobo) and Brandon J. Dirden (Walter Lee Younger) in A Raisin in the Sun at Two River Theater. Photo by T. Charles Erickson
Willie Dirden (Bobo) and Brandon J. Dirden (Walter Lee Younger) in A Raisin in the Sun at Two River Theater. Photo by T. Charles Erickson
Brenda Pressley (Lena Younger) and Crystal A. Dickinson (Ruth Younger) in A Raisin in the Sun at Two River Theater. Photo by T. Charles Erickson
Brenda Pressley (Lena Younger) and Crystal A. Dickinson (Ruth Younger) in A Raisin in the Sun at Two River Theater. Photo by T. Charles Erickson

In the Rehearsal Room with Brandon J. Dirden, Crystal A. Dickinson, Willie Dirden, Brenda Pressley and More in Two River Theater’s A RAISIN IN THE SUN 

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Danny Burstein, Rebecca Naomi Jones and More to Star in Rajiv Joseph’s DESCRIBE THE NIGHT at the Atlantic Theater, November 10 – December 24

Rajiv Joseph and Giovanna Sardelli. Photo by Lia Chang
Rajiv Joseph and Giovanna Sardelli. Photo by Lia Chang
Rajiv Joseph and Giovanna Sardelli. Photo by Lia Chang

Atlantic Theater Company has announced casting for The New York premiere of Pulitzer Prize finalist and Lortel and Obie Award winner Rajiv Joseph’s (Guards at the Taj) play Describe the Night, directed by Giovanna Sardelli (Animals Out of Paper).

Describe the Night will feature Tina Benko (The Crucible), Nadia Bowers (The Farnsworth Invention), six-time Tony Award nominee Danny Burstein (Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret), Rebecca Naomi Jones (Significant Other, Marie and Rosetta), Max Gordon Moore (Indecent) and Stephen Stocking (Off-Broadway debut).

In 1920, the Russian writer Isaac Babel (Burstein) wanders the countryside with the Red Cavalry. Seventy years later, a mysterious KGB agent spies on a woman in Dresden and falls in love. In 2010, an aircraft carrying most of the Polish government crashes in the Russian city of Smolensk.

Set in Russia over the course of 90 years, this thrilling and epic new play traces the stories of seven men and women connected by history, myth and conspiracy theories.

Describe the Night will begin previews Friday, November 10, officially open Tuesday, December 5 and play a limited engagement through Sunday, December 24, 2017, Off-Broadway at Atlantic Theater Company’s Linda Gross Theater (336 West 20th Street).

Rajiv Joseph returns to Atlantic following the critically acclaimed production of his Lortel and Obie Award-winning play Guards at the Taj. His plays include Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (Pulitzer Prize finalist), The North Pool, Gruesome Playground Injuries and Animals Out of Paper. He has been awarded artistic grants from the Laurents/Hatcher Foundation, the Whiting Foundation, United States Artists and The Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.

Director Giovanna Sardelli has staged Rajiv Joseph’s Off-Broadway world premieres of Huck & Holden, Animals Out of Paper, All This Intimacy and The Leopard and The Fox, as well as the world premiere of Archduke at The Mark Taper Forum and the West Coast premiere of Guards at the Taj at The Geffen Playhouse, which received the 2017 Ovation Award for Best Production of a Play.

Tina Benko recently starred in Julius Caesar at The Public Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park and has appeared on Broadway in The Crucible and The Cherry Orchard. Nadia Bowers has appeared on Broadway in The Farnsworth Invention, Doubt and Metamorphoses. Six-time Tony Award nominee Danny Burstein has starred on Broadway in Fiddler on the Roof, Follies, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, South Pacific andThe Drowsy Chaperone. Rebecca Naomi Jones last starred at Atlantic in the acclaimed play Marie and Rosetta and has appeared on Broadway in Significant Other, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, American Idiot and Passing Strange. Max Gordon Moore has appeared on Broadway in Indecent and Relatively Speaking and Off-Broadway in Man from Nebraska. Stephen Stocking makes his Off-Broadway debut and recently appeared in the world premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s Archduke at The Mark Taper Forum.

Describe the Night will feature scenic design by Tim Mackabee, costume design by Amy Clark, lighting design by Lap Chi Chu, sound design and original compositions by Daniel Kluger and casting by Telsey+Company; Adam Caldwell, CSA; Will Cantler, CSA; Karyn Casl, CSA.

The World Premiere of Describe the Night was commissioned and produced by the Alley Theatre, Houston, TX (Gregory Boyd, Artistic Director; Dean R. Gladden, Managing Director).

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Rajiv Joseph’s (Playwright) play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo was a 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist for Drama and was also awarded a grant for Outstanding New American Play by the National Endowment for the Arts. His play Guards at the Taj was a 2016 Obie Winner for Best New American Play and a 2016 Lucille Lortel Winner for Best Play. His play Archduke received its world premiere at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. Other plays include Gruesome Playground Injuries, The Monster at the Door, Animals Out of Paper, The Lake Effect, The North Pool, and Mr. Wolf. Rajiv has been awarded artistic grants from the Whiting Foundation, United States Artists and the Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. He is a board member of the Lark Play Development Center in New York City, where he develops all his plays. He served for three years in the Peace Corps in Senegal and now lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Giovanna Sardelli (Director). With Rajiv Joseph: Los Angeles: Archduke (World Premiere at the Taper, CTG), Guards at the Taj (Geffen Playhouse, 2017 Ovation Award for Best Production of a Play). Off-Broadway World Premieres: Huck & Holden (Cherry Lane); Animals Out of Paper and All This Intimacy (Second Stage); The Leopard and The Fox (AlterEgo). Regional: Mr. Wolf (Cleveland Play House); The Lake Effect (TheatreWorks Silicon Valley); The North Pool (TheatreWorks Silicon Valley World Premiere, Barrington Stage Company). Other Select Off-Broadway World Premieres: Little Children Dream of God (Roundabout); Wildflower (Second Stage); Finks (Ensemble Studio Theatre); Apple Cove (Women’s Project). Other Select Regional: All The Way, The Whipping Man (Cleveland Play House); The Mountaintop, Absalom (Actor’s Theatre of Louisville); Clybourne Park, Lord of the Flies, Muckrakers (Barrington Stage Company); Crimes of the Heart, Velocity of Autumn, Somewhere (TheatreWorks Silicon Valley). Though based in New York, Sardelli is the Director of New Works for TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. Education: MFA Graduate Acting Program, NYU and graduate of their Director’s Lab. Upcoming: Constellations (Geffen Playhouse), Describe the Night by Rajiv Joseph (Alley Theatre), Skeleton Crew (Marin Theatre/TheatreWorks Silicon Valley), Finks (TheatreWorks Silicon Valley).

Tina Benko (Yevgenia) played Calpurnia in Julius Caesar this summer for The Public Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park. Recent Broadway credits include Ivo Van Hove’s production of The Crucible and The Cherry Orchard at Roundabout. Off-Broadway includes Scenes from a Marriage at New York Theatre Workshop, Informed Consent at Primary Stages, A Midsummer Night’s Dream at TFANA, Who Left This Fork Here? at Baryshnikov Arts Center, Jackie at The Women’s Project and The New York, Los Angeles and International productions of Toni Morrison’s play Desdemona. TV and Film credits include “Mapplethorpe,” “Hot Air,” The Greatest Showman, “Fair Market Value,” “Blindspot,” “NCIS: New Orleans,” “Vinyl” and “Flesh and Bone.”

Nadia Bowers (Mariya, Mrs. Petrovna). Broadway: The Farnsworth Invention, Doubt, Metamorphoses. Other NYC credits: Recently, Church and State at New World Stages, The Way West by Mona Mansour at Labyrinth. Other NYC theater: Collapse (The Women’s Project), Julius Caesar (Public Theater; NYSF), Wildflower (Second Stage), Dog and Wolf (Watson Arts@59E59), Eyes of the Heart (NAATCO), The Netflix Plays (Ars Nova), Romania. Kiss Me! (The Play Company). Regional: The Farnsworth Invention, Sideways (LaJolla Playhouse), Blood Wedding, Boston Marriage (Guthrie Theater), Circle Mirror Transformation (Huntington Theater), Chapter Two (Bucks County Playhouse), Tartuffe (Westport Country Playhouse) and many others. TV: “Quantico,” “Orange is the New Black,” “The Strain,” “NCIS,” every incarnation of “Law and Order.” Film: (upcoming) Unintended. B.A: Dartmouth College – Sociology/French. M.F.A: Tisch School of the Arts, NYU’s Graduate Acting Program. http://www.nadiabowers.com

Danny Burstein (Isaac) is a six-time Tony Award and two-time Grammy Award nominee whose sixteen Broadway credits include: Fiddler on the Roof; Cabaret; The Snow Geese; Golden Boy; Follies; Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown; South Pacific; The Drowsy Chaperone; Saint Joan; The Seagull; Three Men on a Horse; A Little Hotel on the Side; Titanic and Company. Off-Broadway credits include: Bottom in Midsummer…; Talley’s Folly; Mrs. Farnsworth; Psych; All in the Timing; Merrily We Roll Along; Weird Romance and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. Film/TV includes: Indignation (directed by James Schamus); The Family Fang (directed by Jason Bateman); Blackhat (directed by Michael Mann); Transamerica; Deception; Affluenza; Nor’easter; The Sounding; “Boardwalk Empire” (directed by Martin Scorsese); “Louie”; “Absolutely Fabulous”; “Law & Order”; “The Good Wife”,etc. In 2014 he made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Frosch in the Jeremy Sams/Douglas Carter Beane production of Die Fledermaus.

Rebecca Naomi Jones (Urzula) was last at Atlantic in the acclaimed new play Marie and Rosetta. She has performed on Broadway in Significant Other, Hedwig and The Angry Inch, American Idiot and Passing Strange. Other New York work includes Murder Ballad at Manhattan Theatre Club (Lilly Award and Lucille Lortel nomination), Signature Theater’s production of Big Love (Drama League nomination), The Fortress of Solitude (Public Theater), Love’s Labour’s Lost (Shakespeare in the Park), Wig Out! (Vineyard Theatre), God Bless You Mr. Rosewater (Encores), and the recent Public Works production of As You Like It. Films: Most Likely To Murder, The Big Sick, Ratter, Ordinary World, Passing Strange and the documentary Broadway Idiot. Select TV: “High Maintenance,” “Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll,” “Inside Amy Schumer,” “Limitless,” “Difficult People,” “Blue Bloods.” Solo concerts: Lincoln Center American Songbook, Apollo Cafe. Rebecca holds a BFA in Drama from the North Carolina School of the Arts.

Max Gordon MOORE (Vova) is pleased to be making his Atlantic Theater Company debut. Broadway: Indecent, Relatively Speaking. Off-Broadway: Man from Nebraska (Second Stage); Indecent (Vineyard); Man and Superman, It’s A Wonderful Life (Irish Rep). Recent: The Master Builder (BAM); Arcadia, The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Yale Rep); Time and the Conways (Old Globe); Constellations (Seattle Rep); Tragedy: A Tragedy (Berkeley Rep); As You Like It, Merchant of Venice, Merry Wives of Windsor, Richard III (California Shakespeare); Pleasure and Pain (Magic Theatre); Bach at Leipzig (ACT Theatre); The Seagull (Cleveland Playhouse). Film/TV: Gods Behaving Badly, “Madam Secretary,” “The Good Wife.” MFA, Yale School of Drama, Hershel Williams Prize in Acting.

Stephen Stocking (Felix) is thrilled to be making his Atlantic Theater Company debut. Most recently: Gavrilo Princip in the world premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s Archduke directed by Giovanna Sardelli at Center Theatre Group. New York and Regional theater: Describe the Night (Alley Theatre and NYU); Great Expectations (Portland Center Stage); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare Theatre Co., DC and Macau); Every Good Girl Deserves Fun (by Heidi Armbruster); The Casebook of Rudolf H- (NYTW Studio); Dance Dance Revolution (Alex Timbers, Dir.); Romeo & Juliet, Anything Goes (Williamstown). NYU: Desire, Three Sisters, Plenty, Landscape of the Body, The Beaux’ Strategem, Pale Fires. TV: “Z: The Beginning of Everything.” MFA: NYU Grad Acting. stephenstocking.com

Atlantic Theater Company (Neil Pepe, Artistic Director; Jeffory Lawson, Managing Director) Formed in 1985 by David Mamet and William H. Macy, Atlantic is an award-winning Off-Broadway theater dedicated to producing great plays simply and truthfully while utilizing an artistic ensemble. At Atlantic, we believe that the story of a play and the intent of its playwright are at the core of the creative process. Each season, we aim to produce plays and musicals that are vital and thought-provoking – from premieres by emerging and established writers to classics that speak to modern audiences. Alongside being an award-winning producing organization, we’ve also been teaching theater since our inception. Today, the Atlantic Acting School has grown into one of the most respected training institutions in New York City – offering a diverse range of programming including an accredited conservatory program, a BFA program through NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and after school and summer programs for kids and teens. We also bring theater into the classroom through robust arts education initiatives that serve as many as 4,200 public school students each year. Since its inception, Atlantic has produced more than 150 plays including Tony Award-winning productions of Spring Awakening (Steven Sater, Duncan Sheik) and The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Martin McDonagh); Pulitzer Prize recipient Between Riverside and Crazy (Stephen Adly Guirgis); New York Drama Critics’ Circle winner for Best New Play The Night Alive (Conor McPherson); and Lucille Lortel, Obie, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award-winning The Band’s Visit (David Yazbek, Itamar Moses); among many others. Atlantic has garnered 12 Tony Awards, 24 Obie Awards, 21 Lucille Lortel Awards, 10 Drama Desk Awards, 8 Outer Critics Circle Awards, 4 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards, 3 Drama League Awards, 3 Theater World Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Atlantic Theater Company’S LINDA GROSS THEATER is located at 336 West 20th Street (between 8th and 9th Avenues).

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National Asian Artists Project and Prospect Theater Company Present a Concert Performance of Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN Featuring Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr., Alan Ariano and More at The TimesCenter on October 21

Alan Muraoka, Ali Ewoldt and Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang
Director Alan Muraoka, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA star Ali Ewoldt and author Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang
Director Alan Muraoka, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA star Ali Ewoldt and author Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang

National Asian Artists Project (NAAP) and Prospect Theater Company are presenting a concert production of Gold Mountain, a new musical written by Jason Ma. The staged concert will be directed by Alan Muraoka, with musical direction by Kristen Lee Rosenfeld and choreography by Billy Bustamante. The cast of 13 actors include Ali Ewoldt (currently starring as Christine in the Broadway production of The Phantom of the Opera), Jonny Lee, Jr., Alan Ariano, Lawrence-Michael Arias, Eric Badique, Eric Bondoc, Tyler Bunch, Marc Dela Cruz, Dan Edwards, Steven Eng, Alex Hsu, Brian Kim, and Daniel May. Joining the cast are NAAP Broadway Community Chorus members Ben Bartels, Eric Elizaga, David Eng, Alphonse Gonzales, Andrew Sakaguchi, and Viet Vo.

The performance will take place at The TimesCenter (242 W 41st St, New York, NY) on Saturday, October 21, 2017, at 8:00 PM. Tickets are available from www.NAAProject.org.

In today’s charged rhetoric surrounding America’s immigrant population, Jason Ma’s new musical Gold Mountain, comes to remind us of the often forgotten and unrecognized story of the earliest Chinese-Americans and their substantial contribution to building one of the nation’s most significant infrastructures, the transcontinental railroad.

About Gold Mountain:
Imagine you are a young man, a “fuse runner,” whose job it is to light fuses and run as fast as you can to stay alive…and then, do it all again. It is 1866 in the Sierra Nevada. A world where danger is an everyday occurrence. A world where Love is salvation. Where one woman can change the lives of all she touches.

Gold Mountain is a love story set against the backdrop of a pivotal event in America’s history, the construction of the first transcontinental railroad, and celebrates the striving immigrant spirit, the redemptive power of love and the ultimate nobility of self-sacrifice.

Courtesy of Masie Productions
Courtesy of Masie Productions

Gold Mountain has been presented at the 2016 ASCAP/DreamWorks Musical Theatre Workshop in Los Angeles, selected for development by Apples & Oranges Studios for their 2017 THEatre ACCELERATOR, presented as a staged reading for San Francisco LaborFest 2016 at The Aurora Theatre, and most recently received a 2017 eStudio grant for a workshop at The Masie Center (founded by Elliott Masie in Saratoga Springs, NY) this past summer, using remote rehearsal technology to enable theater artists in different cities to work with each other in real time. For more information about Gold Mountain, visit www.GoldMountainTheMusical.com

About Writer/Composer Jason Ma:
Writer, Jason Ma, is a first-generation son of an immigrant family. He’s also a composer, lyricist, filmmaker, and most of all, a creature of the theater. In addition to Gold Mountain, Jason has also written music for The Old Globe, Ma-Yi Theater Company, Leviathan Lab, and Ugly Rhino. During a two-year artists’ residency at CAP 21 with librettist/co-lyricist Christine Toy Johnson, Jason wrote music and lyrics for the full-length musical Barcelona, which was subsequently selected for presentation at Village Theatre’s 2015 Festival of New Musicals on their mainstage. He wrote the score for the short film Yield, and as a principal at Red Phone Productions, produced and provided story, film scores and song for The Barrelman Caper and the 2013 Grand Prize winner of AA FilmLab’s 72 Hour Shootout, Ins & Outs.

About National Asian Artists Project:
NAAP was founded in 2009 by Baayork Lee, Steven Eng and Nina Zoie Lam. Prominent theater artists in their own right, they joined together in an effort to address what they felt was a significant lack of opportunity for professional Asian-American theater artists to practice their craft and contribute on a broader level to the diversity of the American theater. NAAP seeks to showcase the work of professional theater artists of Asian descent through performance, education and outreach. NAAP is a community of artists, educators, administrators, community leaders and professionals who recognize the need to bridge the work of artists of Asian descent to the many communities the work can serve, from underserved primary school students to seasoned arts patrons. For more information about NAAP, visit www.NAAProject.org

Nina Zoie Lam, Baayork Lee and Steven Eng, the founders of NAAP onstage before the performance of Oliver!, at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre 
inside The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on June 7, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Nina Zoie Lam, Baayork Lee and Steven Eng, the founders of NAAP onstage before the performance of Oliver!, at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre 
inside The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on June 7, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

In 2017, NAAP founder Baayork Lee was honored with the 2017 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award, presented annually to a member of the theatre community who has made a substantial contribution of volunteered time and effort on behalf of one or more humanitarian, social service or charitable organizations. NAAP was proudly cited and showcased as a contributing factor in the award.

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Jonathan Groff and Brian d'Arcy James present Baayork Lee with the Isabelle Stevenson Award award onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 11: Jonathan Groff and Brian d’Arcy James present Baayork Lee with the Isabelle Stevenson Award award onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

About Prospect Theater Company:
Prospect Theater Company (founded in 1998) is dedicated to fostering and showcasing today’s new voices shaping tomorrow’s musicals. Since 2000, the company has fully produced more than 30 premiere musicals in New York City, in addition to new plays and numerous re-inventions of classic works. Reflecting its investment in the future of the field, Prospect leads a variety of developmental initiatives, including an annual Musical Theater Lab for emerging writers, and a Summer Intensive training program for teenagers. In recognition of its enterprising and risk-taking new musical theater, the company received a 2016 OBIE Award grant. Their work as a community anchor for emerging artists that strengthens the quality, diversity, and dynamism of American theater was also honored with a 2013 National Theatre Company Grant from the American Theatre Wing. Notable productions include: the Drama Desk Award-winning Working (2012), Jasper in Deadland (2014), the Drama-Desk nominated Tamar of the River (2013), Unlock’d (2013), Iron Curtain (2006, 2011), Myths and Hymns (2012), With Glee (2010), The Blue Flower (2008), Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge (2009), The Hidden Sky (2010), Illyria (2002, 2008), and the Drama-Desk nominated The Pursuit of Persephone (2005). For more information about Prospect Theater Company, visit http://www.ProspectTheater.org

Prospect’s IGNITE Series is an ongoing concert initiative at The TimesCenter, featuring today’s new voices shaping tomorrow’s musical theater. Reflecting Prospect’s dedication to fostering and producing work by emerging artists, IGNITE Series programming will include premieres of original material by award-winning songwriters; cutting-edge creations straight from Prospect’s annual Musical Theater Lab; concert presentations of musicals in development; debuts of commissioned work targeted to teen audiences, performed by the participants in Prospect’s Summer Intensive training program; and more.

This performance is funded in part by the Ford Foundation and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Multimedia: Baayork Lee Accepts The Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award At The 71st Annual Tony Awards

David Henry Hwang, Baayork Lee, Eva Noblezada, Linda Cho, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, John Douglas Thompson, Richard Thomas, Laura Linney and More at Tony Honors Special Honorees of 2017 Cocktail Party Baayork Lee to Receive the 2017 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award 

NAAP Broadway Community Chorus -An Evening of Jerry Herman with Special Guests Cindy Cheung and John D. Haggerty

Robert Fairchild, Mara Davi, Jason Tam, J. Elaine Marcos, Sabrina Bryan & More Set for Baayork Lee Helmed A CHORUS LINE at The Hollywood Bowl

Baayork Lee to Helm ‘ALICE IN WONDERLAND’ Musical at Madison Theatre at Molloy College

Photos: Tommy Tune, Bob Avian, Lee Roy Reams, Christine Toy Johnson, Orville Mendoza, Lori Tan Chinn, Raul Aranas, Virginia Wing and More Celebrate 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award Recipient Baayork Lee

National Asian Artists Project To Present All-Asian Production of OLIVER! Featuring Raul Aranas, Anthea Neri, Bonale Zohn Fambrini, Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, Cindy Cheung, Scott Watanabe, Virginia Wing, David Shih and More 

Photos: Christine Toy Johnson, Baayork Lee, Jose Llana, Ann Harada, Dodie Pettit and More at Charles Randolph-Wright’s “Three Voices” concert series at Stage 72

Christine Toy Johnson and Raul Aranas Lead the Cast of the National Asian Artists Project’s (NAAP) Benefit Presentation of Hello Dolly!, at The Pershing Square Signature Center

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com

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SAG-AFTRA Mourns the Passing of New York Local President Mike Hodge

Courtesy of SAG/AFTRA
Courtesy of SAG/AFTRA
Courtesy of SAG/AFTRA

Source: www.sagaftra.org

SAG-AFTRA mourns the passing of Mike Hodge, an accomplished actor, stalwart unionist and New York president of SAG-AFTRA, who passed away on September 9. He was 70.
Hodge had a long career as a Broadway, TV, film and commercial actor.
Oso Tayri Casel, Peter Kwong, SAG-Aftra New York local President Mike Hodge, Lia Chang and Fred “The Hammer” Williamson at the Cinemax® VIP Welcome Red Carpet Reception and UAS IAFF Awards at HBO in New York on November 11, 2016.
Oso Tayri Casel, Peter Kwong, SAG-Aftra New York local President Mike Hodge, Lia Chang and Fred “The Hammer” Williamson at the Cinemax® VIP Welcome Red Carpet Reception and UAS IAFF Awards at HBO in New York on November 11, 2016.

A SAG-AFTRA National Board member since 2001, Hodge was first elected New York president in 2009 and continued in that role until his death. He was instrumental in jumpstarting the effort that ultimately led to the merging of Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists in 2012. In 2013 and again in 2015, he was elected at the SAG-AFTRA National Convention to two-year terms as the union’s National Vice President representing New York.

“Mike’s spirit shone brightly, and he was greatly admired by those he worked with, whether in the union’s boardroom or on set. He will be remembered for his professionalism, conviction and remarkable strength of purpose,” said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris. “His perseverance and ability to rally members helped make merger possible, and in that regard, SAG-AFTRA stands as a memorial to his accomplishments, leadership of the New York Local and everything he believed in.”
Hodge attended West Virginia University where he was part of the integrating class at the School of Journalism. After earning a B.A. in journalism with a minor in theater, he went to work for The Washington Post. Later, he continued his theater studies at the DC Black Repertory Theater. After he earned his Equity, SAG and AFTRA cards while working in Washington, D.C., he decided to make a move to New York.
That opened the doors to commercial work, while also allowing him to pursue theater roles. With that foundation in place, Hodge began appearing on nighttime and daytime TV series. Soon his career expanded to include work in film. Among his credits, he appeared on Broadway in Fences and A Few Good Men; the film To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar; and often appeared on television as a doctor, lawyer or judge on shows such as “Law & Order”. He was also an award-winning audiobook narrator, having narrated books by Steve Harvey, Mitch Albom and others.
Everything changed with the commercials strike in 2000. Friends encouraged Hodge to run for SAG’s national board. Inspired by his union-member father, Hodge launched his campaign and in 2001 won a seat. Eight years later, Hodge was again asked to run – this time for the SAG New York Local presidency. In 2009, he was elected president, now moving to co-chair several negotiating committees on which he had previously been serving. He served on the union’s G1 committee that created the framework for the 2012 merger of SAG and AFTRA, helping lead the campaign in New York.
Urban Action Showcase IAFF Awards at HBO in New York on November 11, 2016.
Urban Action Showcase IAFF Awards at HBO in New York on November 11, 2016.

During his many years of union leadership, Hodge was also active in several union committees: National and New York Executive; Professional Representatives; TV/Theatrical Negotiating; Basic Cable Negotiating; Network Code Negotiating; Corporate/Educational and Non-Broadcast Negotiating; Organizing; Government Review; and Communications.

Hodge also served as a member of the New York State AFL-CIO Executive Council, the City Labor Council and as a trustee to the Industry Advancement Cooperative Fund. He was instrumental in establishing and extending the N.Y. film production tax incentive through 2022, and he worked to strengthen the N.Y. Right of Publicity law for all members. He also worked with New York’s elected officials to create the city’s entertainment industry internship program, which has helped improve diversity behind the camera.
Hodge was born February 24, 1947 in McComas, West Virginia. He graduated from Gary District High School as valedictorian of the class of 1965.
Countless relatives, friends, professional colleagues and the N.Y. Local staff will miss his warm smile, hearty laughter, generosity and big personality. He loved life and spending time with his family. Together, they enjoyed Thanksgiving and Christmas, with rare exceptions. Memorable family vacations with mom, siblings, nieces and nephews included trips to Hawaii, New Zealand, New Orleans, the Caribbean Islands, and family reunions in Ohio and Virginia.
Hodge was predeceased by his father, Rev. Ulysses G. Hodge and is survived by his mother, Roberta Hodge Johnson of Mint Hill, N.C.; brother, Joseph Hodge (Jacqueline) of Dayton, Ohio; sisters, Karen Hodge Thomas (Chester) of Mint Hill, N.C. and Vicki Hodge Lynch of Waxhaw, N.C.; two nephews, Justin Thomas (Julie) of Mint Hill, N.C. and Jordan Lynch of Waxhaw, N.C.; two nieces, Courtney Thomas Evans (Gabriel) and Dayna Hodge Lynch of Waxhaw, N.C.; a great niece, Zoey Thomas and a great nephew, Gabriel Thomas Evans, Jr., whose arrival on Sept. 8 provided great joy to him.

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