Hillside High School will honor the legendary Broadway actor and choreographer Dr. André De Shields and New York-based actor Lawrence Evans, along with Durham’s legendary dancers and choreographers Dr. Chuck Davis and Nancy Pinckney, at its production this weekend of “The Glory of Gospel” by Mabel Robinson.
Dr. De Shields is best known for his show-stopping performances in six legendary Broadway productions: Impressionism (costarring with Jeremy Irons and Joan Allen); the world premiere of Mark Medoff’s Prymate (Drama Desk nomination); The Full Monty, for which he received Tony, Drama Desk and Astaire Award nominations, in addition to both the Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Awards; Play On! (Tony nomination); Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Drama Desk nomination) andThe Wiz (title role).
Mr. Evans is well known in the industry having appeared in “All My Children”, “Another World”, “Ryan’s Hope,” “As the World Turns”, “One Life To Live”, “The Good Wife”, and ”Law & Order.” His film credits are “State Property II”, and “The Devil Wears Prada”. Evans currently serves as the Celebrity Coordinator for the National Black Theatre Festival.
De Shields and Evans accepted an invitation to visit Hillside as part of drama director Wendell Tabb’s “Celebrities in the Classroom” program. The program is committed to inspiring a high level of artistry by connecting young people with artists who have paved the way and are eager to share their knowledge of the business with high school students in the arts. “Mr. Tabb’s program has encouraged our students to pursue their dreams of performing at the collegiate and professional levels,” said Hillside principal Dr. William Logan.
Mr. Evans will work with Hillside Drama students beginning on Thursday, March 30th, in preparation for their opening of The Glory of Gospel. He will receive Hillside’s Outstanding Artist Award. Dr. De Shields will work with the students on Saturday and Sunday, April 1-2. He will also be honored with the annual Trailblazer In The Arts Awards on Saturday during the 3:15pm showing.
Hillside will also present its Trailblazer Award to the legendary Chuck Davis and Nancy Pinckney for their longstanding work and service to the Durham community and beyond.
The “Glory of Gospel,” celebrating drama director Wendell Tabb’s, 30 years of service to Durham Public Schools and Hillside High School, will be performed Friday, March 31, at 7:15 pm; Saturday, April 1, at 3:15 pm and 7:15 p.m.; and Sunday, April 2, at 3:15 p.m. For tickets and more information contact Hillside High School at (919) 560-3925 ext. 25240 or order tickets online at www.seatyourself.biz/hillside.
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