Last night, actress and activist Vinie Burrows was honored at Theater for the New City’s annual LOVE N’ COURAGE Gala, held at The Players Club in New York City.
Ms. Burrows, now 89-years-strong, was saluted and celebrated for her contributions to the life and culture of New York City, with a special emphasis on the Lower East Side, where Theater for the New City has withstood the test of time and gentrification, having recently paid off its mortgage on its theater complex at 155 First Ave. (10th St.)
Hosted by Phoebe Legere (who also performed), the program featured performances by André De Shields, Charles Busch, Glitter Kitty Dance, Luba Mason, KT Sullivan, Malik Work, TNC After School, Yip Harburg Foundation Rainbow Troupe, Human Kinetics Movement Arts, Chinese Theatre Works and selected readings from new plays by TNC emerging writers: NORTHBOUND by Marvalee Peart and FAT ASSES, THE MUSICAL by Peter Zachari.
Ms. Burrows appeared on Broadway in the 1950’s and 60’s in MANDINGO, THE PONDER HEART, THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH, MRS. PATTERSON, THE GREEN PASTURES and THE WISTERIA TREES. Her other numerous stage productions during her long career, include SISTER! SISTER!, BEL CANTO and BLACK ON THE GREAT WHITE WAY: THE STORY OF ROSE McCLENDON. She has been active at the United Nations Economic and Social Council on the issues of the status of women and Southern Africa, and as an associate of the Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press. She received the Paul Robson Award in 1986.
About the decision to honor Ms. Burrows, TNC’s leader Crystal Field remarks, “Vinie Burrows ‘is a magnificent performer.’ So said the New York Times. She is ‘one of the reigning divas of the Black Theater.’ So said Clive Barnes. But Vinie Burrows is more than a performer. She is a true activist, capable of changing the world. At the United Nations she serves as permanent representative for the Women’s National Democratic Federation. And to add to this glorious life, she finds time to be a deep and dear friend to Theater for the New City. TNC is proud to be a like mind to a Mover and Shaker who writes, ‘The future of the planet rests on people coming together to save the earth and all living things. It is 5 minutes to midnight. Come together, brothers and sisters.’”
Proceeds from the evening benefit the company’s ever-important program that supports emerging playwrights.
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY – Now in its 45th year, is a unique Cultural Institution that has earned a nationwide reputation for its dedication to nurturing established and emerging playwrights who experiment with new forms and to presenting other experimental and developmental theaters with a very active program of Community Art Services and Festivals which continue to expand theater accessibility. www.theaterforthenewcity.net
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