Two-time Tony nominee and Emmy Award winner André De Shields will receive the 2019 Richard Seff Award from the Actors’ Equity Foundation, which honors veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year.
Mr. De Shields was chosen to receive this year’s award by a panel of judges who were unanimous in their acclaim of his performance in as Hermes in Hadestown. The award consists of a check for $1,000 and a crystal trophy.
The ceremony will take place on Tuesday June 11 at the Actors Equity Offices at 165 West 46th Street on the 14th floor in the Council Room at 2 pm. The awards will be given out at the beginning of the regularly scheduled Eastern Regional Board meeting and will run about 45 minutes.
In a career spanning 50 years, Mr. De Shields has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, and educator. He has intermittently portrayed Hermes in Hadestown since 2012, including the recent critically acclaimed production at London’s National Theatre. Mr. De Shields has been nominated for a 2019 Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance, a 2019 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical and a 2019 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical for his role as Hermes.
In 2018, Mr. De Shields was the recipient of the 8th Annual Off-Broadway Alliance Legend Award and the 33rd Annual Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award. Among his other accolades are the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award, and the 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. A multiple Tony Award nominee, he is best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway productions: The Wiz, Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award), Play On!, and The Full Monty. De Shields is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and SDC. www.andredeshields.com
The judges’ panel includes Joe Dziemianowicz, Daily News; Adam Feldman, Time Out New York; Susan Haskins-Doloff, Theater Talk; Harry Haun, Playbill and David Rosenberg, The Hour Newspapers.
In 2003 the Actors’ Equity Foundation established the Richard Seff Award, an annual award to be given to a male and female character actor who is 50 years old or older and who has been a member of Actors’ Equity for 25 years or longer, for the best performance in a featured or unfeatured supporting role in a Broadway or Off Broadway production. An actor may only be the recipient of this award one time.
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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