Denzel Washington To Be Honored By Crossroads Theatre Company With Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee Living Legends Award on October 19

Award-winning actor Denzel Washington will be the recipient of Crossroads Theatre Company’s inaugural Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee Living Legends Award at its benefit gala at the Heldrich Hotel and the State Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ., on October 19, 2019.

David Alan Grier will host the evening’s program, which will include scenes from the award-winning plays Fences by August Wilson and Fly by Trey Ellis and Ricardo Khan, as well as a sneak preview of The Divine One based on the story of Sarah Vaughn. Also featured are a special musical performance by the incomparable Gregory Porter and tributes to Denzel from the family of Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, Phylicia Rashad, and other surprise guests.

The Tony Award-winning Crossroads Theatre Company (CTC), now a resident member of the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (NBPAC), is in its fourth decade of being a preeminent gateway for black theatre that has been the stage for many actors, directors, designers, writers and other theatre professionals. Since opening in 1978, CTC has built a rich and storied history, celebrating the culture, history, spirit and voices of the African Diaspora.

“We are pleased and proud to celebrate and recognize Mr. Denzel Washington for his lifetime achievements with our first Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee Living Legends Award,” said Anthony P. Carter, Crossroads Theatre Company Board Chairman. “As part of our coming home festivities, Crossroads has created the award to recognize a prominent person(s) from the arts and entertainment community who emulates the activist voice, vision and value of its namesakes and whose body of work illustrates best-in-class acting and portrayal of people, places and promise,” Carter added. More than a performing couple, Davis and Dee used their gifts to bring the civil rights movement to the national stage and the small and big screen and to nurture and cultivate acting, directorial and production talent.

Washington began his professional acting career in New York, where he performed in theatre productions such as Ceremonies in Dark Old Men, Othello, and When The Chickens Come Home to Roost. He rose to fame when he landed the role as Dr. Phillip Chandler on the NBC long-running hit television series, “St. Elsewhere”. As Denzel crossed over into the world of film, he garnered critical acclaim for his portrayal of real life figures. Denzel’s unforgettable performances have garnered him two Academy Awards; three Golden Globes, including the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award; and the American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award, one of the highest honors for a career in film. Denzel Washington has also been a mentor, benefactor and inspiration for many of today’s best actors and actresses. Up next for Mr. Washington is producing Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom for Netflix which will be directed by George C. Wolfe and will feature Viola Davis, both Crossroads Theatre Company alumni.

“NBPAC is delighted to join Crossroad Theatre Company, one of New Jersey’s premiere cultural assets, in commemorating and acknowledging Denzel Washington’s stellar career accomplishments,” said Chris Paladino, President of the New Brunswick Development Corporation (DEVCO), the arts center’s developer. “We all look forward to a wonderful evening with Denzel Washington, entertainment luminaries and Crossroads long-time patrons and theatre-going supporters,” he added.

Honorary Co-Chairs for the A Night With Crossroads Theatre Company gala are film, television, and theatre director and playwright Charles Randolph Wright and Tamara Tunie film, stage, and television actress, director, and producer.

For additional information about A Night With Crossroads Theatre Company honoring Denzel Washington, along with sponsorship and ticket pricing levels, click here.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

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 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: © 2000-2019 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

SLAVE PLAY to Receive a Two-Week Extension on Broadway

Playwright Jeremy O. Harris. Photo by Lia Chang

Jeremy O. Harris’s Slave Play, which opened just last week at the Golden Theatre already has more to celebrate. The play, directed by Robert O’Hara, has just announced that it will extend its limited run by two weeks, now closing on January 19, 2020. The show was previously scheduled to close on January 5.

Ato Blankson-Wood, Sullivan Jones, Paul Alexander Nolan, Robert O’Hara, Joaquina Kalukango, Playwright Jeremy O. Harris, James Cusati-Moyer, Irene Sofia Lucio, Annie McNamara, Chalia La Tour at the opening night curtain call of SLAVE PLAY. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast for Slave Play features Ato Blankson-Wood, James Cusati-Moyer, Sullivan Jones, Joaquina Kalukango, Chalia La Tour, Irene Sofia Lucio, Annie McNamara, and Paul Alexander Nolan. The cast is being understudied by Eboni Flowers, Thomas Keegan, Jakeem Dante Powell, and Elizabeth Stahlmann.

The full cast of SLAVE PLAY (On Ground L to R): Ato Blankson-Wood, James Cusati-Moyer, Sullivan Jones, Annie McNamara, Joaquina Kalukango, Paul Alexander Nolan. (In red boxes L to R): Irene Sofia Lucio and Chalia La Tour. Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy
The full cast of SLAVE PLAY (On Ground L to R): Ato Blankson-Wood, James Cusati-Moyer, Sullivan Jones, Annie McNamara, Joaquina Kalukango, Paul Alexander Nolan. (In red boxes L to R): Irene Sofia Lucio and Chalia La Tour. Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy

The creative team for the production includes Tony Award winner Clint Ramos (scenic design), four-time Drama Desk Award nominee Dede Ayite (costume design), Drama Desk Award nominee Jiyoun Chang (lighting design), three-time Drama Desk Award nominee Lindsay Jones (sound design and original music), Amauta Marston-Firmino (dramaturg), Byron Easley (movement), Drama Desk Award winner Claire Warden (intimacy and fight director), Doug Nevin (production counsel), and Taylor Williams (casting director). Mark Shacket serves as Executive Producer.

Annie McNamara and Sullivan Jones. Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy
Annie McNamara and Sullivan Jones. Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy

The Old South lives on at the MacGregor Plantation – in the breeze, in the cotton fields…and in the crack of the whip. It’s an antebellum fever-dream, where fear and desire entwine in the looming shadow of the Master’s House. Jim trembles as Kaneisha handles melons in the cottage, Alana perspires in time with the plucking of Phillip’s fiddle in the boudoir, while Dustin cowers at the heel of Gary’s big, black boot in the barn. Nothing is as it seems, and yet everything is as it seems.

James Cusati-Moyer and Ato Blankson-Wood. Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy
James Cusati-Moyer and Ato Blankson-Wood. Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy
The full cast of SLAVE PLAY (L to R): Ato Blankson-Wood, Chalia La Tour, Joaquina Kalukango (kneeling), Irene Sofia Lucio, Sullivan Jones, Annie McNamara, Paul Alexander Nolan, and James Cusati-Moyer. Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy
The full cast of SLAVE PLAY (L to R): Ato Blankson-Wood, Chalia La Tour, Joaquina Kalukango (kneeling), Irene Sofia Lucio, Sullivan Jones, Annie McNamara, Paul Alexander Nolan,

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Joaquina Kalukango and Paul Alexander Nolan. Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy Joaquina Kalukango and Paul Alexander Nolan. Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy

Inside the Opening Night of SLAVE PLAY with André De Shields 

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

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 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: © 2000-2019 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

Jerome Preston Bates, Brandon Dion Gregory, Forrest McClendon, Ashley Pierre-Louis, Reynaldo Piniella, Jody Reynard, Ryan Jamaal Swain, Garrett Turner and Hollie E. Wright Set for Baltimore Center Stage’s World Premiere of THOUGHTS OF A COLORED MAN by Keenan Scott II, October 10–November 10

Baltimore Center Stage is presenting the world premiere play, Thoughts of a Colored Man, October 10–November 10. Baltimore Center Stage is located at 700 North Calvert Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21202.

Hollie E. Wright (Woman #2) and Jerome Preston Bates (Wisdom) in the world premiere of "Thoughts of a Colored Man". Photo Credit: Michael Davis
Hollie E. Wright (Woman #2) and Jerome Preston Bates (Wisdom) in the world premiere of THOUGHTS OF A COLORED MAN. Photo Credit: Michael Davis

This journey through the 21st Century mind captures the strengths, weaknesses, and deepest fears of men striving to discover their identities.

Keenan Scott II. Photo by Lia Chang

Written by one of today’s boldest new voices, Keenan Scott II, Thoughts of a Colored Man is a rich theatrical mosaic that goes beyond the basketball court and barbershop to shed a brilliant light on the life changes and adversities each character embodies.

The cast of THOUGHTS OF A COLORED MAN. Photo credit: Michael Davis
The cast of THOUGHTS OF A COLORED MAN. Photo credit: Michael Davis

Directed by Steve H. Broadnax III, Thoughts of a Colored Man blends a powerful use of language, music and dance which captivates audiences from the opening monologue. “Keenan’s distinctive storytelling style is amplified by the constellation of artists bringing this play to life,” said Baltimore Center Stage Artistic Director, Stephanie Ybarra. “This piece represents an exciting evolution of our art form, and I can’t wait to share it with Baltimore.”

Forrest McClendon (Depression) in the world premiere of "Thoughts of a Colored Man". Photo Credit: Michael Davis
Forrest McClendon (Depression) in the world premiere of “Thoughts of a Colored Man”. Photo Credit: Michael Davis

Thoughts of a Colored Man, is co-produced by Baltimore Center Stage and Syracuse Stage in association with Brian Moreland and Ron Simons.

Reynaldo Piniella (Lust) and Ryan Jamaal Swain (Love) in the world premiere of THOUGHTS OF A COLORED MAN. Photo Credit: Michael Davis
Reynaldo Piniella (Lust) and Ryan Jamaal Swain (Love) in the world premiere of THOUGHTS OF A COLORED MAN. Photo Credit: Michael Davis

The cast includes Jerome Preston Bates* (Wisdom); Brandon Dion Gregory* (Passion); Forrest McClendon* (Depression); Ashley Pierre-Louis (Woman #1); Reynaldo Piniella* (Lust); Jody Reynard* (Happiness); Ryan Jamaal Swain* (Love); Garrett Turner* (Anger); and Hollie E. Wright* (Woman #2/Dance Captain).

Garrett Turner (Anger), Ryan Jamaal Swain (Love), Forrest McClendon (Depression), and Reynaldo Piniella (Lust) in the world premiere of THOUGHTS OF A COLORED MAN. Photo Credit: Michael Davis

The creative team includes Keenan Scott II (Playwright); Steve H. Broadnax III (Director); Millicent Johnnie (Choreographer); Robert Brill (Scenic Designer); Toni-Leslie James (Co-Costume Designer); Devario Simmons (Co-Costume Designer); Ryan J. O’Gara (Lighting Designer); Mikaal Sulaiman (Sound Designer); Sven Ortel (Projections Designer); Te’La and KAMAUU (Music); Bianca LaVerne Jones (Associate Director); B.J. Forman* (Production Stage Manager); and Cathy Hwang* (Assistant Stage Manager); and Calleri Casting (Casting).

Ryan Jamaal Swain (Love) and Reynaldo Piniella (Lust) in the world premiere of THOUGHTS OF A COLORED MAN. Photo Credit: Michael Davis
Ryan Jamaal Swain (Love) and Reynaldo Piniella (Lust) in the world premiere of THOUGHTS OF A COLORED MAN. Photo Credit: Michael Davis

*Members of Actors’ Equity Association

Thoughts of a Colored Man begins with preview performances on Thursday October 10. Press Night is Opening Night, Thursday October 17. Click here to purchase tickets.

Forrest McClendon (Depression) in the world premiere of THOUGHTS OF A COLORED MAN. Photo Credit: Michael Davis
Forrest McClendon (Depression) in the world premiere of THOUGHTS OF A COLORED MAN. Photo Credit: Michael Davis
Jerome Preston Bates (Wisdom) and Brandon Dion Gregory (Passion) in the world premiere of THOUGHTS OF A COLORED MAN. Photo Credit: Michael Davis
Jerome Preston Bates (Wisdom) and Brandon Dion Gregory (Passion) in the world premiere of THOUGHTS OF A COLORED MAN. Photo Credit: Michael Davis
The cast of THOUGHTS OF A COLORED MAN in the world premiere. Photo Credit: Michael Davis
The cast of THOUGHTS OF A COLORED MAN in the world premiere. Photo Credit: Michael Davis
Jerome Preston Bates (Wisdom) and Garrett Turner (Anger) in the world premiere of THOUGHTS OF A COLORED MAN . Photo Credit: Michael Davis
Jerome Preston Bates (Wisdom) and Garrett Turner (Anger) in the world premiere of THOUGHTS OF A COLORED MAN . Photo Credit: Michael Davis
Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

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 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: © 2000-2019 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