The York Theatre Company Announces Starry Lineup For Oscar Hammerstein Award Gala Honoring André De Shields on November 11

The York Theatre Company has announced the roster of performers at the 28th Oscar Hammerstein Award Gala who will honor 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields (Hadestown) with the 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre and producer Riki Kane Larimer (Cagney) with The York Theatre Company Founders’ Award on Monday evening, November 11, 2019 at The Edison Ballroom (240 West 47th Street).

Tony Award Winner André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

The 28th Oscar Hammerstein Award Gala will be hosted by Tony-winning actor and playwright Charlayne Woodard. It will include special guest appearances by John Ellison Conlee, Robert Creighton, Darius de Haas, Jeffry Denman, Dawn Driver, Ekele Ukegbu, Mercedes Ellington, Teresa Eyring, Ron Lucas, Richard Maltby, Jr., Larry Owens, Tony Perry, Malvinna Rose, Marc Shaiman, Ben Vereen, Anita Welch, Freida Williams, Patrick Wilson, David Yazbek, and The Boys and Girls Choir of Harlem Alumni Ensemble and will feature musical numbers from the hit Broadway musicals The Wiz, Hair, Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Full Monty, and more!

The VIP Reception begins at 6:00 p.m. followed by a concert and award ceremony at 8:00 p.m. Michael Unger (York’s former Associate Artistic Director, recently appointed Artistic Director of Skylight Music Theatre in Wisconsin) directs the evening’s celebration under the musical direction of Eric Svejcar.

For additional information, pricing and reservations, please contact Director of Development Shana Farr at (212) 935-5824, ext. 226 or sfarr@yorktheatre.org, or go online at YorkTheatre.org.

The Oscar Hammerstein Award is named in honor of the legendary lyricist and librettist who helped shape American musical theatre through his collaborations with a number of different composers and writers. His contributions to such landmark musicals as Show Boat, Oklahoma!, South Pacific, and Carousel are a legacy for all time. The award was created in 1988 by Janet Hayes Walker, Founding Artistic Director of The York Theatre Company, with the endorsement of the Hammerstein family and the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization. Its purpose is to recognize significant lifetime achievement in musical theatre, and it is presented at a gala evening held for the benefit of The York Theatre Company.

André De Shields is the triple-crown winner of the 2019 awards season, having won the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Tony Awards as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his unanimously critically acclaimed performance as Hermes, Messenger to the Gods, in Hadestown. The Actors’ Equity Foundation followed suit with the Richard Seff Award, which honors veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year. Prior to his Tony Award win, Mr. De Shields was 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. In a career spanning fifty years, he has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, and educator, receiving in 2018 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. On August 19 of this year, His Honor Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young presented him with the Key to the City of his hometown, Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. De Shields is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and SDC. www.andredeshields.com

“André De Shields is a true man of the theatre, and it is a glorious coincidence that he began his career in 1969, the same year that The York was founded,” said James Morgan, York’s Producing Artistic Director. “We can’t think of a better way to honor his fifty years in showbiz than with the Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Musical Theatre. We are ecstatic to honor him for a career as performer that began with Hair and wound its way through Ain’t Misbehavin’ and into the current Hadestown, with detours into writing, directing, choreographing, and teaching. Nobody is more deserving.”

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

Dramatists Guild Foundation Hosts Presentation Of New Works By DGF Fellows Jay Adana and Zeniba Now, Rae Binstock, Erika Dickerson-Despenza, Mathilde Dratwa, Aryanna Garber and Benjamin Velez, Charles Gershman, Nambi E. Kelley, Melissa Li and Kit Yan, and Zack Zadek

The 2018-2019 class of Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellows presented excerpts of full length works at The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center on October 28.

Lynnette Freeman and Lizan Mitchell in Erika Dickerson-Despenza’s shadow/land. Photo by Lia Chang

This presentation caps off a year spent working under the tutelage of Michael Korie (Grey Gardens), Laurence O’ Keefe (Heathers), and Diana Son (Stop Kiss).

Tessa Raden Gregory hosted the evening which featured the work of the 2018-2019 class, including Jay Adana and Zeniba Now, Rae Binstock, Erika Dickerson-Despenza, Mathilde Dratwa, Aryanna Garber and Benjamin Velez, Charles Gershman, Nambi E. Kelley, Melissa Li and Kit Yan, and Zack Zadek.

1st row: Allison Gold, Benjamin Velez, Jay Adana, Kit Yan. 2nd Row: Michael Korie, Charles Gershman, Melissa Li, Ericka Dickerson-Despenza, Aryanna Garber, Nambi E. Kelley, Zeniba Now, Rae Binstock, Zack Zadek, Mathilde Dratwa, Laurence O’Keefe, Tess Raden Gregory. Photo by Lia Chang

Directed by Candis C. Jones with Music Direction by Josh Kight, the Presentation featured performances by Cathy Ang, Cole Bullock, Al Bundonis, Kiet Tai Cao, Lincoln Clauss, John Coons, Cherrye J. Davis, Lynnette Freeman, Mark Andrew Garner, Allison Gold, Michael Hartung, Antwayn Hopper, Ashley D. Kelley, Kevin Kilner, Teddi Milan, Lizan Mitchell, Zeniba Now, Margaret Odette, Sushma Saha, Stacey Sargeant, Mary VanArsdel, Jason Veasey, Aviva Winick.

Melissa Li, Cole Bullock, Kiet Tai Cao, Sushma Saha, Ashley D. Kelley, Cathy Ang and Kit Yan. Photo by Lia Chang
Antwayn Hopper, Lizan Mitchell, Lynnette R. Freeman, Nambi E. Kelley, Candis C. Jones, Margarette Odette, Jason Veasey and Cherrye J. Davis. Photo by Lia Chang
1st Row: Cherrye J. Davis, Jay Adana. 2nd Row: Ashley D. Kelley, Cole Bullock, Zeniba Now, Jason Veasey, Candis C. Jones, Antwayn Hopper. Photo by Lia Chang
Rae Binstock and Cathy Ang. Photo by Lia Chang

Associate Director Signe V. Harriday, Director Candis C. Jones and Music Director Josh Kight. Photo by Lia ChangThe Fellows program is a selective, year-long intensive for playwrights, composers, lyricists, and bookwriters. The program pairs talented writers with accomplished professional mentors, who help them hone their process, and find their unique voice.

Stephen Flaherty, Gretchen Cryer and Lynn Ahrens. Photo by Lia Chang

This program increases the likelihood that Fellows will be able to turn their passion and talent into a successful career, impacting audiences around the globe. The Fellows program, currently headed by Michael Korie (Grey Gardens), Laurence O’Keefe (Heathers), and Diana Son (Stop Kiss), is highly sought after for its uniquely successful format of partnering playwrights and musical theater writers together in the learning process. In addition, Fellows receive a stipend and the opportunity to partner with several arts organizations for Fellows-specific development opportunities.

Michael Korie and Laurence O’Keefe. Photo by Lia Chang

Former Fellows include Kristen Anderson-Lopez (Frozen), Lauren Yee (Cambodian Rock Band), Michael R. Jackson (A Strange Loop) Antoinette Nwandu (Pass Over), Rajiv Joseph (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo), Benj Pasek & Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen), and many more.

The DFG Fellows Class of 2019-2020 includes Melis Aker, Nolan Doran, Avi Amon, Kate Douglas, Elliah Heifetz, Jessica Kahkoska, Nikhil Mahapatra, Kyoung H. Park, Andrew Rincón, Andy Robinson and Paulo K Tiról.

Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellows, Class of 2019-2020- 1st Row: Elliah Heifetz, Andrew Rincón, Nolan Doran. 2nd Row: Andy Roninson, Jessica Kahkoska, Paulo K Tiról, Nikhil Mahapatra, Kyoung H. Park. Photo by Lia Chang
Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellows, Class of 2019-2020- Andy Roninson, Elliah Heifetz, Jessica Kahkoska, Paulo K Tiról and Nolan Doran. Photo by Lia Chang
Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellows, Class of 2019-2020-Nikhil Mahapatra, Andrew Rincón and Kyoung H. Park. Photo by Lia Chang

For more information on the Fellows program, visit dgf.org/programs/fellows

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