TCG Gala: OUR STORIES Honoring David Henry Hwang and the National Black Theatre Festival, Will Feature Performances from SOFT POWER and A STRANGE LOOP at The Edison Ballroom on February 3

David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre, has announced the entertainment and performers for the 2020 TCG Gala: Our Stories, which will be held on Monday, February 3, 2020, at The Edison Ballroom (240 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036). The Gala will honor North Carolina Black Repertory Company’s National Black Theatre Festival, based in Winston-Salem; playwright David Henry Hwang; and TCG’s arts advocacy at the federal level. The evening will include performances from A Strange Loop and Soft Power, and feature Billy Bustamante, James Jackson, Jr., and Alyse Alan Louis.

The performances will begin with James Jackson, Jr. performing “Memory Song” from A Strange Loop, written by Michael R. Jackson and directed by Stephen Brackett. Later in the evening, playwright Nambi E. Kelley will honor North Carolina Black Repertory Company’s National Black Theatre Festival, where her new play, Phenomenal Woman: Maya Angelou, will open in May 2020. Kelley will read Dr. Maya Angelou’s manifesto for the National Black Theatre Festival, which was delivered by Angelou at the inaugural Festival in 1989. She will then invite Steven Byrd to honor the Festival, represented by NBTF artistic director Jackie Alexander and board president Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin.

The 2019 National Black Theatre Festival Official Portrait. Photo by Lia Chang

The performances will continue with a song from Soft Power, written by Hwang, with music and additional lyrics by Jeanine Tesori, and directed by Leigh Silverman. The scene will be introduced by Silverman and feature performances from Alyse Alan Louis and Billy Bustamante. Called “thrilling, moving, and revolutionary,” by Variety, Soft Power had its New York City premiere at The Public Theater in New York City in September of 2019. Following the song, the artistic director of The Public, Oskar Eustis, will honor Hwang.

“It’s always wonderful to connect with friends old and new, to lift up the remarkable work of our honorees, and raise important funds for TCG,” said Teresa Eyring, executive director, TCG. “We’re also grateful to be able to feature scenes from these two heralded productions of musicals that premiered in TCG member theatres.” A 6:00 p.m. cocktail reception will be followed by entertainment and a seated dinner beginning at 7:00 p.m. To learn more about the 2020 TCG Gala, and the programming it supports, visit TCG.org/Events/Gala or email Gala@tcg.org. To purchase tickets, go to www.TCGgala.org.

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