Red Bull Theater to Honor André De Shields, Kate Burton and TDF With Matador Awards for Excellence in Classical Theater on March 30

Jesse Berger – Red Bull Theater Founder and Artistic Director, Jim Bredeson – Red Bull Managing Director, and the Board of Trustees of Red Bull Theater have announced that the Twelfth Annual Running of the Red Bulls Gala Benefit on Monday March 30th will celebrate the company’s 17th Season and honor Kate Burton, André De Shields, and Theatre Development Fund with the 2020 Matador Awards for Excellence in Classical Theater. Proceeds from the evening will support all of Red Bull Theater’s programs including its upcoming Off-Broadway production of The Alchemist.

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

“The entire organization is thrilled to celebrate this year’s honorees who have made their mark on the Classical Theater. Kate Burton… transcendent. André De Shields… illustrious. The Theatre Development Fund… essential. Burton and De Shields have created iconic interpretations of some of Shakespeare’s greatest roles and the Theatre Development Fund, through its various programs, support Red Bull Theater’s mission to share great classic stories in many ways. All three of this year’s honorees are icons of the American theater and we’re pleased to honor them with Matador Awards at our singular gala event,” said Mr. Bredeson.

André De Shields and Charlayne Woodard. Photo by Lia Chang

This unforgettable evening of fun and frolic will be hosted by Obie Award-winner Charlayne Woodard (Ryan Murphy’s “Pose,” The Witch of Edmonton for Red Bull Theater, “Daddy,” Hamlet, In the Blood); Arnie Burton (currently appearing in Timon of Athens for the RSC/TFANA; other NY credits include The Government Inspector, The 39 Steps, Machinal, Peter and the Starcatcher); and Stephen DeRosa (The Government Inspector, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus, On the Town, Hairspray, Henry IV, Into the Woods). The evening will feature a bevy of surprises and special guests, fine dining, and live entertainment as Red Bull Theater celebrates another successful season. This intimate soiree will be held at the chic Bowery Hotel (335 Bowery at East 3rd Street).

Begun in 2009, Matador Awards are given annually to recognize individuals or organizations that have demonstrated extraordinary talent, service, or significant achievement in the Classical Theater. Previous honorees have included Oscar Isaac, Patrick Stewart, Fund for the City of New York, Lynn Redgrave, Lily Rabe, Martha Plimpton, Condola Rashad, Liev Schreiber, Hamish Linklater, George Forbes, Olympia Dukakis, the American Theatre Wing, Jack O’Brien, Michael Kahn, and Daniel Sullivan.

This year Red Bull Theater will honor:

Matador Award for Extraordinary Achievement in Classical Theater

Kate Burton
The daughter of two celebrated Shakespearean actors, Kate has played Viola, Juliet, Desdemona, and Isabella. Her performances in both Coriolanus and Cymbeline for Shakespeare in the Park were uniformly praised, and in 2018 she was lauded for her Prospera in The Tempest for The Old Globe. A three-time Tony and Emmy Award nominee, she was last seen on Broadway opposite Kevin Kline in Present Laughter. On television, she is best known for her work in “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Matador Award for Extraordinary Achievement in Classical Theater

André De Shields

At the age of 73, De Shields was the triple crown winner of the 2019 award season (also securing an Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Award along with his Tony).

The Actors’ Equity Foundation followed suit with the Richard Seff Award, which honors veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year. Mr. De Shields recently received the 2020 Grammy Award for Musical Theater Album, 2019 Project1Voice Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2019 SAGE Joyce Warshow Lifetime Achievement Award, The York Theatre Company’s 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre, and was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. He r received the Key to the City of Baltimore from Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young in August. 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! (Tony Nomination), and The Full Monty (Tony Nomination). 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. De Shields can currently be seen on Netflix as the Algebra Tutor in John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch”. He has received praise for his classical work, including King Lear at Classical Theater of Harlem and Red Bull’s own The Witch of Edmonton.

George Mayer Matador Award for Extraordinary Service to Classical Theater

Theatre Development Fund (TDF)
TDF is a not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts, dedicated to bringing the power of the performing arts to everyone. Founded in 1968, TDF’s mission is to sustain live theatre and dance by engaging and cultivating a broad and diverse audience and eliminating barriers to attendance. TDF fulfills its mission with a variety of programs that expand access, cultivate communities and support the makers of the performing arts. Executive Director Victoria Bailey will accept the award.

Running of the Red Bulls is Red Bull Theater’s most significant annual fundraising event. Matador Awards for Excellence are given annually to recognize individuals or organizations that have demonstrated extraordinary talent, service, or significant achievements in the Classical Theater.

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