On Friday, May 8th, Signature Theatre is presenting their popular SigSpace Arts Lunch with Crystal Dickinson and Brandon J. Dirden from Signature’s productions of Leslie Lee’s The First Breeze of Summer and August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson at noon on Instagram Live.
Tune in for a midday break at home with these amazing partners (in theatre and real-life) and their special guest, actor Jason Dirden.
Message your questions in advance with the hashtag #SigSpacePresents!
Crystal, Brandon and their son, Chase were recently featured in Mfoniso Udofia’s New Math, created for the seventh edition of The 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues.
Crystal and Brandon are also being feted by The 52nd Street Project. Serving as a significant fundraiser for the non-profit organization, the annual gala brings together The 52nd Street Project community to celebrate the contributions of individuals who have made a big impact on the organization.
Originally set to take place in-person on May 4, The Project’s gala had to be reimagined for the current climate of physical distancing. In light of COVID-19, fundraising is more crucial than ever. All of The 52nd Street Project’s programming comes at no expense to its project members, and all performances that the organization produces at its Five Angels Theater are free to the public. Donations and funds raised from the annual gala ensures that The Project can continue to reach as many young creatives as possible in a way that is both accessible and cost-effective. Click here to support.
Crystal A. Dickinson appeared on Broadway in You Can’t Take It With You and Clybourne Park. She is the recipient of the 2012 Theatre World Award, and the 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2013 Jenny Award for Best Actress. Off-Broadway, she has appeared in The Low Road at The Public Theater; The Call and Clybourne Park at Playwrights Horizons; Funnyhouse of a Negro and The First Breeze of Summer at Signature Theatre; Broke-ology at Lincoln Center; Born Bad at Soho Rep; Sundown Names and Night-gone Things at Negro Ensemble Company, Bottom of the World at Atlantic Theater. Regional: Contemporary American Theater Festival, Baltimore Centerstage, 7 Stages, Georgia Shakespeare, Houston Shakespeare, Illinois Shakespeare, Synchronicity, The Alliance, Theatre-in- the-Square, Two River Theater. Her TV credits include New Amsterdam, The Chi, The Good Wife and Tyler Perry’s House of Payne. She has appeared in the films Collateral Beauty, This Is Where I Leave You, I Origins. Education: MFA University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, London Academy for Music and Dramatic Art, Lincoln Center Directors Lab and a proud volunteer at the 52nd Street Project.
Brandon J. Dirden is in the Broadway revival of Richard Greenberg’s Tony-winning baseball drama Take Me Out which will play at 2ST’s Hayes Theater. Dirden starred on Broadway as Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Tony Award-winning production of All the Way, with Bryan Cranston, and as Booster in the Tony Award-winning revival of August Wilson’s Jitney. Additional Broadway credits include Clybourne Park, Enron, and Prelude to a Kiss. Off-Broadway, he has appeared inThe Piano Lesson, for which he won Obie, Theatre World, and AUDELCO awards; The First Breeze of Summer and Day of Absence at Signature Theatre; Detroit ’67 at the Public Theater and Classical Theatre of Harlem; Peter and the Starcatcher at New York Theatre Workshop and as ‘Brutus’ in TFANA’s production of Juilius Caesar. On screen, he has appeared in “The Good Wife,” “For Life,” “The Big C,” “Public Morals,” “Manifest,” “The Get Down,” “The Accidental Wolf,” “Blue Bloods,” “The Quad,” and four seasons of FX’s “The Americans” as Agent Dennis Aderholt. He is currently shooting the upcoming ABC series “For Life” and recently completed work on the FX miniseries, “Mrs. America.” He has directed numerous plays by Dominique Morriseau and August Wilson. Brandon is a frequent volunteer at the 52nd Street Project and a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and Fair Wage On Stage.
Jason Dirden has appeared on Broadway in the Tony award winning revivals of Fences and A Raisin In The Sun, opposite Denzel Washington. He starred in the award winning West Coast revival of August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom directed by Phylicia Rashad at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. Off-Broadway, he has appeared inThe Piano Lesson, The First Breeze of Summer (Signature Theatre); Dominique Morisseau’s Skeleton Crew at Atlantic Theater Company. His regional credits include Seven Guitars and Suzan-Lori Parks’ Topdog/Underdog (Two River Theater); Marcus Gardley’s every tongue confess (Arena Stage); Stick Fly (Arena Stage, Huntington Theatre) Fences (Geva), August Wilson’s Century Cycle (Kennedy Center) and Ceremonies in Dark Old Men (True Colors). In addition to playing Gerald Aims on “American Soul” and Pastor Basie Skanks on “Greenleaf,” Dirden has been seen on Tyler Perry’s “House Of Payne,” “Elementary,” Hawaii Five-O.
In partnership with various artists and community organizations, SigSpace will be a home for live performance and events like concerts featuring new music, works-in-progress, storytelling, panels, social justice conversations, self-care activities and other opportunities to gather.
Through the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, SigSpace will also allow Signature to sustain its lobby as a free public workspace and social hub for the NYC community.
Information and content can be found directly on www.signaturetheatre.org/SigSpace
Annaleigh Ashford, Michael Potts, Edie Falco, Amber Gray, Mallory Portnoy, Marinda Anderson, Adrienne C. Moore and More to Take Part in The 52nd Street Project’s Virtual Gala Honoring Crystal Dickinson & Brandon Dirden
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. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.
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