Watch: Tony, Grammy and Emmy Winner André De Shields Joins John Doyle for CSC’s Classic Conversations

Classic Stage Company is presenting a new lineup of multiple award-winning participants in the free online version of its signature series Classic Conversations, hosted by John Doyle, featuring eminent actors who are also collaborators of Doyle and CSC.

Bebe Neuwirth, André De Shields and John Doyle at the American Theater Hall of Fame ceremony at the Gershwin Theatre in New York on November 18, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang

Tony, Grammy and Emmy winner André De Shields (Hadestown, The Wiz), who that same year performed in Doyle’s staging of As You Like It at CSC, is set for Thursday, July 23 at 6pm on YouTube.

Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award winner André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields is the triple-crown winner of the 2019 awards season, having won the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, and Tony Awards for best featured actor in a musical for his critically acclaimed performance as Hermes in Hadestown. The Actors’ Equity Foundation followed suit with the Richard Seff Award, honoring veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year. Mr. De Shields recently received the 2020 Grammy Award for Musical Theater Album for Hadestown, an honorary Doctor of Arts Degree from Boston Conservatory at Berklee, the 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 received the Key to the City of Baltimore from Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young in August, 2019. Prior to his Tony Award win, Mr. De Shields was best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway productions: The WizAin’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award), Play On! (Tony Nomination), and The Full Monty (Tony Nomination). In a career spanning fifty-one 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” and on The CW as Chubby in “Katy Keene.” De Shields is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and SDC.

Quincy Tyler Bernstine as Celia, Hannah Cabell as Rosalind and André De Shields as Touchstone in AS YOU LIKE IT at Bay Street Theater. Copyright Lenny Stucker
Quincy Tyler Bernstine as Celia, Hannah Cabell as Rosalind and André De Shields as Touchstone in AS YOU LIKE IT at Bay Street Theater. Copyright Lenny Stucker

Other artists in the lineup include Emmy nominee Becky Ann Baker (“Girls,” Good People), co-star, with husband Dylan Baker, of the Doyle-directed Peer Gynt at CSC in 2016 (July 30); OBIE and Lortel Award winner Quincy Tyler Bernstine (Marys Seacole, Ruined), also featured in the 2017 As You Like It; (August 6); and Tony and Grammy winner Heather Headley (Aida, The Lion King) (appearing August 13), who starred in John Doyle’s Tony-winning Broadway revival of The Color Purple in 2016.

Classic Conversations, inaugurated in Winter 2018 with an event featuring Raúl Esparza, has quickly become a treasured part of CSC’s offerings. In response to the COVID-19 shutdown, CSC reimagined Classic Conversations as a digital series with an initial lineup of guests featuring the cast members from Doyle’s highly anticipated upcoming production of Assassins, for which CSC will resume production when it is safe to return to the theater. Participant cast members have included Brandon Uranowitz; Will Swenson; Adam Chanler-Berat; Tavi Gevinson; Eddie Cooper; Ethan Slater; Steven Pasquale; Bianca Horn; Wesley Taylor; Andy Grotelueschen; and Brad Giovanine, Katrina Yaukey, Whit K. Lee, Rob Morrison,  four-time Tony nominee Judy Kuhn and George Takei.

Classic Conversations premiere Thursdays at 6pm on YouTube and
are available to view afterwards on Facebook and Instagram IGTV.

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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