Happy Birthday to NFT Founder and Artistic Director Woodie King, Jr. who is 83 today. Click below to watch his all-star virtual birthday bash which also includes excerpts from Juney Smith’s documentary King of the Stage: The Woodie King, Jr. Story.
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Celebrating Woodie – Dyane Harvey Salaam, Abel R. Salaam, Jerome Preston Bates, Ted Lange, LaTanya Richardson & Samuel L. Jackson, Alfre Woodard, Woodie Geoffrey King & Family, Michelle King-Huger, Michael King, Kim Sullivan, Kenny Leon, Claude Winfield, Glynn Turman, Debbi Morgan, Ben Harney, Marcus Naylor, Sade Lythcott & Jonathan McCrory, Sylvia Sprinkle Hamlin, Jeffrey Thompson, Leon Pinkney, J. Alphonse Nicholson, Dianne McIntyre, Vanessa Rubin, Ed Ridley, Michele Shay, Richard Harmon, Dr. Glory Van Scott, Chris Cumberbatch, Debbie Blackwell Cook, Patricia White, Count Stovall, Brenda & Leon Denmark, Lamman Rucker, Dominique Morisseau, Pauletta & Denzel Washington, Voza Rivers, Rhetta Greene, Oz Scott, Sonja Sanchez, Guy Davis, Keith David, Craig Harris, Phylicia Rashad, Ricardo Kahn, Eileen Morris, Jim Pinkens, Ron Himes, Herman LaVerne Jones, Lilias White, Irving Vincent, Peter Jay Fernandez, Debbie Allen, Debra Ann Byrd, Antoinette Tynes, Obba Babatunde, James DeJongh, DK Dyson, Dwight RB Cook, Gail Wright-Sirmans, Anna Horsford, David Wright, Kim Weston Moran, Ebony Jo Ann, Norma Jean Darden, Elizabeth Van Dyke. The Birthday Blessing Montage featured Peggy Alson, June Ballinger, Arthur Bartow, Jewel Brimage, Clinton Turner Davis, Andre De Shields, Starletta DuPois, Lawrence Evans, Kermit Frazier, Perry Gaffney, Yvette Heyliger, Tommie Hicks, Dean Irby, Chiquita Janson & Junior Sanders, Jacke Jeffries, Marjorie Johnson, Terria Joseph, Dianne Kirksey, Eugene Lee, Evelyn Nelson, Petronia Paley, Kay Radtke, John Rankin, Johann Rinehart, Diane Richardson, J.R. Saunders, Michael Sapp, John Scutchins, Seret Scott, Jonathan Slaff, Dale Shields, Juney Smith, Joyce Sylvester, Bill Toles, Stacy Waring and Ted Wilson.
Woodie King Jr. is the founder and producing director of New Federal Theatre and National Black Touring Circuit in New York City. He has presented over 200 productions in New Federal Theatre 47th Season, which began in 1970. In addition to producing Broadway shows such as For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf, What the Winesellers Buy and Checkmates in which he also directed. This giant of a man facilitated theatre artists of every discipline. Many of the actors have become house hold names such as Glynn Turman, Phylicia Rashad, Viola Davis, Denzel Washington, Samuel L. Jackson and so many more. Woodie recently received the Legends of Off Broadway Off Broadway Alliance Award.
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. The Lia Chang theater portfolio collection,1989-2011, is in the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) collection located in the Library of Congress’ Asian Reading Room and can be accessed here.