Governor Cuomo Issues Executive Order Recognizing Juneteenth as a Holiday for State Employees

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today issued an Executive Order recognizing Juneteenth as a holiday for state employees, in recognition of the official emancipation of African Americans throughout the United States. The Governor will also advance legislation to make Juneteenth an official state holiday next year.

“Friday is Juneteenth – a day to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States – and it’s a day that is especially relevant in this moment in history,” Governor Cuomo said. “Although slavery ended over 150 years ago, there has still been rampant, systemic discrimination and injustice in this state and this nation, and we have been working to enact real reforms to address these inequalities. I am going to issue an Executive Order recognizing Juneteenth as a holiday for state employees and I’ll propose legislation next year to make it an official state holiday so New Yorkers can use this day to reflect on all the changes we still need to make to create a more fair, just and equal society.”

Assembly Member Alicia Hyndman said, “..When peace come they read the Emancipation law to the slaves people, they spent that night singin and shoutin. They wasn’t slaves no more.” – Former Slave Pierce Harper, 1937 WPA Slave Narratives of Texas, speaking about hearing he was free two and half years after his given freedom in Texas, NY. Black Emancipation Day, June 19th, 1865 also known as Juneteenth is pivotal in the joy, congregation, and spiritual well being of black people in America. I am pleased that the work I have done to solidify Juneteenth as a holiday in the State of New York is coming to fruition. I look forward to working with my colleagues and the Governor to ensure black history and liberation stays at the forefront of progress.”

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when the news of liberation came to Texas more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation went into effect on January 1, 1863. African Americans across the state were made aware of their right to freedom on this day when Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston with federal troops to read General Order No. 3 announcing the end of the Civil War and that all enslaved were now free, as well as to maintain a presence in Texas for the purpose of enforcement of emancipation among slave-owners throughout the state.

The André Holland led RICHARD II, Originally Scheduled to Begin Free Shakespeare in the Park Season, Now Set as a Radio Play, July 13 – 16

André Holland. Photo by Lia Chang
André Holland. Photo by Lia Chang
André Holland. Photo by Lia Chang

WNYC in collaboration with The Public Theater is presenting a four-part radio play of Free Shakespeare on the Radio: RICHARD II. Conceived for the radio and directed by Saheem Ali, RICHARD II was originally scheduled to begin the 2020 Free Shakespeare in the Park season at The Delacorte Theater. WNYC and The Public Theater have joined forces to reimagine this beloved summer tradition as a radio play that speaks to this current moment in our nation’s history.

RICHARD II will be broadcast over four nights from Monday, July 13 through Thursday, July 16 at 8:00 p.m. EST on WNYC 93.9 FM and AM 820 for listeners in the New York Tri-State Area and will stream at WNYC will also make the series available as a podcast for on-demand listening.

In support of the fight against racism and inequality and in recognition of the unspeakable violence against Black communities, The Public Theater and company dedicate this production to the Black Lives Matter movement.

“A fractured society. A man wrongfully murdered. The palpable threat of violence and revenge against a broken system. Revolution and regime change. This was Shakespeare’s backdrop for Richard II. I’m exceptionally proud of this production, recorded for public radio with a predominantly BIPOC ensemble, led by the extraordinary André Holland,” said director Saheem Ali. “It’s my hope that listening to Shakespeare’s words, broadcast in the midst of a pandemic and an uprising, will have powerful resonance in our world.”

The complete cast of RICHARD II features Barzin Akhavan (Salisbury/Marshall), Sean Carvajal (Gardener’s Man/Surrey), Michael Bradley Cohen (Bushy), Sanjit De Silva (Mowbray/Exton), Biko Eisen-Martin (Fitzwater), Michael Gaston (Northumberland), Stephen McKinley Henderson (Gardener), André Holland (King Richard II), Miriam A. Hyman (Bolingbroke), Merritt Janson (Scroop), Elijah Jones (Hotspur), Dakin Matthews (Gaunt), Jacob Ming-Trent (Carlisle), Maria Mukuka (Queen’s Lady/Servant), Okwui Okpokwasili (Willoughby/Abbot), Estelle Parsons (Duchess of York), Tom Pecinka (Aumerle), Phylicia Rashad (Duchess of Gloucester), Reza Salazar (Welsh Guard), Thom Sesma (Ross/Keeper), Sathya Sridharan (Bagot), John Douglas Thompson (York), Claire van der Boom (Queen), Natalie Woolams-Torres (Green), and Ja’Siah Young (Groom). RICHARD II features original music composition by Michael Thurber and Arabella Powell will serve as production stage manager.

For the first time in its almost 60-year history, Free Shakespeare in the Park will not take place, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through The Public’s partnership with WNYC-whose longstanding history of championing the stories and spirit of New York City and the surrounding region aligns closely with The Public’s mission-the beloved summer tradition of free Shakespeare will continue on, in a new way, and reach an even wider audience than ever before.

Join WNYC and The Public Theater as they bring Free Shakespeare on the Radio to the airwaves with William Shakespeare’s RICHARD II. Brought to you in a serialized radio broadcast over four nights, listen as the last of the divinely anointed monarchs descends and loses it all. When King Richard banishes his cousin Henry Bolingbroke and deprives him of his inheritance, he unwittingly creates an enemy who will ultimately force him from the throne. One of the Bard’s only dramas entirely in verse, this epic and intimate play presents the rise of the house of Lancaster through a riveting tale of lost sovereignty, political intrigue, and psychological complexity. Conceived for the radio and directed by Saheem Ali, experience this beautiful and cutting play in an exciting serialized radio format from wherever you are!

“A ruler, legitimate by the law of the land, begins to not only break the law, but violate the norms and traditions that make a nation function. What is to be done? A country is torn by the upheavals that follow injustice. What could this possibly have to do with America in 2020? Shakespeare’s masterpiece is both a political and a psychological exploration. Filled with some of his most beautiful and profound poetry, spoken by a superb cast of New York actors under the inspired direction of Saheem Ali, this gorgeous radio version will entertain, excite, move, and educate,” said Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. “We are proud to be partnering with WNYC, our sister organization that shares so many of our values, to bring this play to life. We may not have Free Shakespeare in the Park this summer, but we will not let Shakespeare vanish from New York at this crucial time.”

“WNYC is thrilled to partner with The Public Theater, Saheem Ali, and the entire cast to reimagine a hallmark event of New York City summers and present a work of such timeliness and relevance,” said Goli Sheikholeslami, President and CEO, New York Public Radio, which includes WNYC. “While the pandemic requires us to remain apart, radio drama offers listeners the intimacy of audio and a way to come together through shared experience. The audio producers and actors worked together to overcome the challenges inherent in socially distanced rehearsals and recording, and the final result is a riveting opportunity to deeply listen and truly contemplate the words of this rarely-produced work.”

Continuing the Free Shakespeare in the Park offerings this summer, THIRTEEN’s Great Performances will present an encore national broadcast of the 2019 summer production of Much Ado About Nothing on Friday, August 14 at 9:00 p.m. on PBS (check local listings),, and the PBS Video app. This bold interpretation of Shakespeare’s comedic masterpiece features Danielle Brooks and Grantham Coleman as the sparring lovers Beatrice and Benedick. Tony Award winner Kenny Leon directs with choreography by Tony Award nominee Camille A. Brown. Set in contemporary Georgia with an election race underway, Great Performances: Much Ado About Nothing finds the community of Messina celebrating a break from an ongoing war, but not all is peaceful amid the merriment. Former rivals battle it out, revenge is sought, and trickery runs amok in this timeless comedy of romantic retribution and miscommunication. Much Ado About Nothing was the first Free Shakespeare in the Park production to appear on Great Performances in over 40 years.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

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.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2020 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at

CAATA’s National Asian American Theater Festival & Conference Rescheduled to May 21 -30, 2021

The Consortium of Asian American Theaters & Artists (CAATA) announced today that its 7th National Asian American Theater Festival & Conference (ConFest): Kuʻu ʻĀina, Kuʻu Piko, Kuʻu Kahua has been rescheduled for May 21-30, 2021. CAATA and its local theater partners were set to welcome several hundred US and international ConFest participants to Oʻahu in August 2020. centering its focus on the voices of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander theater practitioners. However, in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic and economic crisis rescheduling has become necessary in consideration of the safety of the Hawaiʻi host community and general well-being of its visiting theater communities.

The pandemic has ravaged the country resulting in an ever-growing number of deaths and what has become the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Theater artists are facing myriad funding challenges, furloughs and layoffs, cancelled production runs and tours and the need to reimagine their community-based work. Sadly, CAATA has seen its communities-of-color particularly hard hit with anti-Asian violence and cultural discrimination, and with race-based healthcare injustice as witnessed by Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders facing the highest COVID-19 death rates in the state of California.

Despite these challenges, CAATA remains optimistic regarding its future ability to strengthen theaters-of-color. “We are encouraged to treat what may seem like a setback as an opportunity for growth; to learn new skills, to integrate new technologies and to strategically plan our upcoming ConFest with our community partners here in Hawai’i,” said Hailiʻōpua Baker, CAATA Board Member and University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Associate Professor of Hawaiian Theatre & Playwriting. “This encouragement is bolstered by the resilience we see in the exemplary efforts of our communities in the face of COVID-19.”

CAATA continues to realize that its work must evolve to serve its communities in these ever-changing times. In efforts to strengthen its engagement with its artists, as well as to build momentum to its ConFest convening in May 2021, CAATA is partnering with HowlRound TV to create a curated series of livestreamed conversations focused on shared issues of theaters-of-color as well as build momentum to what will be a grand ConFest in May 2021. Further information regarding these sessions will be communicated within the upcoming months.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

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.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2020 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at

Michael R. Jackson to Receive 2019 Hull-Warriner Award for A STRANGE LOOP from Dramatists Guild of America

Michael R. Jackson. Photo by Zack DeZon

Michael R. Jackson is receiving the 2019 Hull-Warriner Award for his musical A Strange Loop from the Dramatists Guild of America. The other finalists for the award were Madeleine George for Hurricane Diane; Stephen Adly Guirgis for Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven; Samuel D. Hunter for Greater Clements; Donja R. Love for one in two; and Jackie Sibblies Drury for Marys Seacole.

From left to right: James Jackson, Jr., John-Michael Lyles, Jason Veasey, Larry Owens, Antwayn Hopper, John-Andrew Morrison, L Morgan Lee in Playwrights Horizons’ production of A STRANGE LOOP by Michael R. Jackson. Photo by Joan Marcus

The Hull-Warriner Award is the only award given by playwrights to playwrights and is presented annually to an American author or authors selected by the Dramatists Guild of America Council honoring a work or works dealing with social, political or religious mores of the time. The award will be presented to Michael R. Jackson at the Guild’s annual awards celebration later this summer.

Michael R. Jackson holds a BFA and MFA in playwriting and musical theatre writing from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts. As a songwriter, he has seen his work performed everywhere from Joe’s Pub to NAMT. He wrote book, music, and lyrics for the musical A Strange Loop, winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Drama and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical. He also wrote book, music and lyrics for the upcoming White Girl in Danger; and lyrics and book for the musical adaptation of the 2007 horror film Teeth with composer and co-bookwriter Anna K. Jacobs. Awards and associations include: a New Professional Theatre Festival Award, a Jonathan Larson Grant, a Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award, an ASCAP Foundation Harold Adamson Award, a Whiting Award, the Helen Merrill Award for Playwriting, a Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellowship and he is an alum of Page 73’s Interstate Writers Group. He has commissions from Grove Entertainment & Barbara Whitman Productions and LCT3 and is a newly-elected member of the Dramatists Guild Council.

Elizabeth Hull, a playwright and former production associate of The Theatre Guild and the Federal Theatre, established the award through her will. Kate Warriner, an actress, was a long-time friend and associate of Ms. Hull. The award has been given since 1971.

Past Hull-Warriner winners include Edward Albee, David Auburn, Annie Baker, Jocelyn Bioh, Philip Hayes Dean, Christopher Durang, Margaret Edson, Harvey Fierstein, John Guare, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Adam Guettel & Craig Lucas, David Ives, John Kander & David Thompson, Stephen Karam, Larry Kramer, Tony Kushner, Shirley Lauro, John Leguizamo, Tracy Letts, David Mamet, Emily Mann, Donald Margulies, Terrence McNally, Scott McPherson, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Marsha Norman, Bruce Norris, Lynn Nottage, Dael Orlandersmith, Miguel Pinero, David Rabe, Ronald Ribman, Steven Sater & Duncan Sheik, Heidi Schreck, John Patrick Shanley, Martin Sherman, Stephen Sondheim & Hugh Wheeler, Paula Vogel, Joseph A. Walker, Wendy Wasserstein, August Wilson, George C. Wolfe, and Doug Wright.

Michael R. Jackson’s A STRANGE LOOP Wins the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Drama; SOFT POWER and HEROES OF THE FOURTH TURNING Are Finalists 

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng Introduces Legislation to Combat COVID-19 Hate Crimes

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY)

Press Release

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY)
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY)

QUEENS, NY – With various communities continuing to struggle with the surge in discriminatory attacks during the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) has introduced legislation that seeks to provide greater federal government oversight of COVID-19 hate crimes, and require the Department of Justice (DOJ) to provide Congress with regular updates on the status of reported bias incidents.

Since the beginning of the crisis, there have been numerous reports of Asian Americans being threatened, harassed, or assaulted. The pandemic has also fueled a rise in anti-Semitic incidents against the Jewish community, and caused concern among members of the LGBTQ community. As a result, these communities, in addition to working to combat the coronavirus, are left fighting an additional front – that of hate and injustice.
Entitled the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act (H.R.6721), Meng’s bill would require the Attorney General to designate a DOJ officer or employee to:
  1. Facilitate the expedited review of COVID-19 hate crimes reported to federal, state, and/or local law enforcement; and
  2. Report to Congress monthly on the status of these cases, including any resources provided to complainants, and actions taken to further investigate those incidents, with data disaggregated by victim’s race, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, and location of occurrence. These reports would be required to be provided for at least until one year after the COVID-19 public health emergency is lifted.
“As millions across the nation are worried about and impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, many are also living in fear following the dramatic increase of threats and attacks against different communities due to the rise in COVID-19-related bigotry and hate. Many are afraid of abusive and violent acts being committed against them and their loved ones,” said Congresswoman Meng. “During this time of heightened anxiety, we must do everything possible to protect the safety of every single person – no matter their race, ethnicity, religion or background. The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act is a necessary step to confront this disgusting and deplorable rise in intolerance and violence, and I urge all my colleagues to join my effort to fight these bias crimes, and keep all Americans safe.”
“We are grateful for Representative Meng’s leadership in responding to the rise in anti-Asian hate incidents during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said John C. Yang, President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC. “We need greater transparency and accountability in the reporting and handling of COVID-19-related hate crimes by law enforcement at the local, state, and federal levels. Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC is committed to countering hate in all its forms, and we will to continue to push for a comprehensive approach to documenting and addressing hate crimes and prioritizing protecting health and safety for all.”
“We thank Congresswoman Meng for introducing the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act to improve the ability of the federal government to respond to acts of hate in a coordinated fashion,” said National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) President Bonnie Lee Wolf. “Unfortunately, the emergence of the coronavirus has led to an increase in acts of hate and discrimination targeting the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. By coordinating a review of incidents and reporting at a federal level, law enforcement, government, and communities can better work together to identify strategies to combat acts of hate.”
“During this pandemic, we have seen a rash of hate-motivated attacks targeting Asian Americans and other marginalized communities. Many people in these communities are working on the front lines in hospitals, grocery stores, cabs and more and they deserve our support, not hate,” said Madihha Ahussain, Muslim Advocates’ special counsel for anti-Muslim bigotry. “The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act is a needed step forward towards protecting our community and holding perpetrators of hate crimes accountable for their actions and stopping this rampant bigotry.”
“As a health justice organization and as a public health advocate, we always care about the well-being of our communities,” said Juliet K. Choi, Executive Vice President of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum. “The insidious nature of racism and hate motivated crimes affects the entire well-being of our communities. We are pleased that Congresswoman Grace Meng has introduced legislation that will put immediate federal resources to investigate and address hate crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Discrimination and xenophobia anywhere are unacceptable. COVID-19 has affected all communities, and it is appalling that Asian Americans have become targets of physical and verbal abuse and other acts of hate,” said Adam Carbullido, Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations. “Like many, Asian Americans are on the front lines in combating COVID-19, serving as trusted health care providers and other essential workers. Acts of hate and violence against our communities make it difficult for medical providers to give care and stokes fear in patients who are afraid to seek the care they need. AAPCHO commends Representative Meng for her leadership in introducing this legislation and for being a firm champion against all forms of discrimination. Her bill would ensure that hate crimes against Asian Americans are appropriately investigated and perpetrators are brought to justice. We urge all our elected leaders to support this bill and to denounce all forms of anti-Asian xenophobia. Viruses don’t discriminate; we must stand together to overcome this crisis.”
“The surge in anti-Asian hate has been felt especially by women, who have reported between two and three times more instances of harassment and violence than men in just the past several weeks,” said Sung Yeon Choimorrow, Executive Director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum. “Recently, I have personally been on the receiving end of racist harassment, when I was taking a walk with my five-year-old daughter. Our government has a critical role and responsibility in ensuring the health and safety of our communities and this racist hate, harassment, and violence must cease so that we can recover together.”
Meng’s bill is endorsed by Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF), National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO), Oxfam America, and Muslim Advocates.
The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act is cosponsored by Reps. Ted W. Lieu; Alan Lowenthal; Bonnie Watson Coleman; Joseph P. Kennedy, III; Bill Pascrell, Jr.; Barbara Lee; Jahana Hayes; Eliot L. Engel; Nydia M. Velázquez; Adriano Espaillat; Earl Blumenauer; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; Stephen F. Lynch; Grace F. Napolitano; Anna G. Eshoo; Derek Kilmer; Thomas Suozzi; Sheila Jackson Lee; Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr.; Al Green; Emanuel Cleaver, II; Donald M. Payne, Jr.; Pramila Jayapal; Mark Takano; Judy Chu; David Trone; and Jim Costa.
A copy of the legislation can be viewed here.

Actors’ Equity Association Statement: Discrimination During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Dear Equity members,

In this time of global crisis, we are alarmed to see discrimination on the rise.

Actors’ Equity condemns the surge in COVID-19 related hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. A family with two small children was stabbed in a Texas grocery store. A woman was attacked with acid in front of her Brooklyn home. Nearly 1500 racially motivated attacks on Asians in the US have been reported since mid-March, including refusal of service, vandalism, verbal harassment, and physical assault. Asians are being irrationally targeted during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Actors’ Equity has a long history of support for human rights. To that end, the union has signed on its support for Congressional House Resolution 908. Queens Representative Grace Meng’s bill calls on all public officials to condemn anti-Asian sentiment, racism, discrimination, and religious intolerance related to COVID-19, and calls on federal law enforcement officials to expeditiously investigate and prosecute all credible reports of hate crimes against the Asian American community. We are proud to support this action, and we stand behind any effort to mitigate and end bias-driven violations of human rights.

While the Coronavirus leaves bigotry in its wake, it also starkly reveals the insidious systemic racism Americans live with every day.

The American Public Media Research Lab reports that Blacks and African Americans represent less than 15% of the American population, yet they represent 50% of deaths from the virus. These disproportionate death rates can be largely attributed to the relegation of African Americans to frontline and service roles and anti-Black implicit bias in the medical industry which denies them access to quality healthcare.

The stark reality of unemployment amongst nearly our entire membership is devastating. In addition, across the country as reported by the Center for American Progress, workers of color, particularly Latinx workers, are disproportionately represented among those laid off during the coronavirus pandemic. Conversely, only 16% of Latinos can work from home, compared to 33% of white Americans. Pew Research Labs report that “49% of Hispanics say they or someone in their household has taken a pay cut or lost a job – or both – because of the COVID-19 outbreak.”

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Red Cross has adjusted its criteria for blood and plasma donation, but it continues to discriminate against men who have sex with men, who continue to be turned away because of who they are, rather than being screened as other donors are by their exposure to risk factors.

American hospitals have adopted scarcity policies which discriminate against those with intellectual disabilities, dementia, those who need assistance with Activities of Daily Living, and those who have daily need for oxygen or dialysis. Instead of taking a “first come, first served” approach, these policies effectively exclude people with many different types of disabilities from complete coronavirus care.

Equity members and their loved ones are not immune to the pervasive inequities in America. COVID-19 shines a spotlight on these inequities and how much work remains before we achieve the equal protections that are core to American values and to the values of Actors’ Equity Association. If you experience or observe coronavirus-driven discrimination, we encourage you to stand in solidarity with the effort to create equality by making a report to Asian Americans Advancing Justice, which is tracking incidents of coronavirus-related discrimination and violence against all demographics.

During the COVID-19 crisis, almost all theatre work has stopped, but Actors’ Equity will never stop fighting for the rights and safety of all our members. If you or someone you know has experienced discrimination at an audition or at work, please call on Actors’ Equity.

In this time of crisis, Actors’ Equity will continue to fight for the safety and dignity of all its members. We stand with you all – the union – in that continued fight.

Yours in solidarity,

The Council of Actors’ Equity Association

Actors’ Equity Association, founded in 1913, represents more than 51,000 professional Actors and Stage Managers nationwide. Equity seeks to foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of society and advances the careers of its members by negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans. Actors’ Equity is a member of the AFL-CIO and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions. #EquityWorks.

Secretary Norman Y. Mineta Says Justice Bradley’s Reference to Korematsu is Insensitive and Offensive

Norman Y. Mineta

One of the goals of the Japanese American National Museum is to preserve and share the history of people of Japanese ancestry in the United States. As the Chair of its Board of Trustees, I am usually pleased to hear public figures cite sections of that history to argue a point or draw historic parallels. After the 9/11 attacks, for instance, President George W. Bush warned against profiling Muslims and Arab Americans. At the time I was his Secretary of Transportation. He cited how I and my family were unlawfully removed from our home and imprisoned by the US government along with tens of thousands of others of Japanese ancestry during World War II simply because we looked like the enemy.

That is one of the best illustrations of learning the hard lessons from our American history to ensure the mistakes of the past are not repeated.

In the midst of the COVID-19 health crisis, I was surprised to hear the Supreme Court case Korematsu v. United States cited in legal arguments over the shelter in place order in the state of Wisconsin. And I was dismayed that it was used in this case, since it completely misunderstands the significance of Korematsu and what Executive Order 9066 did to thousands of American citizens.

In arguments over Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers’ order to keep nonessential businesses closed during the continuing health crisis, an order provided for under a state health law, Justice Rebecca Bradley mentioned the Korematsu case and compared the situation of Japanese Americans during World War II to the “safer at home” policy that many states have implemented. This is an unfair and odious comparison.

Fred Toyasaburo Korematsu was a Japanese American who resisted the exclusion orders in 1942 and refused to report to the Tanforan racetrack where his family was incarcerated. After being arrested, Korematsu agreed to be a test case for the Northern California American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). His case, along with those of Minoru Yasui and Gordon Hirabayashi, was fast tracked to the Supreme Court and all lost. Four decades later, a law professor named Peter Irons discovered documents that proved the government had withheld evidence from the court. Korematsu’s case was reversed as part of a legal procedure known as coram nobis.

Justice Bradley’s reference to Korematsu is insensitive and even offensive. While the shelter in place orders are directed to almost all Americans and residents to keep them safe, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion and economic status, the U.S. government’s World War II exclusion orders were applied only to those of Japanese ancestry. Whereas Americans today are asked to remain in their homes and to suspend their businesses temporarily to avoid close physical contact, those of Japanese ancestry were forcibly removed from their homes, often by armed soldiers. Many had to abandon their businesses or sell them below their true value. Instead of being safer at home, over 120,000 of Japanese ancestry were imprisoned in concentration camps in some of the most desolate parts of the Western United States. Due process was suspended, no charges were filed, and they were effectively held indefinitely without trial for the duration of World War II.

The forced removal and mass incarceration stigmatized the entire Japanese American community with false charges of disloyalty. It was a humiliation that lasted long after the war ended. Ultimately, Korematsu himself articulated the heart of his case: “I wanted to know, ‘Was I or was I not an American?’” Nothing in today’s situation equates to Korematsu’s historic case.

While no one can diminish the difficulty of our current situation and dire economic suffering it entails, comparisons to the Japanese American World War II experience are inapt and frustrating. We at the Japanese American National Museum would hope that responsible individuals would learn the true meaning of this history before attempting to cite it in the future.

Secretary Norman Y. Mineta
Chair, Board of Trustees
Japanese American National Museum

The Old Globe to Present Christopher Fitzgerald and Bill Irwin in World Premiere of Irwin’s 10-Minute Play IN-ZOOM on May 14

Bill Irwin. Photo by Lia Chang

The Old Globe is presenting the world premiere of a 10-minute play created by Bill Irwin: In-Zoom, featuring Irwin and Broadway veteran Christopher Fitzgerald. The two-hander will premiere live online on Thursday, May 14 at 6:30 p.m. (PST) on The Old Globe’s website. A special preview performance will be streamed exclusively for Globe donors and subscribers on Wednesday, May 13 at 6:30 p.m., and a recorded version will be available to stream on the Globe website through Saturday, May 16 only. The short play is free to stream, but viewers are asked to make a donation if they can to help support The Old Globe in these extraordinary times.

Two comic minds convene a meeting on Zoom and surprise themselves as they look at our particular pandemic moment and the virtual way we’re living it. Two-time Tony Award winner Bill Irwin (Fool Moon, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) and three-time Tony Award nominee Christopher Fitzgerald (Broadway’s Waitress, Young Frankenstein, Wicked) delight in Irwin’s beguiling take on our new reality.

Bill Irwin (Playwright, Actor A) is an original member of San Francisco’s Pickle Family Circus, and of KRAKEN, directed by Herbert Blau. His original works include Fool Moon, Largely New York, The Harlequin Studies, Mr. Fox: A Rumination, The Happiness Lecture, Old Hats, and The Regard of Flight. His theatre credits include Endgame at American Conservatory Theater; Show Boat at San Francisco Opera; Roundabout Theatre Company’s revival of Waiting for Godot (2009 Drama Desk Award nomination); the Broadway and West End revivals of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (2005 Tony Award, Helen Hayes Award); The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?; Bye Bye Birdie; King Lear; Accidental Death of an Anarchist; 5-6-7-8… Dance!; Waiting for Godot at Lincoln Center Theater and Seattle Repertory Theatre; Scapin; The Tempest; Garden of Earthly Delights; Texts for Nothing; A Flea in Her Ear; The Seagull; A Man’s a Man; The Three Cuckolds; as well as being the 2003–/2004 Signature Theatre Playwright in Residence. Irwin’s television credits include Bill Irwin: Clown Prince for PBS’s “Great Performances,” “Third Rock from the Sun,” “Northern Exposure,” “Sesame Street,” Elmo’s World, The Regard of Flight for PBS, “Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games Closing Ceremony,” “The Cosby Show,” The Laramie Project, SUBWAYStories: Tales from the Underground, Bette Midler’s The Mondo Beyondo Show, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Life on Mars,” “A Gifted Man,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “The Good Wife,” “Lights Out,” “Monday Mornings,” “Blue Bloods,” “Elementary,” “Quarry,” and “Legion.” His film credits include Confirmation for HBO, Rachel Getting Married, Interstellar, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Higher Ground, Igby Goes Down, Lady in the Water, Dark Matter, Raving, Across the Universe, Popeye, Eight Men Out, Silent Tongue, Illuminata, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, My Blue Heaven, A New Life, Scenes from a Mall, and Stepping Out. Irwin also received the National Endowment for the Arts Choreographer’s Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship, Fulbright Fellowship, and MacArthur Fellowship.

Christopher Fitzgerald (Actor B) has appeared on Broadway in the most recent revival of Company, Waitress (Tony Award nomination, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards), An Act of God, The Merchant of Venice, Finian’s Rainbow (Tony and OCC nominations, Drama Desk Award), Young Frankenstein (Tony, Drama Desk, and OCC nominations), Wicked, Amour (Drama Desk nomination), and Chicago. His other New York credits include The Winter’s Tale and The Cripple of Inishmaan (The Public Theater), Saturday Night (Second Stage Theater; Drama Desk nomination), Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme (Lincoln Center Theater), and Wise Guys (New York Theatre Workshop). His recent television and film credits include “Happy!” (series regular, SyFy), Godless(Netflix), “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (recurring, Amazon), “Let Them All Talk” directed by Steven Soderbergh (upcoming, HBO), and Girl Most Likely.

The creative team includes Leila Knox (Production Stage Manager) and Kevin Anthenill (Digital Platform Director). Special thanks to Jake Millgard, Kevin Hafso Koppman, and Kyrsten Hafso Koppman for their work in developing this piece.

“The theatre’s special magic is to gather strangers at an appointed time and place and bring them together into an audience, a single community,” said Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. “With our three beautiful venues in Balboa Park temporarily closed, we’re making theatre, or something very much like it, on digital platforms, and we’ve turned to our family of brilliant artists to lead the way. Bill Irwin is a superb actor, director, writer, and thinker, and of course, one of the greatest-ever clowns in the American theatre. Bill’s been thinking about how to adapt his unique art to this dizzying moment, and In-Zoom is what he’s found. It’s a huge treat, and I’m very grateful to Bill, Christopher Fitzgerald, and the crackerjack theatre makers of The Old Globe for bringing it to life.”

The Old Globe: Barry Edelstein Virtually Reprises His Popular THINKING SHAKESPEARE LIVE with Richard Thomas, Grantham Coleman and Megan Ketch on May 19

Richard Thomas. Photo by Lia Chang

The Old Globe regards William Shakespeare as their premiere resident playwright, whose works and universal themes continue to resonate more than 400 years after his plays were written. For many San Diegans, their ability to understand and appreciate the wonders of the Bard during our Summer Shakespeare Festival has increased exponentially since they joined us for Thinking Shakespeare Live! During this unwanted intermission, the Globe’s Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein-assisted by Globe veteran classical actors Grantham Coleman, Megan Ketch, and Richard Thomas-will pivot to offer a free live online version, taking place on Tuesday, May 19 at 6:30 p.m. on The Old Globe’s Facebook page.

During this 90-minute exploration of the language of Shakespeare, Edelstein reveals a performer’s approach to Shakespearean language so audiences may easily understand the poetry of the Bard. Consistently one of our most popular offerings, this special program is based on Edelstein’s book Thinking Shakespeare: A How-To Guide for Student Actors, Directors, and Anyone Else Who Wants to Feel More Comfortable with the Bard. An ideal introduction to Shakespeare for families and young audiences as well as an exciting new look at the playwright for Bardophiles, Edelstein has performed this across the country, including at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC. The book was re-released in a 2018 revised edition by Theatre Communications Group.

In addition, Edelstein returns with further free online editions of Thinking Shakespeare Live: Sonnets! on Tuesdays, May 12 and May 26 at 6:30 p.m. Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets, each only 14 lines long, contain some of his most beautiful and moving poetry. This “social-distance” expansion of Thinking Shakespeare Live! introduces the sonnets and delves into one masterpiece of the form, exploring its language and how it works, and how it relates to Shakespeare’s work for the stage. Thousands watched the first three Sonnets!; join on The Old Globe’s Facebook page.

“Doing Thinking Shakespeare Live! as we gear up for our Summer Shakespeare Festival every year is always a joy for me,” said Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. “In our current strange circumstances, with our theatres closed, we can’t gather in Balboa Park, but we can meet virtually. And it turns out that Shakespeare translates extremely well to the digital world. This fun hour is a way to keep our Shakespeare chops in good form and keep our love of this writer and his work front and center. Until we reopen, we can listen to and luxuriate in these extraordinary words even as we learn a little about how they work in the rehearsal room, in the hands of experienced actors and directors. I’m really looking forward to sharing a fun and fast-moving program with audiences in San Diego and beyond.”

Barry Edelstein, Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director of The Old Globe, is a stage director, producer, author, and educator. He has directed over half of the Bard’s plays. His Globe directing credits include The Winter’s Tale, Othello, The Twenty-Seventh Man, the world premiere of Rain, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Hamlet, the world premiere of The Wanderers, the American premiere of Life After, and Romeo and Juliet. He also directed All’s Well That Ends Well as the first production of Globe for All, and last January he oversaw the Globe’s inaugural Classical Directing Fellowship program. As Director of the Shakespeare Initiative at The Public Theater (2008-2012), Edelstein oversaw all of the company’s Shakespearean productions and its educational, community outreach, and artist-training programs. He was also Artistic Director of Classic Stage Company (1998-2003). His book Thinking Shakespeare is the standard text on American Shakespearean acting. He is also the author of Bardisms: Shakespeare for All Occasions.

Grantham Coleman starred in the title role of Hamlet at The Old Globe in 2017. He has appeared on Broadway in The Great Society and Off Broadway in Much Ado About Nothing, Buzzer, Choir Boy, One Night, We Are Proud to Present…, and As You Like It. His regional credits include The Tempest, Sweat, Hamlet, and Romeo and Juliet. His film and television credits include Against All Enemies, “The Carmichael Show,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Doubt,” 11.22.63, “Murder in the First,” “The Night Shift,” and “The Americans.” He is a graduate of The Juilliard School (Group 41).

Megan Ketch last appeared at the Globe in Double Indemnity in 2013. She recently starred in the Syfy pilot “Tremors” opposite Kevin Bacon and was nominated for an Ovation Award for Lead Actress in a Play for the West Coast premiere of Cry It Out by Molly Smith Metzler. She starred in the Off Broadway premiere of Bess Wohl’s new play Continuity at Manhattan Theatre Club. Before that she led the summer series “American Gothic” on CBS and recurred on CW’s hit dramedy “Jane the Virgin.” After completing her masters at New York University Graduate Acting, she was cast as the lead in the ABC pilot “Gotham” directed by Francis Lawrence, and made her feature debut in the comedy The Big Wedding. Her film credits include The Incredible Jessica James and Joachim Trier’s Louder Than Bombs. She has played recurring roles on “The Affair,” “Reckless,” “Blue Bloods,” “The Good Wife,” and “Under the Dome,” and most recently she appeared on the CBS breakout drama “Evil” and Netflix’s “Glow.”

Richard Thomas previously starred at The Old Globe as Jimmy Carter in Camp David in 2016 and as Iago in Othello in 2014. He is an Emmy Award-winning actor who has appeared in over 100 films and television series, and a Tony Award-nominated veteran of Broadway, Off Broadway, and regional theatre.

The Old Globe believes that theatre matters, now more than ever, and is determined to continue to serve the public through theatre art. We consider it paramount that we continue to be a leader in programming for our community, and continue to support and maintain valued connections with those hungering for artistic content and continued personal growth. We continue to add free online programs and new dates for existing ones, all part of The Old Globe’s ongoing commitment to serve the public good by providing programs that make theatre matter to more people.

All Globe productions and events have been postponed until further notice; all dates are subject to change. Meantime, the Globe has developed and is presenting a wide array of free online programs to continue reaching out to the San Diego community. These include the World Premiere of Bill Irwin’s In-Zoom, a twice-weekly On Book: The Old Globe’s Shakespeare Reading Group, a free commissioned short plays project Play At Home, and outreach from familiar Globe artists in Act Breaks and Flashbacks. The indefatigable Arts Engagement team has pivoted several community-venue-based projects online, with weekly offerings of Community Voices; Behind the Curtain and its offshoots, the Spanish-language Detrás del Telón and advanced Behind the Curtain: Technical Assistance forum; and Word Up!; as well as our fifth annual Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare! online party, and many other great community-based projects in the development pipeline.

Check out for schedules and updates

Michael R. Jackson’s A STRANGE LOOP Wins the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Drama; SOFT POWER and HEROES OF THE FOURTH TURNING Are Finalists

The 2020 Pulitzer Prize winners in 15 Journalism and seven Book, Drama and Music categories were announced via video stream at on Monday, May 4 by Pulitzer Administrator Dana Canedy. A Special Citation was also awarded.

Playwrights Horizons’ production of Michael R. Jackson’s A Strange Loop has won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

From left to right: James Jackson, Jr., John-Michael Lyles, Jason Veasey, Larry Owens, Antwayn Hopper, John-Andrew Morrison, L Morgan Lee in Playwrights Horizons’ production of A STRANGE LOOP by Michael R. Jackson. Photo by Joan Marcus

Michael R. Jackson’s blistering, momentous new musical follows a young artist at war with a host of demons — not least of which, the punishing thoughts in his own head — in an attempt to capture and understand his own strange loop. In A Strange Loop, Usher is a black, queer writer, working a day job he hates while writing his original musical: a piece about a black, queer writer, working a day job he hates while writing his original musical.

This year’s Pulitzer Prize for Drama finalists included: David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s Soft Power and Will Arbery’s Heroes of the Fourth Turning.

The cast of SOFT POWER. Photo by Joan Marcus

Soft Power is an exploration of America’s current place in the world, told through an East-West musical from China’s point of view, in which a theater producer from Shanghai forges a powerful bond with Hillary Clinton. Soft Power is a fever dream of modern American politics amidst global conversations, asking us all-why do we love democracy? And should we?

Jeanine Tesori and David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
Pulitzer Prize for Drama finalists Jeanine Tesori and David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

David Henry Hwang is now a three-time Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for M. Butterfly (1989), Yellow Face (2008) and Soft Power (2020). Jeanine Tesori was named Pulitzer Prize for Drama finalist twice for Fun Home (2014) and Soft Power (2020).

Zoë Winters, Jeb Kreager and Julia McDermott in ‘Heroes of the Fourth Turning’ at Playwrights Horizons. Photo: Joan Marcus
Zoë Winters, Jeb Kreager and Julia McDermott in ‘Heroes of the Fourth Turning’ at Playwrights Horizons. Photo: Joan Marcus

On a chilly night in the middle of America, Will Arbery’s haunting play offers grace and disarming clarity, speaking to the heart of a country at war with itself. In Heroes of the Fourth Turning, it’s nearing midnight in Wyoming, where four young conservatives have gathered at a backyard after-party. They’ve returned home to toast their mentor Gina, newly inducted as president of a tiny Catholic college. But as their reunion spirals into spiritual chaos and clashing generational politics, it becomes less a celebration than a vicious fight to be understood.

The 2020 Prize winners are:
Breaking News Reporting
Staff of The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky.
For its rapid coverage of hundreds of last-minute pardons by Kentucky’s governor, showing how the process was marked by opacity, racial disparities and violations of legal norms. (Moved by the jury from Local Reporting, where it was originally entered.)

Investigative Reporting
Brian M. Rosenthal of The New York Times
For an exposé of New York City’s taxi industry that showed how lenders profited from predatory loans that shattered the lives of vulnerable drivers, reporting that ultimately led to state and federal investigations and sweeping reforms.

Explanatory Reporting
Staff of The Washington Post
For a groundbreaking series that showed with scientific clarity the dire effects of extreme temperatures on the planet.

Local Reporting
Staff of The Baltimore Sun
For illuminating, impactful reporting on a lucrative, undisclosed financial relationship between the city’s mayor and the public hospital system she helped to oversee.

National Reporting
T. Christian Miller, Megan Rose and Robert Faturechi of ProPublica
For their investigation into America’s 7th Fleet after a series of deadly naval accidents in the Pacific.
Dominic Gates, Steve Miletich, Mike Baker and Lewis Kamb of The Seattle Times
For groundbreaking stories that exposed design flaws in the Boeing 737 MAX that led to two deadly crashes and revealed failures in government oversight.

International Reporting
Staff of The New York Times
For a set of enthralling stories, reported at great risk, exposing the predations of Vladimir Putin’s regime.

Feature Writing
Ben Taub of The New Yorker
For a devastating account of a man who was kidnapped, tortured and deprived of his liberty for more than a decade at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, blending on-the-ground reporting and lyrical prose to offer a nuanced perspective on America’s wider war on terror. (Moved into contention by the Board.)

Nikole Hannah-Jones of The New York Times
For a sweeping, deeply reported and personal essay for the ground-breaking 1619 Project, which seeks to place the enslavement of Africans at the center of America’s story, prompting public conversation about the nation’s founding and evolution.

Christopher Knight of the Los Angeles Times
For work demonstrating extraordinary community service by a critic, applying his expertise and enterprise to critique a proposed overhaul of the L.A. County Museum of Art and its effect on the institution’s mission.

Editorial Writing
Jeffery Gerritt of the Palestine (Tx.) Herald Press
For editorials that exposed how pre-trial inmates died horrific deaths in a small Texas county jail—reflecting a rising trend across the state—and courageously took on the local sheriff and judicial establishment, which tried to cover up these needless tragedies.

Editorial Cartooning
Barry Blitt, contributor, The New Yorker
For work that skewers the personalities and policies emanating from the Trump White House with deceptively sweet watercolor style and seemingly gentle caricatures. (Moved into contention by the Board.)

Breaking News Photography
Photography Staff of Reuters
For wide-ranging and illuminating photographs of Hong Kong as citizens protested infringement of their civil liberties and defended the region’s autonomy by the Chinese government.

Feature Photography
Channi Anand, Mukhtar Khan and Dar Yasin of Associated Press
For striking images of life in the contested territory of Kashmir as India revoked its independence, executed through a communications blackout.

Audio Reporting
Staff of This American Life with Molly O’Toole of the Los Angeles Times and Emily Green, freelancer, Vice News
For “The Out Crowd,” revelatory, intimate journalism that illuminates the personal impact of the Trump Administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy.

Public Service
Anchorage Daily News with contributions from ProPublica
For a riveting series that revealed a third of Alaska’s villages had no police protection, took authorities to task for decades of neglect, and spurred an influx of money and legislative changes.

Letters, Drama and Music
A Strange Loop, by Michael R. Jackson
A metafictional musical that tracks the creative process of an artist transforming issues of identity, race, and sexuality that once pushed him to the margins of the cultural mainstream into a meditation on universal human fears and insecurities.

Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America, by W. Caleb McDaniel (Oxford University Press)
A masterfully researched meditation on reparations based on the remarkable story of a 19th century woman who survived kidnapping and re-enslavement to sue her captor.
Sontag: Her Life and Work, by Benjamin Moser (Ecco)
An authoritatively constructed work told with pathos and grace, that captures the writer’s genius and humanity alongside her addictions, sexual ambiguities and volatile enthusiasms.

The Tradition, by Jericho Brown (Copper Canyon Press)
A collection of masterful lyrics that combine delicacy with historical urgency in their loving evocation of bodies vulnerable to hostility and violence.

General Nonfiction
The Undying: Pain, Vulnerability, Mortality, Medicine, Art, Time, Dreams, Data, Exhaustion, Cancer, and Care, by Anne Boyer (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
An elegant and unforgettable narrative about the brutality of illness and the capitalism of cancer care in America.
The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America, by Greg Grandin (Metropolitan Books)
A sweeping and beautifully written book that probes the American myth of boundless expansion and provides a compelling context for thinking about the current political moment. (Moved by the Board from the U.S. History category.)

The Central Park Five, by Anthony Davis
Premiered on June 15, 2019 at the Long Beach Opera, a courageous operatic work, marked by powerful vocal writing and sensitive orchestration, that skillfully transforms a notorious example of contemporary injustice into something empathetic and hopeful. Libretto by Richard Wesley.

The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)
A spare and devastating exploration of abuse at a reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida that is ultimately a powerful tale of human perseverance, dignity and redemption.

Special Citation
Ida B. Wells
For her outstanding and courageous reporting on the horrific and vicious violence against African Americans during the era of lynching.
For more information on this year’s and all past years’ winners and finalists, please visit

This announcement marks the 104th year of the Prizes. The Board also announced the election of its two co-chairs: Stephen Engelberg, Editor-in-Chief, ProPublica, and Aminda Marqués Gonzalez, President, Publisher and Executive Editor, Miami Herald. Both Engelberg and Marqués Gonzalez are entering their ninth year as Pulitzer Prize Board members.

The annual awards luncheon, traditionally held at Columbia University in May, has been postponed. Details of a Fall celebratory reception for winners will be announced at a later date.

The Pulitzer Prizes were established by Joseph Pulitzer, a Hungarian-American journalist and newspaper publisher, who left money to Columbia University upon his death in 1911. A portion of his bequest was used to found the School of Journalism in 1912 and to establish the Pulitzer Prizes, which were first awarded in 1917.

The 19-member Pulitzer Board is composed mainly of leading journalists or news executives from media outlets across the U.S., as well as five academics or persons in the arts. The dean of Columbia Journalism School and the administrator of the Prizes are nonvoting members. The chair rotates annually to the most senior member or members. The board is self-perpetuating in the election of members. Voting members may serve three terms of three years each for a total of nine years.

CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND’s Francis Jue Wins 2020 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play; Full List of Winners

2020 Drama League Awards Nominees


Video Teaser: Cast Recording of Signature Theatre Production of Lauren Yee’s CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND, Featuring Francis Jue, Abraham Kim, Jane Lui, Joe Ngo, Courtney Reed and Moses Villarama, To be released on May 8 

David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER Receives Five Lucille Lortel Nominations Including Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical for Francis Jue and Conrad Ricamora, Outstanding Choreography for Sam Pinkleton and Outstanding Scenic Design for Clint Ramos; Full List of Nominations 

SOFT POWER Receives Eleven Drama Desk Nominations, HALFWAY BITCHES GO STRAIGHT TO HEAVEN Receives Eight Nods; Full List of Nominees 

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

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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