Emmy and Tony Award–winning actor André De Shields, currently starring in Hadestown, received the Joyce Warshow Lifetime Achievement Award at the sold-out SAGE Awards & Gala held at Cipriani Wall Street on October 21.
SAGE, the world’s largest organization dedicated to serving and advocating with and on behalf of LGBT older people, raised a record-breaking $1.5 million dollars.
More than 1,000 attendees turned out to honor LGBT elder pioneers at the forefront of the LGBT movement, as well as notable advocates and change agents who have made a difference in the lives of LGBT elders during this monumental year, the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising.
Emmy Award–winning actor Leslie Jordan was honored with the SAGE Pioneer Award and Stacey Friedman, Executive Vice President and General Counsel for JPMorgan Chase & Co., received the Jack Watters Corporate Advocate Award.
The night included a medley of songs by Tony Award–winner Laura Benanti, accompanied by Todd Almond.
Jay Toole, a Stonewall survivor and LGBT activist, also shared their story.
André De Shields is the triple-crown winner of the 2019 theater awards season, having won the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Tony Awards as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his unanimously critically acclaimed performance as Hermes, Messenger to the Gods, in Hadestown. 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 2019 Project1Voice Lifetime Achievement Award. On November 11, he will receive The York Theatre Company’s 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre and on November 18, he will be inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. He recently received the Key to the City of Baltimore from Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young. 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. www.andredeshields.com
Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBT older people and their caregivers. SAGE also advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBT elders, provides education and technical assistance for aging providers and LGBT community organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, and cultural competency training through SAGECare. With staff located across the country, SAGE also coordinates SAGENet, a growing network of affiliates in the United States. Learn more at sageusa.org.
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 and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.
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