Phylicia Rashad, Lillias White, Jason Dirden, Glynn Turman and Dan Moses Schrier Receive NAACP Theatre Award Nods for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”;   “Father Comes Homes from the War Parts 1, 2 and 3,” “Fly,” and “Barbecue” Each Receive 8

Cast member Keith David, director Phylicia Rashad and cast members Glynn Turman, Lillias White, Jason Dirden and Damon Gupton from August Wilson’’s “”Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” at Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum at the Los Angeles Music Center. Photo by Luke Fontana
Cast member Keith David, director Phylicia Rashad and cast members Glynn Turman, Lillias White, Jason Dirden and Damon Gupton from August Wilson’’s “”Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” at Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum at the Los Angeles Music Center. Photo by Luke Fontana
Cast member Keith David, director Phylicia Rashad and cast members Glynn Turman, Lillias White, Jason Dirden and Damon Gupton from August Wilson’’s “”Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” at Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum at the Los Angeles Music Center. Photo by Luke Fontana

Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum’s production of August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, has been nominated for 5 NAACP Theatre Awards in the categories of Best Director for Phylicia Rashad, Best Lead Female for Lillias White, Best Lead Actor for Jason Dirden and Glynn Turman, and Best Sound – Larger Theatre for Dan Moses Schrier. The play is set in 1927 Chicago at a white-owned studio with the legendary singer – inspired by real-life Mother of the Blues-Gertrude “Ma” Rainey.

Glynn Turman and Jason Dirden Photo by Craig Schwartz
Glynn Turman and Jason Dirden Photo by Craig Schwartz

Jason Dirden Discusses ‘Greenleaf’ and the Family Business

The 27th Annual NAACP Theatre Awards are presented by the NAACP Beverly Hills/Hollywood Branch’s Theatre Viewing Committee. To honor such outstanding examples of black excellence in theatre, an extravagant dinner show will be held on Monday, February 26, 2018, 6:00 p.m. at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, California.

Pulitzer prize winner Suzan Lori Parks’ “Father Comes Homes from the War Parts 1, 2 and 3,” “Fly,” and “Barbecue” have all received 8 nods in The Equity Theatre (larger theatre) nominations.

Sterling K. Brown and Sameerah Luqmaan-Harris in “Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3)” at Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum. Written by Suzan-Lori Parks and directed by Jo Bonney, the West Coast premiere of “Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3)”. Photo by Craig Schwartz
L-R: Julian Rozzell Jr., Roger Robinson, Sterling K. Brown and Sameerah Luqmaan-Harris in “Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3)” at Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum. Written by Suzan-Lori Parks and directed by Jo Bonney, the West Coast premiere of “Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3)”. Photo by Craig Schwartz

Pulitzer prize winner Suzan Lori Parks’ “Father Comes Homes from the War Parts 1, 2 and 3” has been nominated for Best Playwright, Best Lead Male for Sterling K. Brown, Best Supporting Female for Patrena Murray and Sameerah Luqmaan-Harris, and Best Supporting Male for Roger Robinson and Larry Powell, Best Costumes  for ESosa and Best Music Director for Steven Bargonetti. Parks has written an intense drama that details the life of a slave as he joins the battlefield during the Civil War – an unexpected twist, he is a confederate soldier.

"Fly". Photo by Jim Cox
“Fly”. Photo by Jim Cox

“Fly” has been nominated Best Choreography for Hope Clarke, Best Director for Ricardo Khan, Best Ensemble Cast, Best Producer for The Pasadena Playhouse and Crossroads Theatre Company, Best Sound for John Gromada, Best Costumes for Toni-Lesli James, Best Lighting for Rui Rita and Jake DeGroot, and Best Playwright for writers Ricardo Khan and Trey Ellis, the latter of which wrote a piece recently nominated for an Emmy. It follows the story of 4 Tuskegee airmen on their quest to integrate the United States Air Force.

Cherise Boothe, Yvette Cason, Omar J. Dorsey, Kimberly Hébert Gregory and Heather Alicia Simms. Photo by Jeff Lorch Photography.
Cherise Boothe, Yvette Cason, Omar J. Dorsey, Kimberly Hébert Gregory and Heather Alicia Simms. Photo by Jeff Lorch Photography.

Robert O’Hara’s “Barbecue” a humorous analysis of typical American family dynamics with an unexpected twist, has been nominated in the categories of Best Playwright, Best Director for Tony Award nominee Coleman Domingo,  Best Costumes for Kara Harmon, Best Ensemble Cast, Best Lighting for Lap Chi Chu, Best Producer for Geffen Playhouse, Best Set Design for Sibyl Wickersheimer, and Best Sound for Lindsay Jones.

[See Full List of Nominations Below]

27th Annual NAACP Theatre Awards Nominations
Best Choreography – Larger Theatre
Fly – Hope Clarke
Merrily We Roll Along – Eamon Foley
Memphis – Edgar Godineaux

Best Choreography – 99 Seat Theatre
When Jazz Had the Blues – Cassie Crump
The Boy From Oz – Janet Roston
Ferguson – Peachanda DuBose

Best Costumes – Larger Theatre
Barbecue – Kara Harmon
Father Comes Home from the Wars Parts 1, 2 and 3 – ESosa
Fly – Toni-Leslie James

Best Costumes – 99 Seat Theatre
The Prequel to Othello, The Cause, My Soul – Mylette Nora
No Place to be Somebody – Naila Aladdin Sanders
When Jazz Had the Blues – Michael Mullen

Best Director – Larger Theatre
Fly – Ricardo Khan
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – Phylicia Rashad
Barbecue – Colman Domingo

Best Director – 99 Seat Theatre
The Mask We Wear – William Scales
No Place to be Somebody – Ben Guillory
Bars and Measures – Weyni Mengesha

Best Director of a Musical – Larger Theatre
Recorded In Hollywood – Denise Dowse
Merrily We Roll Along – Michael Arden
Memphis – Edgar Godineaux

Best Director of a Musical – 99 Seat Theatre
Much Ado About Nothing – Gloria Gifford
The Boy From Oz – Michael A. Shepperd
Down on your Knees and Up to the Moon – Gloria Gifford

Best Ensemble Cast – Larger Theatre
The Last Tiger in Haiti
Barbecue
Fly

Best Ensemble Cast – 99 Seat Theatre
A Nice Family Gathering
It’s Just Sex
When Jazz Had the Blues

Best Lead Female – Larger Theatre
Memphis – Krystle Simmons
The Fantasticks – Ashley Park
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – Lillias White

Best Lead Female – 99 Seat Theatre
The Mountaintop – Danielle Truitt
Broken Fences – Donna Simone Johnson
The Mask We Wear – Sade’ Moore

Best Lead Male – Larger Theatre
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – Glynn Turman
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – Jason Dirden
Father Comes Home from the Wars Parts 1,2 and 3 – Sterling K. Brown

Best Lead Male – 99 Seat Theatre
No Place to be Somebody – Sammie Wayne IV
No Place to be Somebody – Leith Burke
The Mask We Wear – Wallace Demarria

Best Lighting – Larger Theatre
Icebergs – Daniel Ionazzi
Fly – Rui Rita and Jake DeGroot
Barbecue – Lap Chi Chu

Best Lighting – 99 Seat Theatre
My Manana Comes – Jennifer Edwards
When Jazz Had the Blues – Leigh Allen
No Place to be Somebody – Michael D. Ricks

Best Music Director – Larger Theatre
Father Comes Home from the Wars Parts 1, 2 and 3 – Steven Bargonetti
Merrily We Roll Along – Matt Gould & Adam Wachter
Memphis – Darryl Archibald

Best Music Director – 99 Seat Theatre
Ferguson – Dean O’Leary
When Jazz Had the Blues – Rahn Coleman
Billy Holiday – Front and Center – Casey McCoy

Best One Person Show – 99 Seat Theatre
Women on the Verge – Faith Collins
Journey This – Cheray O’Neal
Billy Holiday – Front and Center – Sybil Harris

Best Playwright – Larger Theatre
Father Comes Home from the Wars Parts 1, 2 and 3 – Suzan-Lori Parks
Barbecue – Robert O’Hara
Fly – Trey Ellis and Ricardo Khan

Best Playwright – 99 Seat Theatre
Journey This – Cheray O’Neal
The Prequel to Othello, The Cause, My Soul – Ted Lange
The Mask We Wear – Wallace Demarria

Best Producer – Larger Theatre
Fly – The Pasadena Playhouse and Crossroads Theatre Company
Icebergs – Geffen Playhouse
Barbecue – Geffen Playhouse

Best Producer – 99 Seat Theatre
No Place to be Somebody – Ben Guillory & Robey Theatre Company
The Mask We Wear – Wallace Demarria and William Scales
When Jazz Had the Blues – Leigh Fortier & Tiffany Thomas

Best Set Design – Larger Theatre
Icebergs – Anthony T. Fanning
The Last Tiger in Haiti – Takeshi Kata
Barbecue – Sibyl Wickersheimer

Best Set Design – 99 Seat Theatre
The Prequel to Othello, The Cause, My Soul – Peter Hickok
No Place to be Somebody – Thomas Meleck
When Jazz Had the Blues – Se Hyun Oh

Best Sound – Larger Theatre
Fly – John Gromada
Barbecue – Lindsay Jones
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – Dan Moses Schrier

Best Sound – 99 Seat Theatre
When Jazz Had the Blues – Christopher Moscatiello
The Boy From Oz – Eric Snodgrass
The Prequel to Othello, The Cause, My Soul – Will Mahood

Best Supporting Female – Larger Theatre
Father Comes Home from the Wars Parts 1, 2 and 3 – Patrena Murray
Father Comes Home from the Wars Parts 1,2 and 3 – Sameerah Luqmaan-Harris
Disgraced – Karen Pittman

Best Supporting Female – 99 Seat Theatre
A Lady in Waiting – Malika Blessing
Blessing A Lady in Waiting – Pia D. Days
No Place to be Somebody – Kacie Rogers

Best Supporting Male – Larger Theatre
Father Comes Home from the Wars Parts 1, 2 and 3 – Roger Robinson
Icebergs – Keith Powell
Father Comes Home from the Wars Parts 1, 2 and 3 – Larry Powell

Best Supporting Male – 99 Seat Theatre
The Mask We Wear – Jerrel O’Neal
No Place To Be Somebody – Hawthorne James
Ferguson – Alfred Rutherford

The NAACP Theatre Viewing Committee considers all candidates who submit their productions from January 2016 through December 15, 2016, for possible nomination. All productions must run for at least six (6) full performances in Southern California (San Diego to Bakersfield included). Previews, invited dress rehearsals, and other similar showings do not count towards eligibility. Eligibility for this year’s edition was limited to theatre productions opening in January 2016 through December 2016. Productions who meet all eligibility requirements before the deadline are considered eligible for a 2017 NAACP Theatre Award.

For more information on the NAACP Theatre Awards, please visit www.naacptheatreawards.comor email: lisa@premierconceptspr.com

About the NAACP Theatre Awards
The NAACP Theatre Awards is presented by the Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP Branch in partnership with the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles City Council President/District 10 Councilman, Herb Wesson Jr. The event is co-chaired by Councilman Herb Wesson, Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP Branch President Ron Hasson, and the Executive and Creative Producer, Tia Boyd. The mission of the Theatre Awards is to entertain, educate, inspire the community and create diversity in the arts and entertainment industry. The prestigious star-studded gala aims to honor the highest achieving persons in the field of dramatic arts. The branch also celebrates a four-day theatre festival, which provides a platform for thespians to express their craft and share their contributions with an audience of their peers, the community and other individuals who celebrate live theatre in Los Angeles.

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Steve James, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and More Attend “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail” Screening at Metrograph Cinema; Among 15 Documentary Features to Advance in 2017 OSCAR® RACE

Co-producer Fenell Doremus, Producer Mark Mitten, Jill Sung, Vera Sung, Chanterelle Sung, Heather Sung, Producer Julie Goldman, Director Steve James. Photo by Lia Chang

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recently announced that 15 films in the Documentary Feature category will advance in the voting process for the 90th Academy Awards®, including Abacus: Small Enough to Jail. One hundred seventy films were originally submitted in the category.

Jill Sung, Vera Sung, Chanterelle Sung, Heather Sung and Director Steve James. Photo by Lia Chang
Jill Sung, Vera Sung, Chanterelle Sung, Heather Sung and Director Steve James. Photo by Lia Chang

On Wednesday night, the screening of Abacus: Small Enough To Jail at Metrograph Cinema in New York was followed by a panel discussion moderated by award-winning documentary filmmaker Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, and featured director Steve James, producer Mark Mitten, and members of the Sung familiy including Vera Sung, Jill Sung and Chanterelle Sung.

From acclaimed director Steve James (Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters), Abacus: Small Enough to Jail tells the saga of the Chinese immigrant Sung family, owners of Abacus Federal Savings of Chinatown, New York. Accused of mortgage fraud by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., Abacus becomes the only bank prosecuted after the 2008 financial crisis. The indictment and subsequent trial forces the Sung family to defend themselves – and their bank’s legacy in the Chinatown community – over the course of a five-year legal battle.

Award-winning filmmakers Roger Ross Williams and Steve James. Photo by Lia Chang
Award-winning filmmakers Roger Ross Williams and Steve James. Photo by Lia Chang

The Academy’s Documentary Branch determined the shortlist in a preliminary round of voting. Documentary Branch members will now select the five nominees from among the 15 titles.

Nominations for the 90th Academy Awards will be announced on Tuesday, January 23, 2018.

The 90th Oscars® will be held on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT. The Oscars also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

Jill Sung, Vera Sung, Chanterelle Sung and Heather Sung. Photo by Lia Chang
Jill Sung, Vera Sung, Chanterelle Sung and Heather Sung. Photo by Lia Chang
Co-producer Fenell Doremus, Producer Mark Mitten, Jill Sung, Vera Sung, Chanterelle Sung, Heather Sung, Producer Julie Goldman, Director Steve James. Photo by Lia Chang
Co-producer Fenell Doremus, Producer Mark Mitten, Jill Sung, Vera Sung, Chanterelle Sung, Heather Sung, Producer Julie Goldman, Director Steve James. Photo by Lia Chang

The film recently earned the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Political Documentary at the 2017 Critics’ Choice Awards, as well as a nomination for the Cinema Eye Honors’ Audience Choice Prize. The Sung family – including Chanterelle Sung, Hwei Lin Sung, Jill Sung, Thomas Sung and Vera Sung – was nominated for Cinema Eye Honor’s non-competitive honor, The Unforgettables, which honors the year’s most notable and significant nonfiction film subjects. This year’s winners will be announced at the 2018 Honors Awards Ceremony on Thursday, January 11, 2018 at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens. The ceremony will be hosted, for the third consecutive year, by Abacus director Steve James.

Abacus is directed by Steve James and produced by Mark Mitten and Julie Goldman; edited by John Farbrother and David E. Simpson; music by Joshua Abrams; cinematography by Tom Bergmann; co-produced by Fenell Doremus and Nick Verbitsky and executive produced by Gordon Quinn, Christopher Clements, Betsy Steinberg, Justine Nagan, Raney Aronson and Sally Jo Fifer. Abacus is a Mitten Media, Motto Pictures and Kartemquin Films production for WGBH/FRONTLINE and Independent Television Service (ITVS) in association with Blue-Ice Film Fund.

Abacus is now available to stream and download on Amazon Video and iTunes.

Photo Flash: Steve James, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi And More Attend Abacus: Small Enough To Jail Screening At Metrograph

FRONTLINE to Premiere ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL on September 12; Photos from Asia Society Screening

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Vera Sung and Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits
Vera Sung and Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
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 is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. 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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ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL Named Best Political Documentary at Second Annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards Ceremony

Steve James’ compelling film, Abacus: Small Enough to Jail was named Best Political Documentary at the second annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards tonight at a gala event, hosted by Penn Jillette at BRIC in Brooklyn.

Jillette lead the celebrations for this year’s Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary honorees — The Cats of Istanbul (Kedi), Etty Ausch (One of Us), Al Gore (An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power), Laird Hamilton (Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton), Dolores Huerta (Dolores), Gigi Lazzarato (This is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous), The Sung Family (Abacus: Small Enough to Jail).

Thomas Sung, Hwei Lin Sung, Heather Sung, Chanterelle Sung, Vera Sung and Jill Sung. Photo by Lia Chang
Thomas Sung, Hwei Lin Sung, Heather Sung, Chanterelle Sung, Vera Sung and Jill Sung. Photo by Lia Chang

One of the past year’s most critically acclaimed documentaries during its robust international film festival run and a national theatrical release, Abacus: Small Enough to Jail tells the saga of the Sungs — a Chinese-American family who own and operate Abacus Federal Savings in New York’s Chinatown.

But in 2009, the Sung’s fired a loan officer after they discovered fraud. They reported the fraud to law enforcement, but soon found themselves and the bank under scrutiny. Two-and-a-half-years later, Abacus Federal Savings and two senior officers were accused of mortgage fraud by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, becoming the only U.S. bank prosecuted after the 2008 financial crash and the first bank indicted in New York since 1991.

With riveting detail, Abacus: Small Enough to Jail follows how the indictment and subsequent trial forces the Sung family to defend themselves — and their bank’s legacy in the Chinatown community — over the course of a five-year legal battle.

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail examines the case against the bank, hearing from prosecutors, jurors, defense lawyers, and Mr. and Mrs. Sung and their four daughters — whom James filmed for more than a year as they fought to clear their names.

Credits
Abacus: Small Enough to Jail is a Mitten Media, Motto Pictures and Kartemquin Films Production for WGBH/FRONTLINE and Independent Television Service (ITVS). It is co-presented with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). The director is Steve James. The producers are Mark Mitten and Julie Goldman. The co-producers are Fenell Doremus and Nick Verbitsky. The executive producers are Gordon Quinn, Christopher Clements, Betsy Steinberg and Justine Nagan. The executive producer of FRONTLINE is Raney Aronson-Rath. The executive producer of ITVS is Sally Jo Fifer.

The second annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards honor the finest achievement in documentary features and nonfiction television. The awards were determined by Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) and Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA)  members with expertise in the documentary field. The Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards was produced by Bob Bain Productions.

Click here for a full list of the winners.

About BFCA/BTJA
The Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) is the largest film critics organization in the United States and Canada, representing more than 300 television, radio and online critics. The Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA) is a partner organization to the BFCA and includes TV, radio and Internet journalists who cover television on a regular basis. For more information, visit: www.CriticsChoice.com
FRONTLINE to Premiere ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL on September 12; Photos from Asia Society Screening

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
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 is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. 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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THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE Star Joel de La Fuente in Jeanne Sakata’s HOLD THESE TRUTHS at Sheen Center in December

Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang

Hang A Tale Theater Company will present a special engagement of Jeanne Sakata’s Hold These Truths, starring Drama Desk nominee Joel de la Fuente (Inspector Kido in “Man in the High Castle”, “Hemlock Grove”), and helmed by Lisa Rothe (Science Fair: An Opera with Experiments at HERE), at The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture (18 Bleecker Street at the corner of Elizabeth Street), December 6-20, 2017.

 Q & A with Joel de la Fuente, Star of The Man in the High Castle and Hemlock Grove 

Hold These Truths explores the life and legacy of civil rights pioneer Gordon Hirabayashi, a 2012 posthumous winner of the 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom. This is a little-known chapter of American history, when civil liberties were under attack, constitutional rights violated, and issues of race hotly debated by a divided country.

Inspired by the true story of University of Washington student Gordon Hirabayashi, Hold These Truths follows Gordon during the U.S. Government’s decision to forcibly remove and incarcerate people of Japanese ancestry during World War II.

Hirabayashi openly defied the relocation and internment and refused to report for evacuation to an internment camp, instead turning himself in to the FBI to assert his belief that these practices were racially discriminatory. Consequently, he was convicted by a U.S. Federal District Court in Seattle of defying the exclusion order and violating curfew. Hirabayashi appealed his conviction all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled against him in 1943. Following World War II and his imprisonment, Hirabayashi obtained a doctoral degree in sociology and became a professor. In 1987, his conviction was overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Helmed by Lisa Rothe, Joel de la Fuente will reprise his role as Gordon Hirabayashi and 36 other characters in Hold These Truths, which had its New York premiere in October 2012 in a production by Epic Theatre Ensemble at the Theatre at the 14th Street Y. Sakata’s solo show tells the story of Gordon Hirabayshi as he fights to reconcile his country’s betrayal and to maintain his passionate belief in the U.S. Constitution. In Hold These Truths we witness Hirabayashi as he journeys toward a greater understanding of America’s triumphs – and a confrontation with its failures.

During WWII in Seattle, University of Washington student Gordon Hirabayashi fights the US government’s orders to forcibly remove and mass incarcerate all people of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast. As he struggles to reconcile his country’s betrayal with his passionate belief in the US Constitution, Gordon begins a 50-year journey toward a greater understanding of America’s triumphs – and a confrontation with its failures.

“When I first heard of Gordon Hirabayashi in the late 1990’s, I was enthralled – and shocked. Shocked that I had never heard of his story before” said playwright Jeanne Sakata. “I knew I had to try to bring his story to the American stage, not just as an act of healing for myself, my family, and my community, but also to inspire and give hope to any American citizen who has been denied equal treatment under the law promised by our Constitution because of factors such as race, gender, or sexual orientation.”

Performances: Wed 12/6, Thu 12/7, Fri 12/8, Tue 12/12, Wed 12/13, Thu 12/14, Fri 12/15, Mon 12/18, Tue 12/19, and Wed 12/20 at 7:30pm; Sun 12/3, Sat 12/9, and Sat 12/16 at 2pm & 7:30pm; Sun 12/10 and Sun 12/17 at 2pm. Tickets (20 seats at $29; 50 seats at $49; 10 seats at $59) are available for advance purchase at sheencenter.org/shows/holdthesetruths or by calling 212-925-2812. The performance will run approximately 90 minutes, with no intermission.

HANG A TALE is a New York City based, non-profit theater company. Jesse Liebman, Kim Martin-Cotten and Michael Arden Larson have come together to create intimate, actor-driven productions for the Off-Broadway stage. Our mission is to reexamine, reimagine and reinvigorate stories for the theater. We seek tales of universality, old and new, that transcend the limitations of time. We search for stories that inspire us and start conversations about our lives and the world around us. We do not to limit ourselves to any particular playwright or style. We embrace our diverse, dynamic surroundings and remain open to co-creation and inclusiveness. Go to http://www.hangatale.org to learn more.

THE SHEEN CENTER FOR THOUGHT & CULTURE is a forum to showcase works highlighting the true, the good, and the beautiful. Located downtown on historic Bleecker Street, the Sheen Center is a vibrant new arts organization that focuses on theater, music, film, and talk. A project of the Archdiocese of New York, the state-of-the-art complex encompasses the 270-seat Loreto Theater, equipped with five-camera high-definition livestream capability and a multi-track recording studio; the 80-seat Black Box Theater; four rehearsal studios; and an art gallery. It was named after the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, best known for his popular, inspirational radio and TV ministry in the 1950s and 60s. Visit http://www.sheencenter.org for more information.

Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
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 is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. 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.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2017 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 liachangpr@gmail.com

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M. BUTTERFLY’s Broadway Revival: A Conversation with David Henry Hwang at China Institute on September 26

Tonight, China Institute is presenting M. Butterfly’s Broadway Revival: A Conversation with David Henry Hwang, moderated by NY1’s Frank DiLella at 40 Rector Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10006, from 6:30PM- 8:00PM. Tickets are $10 for Members and $20 for Non-members. Click here for more information.

This fall, visionary director Julie Taymor presents a Broadway revival of David Henry Hwang’s Tony Award-winning play M. Butterfly, starring Clive Owen. Inspired by the true scandal that captivated the world, this is a story about an illicit affair between a French diplomat and a Chinese opera diva whose secrets lie deep beneath the surface. At this conversation between Mr. Hwang and NY1’s Frank DiLella we will delve into the story behind M. Butterfly, explore its themes, and discuss the artistic approach behind this new production.

David Henry Hwang is a Tony Award® winner and three-time nominee, a three-time Obie Award® winner, and a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. In addition to M. Butterfly, his works include ChinglishYellow FaceGolden ChildKung FuThe Dance and the Railroad, and FOB, as well as the Broadway musicals Aida (co-author) and Disney’s Tarzan. He also updated the libretto for the 2002 revival of Flower Drum Song. America’s most-produced living opera librettist, Hwang premiered his new opera, Dream of the Red Chamber (co-authored with Bright Sheng), at San Francisco Opera last fall. Hwang has been honored with the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels Award for a Master American Dramatist, the 2012 Inge Award, the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright “Mimi” Award, a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award, and the 2015 IPSA Distinguished Artist Award. He has also been a long-time board member of the Young Playwrights Inc. and the Lark Play Development Center. Hwang was recently the Residency One Playwrigt at New York’s Signature Theatre, and currently serves as Head of Playwriting at Columbia University School of the Arts. He is currently a writer/producer for the Gold Globe-winning TV series, The Affair, and was recently named Chair of the American Theatre Wing.

Frank DiLella is a theater reporter and producer for NY1 and host of the weekly program On Stage and the Time Warner Cable spin-off program On Stage Across America, where he has interviewed legendary artists including Bette Midler, August Wilson, Tom Stoppard, and Andrew Lloyd Webber. In addition to his work at NY1, DiLella is a contributing correspondent for Playbill and MANHATTAN Magazine and has given lectures on theater and journalism at Hofstra University and The American Theatre Wing. In the fall of 2009, DiLella and the On Stage team were honored by the New York Musical Theater Festival for their weekly coverage of NYC theater.

Register Online. For questions email Aaron Nicholson at: anicholson@chinainstitute.org or call 212-744-8181 ext. 138

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BLACK MIRROR Star Denise Burse and Peter Jay Fernandez Attend 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards

Peter Jay Fernandez and his wife Denise Burse attend the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.
Peter Jay Fernandez and his wife Denise Burse attend the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.
Peter Jay Fernandez and his wife Denise Burse attend the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

Before Denise Burse begins rehearsal for John Henry Redwood’s The Old Settler at The Billie Holiday Theatre (The Billie), she is attending the 69th Annual Emmy Awards with her husband Peter Jay Fernandez (“Luke Cage”)  at the Microsoft Theater in LA tonight for the “San Junipero” episode of Netflix’s sci-fi anthology series  “Black Mirror,” where she played Elder Kelly, the elder version of Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s character, shot on location in London and Capetown.

Critically-acclaimed and a fan favorite, “San Junipero” is up for two Emmy nominations: the first is for Charlie Brooker, for Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special, and the second is in the Outstanding TV Movie category.

Denise Burse as Elder Kelly in the "San Junipero" episode of "Black Mirror".
Denise Burse as Elder Kelly in the “San Junipero” episode of “Black Mirror

Ms. Burse shared, “I was very proud of the “Black Mirror” episode “San Junipero”. Our episode was written and produced by Charlie Brooker the creator of the “Black Mirror” series. It was very exciting to be on the set with the mastermind behind a show that has been so well received from fans across the country, but this episode has been submitted in film festivals around the globe and received critical acclaim as a stand alone story. It was an honor to be a member of such stellar cast and crew. We owe a great deal of the positive outcome of the episode to our director Owen Harris.”

Collider.com: ‘Black Mirror’: Charlie Brooker and Gugu Mbatha-Raw Talk “San Junipero” in Our Spoiler Interview

Emmys 2017: why San Junipero’s heartbreaking vision of Heaven will live forever

Black Mirror wins Outstanding Television Movie Emmy

Updated: 9/17/17

“Black Mirror” won in both categories -Charlie Brooker, for Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special, and for Outstanding TV Movie. Below are the acceptance speeches.

Ms. Burse had a blast working on one of her favorite shows, the very popular “Greenleaf” on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, appearing as Kevin’s mother, Ethlin Satterlee, in the season 2, episode 3 entitled, “A Mother’s Love.”

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THE OLD SETTLER at The Billie, October 20 – November 19

Maechi Aharanwa, Pauletta Washington Denise Burse and Warner Joseph Miller.
Maechi Aharanwa, Pauletta Washington Denise Burse and Warner Joseph Miller.

Helmed by Tony Award nominee Michele Shay, The Billie is launching its 46th season in the newly renovated theater with The Old Settler, October 20 – November 19, 2017.  In addition to Ms. Burse (Brownsville Song: b side for Trey, “House of Payne”), the cast also features Pauletta Pearson Washington (Two Trains Running, Autumn), Warner Miller (“Luke Cage”), as well as newcomer and Juilliard graduate Maechi Aharanwa (An Octoroon).

Set in 1943 Harlem, The Old Settler focuses on two sisters’ struggle to afford their rising rent. Faced with a choice between giving up their apartment and renting out their extra room to a stranger, they decide to take a chance on a boarder, newly arrived from the South. In equal measures funny and poignant, The Old Settler is a glimpse into the heart of an American City.

The Old Settler will be stage managed by Carolyn Reich. The design team includes lighting design by David Moodey, sound design by Kevin Novinsky, costume design by Niiamar Felder, and scenic design and props by Frank Oliva.

Tickets are available at TheBillieHoliday.org. Subscriptions to the 2017-2018 season are on sale by calling 718-636-6995 or by visiting the website.

Ms. Burse can be seen in Tim Blake Nelson’s Anesthesia and Bruce Beresford’s Peace, Love, and Misunderstanding opposite Jane Fonda. Her favorite film roles include her co-starring turns as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s mother opposite Howard Rollins in The Boy King (WSB); as Buster Marshall, Thurgood Marshall’s wife in Simple Justice (PBS American Experience); as Sister Marcie in Preaching to the Choir, directed by Charles Randolph Wright, as Sergeant Martin in A Time to Triumph (CBS) starring Patty Duke; and as Eleanor Clark in Resting Place (CBS, Hallmark Hall of Fame), starring John Lithgow and Morgan Freeman. Other film and TV credits include the BET/STARZ movie Funny Valentines, with Alfre Woodard and Loretta Devine, Angel, Basquiat, The Juror, Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Third Watch, 100 Centre Street, The Sopranos, The Cosby Show, New York Undercover and One Life to Live.

Ms. Burse appeared on Broadway in Wendy Wasserstein’s An American Daughter, directed by Daniel Sullivan. Her Off-Broadway credits include Eisa Davis’ Angela’s Mixtape (Ohio Theatre), Don Juan of Seville (Classical Stage Company), Ground People (American Place Theatre), Harriet’s Return (Cherry Lane Theatre), Hannah Davis (Negro Ensemble Company) and Bill Harris’ Robert Johnson: Trick the Devil (New Federal Theatre). Her regional credits include Marcus Gardley’s dance of the holy ghosts with Michael Genet (CENTERSTAGE); Pearl Cleage’s Flyin’ West with Ruby Dee at The Kennedy Center; Charles Randolph Wright’s Blue (Cincinnati Playhouse, Geva); Miss Evers’ Boys (Illusion Theater); African Company Presents Richard III (Cleveland Playhouse); Fences (CENTERSTAGE); A Raisin in the SunThe Piano Lesson (Seattle Repertory Theatre, director Lloyd Richards) and James Baldwin’s The Amen Corner (True Colors Theatre Company/Alliance Theatre). Helmer Kenny Leon has directed her in August Wilson’s Fences (Alliance Theatre), Radio Golf (CENTERSTAGE, Mark Taper Forum, Seattle Repertory Theatre), The Piano Lesson and Seven Guitars (Alliance Theatre). Ms. Burse garnered a Theatre World Award for her Off-Broadway debut in Ground People and an AUDELCO Award for Robert Johnson: Trick The Devil.

Claudine Mboligikpelani Nako (Beneatha Younger), Mia Ellis (Ruth Younger), Denise Burse (Lena Younger), Catalino Manalang (Travis Younger), Richard Prioleau (Walter Lee) in A Raisin in the Sun at Seattle Repertory Theatre. Photo credit: Alan Alabastro
Claudine Mboligikpelani Nako (Beneatha Younger), Mia Ellis (Ruth Younger), Denise Burse (Lena Younger), Catalino Manalang (Travis Younger), Richard Prioleau (Walter Lee) in A Raisin in the Sun at Seattle Repertory Theatre. Photo credit: Alan Alabastro

A native of Atlanta, Ms. Burse honed her craft performing at the Just Us Theatre, The Alliance Theatre and The Atlanta Children’s Theater.

Ms. Burse is repped by Brett Adams Ltd. Artists’ Agency.

BWW Review: Classic RAISIN IN THE SUN at Rep Spotlights How Far We Haven’t Come

Q & A: Denise Burse talks ‘Anesthesia’, Netflix’s ‘Black Mirror’, and ‘Brownsville Song (B-Side for Tray)’

Denise Burse as Claretha Jenkins in House of Payne’s “Payneful Visit” 

MR ROBOT’S BD Wong Talks Emmy Nomination, MR. HOLLAND’S OPUS, JURASSIC WORLD, Academy Invite, #OscarsSoWhite and More

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
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 is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. 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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SAG-AFTRA Mourns the Passing of New York Local President Mike Hodge

Courtesy of SAG/AFTRA
Courtesy of SAG/AFTRA
Courtesy of SAG/AFTRA

Source: www.sagaftra.org

SAG-AFTRA mourns the passing of Mike Hodge, an accomplished actor, stalwart unionist and New York president of SAG-AFTRA, who passed away on September 9. He was 70.
Hodge had a long career as a Broadway, TV, film and commercial actor.
Oso Tayri Casel, Peter Kwong, SAG-Aftra New York local President Mike Hodge, Lia Chang and Fred “The Hammer” Williamson at the Cinemax® VIP Welcome Red Carpet Reception and UAS IAFF Awards at HBO in New York on November 11, 2016.
Oso Tayri Casel, Peter Kwong, SAG-Aftra New York local President Mike Hodge, Lia Chang and Fred “The Hammer” Williamson at the Cinemax® VIP Welcome Red Carpet Reception and UAS IAFF Awards at HBO in New York on November 11, 2016.

A SAG-AFTRA National Board member since 2001, Hodge was first elected New York president in 2009 and continued in that role until his death. He was instrumental in jumpstarting the effort that ultimately led to the merging of Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists in 2012. In 2013 and again in 2015, he was elected at the SAG-AFTRA National Convention to two-year terms as the union’s National Vice President representing New York.

“Mike’s spirit shone brightly, and he was greatly admired by those he worked with, whether in the union’s boardroom or on set. He will be remembered for his professionalism, conviction and remarkable strength of purpose,” said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris. “His perseverance and ability to rally members helped make merger possible, and in that regard, SAG-AFTRA stands as a memorial to his accomplishments, leadership of the New York Local and everything he believed in.”
Hodge attended West Virginia University where he was part of the integrating class at the School of Journalism. After earning a B.A. in journalism with a minor in theater, he went to work for The Washington Post. Later, he continued his theater studies at the DC Black Repertory Theater. After he earned his Equity, SAG and AFTRA cards while working in Washington, D.C., he decided to make a move to New York.
That opened the doors to commercial work, while also allowing him to pursue theater roles. With that foundation in place, Hodge began appearing on nighttime and daytime TV series. Soon his career expanded to include work in film. Among his credits, he appeared on Broadway in Fences and A Few Good Men; the film To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar; and often appeared on television as a doctor, lawyer or judge on shows such as “Law & Order”. He was also an award-winning audiobook narrator, having narrated books by Steve Harvey, Mitch Albom and others.
Everything changed with the commercials strike in 2000. Friends encouraged Hodge to run for SAG’s national board. Inspired by his union-member father, Hodge launched his campaign and in 2001 won a seat. Eight years later, Hodge was again asked to run – this time for the SAG New York Local presidency. In 2009, he was elected president, now moving to co-chair several negotiating committees on which he had previously been serving. He served on the union’s G1 committee that created the framework for the 2012 merger of SAG and AFTRA, helping lead the campaign in New York.
Urban Action Showcase IAFF Awards at HBO in New York on November 11, 2016.
Urban Action Showcase IAFF Awards at HBO in New York on November 11, 2016.

During his many years of union leadership, Hodge was also active in several union committees: National and New York Executive; Professional Representatives; TV/Theatrical Negotiating; Basic Cable Negotiating; Network Code Negotiating; Corporate/Educational and Non-Broadcast Negotiating; Organizing; Government Review; and Communications.

Hodge also served as a member of the New York State AFL-CIO Executive Council, the City Labor Council and as a trustee to the Industry Advancement Cooperative Fund. He was instrumental in establishing and extending the N.Y. film production tax incentive through 2022, and he worked to strengthen the N.Y. Right of Publicity law for all members. He also worked with New York’s elected officials to create the city’s entertainment industry internship program, which has helped improve diversity behind the camera.
Hodge was born February 24, 1947 in McComas, West Virginia. He graduated from Gary District High School as valedictorian of the class of 1965.
Countless relatives, friends, professional colleagues and the N.Y. Local staff will miss his warm smile, hearty laughter, generosity and big personality. He loved life and spending time with his family. Together, they enjoyed Thanksgiving and Christmas, with rare exceptions. Memorable family vacations with mom, siblings, nieces and nephews included trips to Hawaii, New Zealand, New Orleans, the Caribbean Islands, and family reunions in Ohio and Virginia.
Hodge was predeceased by his father, Rev. Ulysses G. Hodge and is survived by his mother, Roberta Hodge Johnson of Mint Hill, N.C.; brother, Joseph Hodge (Jacqueline) of Dayton, Ohio; sisters, Karen Hodge Thomas (Chester) of Mint Hill, N.C. and Vicki Hodge Lynch of Waxhaw, N.C.; two nephews, Justin Thomas (Julie) of Mint Hill, N.C. and Jordan Lynch of Waxhaw, N.C.; two nieces, Courtney Thomas Evans (Gabriel) and Dayna Hodge Lynch of Waxhaw, N.C.; a great niece, Zoey Thomas and a great nephew, Gabriel Thomas Evans, Jr., whose arrival on Sept. 8 provided great joy to him.

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BLACK MIRROR’s Denise Burse, Pauletta Pearson Washington, Warner Miller and Maechi Aharanwa Set for THE OLD SETTLER at The Billie Holiday Theatre, October 20 – November 19

Maechi Aharanwa, Pauletta Washington Denise Burse and Warner Joseph Miller.
Denise Burse. Photo by Lia Chang
Denise Burse. Photo by Lia Chang

Before Denise Burse begins rehearsal for John Henry Redwood’s The Old Settler at The Billie Holiday Theatre (The Billie), she is headed to the 69th Annual Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater in LA on September 17th for the “San Junipero” episode of Netflix’s sci-fi anthology series  “Black Mirror,” where she played Elder Kelly, the elder version of Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s character, shot on location in London and Capetown.

Critically-acclaimed and a fan favorite, “San Junipero” is up for two Emmy nominations: the first is for Charlie Brooker, for Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special, and the second is in the Outstanding TV Movie category.

Denise Burse as Elder Kelly in the "San Junipero" episode of "Black Mirror".
Denise Burse as Elder Kelly in the “San Junipero” episode of “Black Mirror

Ms. Burse shared, “I was very proud of the “Black Mirror” episode “San Junipero”. Our episode was written and produced by Charlie Brooker the creator of the “Black Mirror” series. It was very exciting to be on the set with the mastermind behind a show that has been so well received from fans across the country, but this episode has been submitted in film festivals around the globe and received critical acclaim as a stand alone story. It was an honor to be a member of such stellar cast and crew. We owe a great deal of the positive outcome of the episode to our director Owen Harris.”

Collider.com: ‘Black Mirror’: Charlie Brooker and Gugu Mbatha-Raw Talk “San Junipero” in Our Spoiler Interview

Ms. Burse had a blast working on one of her favorite shows, the very popular “Greenleaf” on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, appearing as Kevin’s mother, Ethlin Satterlee, in the season 2, episode 3 entitled, “A Mother’s Love.”

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THE OLD SETTLER at The Billie, October 20 – November 19

Maechi Aharanwa, Pauletta Washington Denise Burse and Warner Joseph Miller.
Maechi Aharanwa, Pauletta Washington Denise Burse and Warner Joseph Miller.

Helmed by Tony Award nominee Michele Shay, The Billie is launching its 46th season in the newly renovated theater with The Old Settler, October 20 – November 19, 2017.  In addition to Ms. Burse (Brownsville Song: b side for Trey, “House of Payne”), the cast also features Pauletta Pearson Washington (Two Trains Running, Autumn), Warner Miller (“Luke Cage”), as well as newcomer and Juilliard graduate Maechi Aharanwa (An Octoroon).

Set in 1943 Harlem, The Old Settler focuses on two sisters’ struggle to afford their rising rent. Faced with a choice between giving up their apartment and renting out their extra room to a stranger, they decide to take a chance on a boarder, newly arrived from the South. In equal measures funny and poignant, The Old Settler is a glimpse into the heart of an American City.

The Old Settler will be stage managed by Carolyn Reich. The design team includes lighting design by David Moodey, sound design by Kevin Novinsky, costume design by Niiamar Felder, and scenic design and props by Frank Oliva.

Tickets are available at TheBillieHoliday.org. Subscriptions to the 2017-2018 season are on sale by calling 718-636-6995 or by visiting the website.

Ms. Burse can be seen in Tim Blake Nelson’s Anesthesia and Bruce Beresford’s Peace, Love, and Misunderstanding opposite Jane Fonda. Her favorite film roles include her co-starring turns as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s mother opposite Howard Rollins in The Boy King (WSB); as Buster Marshall, Thurgood Marshall’s wife in Simple Justice (PBS American Experience); as Sister Marcie in Preaching to the Choir, directed by Charles Randolph Wright, as Sergeant Martin in A Time to Triumph (CBS) starring Patty Duke; and as Eleanor Clark in Resting Place (CBS, Hallmark Hall of Fame), starring John Lithgow and Morgan Freeman. Other film and TV credits include the BET/STARZ movie Funny Valentines, with Alfre Woodard and Loretta Devine, Angel, Basquiat, The Juror, Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Third Watch, 100 Centre Street, The Sopranos, The Cosby Show, New York Undercover and One Life to Live.

Ms. Burse appeared on Broadway in Wendy Wasserstein’s An American Daughter, directed by Daniel Sullivan. Her Off-Broadway credits include Eisa Davis’ Angela’s Mixtape (Ohio Theatre), Don Juan of Seville (Classical Stage Company), Ground People (American Place Theatre), Harriet’s Return (Cherry Lane Theatre), Hannah Davis (Negro Ensemble Company) and Bill Harris’ Robert Johnson: Trick the Devil (New Federal Theatre). Her regional credits include Marcus Gardley’s dance of the holy ghosts with Michael Genet (CENTERSTAGE); Pearl Cleage’s Flyin’ West with Ruby Dee at The Kennedy Center; Charles Randolph Wright’s Blue (Cincinnati Playhouse, Geva); Miss Evers’ Boys (Illusion Theater); African Company Presents Richard III (Cleveland Playhouse); Fences (CENTERSTAGE); A Raisin in the SunThe Piano Lesson (Seattle Repertory Theatre, director Lloyd Richards) and James Baldwin’s The Amen Corner (True Colors Theatre Company/Alliance Theatre). Helmer Kenny Leon has directed her in August Wilson’s Fences (Alliance Theatre), Radio Golf (CENTERSTAGE, Mark Taper Forum, Seattle Repertory Theatre), The Piano Lesson and Seven Guitars (Alliance Theatre). Ms. Burse garnered a Theatre World Award for her Off-Broadway debut in Ground People and an AUDELCO Award for Robert Johnson: Trick The Devil.

Claudine Mboligikpelani Nako (Beneatha Younger), Mia Ellis (Ruth Younger), Denise Burse (Lena Younger), Catalino Manalang (Travis Younger), Richard Prioleau (Walter Lee) in A Raisin in the Sun at Seattle Repertory Theatre. Photo credit: Alan Alabastro
Claudine Mboligikpelani Nako (Beneatha Younger), Mia Ellis (Ruth Younger), Denise Burse (Lena Younger), Catalino Manalang (Travis Younger), Richard Prioleau (Walter Lee) in A Raisin in the Sun at Seattle Repertory Theatre. Photo credit: Alan Alabastro

BWW Review: Classic RAISIN IN THE SUN at Rep Spotlights How Far We Haven’t Come

A native of Atlanta, Ms. Burse honed her craft performing at the Just Us Theatre, The Alliance Theatre and The Atlanta Children’s Theater.

Ms. Burse is repped by Brett Adams Ltd. Artists’ Agency.

BWW Review: Classic RAISIN IN THE SUN at Rep Spotlights How Far We Haven’t Come

Q & A: Denise Burse talks ‘Anesthesia’, Netflix’s ‘Black Mirror’, and ‘Brownsville Song (B-Side for Tray)’

Denise Burse as Claretha Jenkins in House of Payne’s “Payneful Visit” 

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
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 is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. 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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George Takei, Gedde Watanabe, Melody Butiu, Amy Hill, Hudson Yang, Krista Marie Yu, Beau Sia and More Set for ONE NIGHT ONLY: EWP MARKET Benefit on September 9

George Takei. Photo by Luke Fontana
George Takei. Photo by Luke Fontana
George Takei. Photo by Luke Fontana

East West Players (EWP), the nation’s longest-running professional theatre of color and the largest producing organization of Asian American artistic work, is pleased to announce its signature One Night Only season kick-off fundraising event, to be held on Saturday, September 9, 2017. The event is themed “EWP Night Market” and will include tasting stations hosted by local restaurants, followed by an evening of performances featuring Asian American Broadway stars George Takei (Allegiance and Pacific Overtures), Gedde Watanabe (Pacific Overtures), Melody Butiu (Here Lies Love), and more. Proceeds of One Night Only: EWP Night Market support EWP’s artistic and educational programs.

“This year’s One Night Only ushers in the start of our 52nd Anniversary Season, The Company We Keep,” says Snehal Desai. “In my second season as EWP’s Producing Artistic Director, I wanted to celebrate the vital artistic and community partnerships that have supported us over the past 52 years and also honor where we are today. One Night Only: EWP Night Market features a fusion of Asian cultures and traditions, and an amazing evening of songs, spoken word, and comedy performed by a stellar, multi-generational lineup of Asian American performers familiar to East West Players audiences.”

Additional performers include Amy Hill (CW’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”), Krista Marie Yu (ABC’s “Dr. Ken”), Hudson Yang and Forrest Wheeler (ABC’s “Fresh Off The Boat”), Araceli Prasarttongosoth and MichAyla Brown (EWP’s The Who’s Tommy), Tony Award-winning poet Beau Sia (Broadway’s Def Poetry Jam), and performance artist Kristina Wong (Wong Street Journal). More performers will be announced soon.

One Night Only: EWP Night Market will be held on Saturday, September 9, 2017 at East West Players’ David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center of the Arts at 120 Judge John Aiso Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Cocktails and tasting stations will be available starting at 6:00PM. The evening continues with performances at 7:30PM. One Night Only: EWP Night Market is a benefit performance. Levels of sponsorships are available ranging from $1,000 to $3,500 with VIP tickets, reserved seating, and a program ad. Individual tickets for cocktails and the show are available for $200 VIP for reserved seating in the Preferred Orchestra section, $150 General for reserved seating in the Orchestra section, and $100 Balcony for reserved seating in the balcony. For information about sponsorship and ticket opportunities, please email Development Manager Monika Ramnath at mramnath@eastwestplayers.org.

Sponsorship packages and individual tickets may be purchased at http://www.eastwestplayers.org or please call (213) 625-7000. Dates, details, and ticket prices are subject to change.

For more information about East West Players or One Night Only: EWP Night Market, please visit www.eastwestplayers.org.

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GROUNDHOG DAY Will Play Final Broadway Performance on September 17

Andrew Call as Gus, Raymond J. Lee as Ralph and Andy Karl as Phil in GROUNDHOG DAY.

The Olivier Award-winning Best New Musical Groundhog Day, which opened on Broadway to critical acclaim this spring, will end its run at the August Wilson Theatre (245 West 52nd Street) on Sunday, September 17, following 176 performances and 32 previews. Click here for tickets.

Andy Karl and cast. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Andy Karl and cast. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

An 18-month National Tour has been scheduled starting next year and details of a London production will be announced soon.

Groundhog Day won the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Musical and was nominated for seven Tony Awards including Best Musical.

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 05: Andy Karl (L) and Tim Minchin attend the Tony Honors Cocktail Party Presenting The 2017 Tony Honors For Excellence In The Theatre And Honoring The 2017 Special Award Recipients - Arrivals at Sofitel Hotel on June 5, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jenny Anderson/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 05: Andy Karl (L) and Tim Minchin attend the Tony Honors Cocktail Party Presenting The 2017 Tony Honors For Excellence In The Theatre And Honoring The 2017 Special Award Recipients – Arrivals at Sofitel Hotel on June 5, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jenny Anderson/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

For his outstanding performance as Phil Connors, three-time Tony Award nominee Andy Karl won the 2017 Olivier, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Actor in a Musical.

Andy Karl and Barrett Doss. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Andy Karl and Barrett Doss. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Groundhog Day stars Andy Karl as Phil Connors and Barrett Doss as Rita Hanson. They lead an ensemble cast that features Rebecca Faulkenberry, John Sanders, Andrew Call, Raymond J. Lee,Heather Ayers, Kevin Bernard, Gerard Canonico, Rheaume Crenshaw, Michael Fatica, Katy Geraghty, Camden Gonzales, Jordan Grubb, Taylor Iman Jones, Tari Kelly, Josh Lamon, Joseph Medeiros, Sean Montgomery, William Parry, Jenna Rubaii, Vishal Vaidya, Travis Waldschmidt, and Natalie Wisdom.

GROUNDHOG DAY video clip photo montage. Courtesy of Raymond J. Lee.
GROUNDHOG DAY video clip photo montage. Courtesy of Raymond J. Lee.

The production’s creative team is director Matthew Warchus (director), Tim Minchin (composer and lyricist), Danny Rubin (book writer), Peter Darling (choreographer), Ellen Kane (co-choreographer), Rob Howell (set and costume designer), Christopher Nightingale (orchestrator and musical supervisor), Hugh Vanstone (lighting designer), Simon Baker (Sound Designer), Paul Kieve (illusions), Finn Caldwell(additional movement), Andrzej Goulding (video designer), Campbell Young Associates (hair and wig design) and Jim Carnahan (casting). David Holcenberg is the music director.

Vishal Vaidya, Rheaume Crenshaw, Andrew Call and Ray Lee backstage at GROUNDHOG DAY at the August Wilson Theatre in New York on April 5, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
Vishal Vaidya, Rheaume Crenshaw, Andrew Call and Ray Lee backstage at GROUNDHOG DAY at the August Wilson Theatre in New York on April 5, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

Groundhog Day is produced by Whistle Pig, Columbia Live Stage, and The Dodgers, with Michael Watt.

Courtesy of Groundhog Day (Facebook)
Courtesy of Groundhog Day (Facebook)

The National Tour of Groundhog Day is being booked by The Booking Group.

The 1993 Columbia Pictures film, with a screenplay by Danny Rubin and Harold Ramis, based on a story by Rubin, and directed by Ramis, starred Bill Murray. Now widely regarded as a contemporary classic,Groundhog Day was cited by the Writers Guild of America as one of the 101 Greatest Screenplays ever written and in 2000 was voted by readers of Total Film as one of the ten best comedies of all time.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits
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 is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. 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 Examiner.comJade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2017 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 liachangpr@gmail.com

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