Dr. H.M. Agnes Hsu-Tang, Jim Dale and Arthur Levine to be Honored at New-York Historical Society’s Annual History Makers Gala on November 6

The New-York Historical Society will present the 2018 History Makers Award to world-renowned entertainer and celebrated Harry Potter audiobook voice actor Jim Dale at its annual History Makers Gala, in recognition of the exhibition Harry Potter: A History of Magic, now on view at New-York Historical. The gala will take place on November 6, 2018, at 583 Park. Harry Potter editor Arthur A. Levine will receive the New-York Historical Society Distinguished Service Award, and New-York Historical Trustee Dr. H.M. Agnes Hsu-Tang will receive the New-York Historical Society Medal of Merit for Public Engagement.


“This is truly a magical year at New-York Historical, and it is an honor to recognize this trio of honorees who have been so instrumental in the world of Harry Potter as well as to the exhibition Harry Potter: A History of Magic,” said Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of New-York Historical. “Jim Dale’s outstanding international career, including voicing all the Harry Potter audiobooks, has delighted generations of fans. The course of children’s literature was forever altered when Arthur A. Levine single-handedly introduced J.K. Rowling to American audiences. H.M. Agnes Hsu-Tang’s impact on New-York Historical—as a member of our board and as a supporter of our exhibitions—is immeasurable, along with her scholarship and guidance regarding the ancient oracle bones that are featured in Harry Potter: A History of Magic.”

The funds raised at the History Makers Gala benefit education programs at New-York Historical that serve more than 200,000 New York City public school students. Past recipients of the History Makers Award include William J. Bratton and Rikki Klieman (2017), Ken Burns and Ric Burns (2016), Ron Chernow and Lin-Manuel Miranda (2015), Hillary Clinton (2014), David Petraeus (2013), Wynton Marsalis and Walter Isaacson (2012), and Henry Kissinger (2011), among others.

What Annual History Makers Gala
When Tuesday, November 6, 2018
Cocktails: 6 pm | Dinner and Program: 7 pm
Where Annual History Makers Gala
Tickets $1,250 Illusionist Ticket
$2,500 Professor Ticket
$5,000 Oracle Ticket
$12,500 Sorcerer’s Table
$25,000 Vice Chair Table
$50,000 Co-Chair Table
$100,000 Chairman’s Table

For more information or to purchase tickets, contact: 212-744-0799 or barbi@barbizakinevents.com.

2018 Honorees
As an actor, singer, dancer, author, lyricist, comedian, narrator, and raconteur, Jim Dale is one of the world’s great stage entertainers. He has recorded all seven Harry Potter books for the U.S. and Canadian market, creating more than 200 different character voices and winning two Grammy Awards. For his stage work, he earned a Tony Award for Best Actor for his role in Barnum, and he was honored by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with the Member of the Order of the British Empire for his contribution to education.

Children’s book editor and founder of Arthur A. Levine Books, Arthur A. Levine’s determination to bring a diverse selection of “The Best of the World’s Literature for Young People” to American readers has been the guiding principle of his career. He famously took a chance on an author named Joanne Rowling in 1997. It was through Arthur A. Levine Books that Scholastic purchased the U.S. publication rights to Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, released in the United States as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone20 years ago.

H.M. Agnes Hsu-Tang. Photo by Lia Chang
Dr. H.M. Agnes Hsu-Tang. Photo by Lia Chang

H.M. Agnes Hsu-Tang chairs New-York Historical’s Exhibitions Committee and serves as a member of its Board of Trustees. She is an archaeologist and an acting faculty director at Columbia University and an international cultural heritage policy advisor, having conducted fieldwork in Central Asia, including three UNESCO missions to Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Western China. Dr. Hsu-Tang has provided critical research and guidance on the oldest artifacts on view in the exhibition Harry Potter: A History of Magic—Chinese oracle bones that are more than 3,000 years old, on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Gala chairs include Anonymous, Helen and Robert Appel, Diana and Joe DiMenna, Pam and Scott Schafler, Bernard L. Schwartz, Oscar Tang, and Leah and Michael Weisberg. Co-chairs include Norman S. Benzaquen, Ravenel B. Curry III, Elizabeth B. Dater, Buzzy Geduld, Ahuva and Martin J. Gross, Susan and Roger Hertog, Helen and Edward R. Hintz, Patricia D. Klingenstein, Paula and Tom McInerney, Suzanne Peck and Brian Friedman, Jean Margo Reid, Richard Reiss, Michelle Smith, Laurie and Sy Sternberg, Ann and Andrew Tisch, Sue Ann Weinberg, and Barbara and David Zalaznick. Vice chairs include Judy and Howard Berkowitz, Franci Blassberg and Joseph Rice, Blavatnik Family Foundation, Lois Chiles and Richard Gilder, Betsy and Ed Cohen/Arete Foundation, Shelley and Steven Einhorn, Leslie Himmel and Alan Shuch, Ruth and Sid Lapidus, Leni and Peter W. May, Joseph C. McNay, Jennifer and John Monsky, Abby and Jonathan Moses, Joan and Joel I. Picket, Donna and Marvin Schwartz, Paul E. Singer, Daria and Eric Wallach, and Anita and Byron Wien.

About the New-York Historical Society
Founded in 1804, the New-York Historical Society has a mission to explore the richly layered history of New York City, state, and the country, as well as to serve as a national forum for the discussion of issues surrounding the making and meaning of history. New-York Historical is recognized for engaging the public with deeply researched and far-ranging exhibitions, such as Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made Modern America; Slavery in New York; Nueva York; The Armory Show at 100: Modern Art and Revolution; Chinese American: Exclusion/InclusionSuperheroes in GothamThe Vietnam War: 1945 – 1975; and Walk This Way: Footwear from the Stuart Weitzman Collection of Historic Shoes. Supporting these exhibitions and related education programs is one of the world’s greatest collections of historical artifacts, works of American art, and other materials documenting the history of the United States and New York. New-York Historical is also home to one of the oldest, most distinguished libraries in the nation—the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library, which contains more than three million books, pamphlets, maps, newspapers, music sheets, manuscripts, prints, photographs, and architectural drawings.

This fall, New-York Historical presents Harry Potter: A History of Magic (through January 27, 2019), a British Library exhibition that captures the traditions of folklore and magic at the heart of the Harry Potter stories with centuries-old treasures including rare books, manuscripts, and magical objects from the British Library and New-York Historical Society collections as well as original material from Harry Potter publisher Scholastic and J.K. Rowling’s own archive; and Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow (through March 3, 2019), exploring the struggle for citizenship and racial equality that unfolded in the years after the Civil War.

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Lloyd Suh’s THE CHINESE LADY – A Reading from the Play and Post Discussion at MOCA on October 25

On Thursday, October 25th, MOCA and Ma-Yi will present an excerpt from Lloyd Suh’s new play The Chinese Lady, which begins performances on Theatre Row on November 7 and will play a limited run through November 18, 2018. The two-hander stars Shannon Tyo (BSC’s Broadway Bounty Hunter) as “Afong Moy” and Daniel K. Isaac (“Billions”) as “Atung,”

Written by Lloyd Suh (Charles Francis Chan Jr.’s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery), directed by Ralph Peña (Microcrisis, Ma-Yi Theater Company), and The Chinese Lady is a co-production between Barrington Stage Company (BSC)  and Ma-Yi Theater Company.

Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo in THE CHINESE LADY. Photo by Eloy Garcia.
Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo in THE CHINESE LADY. Photo by Eloy Garcia.

The Chinese Lady received three 2018 Berkshire Theatre Critics Award nominations including Outstanding New Play for Lloyd Suh, Best Supporting Actor for Daniel K. Isaac and Best Sound Design for Fabian Obispo.

After the reading, there will be a Q&A with the playwright, the cast and creatives.

Tickets are $10 and includes wine and Museum general admission. Members receive complimentary tickets. Click here for tickets. The event begins at 6:00 pm at Museum of Chinese in America, 215 Centre St, New York, NY 10013.

20% discount code will be provided to all MOCA ticket buyers to see the theater production of The Chinese Lady. Click here for tickets.

Shannon Tyo in THE CHINESE LADY. Photo by Eloy Garcia
Shannon Tyo in THE CHINESE LADY. Photo by Eloy Garcia

In 1834, Afong Moy is brought to the United States from Beijing and put on display for the American public as the “Chinese Lady.” Over the next 45 years, she performs in a side show that both defines and challenges her own view of herself. Inspired by the true story of America’s first female Chinese immigrant, playwright Lloyd Suh spins a tale of dark poetic whimsy in this piercing portrait of America as seen through the eyes of a young Chinese woman.

Shannon Tyo in THE CHINESE LADY. Photo by Eloy Garcia
Shannon Tyo in THE CHINESE LADY. Photo by Eloy Garcia
Shannon Tyo in THE CHINESE LADY. Photo by Eloy Garcia
Shannon Tyo in THE CHINESE LADY. Photo by Eloy Garcia

Daniel K. Isaac (Atung) is an actor and writer born and raised in Southern California, currently based in New York City. You can currently see him on the small screen as ‘Ben Kim’ in Showtime’s “Billions.”

Daniel K. Isaac in THE CHINESE LADY. Photo by Eloy Garcia.
Daniel K. Isaac in THE CHINESE LADY. Photo by Eloy Garcia.

Isaac co-wrote and stars in the short film/pilot presentation, “According To My Mother.” The project was selected for IFP Film Week and the inaugural Sundance New Voices Lab and was an Official Selection at ITVFest, Newfest, Outfest Fusion, Outfest, CAAMfest, SeriesFest (where it was awarded Best Actress), and New York Television Festival (Best Drama and Best Actor). “According To My Mother” is currently in development to become a digital series on First Look Media’s new platform, TOPIC. Isaac is a member of Page 73’s 2018 Interstate 73 Writers Group, Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Youngblood, and a Lambda Literary Playwriting Fellow. Training: UCSD, BADA. www.AccordingToMyMother.com

He recently appeared as William Inge in the Off-Broadway production of Philip Dawkin’s The Gentleman Caller, produced by Abingdon Theatre at The Cherry Lane.  Select NYC: Sagittarius Ponderosa (NAATCO), Underland (59E59), La Divina Caricatura (La MaMa, Under the Radar & St. Ann’s Warehouse), Anna Nicole the Opera (BAM). Select Regional: The Ballad of Little Jo (Two River Theater), Miss Electricity (La Jolla Playhouse). Film/TV: MONEY MONSTER (dir. Jodie Foster), “The Jim Gaffigan Show” (TV LAND), “Search Party” (TBS), “Crashing” (HBO), “The Following” (FOX), “Person of Interest” (CBS), “Believe” (NBC, pilot), TOO BIG TO FAIL (HBO).  www.DanielKIsaac.com

Shannon Tyo in THE CHINESE LADY. Photo by Eloy Garcia
Shannon Tyo in THE CHINESE LADY. Photo by Eloy Garcia

Shannon Tyo (Afong Moy) Off-Broadway credits include Kentucky, Bikeman: A 9/11 Play, Dear Edwina. Favorite regional credits include The White Snake at the Old Globe, San Diego; Miss Saigon at the Pioneer Theatre Co, Music Theatre of Wichita and Cape Fear Regional; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Northern Stage, Tuacahn PAC and Pioneer Theatre Co.; and Broadway Bounty Hunter at Barrington Stage. BFA Syracuse University.

Set and Costumes designed by Junghyun Georgia Lee. Lighting design by Oliver Wason. Sound design by Fabian Obispo. Production Stage Manager is Geoff Boronda.

Playwright Lloyd Suh is the author of Charles Francis Chan Jr’s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery, American Hwangap, The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go!, Jesus in India, Great Wall Story, and others, produced with Ma-Yi, Magic Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Play Company, La Mama, Denver Center Theatre Company, ArtsEmerson, The Guthrie Theatre with Mu Performing Arts, East West Players, and internationally at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila, and with PCPA in Seoul, Korea. He has received support from the NEA Arena Stage New Play Development program, the Andrew W. Mellon Launching New Plays Into the Repertoire initiative via the Lark, NYFA, NYSCA, Jerome Foundation, TCG, and Dramatists Guild, and has been a recipient of the Roe Green Award from Cleveland Playhouse, the Lilah Kan Red Socks Award, and the Helen Merrill Award. His plays have been published by Samuel French, Playscripts, Smith & Kraus, Duke University Press and American Theater magazine. He is an alum of Youngblood and the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, and from 2005-2010 served as Artistic Director of Second Generation and Co-Director of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab. He currently serves on the Dramatists Guild Council and has since 2011 served as Director of Artistic Programs at The Lark.

Lloyd Suh, Ralph B. Peña, Shannon Tyo and Daniel K. Isaac on the set of THE CHINESE LADY.
Lloyd Suh, Ralph B. Peña, Shannon Tyo and Daniel K. Isaac on the set of THE CHINESE LADY.

Director Ralph B. Peña is the current Artistic Director of Ma-Yi Theater Company. Recent directing credits include Among the DeadHouse Rules (Ma-Yi) The Orphan of Zhao (Fordham Theatre), Macho Dancer: A Musical (Cultural Center of the Philippines), Livin’ La Vida Imelda (Ma-Yi), Lloyd Suh’s The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra GO! (Cultural Center of the Philippines, Children’s Theater Co. and Ma-Yi, Off Broadway Alliance Award), Julia Specht’s Down Cleghorn, Joshua Conkel’s Curmudgeons in Love (EST Marathon), Mike Lew’s microcrisis(Youngblood, Ma-Yi), and House/Boy (Dublin and Singapore Theater Festivals). His theater work has been seen at The NYSF/Public Theater, Long Wharf Theater, Laguna Playhouse, NAATCO, Second Generation, Victory Gardens, and LaMama ETC, among others. He received an Obie Award for his work on The Romance of Magno Rubio. Ralph is a member of the Ensemble Studio Theater. This is for Damien, always and forever.

THE CHINESE LADY starts off as a shipping container. Designed by Junghyun Georgia Lee. Lighting by Oliver Wason. Sound by Yngo Terra. Photo by Ralph B. Peña
THE CHINESE LADY starts off as a shipping container. Designed by Junghyun Georgia Lee. Lighting by Oliver Wason. Sound by Yngo Terra. Photo by Ralph B. Peña

Q & A with Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo, Stars of Barrington Stage Company and Ma-Yi Theater Company’s World Premiere of Lloyd Suh’s THE CHINESE LADY 

In Rehearsal: Barrington Stage Company and Ma-Yi Theater Company’s World Premiere of Lloyd Suh’s THE CHINESE LADY with Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo 

Barrington Stage and Ma-Yi Present Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo in World Premiere of Lloyd Suh’s THE CHINESE LADY at Barrington Stage, July 20 – August 11

Inside THE GENTLEMAN CALLER’S Opening Night Party with Daniel K. Isaac and Juan Francisco Villa 

Up Close and Personal with Daniel K. Isaac – William Inge in Abingdon Theatre’s Production of THE GENTLEMAN CALLER by Philip Dawkins, May 5 – 26 

Jon Norman Schneider, Jiehae Park, Keelay Gipson, Julian Leong, Diana Oh, David Shih and Teal Wicks in Daniel K. Isaac’s OR OR OR &&& at The Actors Fund Arts Center 

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: © 2000-2018 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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David Zayas, Hilary Bettis and Shirley Rumierk will be honored at Barefoot Theatre Company’s Third Annual Vassallo Awards on November 17

David Zayas
David Zayas

On Saturday, November 17th, Barefoot Theatre Company celebrates the third annual Vassallo Awards with a Fall Gala beginning at 8pm at the SVA THEATRE in NYC on 333 W 23rd Street in Manhattan. Actor David Zayas (Showtime’s DEXTER, FOX’s Gotham, OZ on HBO); acclaimed writer, Hilary Bettis (FX’s Emmy Award winning, The Americans), Actress Shirley Rumierk (NBC’s RISE) are among those honored for artistic achievements. The ceremony, hosted by Actor and founder of Barefoot Theatre Co., Francisco Solorzano and ensemble member, Christopher Whalen, also honors mentorship and educational outreach to a younger generation of artists in memory of Ed Vassallo, whose artistic career spanned 20 years and included work producing for the LAByrinth Theater Company and volunteering with the 52nd Street Project.

RED-CARPET CELEBRATION VIP TICKETS: $150 (tax deductible) includes VIP COCKTAIL HOUR – 6:30pm. -7:30 pm. General Admission: $75 – 7:30 pm (includes drinks & presentation). CURTAIN: 8pm. Running Time (presentation & awards ceremony) – 75 mins. For tickets and further information please click here or call 212-802-8305.

The one-night only event features Live Music from Mexican-American singer-songwriter and activist, Renee Goust (Joe’s Pub, Lincoln Center) and Performances by Special guest artists from Broadway, Film and Television. Accepting the award for Educational Outreach will be Jill DeArmon (LAByrinth Theater Co., Vineyard Theater) and Jinn S. Kim (LAByrinth Theater Co., Hi-Arts) for their work with DEVELOPING ARTISTS. Past recipients included Kamilah Forbes with Hi-ARTS and the Stella Adler Educational Outreach Program, Anna Chlumsky (EMMY Nominee, VEEP), Lynn Cohen (Spielberg’s MUNICH, Sex and the City), Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Adly Guirgis and Daniel Talbott.

Barefoot founded the awards after Vassallo lost a two-year battle with cancer in 2014. The company was inspired to recognize Vassallo’s dedication to the arts, which included work producing the TENN99 and NYNY festivals for the LAByrinth Theatre Company as well as feature films which saw release at the Tribeca Film Festival and IFC/Sundance Selects. Vassallo’s passion extended to work as a mentor with the 52nd Street Project, which pairs New York City children and teens with professional theatre artists. For this reason, the awards acknowledge not only artistic achievements but also educational outreach and mentorship that engages the next generation of artists.

BAREFOOT THEATRE COMPANY / BAREFOOT STUDIO PICTURES is an award winning, critically acclaimed multicultural collective of actors and filmmakers specializing in the development and incubation of new work and the cultivation of new attention for lesser-known works by well-established authors, with a vital, thought-provoking eye toward themes of diversity and inclusion. Barefoot Theatre Company’s most notable production includes the first ever Off-Broadway stage adaptation of the Academy award winning film, Dog Day Afternoon. The company has developed and produced over 150 new plays staged at INTAR; RATTLESTICK; THE FLEA; Cherry Lane Theatre; IRT THEATER; HERE Arts Center; THE BRICK; LABYRINTH THEATER CO., The Actors Studio, THEATRE ROW THEATRES, THE NEW OHIO THEATRE among others. Recent Barefoot Theatre Company collaborations with award-winning writers include Jose Rivera, Dominique Morisseau, Jesse Eisenberg, Kristoffer Diaz, Mando Alvarado, Ed. Cardona Jr., Mike Reiss, Daniel Talbott, Hilary Bettis and with actors Chris Cooper, Ethan Hawke, Bobby Cannavale, Gina Gershon, Richard Kind, Mickey Sumner, Caitlin Fitzgerald, Annabella Sciorra, and Michael Stuhlbarg to name a few. In film, Barefoot Studio Pictures’ work has been recognized with the Barcelona International Best Short Film Award, World-Fest Film Festival Best Short FIlm, at Hollyshorts Film Festival and many others. Barefoot Theatre Company was founded by actor, Francisco Solorzano in 1999, who is currently Producing Artistic Director with Christopher Whalen as Producing Director.

David Zayas is best known for his role as Angel Batista on the Golden Globe-nominated psychological drama “Dexter.” David was recently seen as “Sal Maroni” on the Fox series Gotham, “Sheriff Aguirre” on the Netflix series Bloodline and “Eduardo Magana” on the Hulu series Shut Eye. His other recent television credits include Saint George (FX), Seven Seconds (Netflix), Blue Bloods (CBS), Quantico (ABC), and The Guest Book (TBS). While working on the crime drama The Beat, Zayas met Emmy Award-winning television writer and producer Tom Fontana, who went on to create the role of “Enrique Morales” on HBO’s Oz especially for him. On film, he has starred in The Expendables, Skyline, 13, Michael Clayton, Sixteen Blocks, The Savages, Bringing Out the Dead, The Yards, Undefeated, Wit, Angel, and The Interpreter. David also starred opposite Helen Hunt in the indie feature Ride, starred opposite Ellen Page and Allison Janney in the feature Tallulah, and appeared in the film remake of the 1982 movie musical Annie opposite Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz. David stars in the upcoming feature Shine. A former New York police officer, Zayas began his acting career with LAByrinth Theater Company in 1992. He has starred in more than thirty theater productions, most with The LAByrinth Theater Company, including: “Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train,” “In Arabia We’d All Be Kings,” “Our Lady of 121 St.,” and the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Anna in the Tropics” on Broadway.

Shirley Rumierk played the series regular role of “Vanessa Suarez” on RISE for NBC. Last year she starred in the independent film, 11:55 as well as the film COLLATERAL BEAUTY starring Will Smith. She recently completed guest star roles on ELEMENTARY and BLUE BLOODS for CBS and POWER for Starz. She also starred in LATINOLOGUES at the Helen Hayes theater on Broadway. Shirley is a proud board member of The 52nd Street Project in New York City which teaches kids in Hell’s Kitchen the importance of theater and arts education while working alongside professional working actors (a program she was a member of as a child). Shirley is also on the Alumni Council of Oliver Scholars, an organization that unlocks doors of opportunity for high achieving Black and Latino students in New York City by helping them gain admission to top independent high schools. As an Oliver Scholar she attended Trinity School. Shirley is a graduate of Harvard College with a degree in Hispanic Studies.

HILARY BETTIS is a Brooklyn-based writer who works in TV, film, and theater. She was nominated for a 2018 Writer’s Guild of America Award for her work on the Emmy nominated series “The Americans” on FX, which she wrote on for the final two seasons. She is an alum of the highly competitive Sundance Episodic TV lab. She is a 2015 graduate of the Lila Acheson Wallace Playwright Fellowship at The Juilliard School. Bettis has received fellowships, workshops, and residencies at the Roundabout, Alley All New Festival, Orlando Shakes PlayFest, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, 2050 Fellow at New York Theatre Workshop, John N. Wall Fellow at Sewanee Writers’ Conference, SPACE at Ryder Farm, Writer-In-Residence at Cape Cod Theatre Project, La Jolla Playhouse, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow, Playwrights’ Week at The Lark, NNPN’s National Showcase of New Plays, Audrey Residency at New Georges, Two River Theater, Great Plains Theatre Conference, WildWind Lab at Texas Tech, The Kennedy Center/ NNPN MFA Workshop, and a Sloan/EST Commission. She has had plays recognized by The Kilroys every year since its inception. She has been a Runner-Up for the ALLIANCE THEATRE’s Kendeda Award, Nuestras Voces National Playwriting Competition, American Blues Theater’s Blue Ink Award, New America Fellowship, and the Leah Ryan Prize. Bettis is a member of the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group at Primary Stages, Ensemble Studio Theater, a Usual Suspect at NYTW, and an Affiliated Artist at New Georges. The Ghosts of Lote Bravo received a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere at the Unicorn Theatre in Kansas City, MO, Borderlands Theater in Tucson, Arizona. Her play, Alligator, was produced Off-Broadway with New Georges and The Sol Project, and was nominated for a 2017 Drama Desk for Outstanding Music in a Play. Queen of Basel, a bilingual adaptation of Miss Julie commissioned by Miami New Drama, was produced at Miami New Drama in April 2018 to critical acclaim, and will receive its world premiere at Studio Theatre in D.C. March 2019. Her play, 72 miles to go… will receive a workshop production at the Alley in Houston January 2019. As a screenwriter, Bettis has written and produced two short films, B’Hurst and The Iron Warehouse, which have screened at film festivals across the globe. She wrote and produced her directorial debut short, Amarillo by Morning, currently in post-production. She has developed TV projects with NBCUniversal, FOX 21 and Citizen Media. She is currently adapting the Colombian hit-series “La Niña” for FX with Propgate (“Jane the Virgin”, “Ugly Betty”) producing. She is represented by CAA and Grandview. www.HilaryBettisWriter.com

DEVELOPING ARTISTS MISSION
Developing Artists is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1999 dedicated to providing opportunities for underdog (underserved) teens to reach their full potential through a practical application of the performing arts. We help students find their place and their connection to their community through participation in the arts. Developing Artists offer top-notch training for students from culturally diverse and socioeconomically underserved backgrounds to proclaim themselves as artists and to create a supportive young artist community through our innovative signature program REBEL VERSES Arts Festival. Developing Artists bridges the disparity of arts education for students from underserved communities by providing youth between the ages of 13 through 19 who attend High Schools in New York metropolitan area the opportunities to study performing arts at the highest level. We impact students by creating a forum to navigate life’s increasing challenges; to find their voice in dealing with issues like rage, fear or frustration; and channel that energy into self-expression and self-confidence. Over 95% of our students go on to graduate college. Jill DeArmon (Artistic Director/Board) / Jinn S. Kim (Executive Director/Board).

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Pulitzer Prize Winner Suzan-Lori Parks To Receive 2018 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award on December 3

Suzan-Lori Parks. Photo by Lia Chang
Suzan-Lori Parks. Photo by Lia Chang
Suzan-Lori Parks. Photo by Lia Chang

The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust will present Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks with the 2018 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award at the 11th Annual “Mimi” Awards on Monday, December 3, 2018 at Lincoln Center Theater. The “Mimi” Awards are presented annually to honor the outstanding artistry and accomplishments of some of the most gifted American Playwrights.

“What an honor! What a joy! Thank you for your encouragement and support! The Steinberg Awards honor the most awesome playwrights. I’m thrilled to be included,” said Suzan-Lori Parks.

The Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award is presented biennially to honor and encourage the artistic excellence and achievement of an American playwright whose body of work has made significant contributions to the American theatre. The recipient of the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award receives a cash award of $200,000.

“The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust is honored to present the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award to Suzan-Lori Parks. We could not be prouder to acknowledge her incredible body of work,” Steinberg board member Jim Steinberg, said.

“Suzan-Lori Parks is one of the great writers of our time. Her fearless experimentation, her refusal to be confined by any categories or boundaries, her dazzling linguistic prowess and her joyous embrace of the struggle have made her an inspiration and role model for countless other artists. Her great subject is freedom, a freedom exemplified in her forms and her content,” said Advisory Committee Member, Oskar Eustis. “She has also defied Fitzgerald’s dictum that American artists have no second acts: in her maturity she is writing with a boldness and originality that amazes. She is a most fitting recipient of the Steinberg Award.”

“Suzan-Lori Parks is a great American artist. When she burst onto the scene in 1989 with her first play in New York, we all had the sense that a brilliant new talent had arrived. Ever since, her prolific career has flourished and dazzled us all,” said Advisory Committee Member, Lynne Meadow. “Ms. Parks has created an extraordinary and varied body of work-original, provocative, brilliantly theatrical works-that have defined and illuminated two of the most important topics of our age: race and gender. Her voice is poetic, intellectual, and primal-provocative, theatrical, and fearless. I am thrilled that she is the 2018 recipient of the Steinberg Award.”

“Who am I to comment on the genius of Suzan-Lori Parks or her contributions to the American theater? When I embarked on a career in the theater, she was already canonical. Her plays, and her writing about playwriting, furnished me with some of my first dramaturgical primers; she was one of a few writers who shook up and cracked open my sense of the potential of the form and helped build my vocabulary-as she has done for so many theater-makers,” said Sarah Lunnie. “The 365 project was a heroic affirmation of democracy and of the value of storytelling in our public life. And before it was that, it was a heroic affirmation of a disciplined but patient artistic practice. She continues to write with unparalleled incisiveness and vision. How fortunate we are to have her in our midst.”

Suzan-Lori Parks was named one of TIME magazine’s “100 Innovators for the Next New Wave,” and is the first African American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for her play Topdog/Underdog. She is a MacArthur “Genius Grant” prize recipient and she’s also received The Gish Prize for Excellence in the Arts. Broadway credits include: The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess which was awarded the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical and Topdog/Underdog, which starred Jeffrey Wright and Mos Def and was directed by George C. Wolfe. The play received a Tony Nomination and recently was named by the New York Times as the most important American play within the last 25 years. Other plays include: In The Blood (Pulitzer Prize finalist), Fucking A, The Death of The Last Black Man In The Whole Entire World aka The Negro Book Of The Dead and more recently Father Comes Home From The Wars (parts 1,2&3) (Pulitzer Prize Finalist). In 2003 Parks wrote a play a day culminating in 365 Days/365 Plays; the plays were produced globally in over 700 theatres, which, at the time, was said to be the largest theatrical grass-roots undertaking of its kind. More recently, to reflect on the current presidential administration Parks wrote 100 Plays For The First Hundred Days. Parks has authored a novel: Getting Mother’s Body which is published by Random House. Her screenplays include Girl6 (directed by Spike Lee); Their Eyes Were Watching God (produced by Oprah Winfrey); Anemone Me (produced by Christine Vachon and Todd Haynes) and she’s got two new screenplays in production: an adaptation of Richard Wright’s Native Son, (directed by Rashid Johnson) and The United States vs Billie Holiday, (directed by Lee Daniels.) She’s at work on a stage-musical adaptation of the film The Harder They Come and two new stage plays, one of them: White Noise which will receive its world premiere this coming season and will be directed by Oskar Eustis. Parks is The Public Theater’s Master Writer Chair, where she performs Watch Me Work, a weekly writing class free of charge and open to all. She also writes songs and fronts her band: Suzan-Lori Parks & The Band.

Along with a monetary award, playwrights receive “The Mimi,” a statuette designed by David Rockwell, Tony Award-nominated scenic designer and architect.

In 2008, the Board of Directors created an advisory committee of prominent theater professionals to establish the awards criteria, nominate individual candidates and select each recipient.

The 2018 Advisory Committee is comprised of Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director, Public Theatre; Sarah Lunnie, Literary Director, Playwrights Horizons; Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director, Manhattan Theatre Club; Hana S. Sharif, Associate Artistic Director, Baltimore Center Stage; Molly Smith, Artistic Director, Arena Stage; Kent Thompson, Theatre Director, Producer and Author; and Les Waters, Theatre Director.

The Board of Directors of The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust is made up of Carole A. Krumland, James D. Steinberg, Michael A. Steinberg, Seth M. Weingarten, and William D. Zabel.

TheatreWorks SV’s Production of Jeanne Sakata’s HOLD THESE TRUTHS Nominated for 3 2018 TBA Awards including Outstanding Production of a Play, Star Joel de la Fuente and Director Lisa Rothe

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

San Francisco’s Theatre Bay Area has announced the nominees for their 5th Annual TBA Awards which will be handed out on Monday, November 5 at 7 pm at The Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94102. For more information, email awards@theatrebayarea.org.

Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Kevin Berne
Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Kevin Berne
Lisa Rothe, Jeanne Sakata and Joel de la Fuente. Photo by Lia Chang
Lisa Rothe, Jeanne Sakata and Joel de la Fuente. Photo by Lia Chang

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley’s critically-acclaimed production of Hold These Truths by Jeanne Sakata, an inspiring true story following Gordon Hirabayashi, a Japanese-American student who fought internment to a relocation camp during World War II, snagged three 2018 TBA Award nominations including Outstanding Performance in a Play- Tier 1 for Joel de la Fuente; Outstanding Direction of a Play – Tier 1 for Lisa Rothe and Outstanding Production of a Play – Tier 1.

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

Hold These Truths celebrates the human spirit as it chronicles Hirabayashi’s journey from college in Seattle all the way to the Supreme Court, and eventually to a Congressional Medal of Freedom. Hold These Truths shares the story of a young man who passionately defends his Constitutional rights against an unexpected adversary: his own country.

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

The TBA Awards are designed to honor excellence in professionally oriented theatre through a peer-based, Bay Area-wide adjudication process of artists and productions from companies who are members of Theatre Bay Area and pay an awards registration fee.

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

Over 120 theatre companies from all around the Bay participate in the TBA Awards program each year.

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE IN A PLAY – TIER 1
Joy Carlin​ for ​Marjorie Prime​ at Marin Theatre Company
Joel de la Fuente​ for ​Hold These Truths​ at TheatreWorks
Emilio Delgado​ for ​Quixote Nuevo​ at California Shakespeare Theater
Santoya Fields​ for ​White​ at Shotgun Players
Margo Hall​ for ​Skeleton Crew​ at Marin Theatre Company & Theatreworks
Randy Harrison​ for ​Angels in America, Parts One and Two​ at Berkeley Repertory Theatre
Jeremy Kahn​ for ​The Liar​ at Center Repertory Company
Kerri Shawn​ for ​Shirley Valentine​ at Center Repertory Company
Stephen Spinella​ for ​Angels in America, Parts One and Two​ at Berkeley Repertory Theatre
Calvin M. Thompson​ for ​The Royale​ at Aurora Theatre Company
Zoe Winters​ for ​Reel to Reel​ at Magic Theatre

OUTSTANDING DIRECTION OF A PLAY
Tier 1
Michael Butler​ for ​The Liar​ at Center Repertory Company
Rachel Chavkin ​for ​Small Mouth Sounds​ at American Conservatory Theater
Josh Costello​ for ​Eureka Day​ at Aurora Theatre Company
Lisa Rothe​ for ​Hold These Truths​ at TheatreWorks
Tony Taccone​ for ​Angels in America, Parts One and Two​ at Berkeley Repertory Theatre

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A PLAY
Tier 1
Angels in America, Parts One and Two​ at ​Berkeley Repertory Theatre Eureka Day​ at ​Aurora Theatre Company
Hold These Truths​ at ​TheatreWorks
Our Great Tchaikovsky​ at ​TheatreWorks
Reel to Reel​ at ​Magic Theatre
The Liar​ at ​Center Repertory Company

Complete listings of nominees can be found at www.theatrebayarea.org

Hold These Truths made its world premiere in 2007 at East West Players in Los Angeles. In 2012, the solo play made its Off Broadway premiere at Epic Theatre Company starring Joel de la Fuente, and received a 2013 Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Solo Performance. Since its world premiere, it has gone on to play throughout the nation including theatres in Boston, Honolulu, Washington, D.C., Portland, and many others. Critics have lauded the period piece as “a top-notch production” (The New York Times), “particularly impactful” (TheaterMania), and a show which “gives hope that the arc of the moral universe does indeed eventually bend toward justice” (Los Angeles Times).

The production team includes Sound Designer/Composer Daniel Kluger, Scenic Designer Mikiko Suzuki MacAdams, Scenic Design Assistant Joo Hyun Kim, Costume Designer:Margaret E. Weedon, Lighting Designer: Cat Tate Starmer, Casting Director Jeffrey Lo and Stage Manager Randall K. Lum.

kqed.org: ‘Hold These Truths’ Remembers One Man’s Refusal to Cede His Civil Rights During WWII

The Rafu Shimpo: ‘HOLD THESE TRUTHS’ AT LUCIE STERN THEATRE

sfexaminer.com: July 11-12: Hold These Truths

mercurynews.com: Now playing on SF Bay Area stage: 1 man’s fight against the Japanese internment camps

metroactive.com: ‘Hold These Truths’ Remembers Japanese Internment

register-pajaronian: Watsonville native celebrates Bay Area premiere of play

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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Emmy Winner Denise Burse Stars in Kenny Leon Helmed DOT by Colman Domingo at Billie Holiday Theatre at RestorationART, October 20 – November 18

Denise Burse
Denise Burse
Denise Burse

The Billie Holiday Theatre at RestorationART, in association with Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company, presents Colman Domingo’s Dot to launch its 2018-2019 Season with this compelling work under the direction of Tony Award-winning director Kenny Leon (American Son currently on Broadway starring Kerry Washington, A Raisin in the Sun and August Wilson’s Fences) and starring Emmy Award-winning Billie Holiday Theatre alumna Denise Burse (“Black Mirror,” Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne”) as Dotty. Previews begin October 20 – 24, 2018 with the Opening on Thursday, October 25, 2018 and will run through November 18, 2018 at The Billie Holiday Theatre, 1368 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, NY 11216.

Director Kenny Leon, Denise Burse, Playwright Colman Domingo, Rhynn Saver, Amber A. Harris, Tinashe Kajese-Bolden, Lee Spencer Osorio, Gilbert Glenn Brown and Bendetto Robinson. Photo courtesy of Gilbert Glenn Brown/Facebook
Director Kenny Leon, Denise Burse, Playwright Colman Domingo, Rhynn McLemore Saver, Amber A. Harris, Tinashe Kajese-Bolden, Lee Spencer Osorio, Gilbert Glenn Brown and Bendetto Robinson. Photo courtesy of Gilbert Glenn Brown/Facebook

Crackling with humor, Dot takes a light-hearted look at an illness facing all communities and explores the interactions of widowed matriarch Dotty and her family and mental health in the Black community. As Dotty struggles to hold onto her memory – a result of her Alzheimer’s diagnosis – her children must fight to balance care for their mother with care for themselves.

Denise Burse. Brenda Nicole Photography
Denise Burse. Brenda Nicole Photography

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with the newly-reimagined Billie Holiday Theatre and to present True Colors’ production of Colman Domingo’s Dot to Brooklyn audiences,” remarked True Colors’ Artistic Director Kenny Leon. “Dot allows us the opportunity to come together as community; not just as individuals, but as two theaters committed to the best, wisest and most challenging parts of ourselves and our stories.”

Bendetto Robinson and Denise Burse. Brenda Nicole Photography
Bendetto Robinson and Denise Burse. Brenda Nicole Photography

“To curate storytelling for the largest African American community in the nation – Central Brooklyn – demands that we bring our audiences stories that matter,” stated Dr. Indira Etwaroo, The Billie’s Executive Director. “Colman Domingo’s Dot, helmed by Kenny Leon with a cast led by Denise Burse, in partnership with True Colors is an embarrassment of riches. Excellence and relevance are in the very DNA of this production and partnership.”

Gilbert Glenn Brown, Denise Burse, Lee Osorio. Brenda Nicole Photography
Gilbert Glenn Brown, Denise Burse, Lee Osorio. Brenda Nicole Photography

Denise Burse stars as Dot with Tinashe Kajese-Bolden as Shelly, Rhyn McLemore Saver as Jackie, Gilbert Glenn Brown as Donnie, Lee Osorio as Adam, Amber A. Harris as Averie, and Benedetto Robinson as Fidel. The cast recently enjoyed a critically acclaimed run produced by True Colors Theatre Company this summer, with standing ovations every night.

Gilbert Glenn Brown and Tinahse Kajese-Bolden. Brenda Nicole Photography
Gilbert Glenn Brown and Tinahse Kajese-Bolden. Brenda Nicole Photography

General Information
Single Tickets: $25 – $40; Tickets: (866) 811-4111, www.thebillieholiday.org or Box Office (1368 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, NY). Group Sales: (929) 432-3322, (866) 811-4111.

Lee Osorio, Gilbert Glenn Brown, Tinashe Kajese-Bolden, Amber A. Harris and Rhyn McLemore Saver. Brenda Nicole Photography
Lee Osorio, Gilbert Glenn Brown, Tinashe Kajese-Bolden, Amber A. Harris and Rhyn McLemore Saver. Brenda Nicole Photography

About The Billie Holiday Theatre at RestorationART
As cultural anchor and artistic presenter to the largest African-American community in the US, RestorationART presents world-class artistic expressions of Black culture from around the corner and around the world to Central Brooklyn audiences and beyond. The driving force of RestorationART’s creative complex is the Obie and AUDELCO Award-winning Billie Holiday Theatre, a non-profit theatre whose mission is to present the diversity of voices within the African Diaspora. For more information, visit www.thebillieholiday.org.

Benedetto Robinson, Denise Burse, Amber A. Harris, Tinashe Kajese-Bolden. Brenda Nicole Photography
Benedetto Robinson, Denise Burse, Amber A. Harris, Tinashe Kajese-Bolden. Brenda Nicole Photography

“Black Mirror” Emmy winner Denise Burse, Pauletta Pearson Washington and More Open in THE OLD SETTLER at The Billie Holiday Theatre 

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: © 2000-2018 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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David Henry Hwang, James Houghton, Cicely Tyson, Maria Irene Fornes, Adrienne Kennedy and More Among 2018 Theater Hall of Fame Inductees

David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

The Theater Hall of Fame has announced its 2018 Inductees which include actors Rene Auberjonais, Christine Baranski, and Cicely Tyson; playwrights Maria Irene Fornes, David Henry Hwang, and Adrienne Kennedy; director Joe Mantello, and posthumously James Houghton.

David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

The 48th Annual Theater Hall of Fame for Lifetime Achievement in the American Theater will be presented on Monday evening, November 12 at the Gershwin Theatre. Three-time Tony Award nominee and Theater Hall of Fame inductee, Dana Ivey, will be the Mistress of Ceremonies.

Founded in 1971 by James M. Nederlander, Earl Blackwell and Gerard Oestriecher, the Theater Hall of Fame’s primary mission is to annually honor lifetime achievement in the American theatre. To be considered for the ballot, the theatre professional must have 25 years on Broadway and five major production credits or be an Off-Broadway or regional theatre founder or pioneer. The voters are United States theatre critics and drama editors.

Visit theaterhalloffame.org for more information.

Lauren Yee’s CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND and Jaclyn Backhaus’s INDIA PALE ALE are 2018 Recipients of the Horton Foote Prize

Lauren Yee. Photo by Lia Chang

Mari Marchbanks announced today the 2018 recipients of the biennial Horton Foote Prize, named in honor of the late playwright, which recognizes excellence in American theater. The 2018 Prize for Outstanding New American Play, presented to a work produced in the 2016-17 or 2017-18 seasons, is awarded to Cambodian Rock Band by Lauren Yee. The 2018 Prize for Promising New American Play, presented to a previously unproduced work, is awarded to India Pale Ale by Jaclyn Backhaus.

Lauren Yee. Photo by Lia Chang
Lauren Yee. Photo by Lia Chang

Their achievements will be celebrated at a private reception on Monday, October 15th at The Lotos Club (5 East 66th Street, New York City). Ms. Yee and Ms. Backhaus will each be presented with $25,000 and a limited edition of Keith Carter’s iconic photograph of Horton Foote, which is found in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

The four judges of the 2018 Horton Foote Prize are two-time Tony Award-winning actress Judith Ivey, serving as Chair; New Georges Artistic Director and playwright Susan Bernfield (Sizzle Sizzle Fly, Tania in the Getaway Van, My Last Car); Two River Theater Artistic Director John Dias; and Ensemble Studio Theatre Director of New Play Development and Associate Director of the EST/Sloan Project Linsay Firman.

On behalf of her fellow judges, Chair Judith Ivey said, “The playwright is the beginning for all other theatre artists. The story, the characters, and the words give the rest of us the opportunity to share that story. It is truly an honor to have been part of this year’s Horton Foote Prize committee. We four all expressed our joy and passion for all six of the final choices. The playwrights all explored the human condition and social circumstances in such creative ways, always with a solid truth and desire to share the inhumanity each character was experiencing. Each one beautifully wrote of the challenges of todays’ world. Making a decision was very difficult for all four of us.”

Abraham Kim, Daisuke Tsuji, Joe Ngo, Brooke Ishibashi, Raymond Lee and Jane Lui in South Coast Repertory's world premiere production of Cambodian Rock Band by Lauren Yee. Photo by Danielle Bliss/SCR.
Abraham Kim, Daisuke Tsuji, Joe Ngo, Brooke Ishibashi, Raymond Lee and Jane Lui in South Coast Repertory’s world premiere production of Cambodian Rock Band by Lauren Yee. Photo by Danielle Bliss/SCR.

Ms. Ivey continued, “Stylistically daring, Cambodian Rock Band deftly juxtaposes humor and rock music against the terrible truth of genocide. It is a beautiful story of love, forgiveness, and survival. Lauren Yee is a remarkable writer and Cambodian Rock Band is our choice for the 2018 Horton Foote Prize Award for Outstanding New American Play.”

Brooke Ishibashi, Joe Ngo, Jane Lui, Raymond Lee and Abraham Kim in South Coast Repertory's world premiere production of Cambodian Rock Band by Lauren Yee. Photo by Tania Thompson/SCR.
Brooke Ishibashi, Joe Ngo, Jane Lui, Raymond Lee and Abraham Kim in South Coast Repertory’s world premiere production of Cambodian Rock Band by Lauren Yee. Photo by Tania Thompson/SCR.

Cambodian Rock Band, with music by Dengue Fever, premiered in March 2018 at South Coast Repertory and will open at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Victory Gardens in 2019. Part comedy, part mystery, part rock concert, Cambodian Rock Band is a thrilling story that toggles back and forth in time, as father and daughter face the music of the past. Neary, a young Cambodian American has found evidence that could finally put away the Khmer Rouge’s chief henchman. But her work is hardly done. When Dad shows up unannounced – his first return trip to Cambodia since fleeing 30 years ago – it’s clear this isn’t just a pleasure trip.

Joe Ngo and Brooke Ishibashi in South Coast Repertory's world premiere production of Cambodian Rock Band by Lauren Yee. Photo by Tania Thompson/SCR.
Joe Ngo and Brooke Ishibashi in South Coast Repertory’s world premiere production of Cambodian Rock Band by Lauren Yee. Photo by Tania Thompson/SCR.

India Pale Ale explores what it means to be a Sikh American in this day of racism and fear”, commented Ms. Ivey. “Gorgeously told through a Sikh family’s myth of a family member a century ago being a pirate and what that means in today’s world, framed the play as a modern-day fable rooted in stark reality at the same time. Jaclyn Backhaus has given us a story so richly poetic; it is ambitious and full of life. We are delighted to announce India Pale Ale as our selection for the 2018 Horton Foote Prize award for Promising New American Play.”

The world premiere of India Pale Ale at Manhattan Theatre Club will begin previews October 2, 2018 with opening night set for October 23, 2018 at New York City Center’s Stage I. In Ms. Backhaus’s poignant and smartly funny new play about legacy, life and longing, a tight-knit Punjabi community in a small Wisconsin town gathers to celebrate the wedding of a traditional family’s only son, just as their strong-willed daughter announces her plans to move away and open a bar. As they come together for feasts filled with singing and dancing, one generation’s cherished customs clash with another’s modern-day aspirations, and ghosts and pirates from the family’s past linger in everyone’s thoughts – until one sudden event changes everything.

Ms. Yee and Ms. Backhaus were nominated by South Coast Repertory and Manhattan Theatre Club, respectively. After a national reading committee narrowed the field of entries, ensuring that each script received multiple blind readings, a selection committee including Dramaturg, Tofte Lake Center Director, and University of Texas – Austin professor Liz Engelman, serving as Chair; Seattle-based stage director, producer, and educator Rosa Joshi; award-winning Seattle-based stage director Allison Narver; and American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) Director of Dramaturgy and New Works Joy Meads; selected the top finalists to be presented to the judges.

Previous recipients of the Horton Foote Prize include Lynn Nottage for Ruined, Will Eno for Middletown, David Lindsay-Abaire for Good People, Naomi Wallace for The Liquid Plain, Dan O’Brien for The Body of an American, Suzan-Lori Parks for Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2, & 3), Jordan Harrison for Marjorie Prime, and Zayd Dohrn for The Profane.

The Horton Foote Prize is funded by the Greg and Mari Marchbanks Family Foundation of Austin, Texas.

Lauren Yee’s Cambodian Rock Band, with music by Dengue Fever, premiered in March 2018 at South Coast Rep and will open at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Victory Gardens in 2019. Her play The Great Leap premiered this past season at Denver Center, Seattle Repertory, and Atlantic Theater with 2019 productions slated for the Guthrie, American Conservatory Theater, Arts Club, and InterAct Theatre. Also upcoming for 2018-19: King of the Yees at Baltimore Center Stage and San Francisco Playhouse, and The Song of Summer at Trinity Rep. Recent honors include the Kesselring Prize, Primus Prize, an upcoming Hodder Fellowship at Princeton, the #1 and #2 plays on the 2017 Kilroys List, as well as a finalist of both the ATCA/Steinberg Award and the Edward M. Kennedy Prize. She is a Ma-Yi Writers’ Lab member and an alumni playwright of Playwrights Realm. She received her BA from Yale University, and her MFA in playwriting from UCSD. Current commissions include Geffen Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, Lincoln Center/LCT3, Mixed Blood, Portland Center Stage, Second Stage, South Coast Repertory, and Trinity Repertory Company. www.laurenyee.com

Jaclyn Backhaus is a playwright of Punjabi, German, and desert botanical descent. Her play India Pale Ale will receive its world premiere at Manhattan Theatre Club in Fall of 2018 after development at Powerhouse with New York Stage & Film. Select plays: Men on Boats (NYT Critics’ Pick, Clubbed Thumb & Playwrights Horizons, Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Playwriting Award Finalist, published by Dramatists Play Service, Kilroys List 2015), Folk Wandering (Pipeline Theatre Company), You Across From Me (Humana Festival of New Plays), People Doing Math Live! (Under The Radar Festival), and You on the Moors Now (Theater Reconstruction Ensemble, The Hypocrites in Chicago). Jaclyn was the 2016 Tow Foundation Playwright-in-Residence at Clubbed Thumb and is currently a playwright-in-residence at Lincoln Center. BFA: NYU, where she now teaches. She is co-founder of FRESH GROUND PEPPER, a New York-based arts incubator established in 2009. She lives in Queens with her husband, theater director Andrew Scoville, and their son Ernie.

Horton Foote won the Pulitzer Prize for his play The Young Man From Atlanta and received two Academy Awards for his screenplays for the films To Kill A Mockingbird and Tender Mercies. His work has also been produced on Broadway, off-Broadway as well as in theaters throughout the United States. His many honors, in addition to the Pulitzer and Academy Awards, include Drama Desk, Obie, Outer Critics Circle and Lortel Awards, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Drama and the 2000 National Medal of Arts Award from President Bill Clinton. He is also a member of The Theatre Hall of Fame. In 2008, his play Dividing the Estate won the Obie and Outer Critics Circle Best Play Awards for its Off-Broadway premiere by Primary Stages. In 2008, the play transferred to Broadway under the auspices of Lincoln Center Theater, earning Foote his second Best Play Tony nomination. In 2009-2010, his epic masterwork, The Orphans’ Home Cycle was co-produced by Hartford Stage Company and Signature Theatre Company, and received the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award, Drama Desk Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, and the Lucille Lortel Award. In 2013, The Trip to Bountiful was revived on Broadway (winning a Best Actress Tony Award for Cecily Tyson), and premiered in 2014 as a new Lifetime film, earning two Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Movie. His memoirs, Farewell and Beginnings, are published by Scribner.

André De Shields, Ken Page, Charlayne Woodard, Johmaalya Adelekan, Rheaume Crenshaw, Tyrone Davis, Jr., Zurin Villanueva, Frenchie Davis and Cynthia Thomas Set for 54 SINGS AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’: THE MUSIC OF FATS WALLER on September 9

Feinstein’s/54 Below is celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Tony Award winning musical Ain’t Misbehavin’ with 54 SINGS AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’: THE MUSIC OF FATS WALLER , directed by its original Tony Award-winning director, Richard Maltby, Jr. for two shows on September 9 at 7pm and 9:30pm. Click here for tickets.

The inimitable Thomas “Fats” Waller rose to international fame during the Golden Age of the Cotton Club and that jumpin’ new beat, swing music. Ain’t Misbehavin’ evokes the delightful humor and infectious energy of this American original as some of Broadway’s best struts, strums, and sings the songs that he made famous in a career that ranged from uptown clubs to downtown Tin Pan Alley to Hollywood and concert stages in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

Audiences can expect to hear some of Waller’s most iconic works including the incomparable “Honeysuckle Rose,” “Mean To Me,” “You’re Feets Too Big,” “I’ve Got A Feeling I’m Falling,” “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love,” and so many more!

Featuring cast members from the Broadway company- André De Shields, Ken Page and Charlayne Woodard; Johmaalya Adelekan, Rheaume Crenshaw, Tyrone Davis, Jr. and Zurin Villanueva from the Crossroads Theatre Production; Frenchie Davis (“American Idol”) from the National Tour and Cynthia Thomas from Delaware Theatre Company.

Music Directed by William McDaniel
Produced by Robert W. Schneider

Feinstein’s/54 Below, Broadway’s Supper Club & Private Event Destination, is a performance venue in the grand tradition of New York City nightlife. Feinstein’s/54 Below presents iconic and rising stars from the worlds of Broadway and popular music and has set a new standard for culinary excellence worthy of the world-class entertainment on the stage. Located at 254 West 54th Street.

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André De Shields, Ken Page, Charlayne Woodard, Johmaalya Adelekan, Rheaume Crenshaw, Tyrone Davis, Jr., Zurin Villanueva, Frenchie Davis and Cynthia Thomas Set for 54 SINGS AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’: THE MUSIC OF FATS WALLER on September 9

Feinstein’s/54 Below is celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Tony Award winning musical Ain’t Misbehavin’ with 54 SINGS AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’: THE MUSIC OF FATS WALLER , directed by its original Tony Award-winning director, Richard Maltby, Jr. for two shows on September 9 at 7pm and 9:30pm. Click here for tickets.

The inimitable Thomas “Fats” Waller rose to international fame during the Golden Age of the Cotton Club and that jumpin’ new beat, swing music. Ain’t Misbehavin’ evokes the delightful humor and infectious energy of this American original as some of Broadway’s best struts, strums, and sings the songs that he made famous in a career that ranged from uptown clubs to downtown Tin Pan Alley to Hollywood and concert stages in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

Audiences can expect to hear some of Waller’s most iconic works including the incomparable “Honeysuckle Rose,” “Mean To Me,” “You’re Feets Too Big,” “I’ve Got A Feeling I’m Falling,” “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love,” and so many more!

Featuring cast members from the Broadway company- André De Shields, Ken Page and Charlayne Woodard; Johmaalya Adelekan, Rheaume Crenshaw, Tyrone Davis, Jr. and Zurin Villanueva from the Crossroads Theatre Production; Frenchie Davis (“American Idol”) from the National Tour and Cynthia Thomas from Delaware Theatre Company.

Music Directed by William McDaniel
Produced by Robert W. Schneider

Feinstein’s/54 Below, Broadway’s Supper Club & Private Event Destination, is a performance venue in the grand tradition of New York City nightlife. Feinstein’s/54 Below presents iconic and rising stars from the worlds of Broadway and popular music and has set a new standard for culinary excellence worthy of the world-class entertainment on the stage. Located at 254 West 54th Street.