2020 WTFringe/Women’s Theatre Festival 2020: Christine Toy Johnson’s EMPRESS MEI LI LOTUS BLOSSOM Featuring Rin Allen, Rebecca Hirota and Deborah Lew Set for Livestream on July 10 and 11; Cindy Cheung and Nandita Shenoy to Participate in Talkback

EMPRESS MEI LI LOTUS BLOSSOM, written and directed by Christine Toy Johnson, will stream live during the WTFringe 2020 and the Women’s Theatre Festival 2020 on July 10 at 7:30 pm EST and July 11 at 9 pm EST. The 20-minute comedy tells the story of a Teaneck-born Asian American actress who adopts the persona of an exotic Hong Kong movie star so she can get her shot on Broadway and features Rin Allen, Rebecca Hirota and Deborah Lew.

A talkback with Johnson, Cindy Cheung and Nandita Shenoy (all steering committee members of AAPAC, the Asian American Performers Action Coalition) will take place after the July 10 performance. Tickets are pay-what-you-can. Information on how to view is included in the links below.

Click here to watch the July 10 performance at 7:30 pm EST.

Click here to watch the July 11 performance at 9 pm EST.

Christine Toy Johnson (playwright/director) is an award-winning writer, actor, director and advocate for inclusion. Her written works have been produced and/or developed by the Roundabout, Village Theatre, Barrow Group, Prospect Theatre, Weston Playhouse, O’Neill, CAP 21 and more and are included in the Library of Congress’s Asian Pacific American Performing Arts Collection (Playwrights Division). She is an alum of the BMI Musical Theatre Writing Workshop, was a 2016 fellow of The Writers Lab (supported by Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and NYWIFT), was the 2013 recipient of the Rosetta LeNoire Award from Actors’ Equity, serves on the Council of the Dramatists Guild and is host of the Guild’s podcast “Talkback” on Broadway Podcast Network. As an actor, Christine has worked extensively on Broadway, Off-Broadway and on television and is on “extended intermission” from the North American tour of COME FROM AWAY. She is currently writing book & lyrics for a new musical with composer/lyricist Jason Ma, commissioned by Village Theatre, as well as several other pieces to get her mind off of the pandemic. For details, please visit www.christinetoyjohnson.com

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

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

Women’s Theatre Festival 2020: Dramatists Guild of America Virtual Panel Discussion – Expanding Our Circles to Create More Diverse and Inclusive Theatre Featuring Christine Toy Johnson, Pun Bandhu, Porsche McGovern and Pirrone Youzevzadeh on July 20

On Monday, July 20, 2020, Christine Toy Johnson, who serves as the Chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee of the Dramatists Guild of America, will lead a Women’s Theatre Festival 2020 panel discussion called “Expanding Our Circles to Create More Diverse and Inclusive Theatre” on behalf of the Dramatists Guild of America at 3 pm EST with panelists actor/producer/activist Pun Bandhu, lighting designer/activist Porsche McGovern and director/artistic director/activist Pirronne Yousefzadeh.

The panel will explore ways to expand our circles of familiarity in order to build diverse and inclusive programming, creative teams, and casting Monday, July 20 at 3pm EST. It’s known that searching the same pools will lead you to the same personnel. Making the room reflect the world you want to see may not be so simple–requiring deliberate and intentional inclusionary practices–but it can be done.

Click here to register for tickets to the event.

Christine Toy Johnson is an award-winning writer, actor, director and advocate for inclusion. Her written works have been produced and/or developed by the Roundabout, Village Theatre, Barrow Group, Prospect Theatre, Weston Playhouse, O’Neill, CAP 21 and more and are included in the Library of Congress’s Asian Pacific American Performing Arts Collection (Playwrights Division). She is an alum of the BMI Musical Theatre Writing Workshop, was a 2016 fellow of The Writers Lab (supported by Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and NYWIFT), was the 2013 recipient of the Rosetta LeNoire Award from Actors’ Equity, serves on the Council of the Dramatists Guild and is host of the Guild’s podcast “Talkback” on Broadway Podcast Network. As an actor, Christine has worked extensively on Broadway, Off-Broadway and on television and is on “extended intermission” from the North American tour of COME FROM AWAY. She is currently writing book & lyrics for a new musical with composer/lyricist Jason Ma, commissioned by Village Theatre, as well as several other pieces to get her mind off of the pandemic. For details, please visit www.christinetoyjohnson.com

Actor/producer/activist Pun Bandhu is an award-winning actor who has worked on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and in film and television. He was seen on Broadway in WIT starring Cynthia Nixon and has worked Off-Broadway with Primary Stages, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Public Theater, and Playwrights Horizons. Pun is the recipient of the Colorado Theatre Guild’s Henry Award for Best Supporting Actor and New Dramatists’ Bowden Award for his distinguished collaboration on new works. As an advocate, Pun started the AA Filmlab’s Asian American 72 Hour Film Shoot Out, a shorts competition to encourage Asian American stories which has since been sponsored by companies such as MTV on a national level. He also co-founded the Asian American Performers Action Coalition (AAPAC), an advocacy group for Asian artists that publishes the only publicly available statistics on ethnic representation on stage. Pun also produces theatre and film through his company ZenDog Productions. He lives in NYC and just got a golden retriever puppy, Bodhi (which means “understanding the true nature of things” in Sanskrit). In his spare time, he volunteers at organizations like the 52nd St Project and serves on the advisory board of the Yale School of Drama.

Lighting designer/activist Porsche McGovern’s selected designs include A Single Shard at People’s Light & Theatre Company, We Are Proud to Present… at Playmakers Repertory Company, The Two Gentlemen of Verona at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Falsettos at Planet Connections Theatre Festivity (Outstanding Lighting Design Award), i wrote on ur wall and now i regret it (Spookfish Theatre), Twelfth Night on a Brooklyn rooftop, and Orpheus Descending in a Greenwich Village church. Honors include Oregon Shakespeare Festival Richard L. Hay Fellowship in Lighting Design, an ETC-LDI Sponsorship, and participating in the USITT Young Designers’ Forum, Clambake, and the Prague Quadrennial American Student Exhibition. BA, St. Lawrence University. MFA, California Institute of the Arts.

Director/writer/educator Pirronne Yousefzadeh was recently appointed Associate Artistic Director and Director of Engagement at the Geva Theatre Center. Pirronne is a founding member of Maia Directors, a consulting group for artists and organizations engaging with stories from the Middle East and beyond. Her recent projects include the world premiere of Kid Prince & Pablo by Brian Quijada (The Kennedy Center), A Doll’s House, Part 2 by Lucas Hnath (Actors Theatre of Louisville), Once (Pioneer Theatre Company), the world premiere of Heartland by Gabriel Jason Dean (Geva Theatre Center), Utopia Minnesota by Meg Miroshnik (2016 Sagal Fellowship, Williamstown Theatre Festival), That High Lonesome Sound (Actors Theatre of Louisville; 2015 Humana Festival) and We Are Proud To Present A Presentation… by Jackie Sibblies Drury (InterAct Theatre Company).  She has served on the faculty at The University of Texas at Austin, Rutgers University, and Bard High School Early College, and as a guest director at Yale School of Drama, Juilliard, Fordham University, among others. Pirronne received her M.F.A. in Directing from Columbia University, where she was a Shubert Presidential Fellow and Matthews Fellowship recipient. She studied with Anne Bogart, Robert Woodruff, and Brian Kulick, and directed Big Love by Charles L. Mee, Fool for Love by Sam Shepard, and several devised pieces. She was also among five directors chosen to take part in a course in collaboration at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

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

Tony, Grammy, Emmy Winner and HADESTOWN Star André De Shields, Dominique Morisseau and More Join The Black Theatre Network’s Virtual BLACK THEATRE WEEK

The Black Theatre Network (BTN) has been at the forefront of ensuring the survival of Black Theatre since 1986. Today, the nation’s premier organization of actors, playwrights, designers, technicians, academics, students and theatre lovers announced Black Theatre Week: A Virtual Event.

Dominique Morisseau and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

From July 27 to July 31, 2020, the organization will celebrate established and emerging voices from the Black Theatre community, nationally and internationally with panel discussions, conversations, readings, and performances. The week is free and open to the public, but registration is required for all events. Those interested can register for BTW here.

BTN’s 34th annual conference was scheduled for Detroit, MI July 24 – July 27, 2020. In addition to exploring best practices, the conference was to honor the city’s massive contribution to Black Theatre. The devastating effect of COVID-19 on the entire country forced BTN to postpone the conference and to plan a series of “virtual” events instead.

“We are pleased to continue supporting Black Theatre scholars, performers, designers, technicians, and all practitioners with our virtual convening #blacktheatreweek, BTN President André Harrington said. We will miss our face to face presence planned for Detroit 2020, but we are honored to be able to broaden our exposure and reach across the globe as we celebrate the rich and the beautiful world of Black Theatre, including Black Theatre artists from the city of Detroit.”

The Black Theatre Week schedule is as follows:*

Monday, July 27, 2020
2:00 pm -2:15 pm
Welcome from BTN President André Harrington and Vice President and
Conference Planner Chris Berry.

2:30 pm-3:30 pm
New Federal Theatre 50th Anniversary. Tony, Emmy, Grammy Award winner and Hadestown star André De Shields hosts this celebration! Select artists come together to honor NFT Founder and Artistic Director Woodie King, Jr. on his birthday and the anniversary of NFT.

7:00 pm-8:30 pm
BTN/BTW Zoom Kick-Off Party.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020
2:00 pm-3:30 pm
Developmental Workshop Reading: BrokenHearted, a new play by Michael Dinwiddie. Based on the E. Lynn Harris memoir WHAT BECOMES OF THE BROKENHEARTED, the play explores the sensational life of the bestselling author whose books exposed the “down-low” lifestyle to millions of readers. Proteus Spann directs.

5:00 pm-6:00 pm
BTN General Business Meeting #1 (BTN Members Only)

7:00 pm-8:00 pm
“Black Theatre: Radical Longevity:” A conversation between Detroit-born luminaries Tony-nominated playwright Dominique Morisseau (Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Time of the Temptations) and award-winning scholar, NYT best-selling author, and political analyst Dr. Michael Eric Dyson (“Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America”). Playwright, NYU Associate Professor, and fellow Detroiter Michael Dinwiddie moderates this marquee event.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020
2:00 pm-4:00 pm
Voices From The Black: LGBTQAI+. Curated by Dr. John Shevin Foster, Voices From The Black: LGBTQAI+ is a presentation of monologues and 2-person plays that shed light on areas and subjects which are relevant today but usually hidden from the mainstream. Playwrights and casts to be announced.

7:00 pm- 8:00 pm
Kamilah Forbes, Executive Producer of the Apollo Theater moderates a conversation between Tarik Trotter (aka Black Thought) of the Grammy-winning Hip-Hop band The Roots and Academy and Academy Award winner John Ridley (Twelve Years A Slave) about their upcoming collaboration on the new musical Black No More. With music and lyrics by Trotter and a book by Ridley, the musical is based on the 1931 novel of the same name, a satire on race relations, by George S. Schuyler. The New Group is scheduled to produce the musical in 2021.

Thursday, July 30, 2020
2:00 pm-3:30 pm
BTN highlights its student scholar and design competition winners. The session offers presentations by Jazmine Logan (Randolph S. Edmonds Young Scholars Winner) and Judy Dearing Design Competition awardees Harold Horsley (Costume Design), Antonio Ferron (Scenic Design), and Rachael Blackwell (Lighting Design).

7:00 pm-8:30 pm
BTN partners with the Obie Award-winning Harlem9 for an evening of new exhilarating voices in Black Theatre. Founded in 2010, Harlem9 is a collaborative producing organization, comprised of a group of Black Theatre professionals from various backgrounds. The mission is to produce together, exploring the past, present, and future of Black culture, celebrating its rich and diverse history of storytelling.

Friday, July 31, 2020
2:00 pm-3:30 pm
The Black Theatre Preview! Culturally Black Theatres from across the country provide an exclusive look at how the global pandemic and the racial uprisings have affected their upcoming seasons.

“The Black Theatre Network is so happy to present Black Theatre Week! We have postponed our formal conference convening for Black Theatre Week as a service to the Black Theatre Community and to take a moment to celebrate Black Theatrical Excellence throughout the field, said Chris Berry, BTN Vice-President/Conference Planner. During these unprecedented times, the Black Theatre Network will continue to be a service organization for the Black Theatre. We hope that a broad audience will join us for the diverse programming during our first Black Theatre Week.”

Black Theatre Week: A Virtual Event is sponsored in part by DTE Energy Foundation.

The story of the creation and development of the Black Theatre Network (BTN) can hardly be told with full accuracy by any one individual. BTN is an organization where the labor of many has come together to form the whole, where individual contributions are too numerous to fully recount. We stand on the shoulders of the many selfless artists & academics who have made BTN what it is today.

The seeds of BTN were planted by the African American educators of the National Association of Dramatic and Speech Arts (NADSA).

These educators joined the American Theatre Association (ATA) when it became more receptive to people of color. In 1965, the Afro-Asian Theatre Project was founded under the ATA. Subsequently, the group within the Project interested in Black Theatre formed the African Theatre Project, which ultimately became the Black Theatre Program (BTP). It was 1985, at the ATA meeting in Toronto, Canada, that talk of ATA’s structural problems became a concern for members of the BTP.

In 1986, the inevitable happened: ATA folded. A group of Black Theatre devotees met in New York City at the National Education Theatre Conference (NETC), to bemoan ATA’s demise and to excitedly debate the future of the defunct BTP. Against the backdrop of the lobby bar of the Milford Hotel, these pioneers pondered the feasibility of creating a new Black theatre organization. This new organization would rise like the Phoenix to provide a service to those facing displacement while securing a haven for future artists and scholars.

As strategy sessions moved to New York University, the group faced its first major decision: to follow the safe path by joining forces with the newly created Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), or to tread on what was perceived as uncharted territory and build a separate nationalistic organization. During the 1986 meeting, as the hours passed and the debate raged on, the revolutionaries were determined to strike out on their own, and after much fiery wrangling, the decision was made to form the “Black Theatre Network.” Those who brought this vision to life were: Addell Austin-Anderson, George Bass, Buddy Butler, Don Evans, Kathryn Ervin, Winona Fletcher, Coleman Freeman, Floyd Gaffney, Errol Hill, Woodie King, Jr., Bill Lewis, J.W. Lewis, Vernell Lillie, Barbara Molette, Carlton Molette, Louis Rivers, Freda Scott-Giles, Archie Simpson, Marvin Sims, Lundeana Thomas, Barbara Votja, Rhonnie Washington, Von Washington, Ethel Pitts-Walker, Phillip Walker, and Allen Williams.

A communal position paper was drafted and adopted, officers were elected, and the Black Theatre Network came to light. The first officers were Ethel Pitts-Walker (President), Rhonnie Washington (Vice President), Addell Austin-Anderson (Secretary), William Lewis (Treasurer), Von H. Washington (Newsletter Editor), Marvin Sims (Program Chair/ Conference Planner), and an Advisory Board that included Winona Fletcher, Errol Hill, Vernell Lillie, and Margaret Wilkerson.

For more information about the Black Theatre Network, visit www.blacktheatrenetwork.org.

*Program subject to change.

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

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

André De Shields, Judy Kuhn, Heather Headley, George Takei, Becky Ann Baker, Dylan Baker and Quincy Tyler Bernstine Set for CSC’s CLASSIC CONVERSATIONS This Summer

Classic Stage Company is presenting a new lineup of multiple award-winning participants in the free online version of its signature series Classic Conversations, hosted by John Doyle, featuring eminent actors who are also collaborators of Doyle and CSC.

The new episodes include George Takei (Allegiance, “Star Trek”), who starred in Doyle’s CSC production of Pacific Overtures in 2017 (July 16); Tony, Grammy and Emmy winner André De Shields (Hadestown, The Wiz), who that same year performed in Doyle’s staging of As You Like It at CSC (July 23); Emmy nominee Becky Ann Baker (“Girls,” Good People), co-star, with husband Dylan Baker, of the Doyle-directed Peer Gynt at CSC in 2016 (July 30); OBIE and Lortel Award winner Quincy Tyler Bernstine (Marys Seacole, Ruined), also featured in the 2017 As You Like It; (August 6); and Tony and Grammy winner Heather Headley (Aida, The Lion King) (appearing August 13), who starred in John Doyle’s Tony-winning Broadway revival of The Color Purple in 2016.

Classic Conversations, inaugurated in Winter 2018 with an event featuring Raúl Esparza, has quickly become a treasured part of CSC’s offerings. In response to the COVID-19 shutdown, CSC reimagined Classic Conversations as a digital series with an initial lineup of guests featuring the cast members from Doyle’s highly anticipated upcoming production of Assassins, for which CSC will resume production when it is safe to return to the theater. Participant cast members have included Brandon Uranowitz; Will Swenson; Adam Chanler-Berat; Tavi Gevinson; Eddie Cooper; Ethan Slater; Steven Pasquale; Bianca Horn; Wesley Taylor; Andy Grotelueschen; and Brad Giovanine, Katrina Yaukey, Whit K. Lee, and Rob Morrison. Four-time Tony nominee Judy Kuhn (Fun Home, Fiddler on the Roof, Passion) rounds out the slate of Assassins cast members tomorrow (Thursday, July 2).

Classic Conversations premiere Thursdays at 6pm on YouTube and
are available to view afterwards on Facebook and Instagram IGTV.

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

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

July 1 at 4pm: Theater of War Productions Presents Live Reading of THE BOOK OF JOB Featuring Jeffrey Wright, Frankie Faison, Kimberly Hebert, David Strathairn, David Zayas, and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams

On Wednesday, July 1, Theater of War Productions is presenting THE BOOK OF JOB Project at Exodus at 4pm EST.

The Book of Job Project presents dramatic readings by acclaimed actors of The Book of Job as a catalyst for powerful, guided conversations about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic upon individuals, families, and communities.The Book of Job is an ancient Hebrew poem that timelessly explores how humans behave when faced with disaster, pestilence and injustice.

This special event is a collaboration with Exodus Transitional Community aimed at engaging a socially distanced audience of adults and youth affected by the justice system. This innovative program  is free to the public, to bear witness to the insights of the Exodus Transitional Community.

The stream features performances by Jeffrey Wright, Frankie Faison, Kimberly Hebert, David Strathairn, David Zayas, and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.

Translated by Stephen Mitchell. Directed, adapted, facilitated by Bryan Doerries. Co-facilitated by Dominic Dupont.

Click here to RSVP.

The event Zoom link will be distributed and available to registered attendees. All of Theater of War Productions‘ events follow the same format:

  • The actors will read the play.
  • Four community panelists will kick off the discussion with their gut responses to what resonated with them across time
  • Discussion will be opened to the audience, facilitated by Bryan Doerries. During the discussion, please raise your hand using the button at the bottom center of the screen. If called upon, you will be promoted to speak and you will be visible and heard by the entire audience for the duration of your comments. If you would prefer not to be seen, please disable your video when entering the event.

To experience this event, download Zoom to your laptop or mobile device at https://zoom.us/download.

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

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

July 22: Bay Street Theater and Sag Harbor Center for the Arts to Present 29th Annual Summer Gala, A Starry Night, Hosted by Richard Kind and Featuring André De Shields, Ben Vereen, Raul Esparza, Melissa Errico, Betty Buckley, Josh Young, Hunter Parrish, Trent Saunders, Arianna Rosario and Juan Peron

Bay Street Theater & Sag Harbor Center for the Arts are presenting their 29th Annual Summer Gala, A Starry Night, hosted by Richard Kind, which will be streamed online on baystreet.org and other live stream platforms on Wednesday, July 22, at 8 p.m., with a red carpet preshow beginning at 7:30 p.m. Click here to register.

The broadcast will include a telethon, testimonials from actors and contributors as to the important role of Bay Street, and special performances from many luminary figures of the performing arts. Proceeds from the evening will support Bay Street’s educational and theatrical programs; in addition, ten percent of all proceeds will support the JBJ Soul Kitchen Food Bank in Wainscott.

This year’s gala, titled A Starry Night, will be a celebration of the Broadway musicals of the 1970s, and will pay comedic homage to the celebrity telethon specials popular at the time. “For the past two years, Bay Street has celebrated Broadway by the decade in our summer Gala, and this year we’re thrilled to explore the vibrant and innovative musicals of the 1970s,” says Bay Street Artistic Director Scott Schwartz. “Since this year the event will be broadcast online, we thought: how better to celebrate the 1970s than through a loving and satirical take on the telethons of that era? With amazing performances from leading artists of then and now, songs from beloved musicals by some of the greatest writers of all time, and a playful script full of surprises, Bay Street Theater is excited to share its 29th Anniversary Gala with our local audience and musical theater lovers everywhere!”

To write the script for the show, Bay Street recruited the talents of playwright Scooter Pietsch, whose new comedy, Windfall, was scheduled to be staged for its world premiere during the 2020 Mainstage Season, and is currently planned to be featured for the 2021 season. Filming and editing is by Rich Ficara, a Director of Photography and Editor with more than 25 years of broadcast news experience, with work on NBC’s Nightline, World News Tonight, Good Morning America, and Frontline on PBS. Bay Street’s Executive Director, Tracy Mitchell, serves as executive producer, having been an Emmy-nominated film and television producer for over 25 years before joining Bay Street. Says Mitchell, “We are so excited to create a Gala which everyone can enjoy from coast to coast! And hopefully donations will follow to support artists and keep theater thriving, even if it must be virtually these days.” Paul Anthony, Bay Street’s Sales and Sponsorship Manager, served as associate producer, boom operator, and writer of interstitial sketches.

Under the musical direction of Andy Einhorn, special guests will be performing numbers from some of Broadway’s biggest musicals of the 1970s, including A Chorus Line, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Godspell, Pippin, Sweeney Todd, Pacific Overtures, A Little Night Music, and The Wiz. Academy Award-nominated actor, producer, and director Bob Balaban, known for his work in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Best In Show, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Isle of Dogs, in addition to the 2015 Bay Street production The New Sincerity, will make a special appearance.

Key Performers include:
-Actor, singer, dancer, director, and choreographer André De Shields, whose Broadway credits include Warp!Ain’t Misbehavin’The Full Monty, Play On!, and the title role in The Wiz. In 2019, he originated the role of Hermes in the musical Hadestown on Broadway, winning the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical, the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Drama Desk Award, and the 2020 Grammy Award for Musical Theater Album for Hadestown. The Actors’ Equity Foundation followed suit with the Richard Seff Award, honoring veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year. Mr. De Shields recently garnered an honorary Doctor of Arts Degree from Boston Conservatory at Berklee, the 2019 Project1Voice Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2019 SAGE Joyce Warshow Lifetime Achievement Award, The York Theatre Company’s 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre, and was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. He received the Key to the City of Baltimore from Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young in August, 2019. De Shields can currently be seen on Netflix as the Algebra Tutor in “John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch” and on The CW as Chubby in “Katy Keene.”
-Four-time Tony Award nominee and OBIE recipient Raul Esparza, whose Broadway credits include the 2006 revival of CompanyLeap of FaithArcadiaSpeed-the-PlowChitty Chitty Bang BangCabaret, and The Rocky Horror Show. He recently appeared in Take Me to the World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration.
-Winner of the 1973 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance in Pippin, Ben Vereen. Vereen is a two-time Golden Globe Award nominee for his performances in Funny Lady and Ellis Island, and a three-time Primetime Emmy Award nominee.
-Melissa Errico, Tony Award nominated actress, singer, and author, who appeared at Bay Street Theater as Betty Comden in Make Someone Happy and as Kate in Kiss Me Kate. She has starred on Broadway in productions of My Fair LadyHigh Society and Les Miserables, and recently recorded her latest album, Sondheim Sublime.
-The legendary Betty Buckley, a multi-award-winning actress and singer whose career has spanned theater, film, and television. She is a 2012 Theatre Hall of Fame inductee and the 2017 recipient of the Julie Harris Awards from The Actor’s Fund for Artistic Achievement. She recently completed headlining the National Tour of the Broadway production of Hello, Dolly! produced by Scott Rudin.
-Tony Award nominee and Theatre World Award-winner Josh Young, who originated the role of “John Newton” in the Broadway World Premiere of Amazing Grace. He made his Broadway debut as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar, and recently won the New England Theater’s IRNE Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of Tateh in Ogunquit Playhouse’s production of Ragtime.
Hunter Parrishwho appeared on Broadway in Godspell as Jesus, and whose television and film credits include Weeds, Still Alice, and This Is Us. He will be appearing in the forthcoming Ryan Murphy series Ratched on Netflix, opposite Sarah Paulson.
-Trent Saunders, who most recently played the role of Jesus in ACT of CT’s production of Godspell. He made his West End Debut last summer as Che in the Lawrence Olivier Award-nominated revival of Evita, directed by Jamie Lloyd, and is an original cast member of Disney’s Aladdin.
-Arianna Rosario, who performed the title role of Eva Peron in Bay Street’s 2018 smash hit Evita. Recently she was working on the hotly anticipated production of Kurt Weil’s Love Life, directed by Victoria Clark as part of New York City Center Encores. Broadway credits include CatsOn Your Feet!Cinderella, and West Side Story.
-Juan Peron in Bay Street’s 2018 production of Evita, Omar Lopez-Cepero, who made his debut in the role of Vincenzo in the Off-Broadway production of The Unsinkable Molly Brown. Broadway and Off-Broadway credits include original cast member of On Your Feet! and American Idiot.

In addition to the solo performers, an ensemble cast of special guests will come together to sing a select song as the gala’s closing number. Featured performers include Enhi Agwe, Kaden Amari Anderson, Kyle Barisich, Kelli Barrett, Jill Eikenberry, Dee Hoty, Josh Grisetti, Will Hantz, Jackie Hoffman, Meaghan LaFlam, Neal Mayer, Howard McGillin, Meaghan McInnes, Ethan Metz, Julia Motyka, Dakota Quackenbush, Lindsay Roberts, Steve Rosen, Anna Francesca Schiavoni, Erica Spyres, Bobby Conte Thornton, Rich Topol, Michael Tucker, Teal Wicks, and Cooki Winborn.

The host for the evening will be actor and member of Bay Street Theater’s Board of Trustees, Richard Kind. Known for his roles in “Mad About You” and “Spin City,” and more recently in “Red Oaks” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” Richard’s Broadway credits include The Producers, The Big Knife (for which he received a Tony Award nomination), and The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife. He has performed as a voice actor in the films A Bug’s Life, Cars, and Inside Out, and has acted in such Oscar-nominated films as A Serious Man, Argo, and Bombshell. Bay Street audiences will remember him for his acclaimed performances in the productions of Enter Laughing, Romance, Travesties, and The Lady in Question. He has joined Bay Street for many past galas, where he has served duly as celebrity auctioneer.

Bay Street Theater is a year-round, not-for-profit professional theater and community cultural center, which endeavors to innovate, educate, and entertain a diverse community through the practice of the performing arts. It serves as a social and cultural gathering place, an educational resource, and a home for a community of artists.

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

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

Watch: Broadway for Biden: Songs of Pride hosted by André De Shields and featuring Rory O’Malley, Brandi Chavonne Massey and Beth Malone

On Monday, June 29, 2020 at 7:30pm, LGBTQ+ for Biden is presenting BROADWAY FOR BIDEN Songs of Pride hosted by Tony, Grammy, and Emmy award-winning Broadway star André De Shields (Hadestown, The Wiz, Ain’t Misbehavin, Play On!, The Full Monty) – an evening of showtunes and conversations to celebrate Pride month. Broadway for Biden will feature performances from Rory O’Malley (Hamilton), Brandi Chavonne Massey (The Greatest Showman) and Beth Malone (Fun Home) as well as a conversation on why electing Joe Biden matters now more than ever.

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields is the triple-crown winner of the 2019 awards season, having won the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, and Tony Awards for best featured actor in a musical for his critically acclaimed performance as Hermes in Hadestown. The Actors’ Equity Foundation followed suit with the Richard Seff Award, honoring veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year. Mr. De Shields recently received the 2020 Grammy Award for Musical Theater Album for Hadestown, an honorary Doctor of Arts Degree from Boston Conservatory at Berklee, the 2019 Project1Voice Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2019 SAGE Joyce Warshow Lifetime Achievement Award, The York Theatre Company’s 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre, and was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. He received the Key to the City of Baltimore from Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young in August, 2019. Prior to his Tony Award win, Mr. De Shields was best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway productions: The WizAin’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award), Play On! (Tony Nomination), and The Full Monty (Tony Nomination). In a career spanning fifty-one years, he has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, and educator, receiving in 2018 the 8th Annual Off Broadway Alliance Legend Award, and the 33rd Annual Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award. Among his other accolades are the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award and the 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. De Shields can currently be seen on Netflix as the Algebra Tutor in “John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch” and on The CW as Chubby in “Katy Keene.” De Shields is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and SDC. andredeshields.com

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

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

Eva Noblezada, Ann Harada, George Salazar, Lena Hall, Natalie Douglas, Nathan Lee Graham, Adam Pascal, Beth Malone, Alice Ripley, T. Oliver Reid, Jessica Vosk, Spencer Day, Bright Light Bright Light and More Set for Pride Concert NIGHT OF A THOUSAND JUDYS to Benefit The Ali Forney Center on July 14

The eighth annual “Night of A Thousand Judys” – the Pride concert to benefit The Ali Forney Center written and hosted by Justin Sayre – will be presented as a streaming online event on Tuesday, July 14 at 8:00 PM Eastern.

Performers will include Lena Hall (Tony winner for Hedwig), Natalie Douglas (12x MAC Winner), Eva Noblezada (Hadestown), Nathan Lee Graham (Zoolander, “LA to Vegas”), Adam Pascal (Rent), Beth Malone (Fun Home), Alice Ripley (Next to Normal), George Salazar (Be More Chill), Ann Harada (Avenue Q), T. Oliver Reid (Hadestown), Jessica Vosk (Wicked), Spencer Day (#1 Billboard artist), Bright Light Bright Light (Elton John, Cher), with others to be added. The Ali Forney Center is the nation’s largest agency dedicated to helping LGBTQ homeless youth. Watch the concert and donate to the cause at ThousandJudys.com.

“Night of a Thousand Judys” will honor the iconic Judy Garland with tributes and songs from her legendary career as movie star, recording artist and stage performer. The virtual event is written and hosted by Justin Sayre, featuring Tracy Stark as music director. “Night of a Thousand Judys” is produced by Dan Fortune and Adam J. Rosen, with Dan Fortune serving as executive producer.

“We are in a historical moment,” says Justin. “A moment when people too long unheard, undervalued and underrepresented are demanding justice. We are speaking out for justice, and while our ire and our disgust at the abuses of the police is reaching a fevered pitch, we must remember that the fight for justice is a fight on multiple fronts. We must never forget that in New York, homeless LGBTQ youth are deeply at risk, and many of these brave young people are people of color. We are here to support this community at risk.”

The first seven sold-out annual concerts featured the talents of R&B legends Martha Wash and Sarah Dash; jazz vocalists Madeleine Peyroux, Cyrille Aimée, and Jane Monheit; singer/songwriters Nellie McKay and Erin McKeown; Broadway divas Carolee Carmello, Liz Callaway, and Tonya Pinkins; leading men Howard McGillin, Daniel Reichard, and Telly Leung; downtown stars Justin Vivian Bond, Bridget Everett, and Lady Rizo; nightlife fixtures Karen Mason, Maude Maggart and Karen Akers; and New York personalities Michael Musto, Austin Scarlett, and Frank DeCaro, among many others.

The Ali Forney Center is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive agency dedicated to LGBTQ homeless youths-assisting nearly 1,400 youths per year through a 24-hour Drop-In Center which provides over 65,000 meals annually, medical and mental health services through an on-site clinic, and a scattered site housing program. AFC’s goal is to provide them with the support and services they need to escape the streets and begin to live healthy and independent lives.

BC/EFA Presents Stream of THE NIGHT LARRY KRAMER KISSED ME to Benefit Provincetown Theater; Cast Includes David Drake, Brandon Cordeiro, Robin De Jesús, André De Shields, Claybourne Elder, Rory O’Malley, Anthony Rapp, Wesley Taylor, Chad Ryan, Donald C. Shorter, Jr., Aaron Tone and BD Wong

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS will sponsor a one-night-only streamed presentation of the archival video of the 2013 performance of David Drake’s THE NIGHT Larry Kramer KISSED ME to benefit Provincetown Theater on Sunday, June 28 at 7:00pm ET.

The company of THE NIGHT LARRY KRAMER KISSED ME. Photo Credit: Monica Simoes

Helmed by Tony nominee Robert La Fosse (Dancin’, Jerome Robbins’ Broadway), the one-night-only benefit performance of THE NIGHT Larry Kramer KISSED ME features an ensemble of talented actors including Drake, Brandon Cordeiro (Ribbons), three-time Tony Award nominee Robin De Jesús (The Boys in the Band), Tony Award winner André De Shields (Hadestown), Claybourne Elder (Company), Tony nominee Rory O’Malley (The Book of Mormon), Anthony Rapp (If/Then, Rent), Wesley Taylor (SpongeBob SquarePants), Chad Ryan (Chicago premiere of The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me), Donald C. Shorter, Jr. (La Cage aux Folles national tour), Aaron Tone (BearCity 2) and Tony winner BD Wong (M. Butterfly).

The presentation will be streamed free of charge but all donations to Provincetown Theater are greatly appreciated, since regular theater operations have been cancelled until 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. More information about donating can be found at the Provincetown Theater’s website, www.ProvincetownTheater.org.

For its 20th anniversary in 2013, THE NIGHT Larry Kramer KISSED ME was re-imagined from a one-man show to one featuring an ensemble cast.

Actor, activist and current Artistic Director of Provincetown Theater, David Drake wrote THE NIGHT Larry Kramer KISSED ME in the early 1990s. After joining the activist group ACT UP, Drake began writing autobiographical monologues about the AIDS crisis that eventually became the one-man show about this critical point in American history.

First performed by Drake himself, who won an Obie for his work, the original off-Broadway run at the Perry Street Theatre was produced by Sean Strub and Tom Viola and became one of the longest-running solo shows in New York theatre history. There now have been nearly 100 productions worldwide and it’s been translated into French, Portuguese, Spanish and Greek.

“As Larry Kramer was such a formative figure for me and several generations in the LGBTQ community, it seems absolutely appropriate to stream this virtual event as a salute to his towering legacy at the conclusion of Gay Pride Week on Sunday, June 28th,” said Drake. “Indeed, I believe the activism inherent in the piece also provides a great gatherer of the current manner in which Gay Prides are being celebrated this year – by joining forces with the Black Lives Matter movement in the march for unequivocal equality.”

“David Drake is a consummate artist and a dear friend,” said Tom Viola, Executive Director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. “I have strong memories of joining Sean Strub to present David’s acclaimed solo performance in June, ’92. The play and David’s exhilarating performance galvanized many to re-commit to action at the height of the AIDS epidemic, four long years before the advance of life-saving anti-viral treatments. The expanded 20th Anniversary benefit was a poignant look back at a heartbreaking time and a joyous celebration of activism and survival. I am thrilled that Broadway Cares can once again join David, this time in his creative revival and leadership of Provincetown’s historic theatre. I know Larry would love this latest turn in the road we’ve all walked together for so long.”

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. By drawing upon the talents, resources, and generosity of the American theater community, since 1988 Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has raised more than $300 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is the major supporter of the social service programs at The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative and the Samuel J. Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts. Broadway Cares also awards annual grants to more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., providing lifesaving medication, healthy meals, counseling and emergency assistance.

About the Provincetown Theater: Founded in 1963 in Provincetown, MA, the Birthplace of American Theater, the Provincetown Theater is a year-round not-for-profit performing arts institution, owned and managed by the Provincetown Theater Foundation (PTF). A 501c3, each year from May through December the Provincetown Theater produces a full season of classic and contemporary American plays and musicals. During Cape Cod’s “off-season” (January through April), artistic director David Drake guides an expansive roster of new play development programs, including the Provincetown Playwrights’ Lab, the Provincetown Playwright Residency Program, and the three month-long “Winter Play Dates” new play reading series. In 2018 the PTF inaugurated the Provincetown American Playwright Award (PAPA) to honor a great living writer of the theater. Recipients have included Terrence McNally and Paula Vogel. The 2020 PAPA honoree will be Charles Busch.

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

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

June 26: Atlantic Theater’s Live with Atlantic Creators’ Cut of GUARDS AT THE TAJ Featuring Playwright Rajiv Joseph and actors Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed

Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed in Atlantic Theater Company's world premiere of Rajiv Joseph's Guards at the Taj. Photo by Doug Hamilton
Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed in Atlantic Theater Company’s world premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s Guards at the Taj. Photo by Doug Hamilton

On Friday, June 26, 2020, Atlantic Theater is presenting Live with Atlantic:  Creators’ Cut of Guards at the Taj featuring the playwright behind their award-winning, world premiere production of Guards at the Taj, Rajiv Joseph, in conversation with actors Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed. Click here to register for the 4pm virtual program.

Rajiv Joseph, Arian Moayed and Omar Metwally. Photo by Lia Chang

Atlantic Theater Company’s world premiere of Pulitzer Prize® finalist Rajiv Joseph’s play Guards at the Taj, starring Tony Award® nominees Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed, and directed by Tony Award® nominated actor and director Amy Morton, opened to critical acclaim on June 11, 2015. Guards at the Taj was awarded the 2015 Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award, given annually for an unproduced, full-length play of social relevance by an emerging American playwright.

Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed in Atlantic Theater Company's world premiere of Rajiv Joseph's Guards at the Taj. Photo by Doug Hamilton
Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed in Atlantic Theater Company’s world premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s Guards at the Taj. Photo by Doug Hamilton

In 1648 India, two Imperial Guards watch from their post as the sun rises for the first time on the newly-completed Taj Mahal – an event that shakes their respective worlds. When they are ordered to perform an unthinkable task, the aftermath forces them to question the concept of friendship, beauty and duty, and changes them forever.

Arian Moayed in Atlantic Theater Company's world premiere of Rajiv Joseph's Guards at the Taj. Photo by Doug Hamilton
Arian Moayed in Atlantic Theater Company’s world premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s Guards at the Taj. Photo by Doug Hamilton

Guards at the Taj features scenic design by Timothy R. Mackabee, costume design by Bobby Frederick Tilley II, lighting design by David Weiner, original music and sound design by Rob Milburn & Michael Bodeen, special effects design by Jeremy Chernick and fight direction by J. David Brimmer.

Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed in Atlantic Theater Company's world premiere of Rajiv Joseph's Guards at the Taj. Photo by Doug Hamilton
Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed in Atlantic Theater Company’s world premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s Guards at the Taj. Photo by Doug Hamilton
Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed in Atlantic Theater Company's world premiere of Rajiv Joseph's Guards at the Taj. Photo by Doug Hamilton
Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed in Atlantic Theater Company’s world premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s Guards at the Taj. Photo by Doug Hamilton
Arian Moayed in Atlantic Theater Company's world premiere of Rajiv Joseph's Guards at the Taj. Photo by Doug Hamilton
Arian Moayed in Atlantic Theater Company’s world premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s Guards at the Taj. Photo by Doug Hamilton
Rajiv Joseph. Photo by Lia Chang
Rajiv Joseph. Photo by Lia Chang

Rajiv Joseph’s play BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO was a 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist for Drama and also awarded a grant for Outstanding New American Play by the National Endowment for the Arts. He has twice won the Obie Award for Best New American Play, first in 2016 with GUARDS AT THE TAJ (also a 2016 Lortel Winner for Best Play) and then, in 2018, for DESCRIBE THE NIGHT. Other plays include ARCHDUKE, GRUESOME PLAYGROUND INJURIES, ANIMALS OUT OF PAPER, THE LAKE EFFECT, THE NORTH POOL and MR. WOLF. Mr. Joseph has been awarded artistic grants from the Whiting Foundation, United States Artists and the Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. He is a board member of the Lark Play Development Center in New York City, and a company member of the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago. He served for three years in the Peace Corps in Senegal and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

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