Bronwen Sharp’s Portraits of American Playwrights on View at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts through May 5

Benjamin Scheuer, Mike Folie, Bronwen Sharp, Mac Wellman, Christopher Shinn, Lucas Hnath. Photo by Lia Chang

Bronwen Sharp’s Portraits of American Playwrights are currently on view at New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza (65th St and Columbus Ave) in New York.

Playwrights who are featured in the series include Lynn Nottage, Suzan-Lori Parks, Lucas Hnath, Mac Wellman, Mike Folie, Benjamin Scheuer, Christopher Shinn, John Logan, Sarah Ruhl, Austin Pendleton, Sheila Callaghan, Anne Washburn, Amy Herzog, David Ives, Lisa Kron, Colman Domingo, and Gregory S. Moss.

Bronwen Sharp. Photo by Lia Chang

Bronwen Sharp, an award-winning portrait photographer who has spent the last 10 years photographing theatre in London’s West End, was celebrated at the opening reception for her exhibition, Portraits of American Playwrights, at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center on April 11, 2018. Ms. Sharp’s subjects – playwrights Lucas Hnath, Mac Wellman, Mike Folie, Benjamin Scheuer and Christopher Shinn, were in attendance.

Benjamin Scheuer, Mike Folie, Bronwen Sharp, Mac Wellman, Christopher Shinn, Lucas Hnath. Photo by Lia Chang
Benjamin Scheuer, Mike Folie, Bronwen Sharp, Mac Wellman, Christopher Shinn, Lucas Hnath. Photo by Lia Chang

Ms. Sharp has a specific interest in and passion for photographing playwrights. Her recent exhibitions include Playwrights in Focus at the Southwark Playhouse, Generate in Toronto Canada’s Theatre Centre, and Meet the Writers, which is currently on display at the Bush Theatre in London. Her portraits have been featured in both the Guardian and The Stage.

Doug Reside, Bronwen Sharp, Curator, Billy Rose Theatre Division, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center and Lucas Hnath. Photo by Lia Chang
Doug Reside, Bronwen Sharp, Curator, Billy Rose Theatre Division, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center and Lucas Hnath. Photo by Lia Chang

Bronwen Sharp’s American Playwrights Series celebrates playwriting and documents American theatre history in the making. “Writers are interesting to photograph, very different from actors,” Sharp writes.  “I really enjoy the journey of reading their plays, then meeting and spending time with them. I hope that these new portraits reveal a bit more about the writers and bring playwrights into the spotlight.”

Christopher Shinn, Bronwen Sharp. Photo by Lia Chang

These portraits were taken in the living rooms, hotels, rehearsal studios, and writing rooms of these playwrights.

Bronwen Sharp's Portraits of American Playwrights
Bronwen Sharp’s Portraits of American Playwrights
Bronwen Sharp's Portraits of American Playwrights
Bronwen Sharp’s Portraits of American Playwrights
Bronwen Sharp's Portraits of American Playwrights
Bronwen Sharp’s Portraits of American Playwrights
Bronwen Sharp's Portraits of American Playwrights
Bronwen Sharp’s Portraits of American Playwrights

Click here for more information.

Lia Chang. Photo by Lori Tan Chinn
Lia Chang. Photo by Lori Tan Chinn

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek.  She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com

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Primary Stages Presents Talkback with Colman Domingo at Sharon Washington’s FEEDING THE DRAGON on April 15

Colman Domingo. Photo by Lia Chang

Primary Stages (Andrew Leynse, Artistic Director; Shane D. Hudson, Executive Director; Casey Childs, Founder) is presenting a special talkback for FEEDING THE DRAGON with guest Colman Domingo following the performance on Sunday, April 15, 2018.

Sharon Washington. Photo by Lia Chang
Sharon Washington. Photo by Lia Chang

FEEDING THE DRAGON is written and performed by Sharon Washington (While I Yet Live), directed by Maria Mileaf (A Body of Water), and presented in a co-production with Hartford Stage. FEEDING THE DRAGON, began performances on March 21, 2018 at the Cherry Lane Theatre, opened on Tuesday, April 3, and runs through April 27, 2018.

Colman Domingo. Photo by Lia Chang
Colman Domingo. Photo by Lia Chang

Colman Domingo is an Olivier, Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League Award, NAACP Award nominated, OBIE and Lucille Lortel Award winning actor, playwright and director. He currently stars on AMC’s “Fear The Walking Dead” as Victor Strand. He stars in Barry Jenkins new film If Beale Street Could Talk, Sam Levinson’s Assassination Nation and the Netflix recent hit First Match. He is currently represented on Broadway as the co-book writer of the new musical SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical.

Award-winning actress Sharon Washington, beloved by audiences for her performances in Primary Stages’ productions of While I Yet Live and String of Pearls, as well as The Scottsboro Boys on Broadway, returns to Primary Stages to share a uniquely personal story with the New York premiere of FEEDING THE DRAGON. As both playwright and star of this autobiographical solo piece, Sharon revisits her time growing up in an apartment on the top floor inside the St. Agnes Branch of the New York Public Library, where her father served as the building’s custodian. Shrouded in family mystery, Sharon’s story boldly examines how both the power of forgiveness and her lifelong love for the written word have helped her battle dragons of all forms.

FEEDING THE DRAGON features scenic design by Tony Ferrieri, costume design by Toni-Leslie James, lighting design by Ann Wrightson, and sound design by Lindsay Jones.

The performance schedule for FEEDING THE DRAGON is as follows: Tuesday-Saturday at 8pm; Sunday at 3pm. Exceptions: there will be no performances on Tuesday, April 17. There will be an additional performance on Wednesday, April 25 at 2pm.

Single tickets for FEEDING THE DRAGON are priced starting at $70. All tickets are available at PrimaryStages.org or by calling OvationTix at 212-352-3101. Group tickets are available for $45 per ticket ($35 for student groups) by contacting 212-840-9705.

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

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

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

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

Jason Dirden Discusses ‘Greenleaf’ and the Family Business

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[See Full List of Nominations Below]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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