June 29: Daniel J. Watts’ THE JAM: LOVE TERRORISTS Featuring Derrick Baskin, Ephraim Sykes, Tituss Burgess and More Set for Livestream on BETplus’ Instagram

Daniel J. Watts
Photo: c/o Polk and Co

Tina star Daniel J. Watts and WattsWords Productions will present Daniel J. Watts’ The Jam: Love Terrorists, a transformative display of music, dance, spoken word, and storytelling on Monday, June 29th. The show begins at 7:30pm EDT/4:30pm PT and will be streamed live from BETplus’ Instagram handle: @betplus.

An “artivist”, Watts has been known for lending his voice and efforts to unite the Broadway community in times of social uncertainty. After the horrific attack at Pulse Night Club, he galvanized cast members from Hamilton, On Your Feet, and Shuffle Along to a packed house in Webster Hall’s Marlin Room with The Jam: Love Terrorists – A Benefit for Orlando, raising $7500 for the LGBT community in Orlando. The Monday night event will feature a live fundraiser. All proceeds will go to the Ali Forney Center which is dedicated to helping and housing homeless LGBTQAI+ Youth.

Watts’ reprisal of Love Terrorists is the third online installment of Jams since the pandemic, preceded by The Jam: No More Silences (where Watts investigated his own silence while inspiring his audience to speak out against social injustices) and The Jam: The Next Time is Now (inspired by James Badlwin’s The Fire Next Time where Watts expressed the importance of educating oneself).

Love Terrorists is based on a poem I wrote as a call to action to terrorize the world with love”, said Watts. “It’s a challenge for us all to remember the love we’ve received, acknowledge the love we’ve lost, and to use love to overcome the obstacles that lay ahead. Love is a weapon of mass construction.”

On the 29th, Watts will be joined by Grammy and Tony nominees Derrick Baskin (Ain’t Too Proud, Memphis) and Ephraim Sykes (MJ The Musical, Hamilton), Taharqa Patterson (Lights Out On Broadway), Michael Thurber (Thurber Theater, Goddess), Jennifer “Flo” Florentino (On Your Feet, Spielberg’s West Side Story), and Emmy Nominee Tituss Burgess (Respect, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”).

A play-on-words, Watts’ Jam series pays homage to his great-grandmother who, after making jam from scratch, would share with others what she was unable to consume herself. The Jam is Watts’ continuation of that legacy, sharing his creations of performance blended with elements of stand-up comedy and compelling storytelling with his original spoken word, often set to music and/or dance. Watts has appeared in eight Broadway shows including Hamilton, In The Heights and Memphis. Off Broadway he has starred in Suzan-Lori Parks’ Death of the Last Black Man in the Entire World (Signature Theatre) and the world premiere of Whorl Inside A Loop (2nd Stage). TV credits include recurring roles on Amazon’s Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, NBC’s Blindspot and HBO’s Vinyl and The DeuceThe Good Wife (CBS), Blue Bloods (CBS), Odd Mom Out (Bravo), The Night Of (HBO), Boardwalk Empire (HBO), Person of Interest (CBS), Broad City (Comedy Central) and Smash (NBC). He currently appears as Felony in Tracy Morgan’s new comedy series The Last OG on TBS.

Broadway Black’s Antonyo Awards to Celebrate Black Theatre with Streamed Ceremony on Juneteenth

Broadway Black, the multimedia organization highlighting the achievements of Black theatre artists, is presenting the inaugural Antonyo Awards, a celebration of the Black Broadway and Off-Broadway community.

The Antonyos will take place at 7:00 pm EST on June 19, 2020, Juneteenth, and will be shown on Broadway Black’s YouTube and Facebook pages. The streamed ceremony will include a pre-show virtual red carpet at 6:00 pm, original musical numbers, star presenters and performers, and more. Four special “Kinfolk Awards” – the Lorraine Hansberry Award, the Langston Hughes Award, Welcome Award and The Doors of the Theatre are Open Award – will also be presented to members of the Black theatre community as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Antonyo Award nominations were announced on June 9th on Broadway Black’s YouTube and Facebook pages by Bryan Terrell Clark and Kristolyn Lloyd, and the public voted on their favorites through June 12th.

Current presenters and performers include: Audra McDonald, Tituss Burgess, Alex Newell, Jordan E. Cooper, Teyonah Parris, Ephraim Sykes, LaChanze, Derrick Baskin, Nicolette Robinson, Jelani Alladin, Christiani Pitts, James Monroe Iglehart, Amber Iman, Kalen Allen, Nzinga Williams, Jackson Alexander, Cody Renard Richard, Ashton Muñiz, Shereen Pimentel, Kirsten Childs, Aisha Jackson, Antoine L. Smith, Griffin Matthews, Michael McElroy, Jocelyn Bioh, and L Morgan Lee.

THE ANTONYO AWARD NOMINATIONS
Best Featured Actor in a Play Off-Broadway
Leland Fowler – One in Two
Nicco Annan – The Hot Wing King
Crystal Lucas Perry – A Bright Room Called Day
John-Andrew Morrison – Blues for an Alabama Sky
Latoya Edwards – The Rolling Stone
Okwui Okpokwasili – For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf

Nicco Annan, Toussaint Jeanlouis, Korey Jackson, Sheldon Best, and Cecil Blutcher star in Katori Hall's The Hot Wing King, directed by Steve H. Broadnax III, at Signature Theatre.
Nicco Annan, Toussaint Jeanlouis, Korey Jackson, Sheldon Best, and Cecil Blutcher star in Katori Hall’s The Hot Wing King, directed by Steve H. Broadnax III, at Signature Theatre. (© Monique Carboni)

Best Featured Actor in a Play on Broadway
David Alan Grier – A Soldier’s Play
Ato Blankson Wood– Slave Play
Chalia La Tour – Slave Play
Zawe Ashton – Betrayal
Grantham Coleman – The Great Society
Jordan Barbour – The Inheritance

James Cusati-Moyer and Ato Blankson-Wood in Slave Play Matthew Murphy
James Cusati-Moyer and Ato Blankson-Wood in Slave Play. Photo credit: Matthew Murphy

Best Featured Actor in a Musical Off-Broadway
John Andrew Morrison – A Strange Loop
Starr Busby – Octet
Jasmine Cephas Jones – Cyrano
Saycon Sengbloh – The Secret Life of Bees
L Morgan Lee – A Strange Loop
Taylor Iman Jones – Scotland, PA

Cast of Octet. Photo by Joan Marcus

Best Featured Actor in a Musical Broadway
Sahr Ngaujah – Moulin Rouge
Celia Rose Gooding – Jagged Little Pill
Jeanette Bayardelle – Girl From the North Country
Dharon E. Jones – West Side Story

Best Director
Stevie Walker Webb – One In Two
Robert O’Hara – BLKS
Whitney White – Our Dear Dead Drug Lord
Colette Robert – STEW
Raja Feather Kelly – We’re Gonna Die
Lileana Blain-Cruz – Anatomy of A Suicide

The cast of "Slave Play," (on ground l. to r.): Ato Blankson-Wood, James Cusati-Moyer, Sullivan Jones, Annie McNamara, Joaquina Kalukango, Paul Alexander Nolan. (In red boxes l. to r.) Irene Sofia Lucio and Chalia La Tour.
The cast of Slave Play, (on ground l. to r.): Ato Blankson-Wood, James Cusati-Moyer, Sullivan Jones, Annie McNamara, Joaquina Kalukango, Paul Alexander Nolan. (In red boxes l. to r.) Irene Sofia Lucio and Chalia La Tour.(Courtesy of Matthew Murphy)

Best Choreography
Raja Feather Kelly – A Strange Loop
Camille A. Brown – for For Colored Girls Who Have Committed Suicide/when the rainbow is enuf

Edisa Weeks – Novenas For a Lost Hospital
Adesola Osakalumi – Coal Country
Byron Easley – Slave Play
nicHi Douglas – Skinfolk: An American Show

Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop. Playwrights Horizons, New York, 2019. From left to right: James Jackson, Jr., John-Michael Lyles, Jason Veasey, Larry Owens, Antwayn Hopper, John-Andrew Morrison, L Morgan Lee.
From left to right: James Jackson, Jr., John-Michael Lyles, Jason Veasey, Larry Owens, Antwayn Hopper, John-Andrew Morrison, L Morgan Lee in Michael R. Jackson’s A Strange Loop. Photo by Joan Marcus

Best Quarantine Content
Daniel J. Watts – The Jam IG Live
Eddie Marwere – #BroadwayRemixChallenge
Drew Shade – Inside The Mind, a Mental Wellness series
Jordan E. Cooper – Mama Got A Cough
Sis – Living for Sis IG Series
Camille A. Brown – Social Dance for Social Distance

Best Lighting Design
Allen Lee Hughes – Toni Stone
Alan C. Edwards – The Hot Wing King
Stacey Derosier – Novenas For A Lost Hospital
Allen Lee Hughes – A Soldiers Play

Best Scenic Design
Lawrence E. Moten III – Native Son

Lorenzo Jackson, Katherine Renee Turner, Rosalyn Coleman and Galen Ryan Kane in A NATIVE SON. Photo by T. Charles Erickson

Best Sound
Justin Ellington – One in Two
Rucyl Frison – Anatomy of a Suicide
Luqman Brown – The Hot Wing King

Eric Berryman, Jonathan Burke, April Matthis, Daniel J. Bryant, and Ezra Knight inThe Roundabout Theatre Company production of Lydia R. Diamond’s Toni Stone. Photo by Joan Marcus

Best Costumes
Toni Leslie James – For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/when the rainbow is enuf
Dede Ayite – BLKS
Andy Jean for One in Two
Karen Perry- runboyrun/ In Old Age
Sarita P Fellows – Native Son
Ari Fulton – Novenas For a Lost Hospital

Chiké Johnson plays Disciple Ufot, and Patrice Johnson Chevannes plays Abasiama Ufot in runboyrun. (© Joan Marcus)
Chiké Johnson plays Disciple Ufot, and Patrice Johnson Chevannes plays Abasiama Ufot in runboyrun. (© Joan Marcus)

Best Hair & Wig Design
Cookie Jordan – Toni Stone
Nikiya Mathis – STEW
Greg Cooper Spencer – A Soldier’s Play
Nikiya Mathis – For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/when the rainbow is enuf
Cookie Jordan – A Strange Loop

Sasha Allen and cast of <i>for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf</i>
Sasha Allen and cast of for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf Photo credit: Joan Marcus

Lifetime Achievement Award
Chuck Cooper

Best Orchestrations
The Secret of Life Bees
A Strange Loop
Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
We’re Gonna Die
The Wrong Man
Skinfolk: An American Show

Adrienne Warren and Daniel J. Watts in Tina (Photo: Manuel Harlan)
Adrienne Warren and Daniel J. Watts in Tina (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

Best Original Score
The Secret of Life Bees
A Strange Loop
Broadbend, Arkansas
We’re Gonna Die
The Wrong Man

Ciara Renée and Joshua Henry in The Wrong Man at MCC Theater. (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

Best Book
Michael R. Jackson – A Strange Loop
Lynn Nottage – The Secret Life of Bees
Katori Hall – Tina: A Tina Turner Musical
Harrison David Rivers – Broadbend, Arkansas

Best Solo Performance
Donnetta Lavinia Grays – Where We Stand
Michael Benjamin Washington – Fires in the Mirror
Dierdra McDowell – Down to Eartha

Michael Benjamin Washington in <i>Fires in the Mirror</i>. Photo by Joan Marcus
Michael Benjamin Washington in Fires in the Mirror. Photo by Joan Marcus

Best Actor in a Play Off-Broadway
Kara Young – All The Natalie Portmans
Portia – STEW
April Mathis – Toni Stone
Kristolyn Lloyd – Little Women
Ato Blankson Wood – The Rolling Stone
Danielle Brooks – Much Ado About Nothing

Best Actor in a Play on Broadway
Audra McDonald – Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune
LaChanze – A Christmas Carol
Joaquina Kalukango – Slave Play
Blair Underwood – A Soldier’s Play

Michael Shannon and Audra McDonald in Frankie and Johnny. Photo by Deen van Meer

Best Actor in a Musical Off-Broadway
Ciara Renee – The Wrong Man
Larry Owens – A Strange Loop
Janelle McDermoth – We’re Gonna Die
Danyel Fulton – Broadbend, Arkansas
Joshua Henry – The Wrong Man
LaChanze – The Secret Life of Bees

Saycon Sengbloh, Nathaniel Stampley, Eisa Davis, Anastacia McCleskey, and LaChanze in The Secret Life of Bees. Photo: Ahron R. Foster
Saycon Sengbloh, Nathaniel Stampley, Eisa Davis, Anastacia McCleskey, and LaChanze in The Secret Life of Bees. Photo: Ahron R. Foster

Best Actor in a Musical on Broadway
Kimber Elayne Sprawl – Girl From North Country
Adrienne Warren – Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Isaac Cole Powell – West Side Story
Daniel J. Watts – Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Shereen Pimental – West Side Story

Adrienne Warren, company, 'Tina - The Tina Turner Musical' Photo by Manuel Harlan
Adrienne Warren, company, ‘Tina – The Tina Turner Musical’ Photo by Manuel Harlan

Best Revival
For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/when the rainbow is enuf
West Side Story
Native Son
Little Shop of Horrors
Fires in the Mirror
Two Can Play

Best Play
One in Two by Donja R. Love
Toni Stone by Lydia R. Diamond
All The Natalie Portmans by C.A. Johnson
STEW by Zora Howard
BLKS by Aziza Barnes
Paris by Eboni Booth

From left to right: Leland Fowler, Jamyl Dobson, and Edward Mawere star in one in two. Monique Carboni
From left to right: Leland Fowler, Jamyl Dobson, and Edward Mawere star in one in two. Monique Carboni

Best Musical
The Secret Life of Bees
A Strange Loop
Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
The Wrong Man
Girl From North Country

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

Ephraim Sykes Set to Star as Michael Jackson in MJ on Broadway

Ephraim Sykes. Photo by Lia Chang

Tony Award nominee Ephraim Sykes will star as Michael Jackson in the upcoming Broadway World Premiere of MJ the Musical. MJ will begin preview performances on Monday, July 6, 2020, at the Neil Simon Theatre. Opening night is set for Thursday evening, August 13, 2020, at 6:30 p.m.

Currently on Broadway in the smash hit musical Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations, Mr. Sykes was Tony Award-nominated for his thrilling, microphone-flying performance as Motown recording artist David Ruffin. He also received the Chita Rivera Award, a San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award, a Theater Bay Area Award, the Helen Hayes Award, and The Actors’ Equity Clarence Derwent Award. Just yesterday, he received a 2020 Grammy Award nomination as a principal artist on the Original Cast Recording of Ain’t Too Proud.

MJ The Musical will feature a book by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage and a score made up of some of the best-loved, top-selling songs in recording history. Tony Award winner Christopher Wheeldon will direct and choreograph.

Mr. Wheeldon stated, “Ephraim Sykes is a bonafide triple threat, and dynamic rising star on Broadway. I am honored to be working with him on this exciting new production.”

Tickets for MJ the Musical will go on sale on January 15, 2020, at 10 a.m. To sign-up for priority ticket access, go to MJTheMusical.com.

Ephraim Sykes currently stars as David Ruffin in Broadway’s Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations. For this role he earned a Tony nomination, a Chita Rivera Award, the Helen Hayes Award, the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award, Theater Bay Area Award, The Actors’ Equity Clarence Derwent Award, and nominations from the Drama League and Outer Critics Circle. Sykes also starred as Ruffin in the World Premiere of Ain’t Too Proud — The Life And Times of The Temptations at Berkeley Rep.

Sykes was last seen on screen as “Seaweed J. Stubbs” in NBC’s “Hairspray Live!” His Broadway credits include: Hamilton: An American Musical (OBC), Memphis (OBC), Newsies (OBC), Motown (OBC), and The Little Mermaid. Additional TV/Film credits include: “Marvin” on “Vinyl,” “Luke Cage,” “Smash,” “30 Rock,” Leave It On The Floor, Woody Allen’s Crisis in Six Scenes, and Detroit directed by Katheryn Bigelow. A native of St. Petersburg, Florida, Ephraim graduated from the Alvin Ailey/Fordham University BFA program with departmental honors and toured with the Ailey II Company for two years.

 

HADESTOWN, AIN’T TOO PROUD, MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL, OKLAHOMA and THE MUSIC OF HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD Receive Grammy Nominations for ‘Best Musical Theater Album’

Patrick Page, Eva Noblezada, Reeve Carney, Amber Gray and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

The 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards will take place in Los Angeles on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, at the STAPLES Center with Alicea Keys as host and will be broadcast live on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Streamed live on GRAMMY.com, the GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony will be held at the Microsoft Theater at 12:30 p.m. PT.

MUSICAL THEATER

58. Best Musical Theater Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new recordings. Award to the principle vocalist(s) and the album producer(s) of 51% or more playing time of the album. The lyricist(s) and composer(s) of a new score are eligible for an Award if they have written and/or composed a new score which comprises 51% or more playing time of the album.

  • AIN’T TOO PROUD: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE TEMPTATIONS
    Saint Aubyn, Derrick Baskin, James Harkness, Jawan M. Jackson, Jeremy Pope & Ephraim Sykes, principal soloists; Scott M. Riesett, producer (Original Broadway Cast)
  • HADESTOWN
    Reeve Carney, André De Shields, Amber Gray, Eva Noblezada & Patrick Page, principal soloists; Mara Isaacs, David Lai, Anaïs Mitchell & Todd Sickafoose, producers (Anaïs Mitchell, composer & lyricist) (Original Broadway Cast)
  • MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL
    Danny Burstein, Tam Mutu, Sahr Ngaujah, Karen Olivo & Aaron Tveit, principal soloists; Justin Levine, Baz Luhrmann, Matt Stine & Alex Timbers, producers (Original Broadway Cast)
  • THE MUSIC OF HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD – IN FOUR CONTEMPORARY SUITES
    Imogen Heap, producer; Imogen Heap, composer (Imogen Heap)
  • OKLAHOMA!
    Damon Daunno, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Ali Stroker, Mary Testa & Patrick Vaill, principal soloists; Daniel Kluger & Dean Sharenow, producers (Richard Rodgers, composer; Oscar Hammerstein II, lyricist) (2019 Broadway Cast)

Click here for the full list of nominations.

Multimedia: Tony Award Winner André De Shields Receives Actors’ Equity Foundation’s Richard Seff Award

Newly anointed Tony winner André De Shields culminated the 2019 theater award season by receiving the 2019 Richard Seff Award at Equity’s Eastern Regional Board meeting on June 11th at Equity’s office in New York.

2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

The Richard Seff award, administered by the Actors’ Equity Foundation, honors veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year. Mr. De Shields was chosen to receive this year’s award by a panel of judges who were unanimous in their acclaim of his performance as Hermes in Hadestown.  The award consists of a check for $1,000 and a crystal trophy.

2019 Tony Award winner Rachel Chavkin. Photo by Lia Chang

Rachel Chavkin, 2019 Tony winner for Best Director of a Musical, introduced Mr. De Shields. During her remarks, Ms. Chavkin donned a hat imprinted with the phrase, “André De Shields is My Stage Fave.”

2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields and his HADESTOWN family. Photo by Lia Chang

On cue, more than 20 members of the Hadestown company stood wearing the hats which were the brainchild of Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, who plays one of the Fates in Hadestown.

2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields and Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer. Photo by Lia Chang

In keeping with his flair for the dramatic, Mr. De Shields called out to his agent to bring his bag to the podium and pulled out his Tony Award.

2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields and 2019 Tony Award winner Rachel Chavkin. Photo by Lia Chang
2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields with Judith Rice, President, Actors’ Equity Foundation. Photo by Lia Chang
2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields and his HADESTOWN family. Photo by Lia Chang
2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields and his HADESTOWN family. Photo by Lia Chang

In a career spanning 50 years, Mr. De Shields has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, and educator. He has intermittently portrayed Hermes in Hadestown since 2012, including the recent critically acclaimed production at London’s National Theatre. Mr. De Shields took home his first Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical on June 9th at Radio City Music Hall in New York and also received the 2019 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical, a 2019 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical and a 2019 Drama League Award nomination for Distinguished Performance for his role as Hermes.

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In 2018, Mr. De Shields was the recipient of 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. A three-time Tony Award nominee, he is best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway productions: The WizAin’t Misbehavin’  (Emmy Award), Play On!, and The Full Monty. Mr. De Shields is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and SDC.  www.andredeshields.com

Anais Mitchell, Mara Isaacs, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, Kimberly Marable and Afra Hines. Photo by Lia Chang
2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields

The Actors’ Equity Foundation also presented the Richard Seff Award to Marylouise Burke and the Clarence Derwent Award to Sarah Stiles and Ephraim Sykes.

2019 Clarence Derwent Award winners Ephraim Sykes and Sarah Stiles with 2019 Richard Seff Award winner Mary Louise Burke and 2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Actors’ Equity Foundation honorees Ephraim Sykes, Sarah Stiles, Tony winner André De Shields and Marylouise Burke with Tony winners Santino Fontana and Sergio Trujillo. Photo by Lia Chang

Pulitzer Prize winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire introduced Marylouise Burke who was honored for her role as Mom in True West. 

2019 Richard Seff Award winner Marylouise Burke with Playwright David Lindsay-Abaire. Photo by Lia Chang

Equity member Richard Seff, who was in the audience, established this award in 2003. It is considered a lifetime achievement award for an actor who is over the age of 50 and has been an Equity member for 25 years or more. Previous recipients include: Margo Martindale, Jayne Houdyshell, Dana Ivey, Kristine Nielsen, Patrick Page, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Bill Camp, and Michael Potts.

Richard Seff, Amber Gray, Rachel Chavkin and Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer. Photo by Lia Chang
Richard Seff, 2019 Richard Seff Award winner Marylouise Burke, 2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Julie Halston, Richard Seff, 2019 Richard Seff Award winner Marylouise Burke, Playwright David Lindsay-Abaire, 2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Santino Fontana, 2019 Tony winner for Best Leading Actor in a Musical, introduced Sarah Stiles who was honored for her role as Sandy in Tootsie. Sarah was a 2019 Tony nominee, Outer Critics Circle nominee and Drama desk nominee this year as well.

2019 Clarence Derwent Award winner Sarah Stiles and TOOTSIE co-star and Tony winner Santino Fontana. Photo by Lia Chang

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Sergio Trujillo, 2019 Tony winner for Choreography introduced Ephraim Sykes who was honored for his role as David Ruffin in Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations. Ephraim was a 2019 TONY nominee, and Outer Critics Circle nominee this year as well.

2019 Tony winner Sergio Trujillo, 2019 Clarence Derwent Award winner Ephraim Sykes and Judith Rice, President of Actors’ Equity Foundation. Photo by Lia Chang
2019 Clarence Derwent Award winner Ephraim Sykes with his mom. Photo by Lia Chang
2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields, with the Sykes family- Martina Sykes, Ephraim Sykes and his mother. Photo by Lia Chang

Both Sykes and Stiles are recipients of the Clarence Derwent Award which is presented to an actor who has shown the most promise this season. Previous recipients of this award include George C. Scott, Ann Reinking, Morgan Freeman, Dianne Weist, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Santino Fontana who was introducing one of this year’s winners.

2019 Clarence Derwent Award winners Ephraim Sykes and Sarah Stiles. Photo by Lia Chang
2019 Clarence Derwent Award winn Ephraim Sykes, 2019 Tony Winner Santino Fontana, 2019 Clarence Derwent Award winner Sarah Stiles, 2019 Tony winner Sergio Trujillo. Photo by Lia Chang

The judges’ panel includes Joe Dziemianowicz, Daily News; Adam Feldman, Time Out New York; Susan Haskins-Doloff, Theater Talk; Harry Haun, Playbill and David Rosenberg, The Hour Newspapers

2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields, Judith Rice, President, Actors’ Equity Foundation, Reeve Carney, Eva Noblezada and Kimberly Marable. Photo by Lia Chang

The Actors’ Equity Foundation, a philanthropic and humanitarian nonprofit organization, was created in 1962 to aid and assist the members of the acting profession and to promote the theatre arts. It is separate from Actors’ Equity Association and is funded by estate bequests and individual donations.

Broadwayworld.com: Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

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: © 2000-2019 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

2019 Drama League Award Winners: HADESTOWN, THE FERRYMAN, THE WAVERLY GALLERY, KISS, ME KATE, Bryan Cranston, Kelli O’Hara, Taylor Mac and Alex Timbers

André De Shields, Beth Leavel and John Lithgow. Photo by Lia Chang

The 85th Annual Drama League Awards were held at the Marriott Marquis Times Square on Friday, May 17.

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

First awarded in 1922 and formalized in 1935, The Drama League Awards are the oldest theatrical honors in America. They are the only major theater awards chosen by a cross-section of the theatre community – specifically, by the industry professionals, producers, artists, audiences, and critics who are Drama League members nationwide.

Kay Trinidad, Rachel Chavkin, Jordan Roth, a guest, Michael Krass, Anais Mitchell and Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer. Photo by Lia Chang

2019 Drama League awards were presented to Hadestown for Outstanding Production of a Musical, Kiss Me, Kate for Outstanding Revival of a Musical, The Ferryman for Outstanding Production of a Play and The Waverly Gallery for Outstanding Revival of a Play.

Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus stars Julie White and Kristine Nielsen co-hosted the festivities.

Bryan Cranston, who is Tony-nominated for his role as Howard Beale in Network,  took home the Distinguished Performance Award. Cranston received a Drama League nomination in 2014 for his Broadway debut in All the Way, and won the Tony Award for his performance as Lyndon B. Johnson.

Special Recognition Awards were presented to Tony® Award winner Kelli O’Hara (Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater Award),  director Alex Timbers (The Founders Award for Excellence in Directing) and Taylor Mac (Unique Contribution to the Theater Award).

Alex Timbers and the creative team of MOULIN ROUGE! Photo by Lia Chang
AIN’T TOO PROUD: Sergio Trujillo, Derrick Baskin, Dominique Morisseau, Jeremy Pope, Jawan M. Jackson. Photo by Lia Chang
The cast and creative team of OAKLAHOMA. Photo by Lia Chang
BY THE WAY, MEET VERA STARK: Lynn Nottage, Jessica Frances Dukes, Kamilah Forbes. Photo by Lia Chang
Jessica Frances Dukes, Kamilah Forbes. Photo by Lia Chang
The cast and creative team of BE MORE CHILL. Photo by Lia Chang
The 2019 Drama League fellows. Photo by Lia Chang
The 2019 Drama League Awards. Photo by Lia Chang
The 2019 Drama League Awards. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields, Eva Noblezada, Amber Gray, Patrick Page and More Among 14 Tony Nominations for HADESTOWN including Best Musical; Full List of Nominees

HADESTOWN Star André De Shields to receive the 2019 Richard Seff Award from the Actors’ Equity Foundation on June 11 

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

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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