Jerry DeVore, Clarke Thorell, Marva Hicks and Joe Spinelli. Photo by Lia Chang

Broadway Inspirational Voices’ Marva Hicks & Clarke Thorell – Jazz: A High Standard at The Sheen Center

Music, Photography, Theater
Brian Whitted, Jerry DeVore, Marva Hicks and Joe Spinelli. Photo by Lia Chang

Brian Whitted, Jerry DeVore, Marva Hicks and Joe Spinelli. Photo by Lia Chang

The Sheen Center presented Broadway Inspirational Voices members Marva Hicks & Clarke Thorell – Jazz: A High Standard in concert on January 23, 2017. The pair performed in the first of a series of concerts celebrating an array of musical genres and highlighting the talents of individual members, curated by Broadway Inspirational Voices’ Michael McElroy. The concerts are curated and hosted by Michael McElroy, and will culminate in a live premier presentation of their newest YouTube music series “Broadway Our Way.”

Michael McElroy. Photo by Lia Chang

Michael McElroy. Photo by Lia Chang

With musical director Brian Whitted on piano, Jerry DeVore on bass and Joe Spinelli on drums.

Jerry DeVore, Clarke Thorell, Marva Hicks and Joe Spinelli. Photo by Lia Chang

Jerry DeVore, Clarke Thorell, Marva Hicks and Joe Spinelli. Photo by Lia Chang

Set List
I Got A Feelin I’m Fallin’
Marva Hicks and Clarke Thorell
(Arrangement courtesy of Jeffrey Klitz)

Jerry DeVore, Marva Hicks and Joe Spinelli. Photo by Lia Chang

Jerry DeVore, Marva Hicks and Joe Spinelli. Photo by Lia Chang

From This Moment On
Marva Hicks

Clarke Thorell. Photo by Lia Chang

Clarke Thorell. Photo by Lia Chang

Blusette
Clarke Thorell

Brian Whitted, Jerry DeVore, Marva Hicks and Joe Spinelli. Photo by Lia Chang

Brian Whitted, Jerry DeVore, Marva Hicks and Joe Spinelli. Photo by Lia Chang

The Very Thought of You
Marva Hicks

Clarke Thorell and Jerry DeVore. Photo by Lia Chang

Clarke Thorell and Jerry DeVore. Photo by Lia Chang

Cloudburst
Clarke Thorell

Just One of Those Things
Marva Hicks

Brian Whitted, Jerry DeVore, Joe Spinelli and Clarke Thorell. Photo by Lia Chang

Brian Whitted, Jerry DeVore, Joe Spinelli and Clarke Thorell. Photo by Lia Chang

Dindi
Clarke Thorell

Day In Day Out
Marva Hicks

Brian Whitted, Marva Hicks, Jerry DeVore, Clarke Thorell and Joe Spinelli. Photo by Lia Chang

Brian Whitted, Marva Hicks, Jerry DeVore, Clarke Thorell and Joe Spinelli. Photo by Lia Chang

Centerpiece
Marva Hicks, Clarke Thorell, Brian Whitted

Brian Whitted and Clarke Thorell. Photo by Lia Chang

Brian Whitted and Clarke Thorell. Photo by Lia Chang

De-Lovely
Clarke Thorell

Clarke Thorell. Photo by Lia Chang

Clarke Thorell. Photo by Lia Chang

Here’s That Rainy Day
Clarke Thorell

Marva Hicks. Photo by Lia Chang

Marva Hicks. Photo by Lia Chang

Sentimental Mood
Marva Hicks

Marva Hicks. Photo by Lia Chang

Marva Hicks. Photo by Lia Chang

Our Love Is Here to Stay
Marva Hicks

Marva Hicks, Jerry DeVore, Clarke Thorell and Joe Spinelli. Photo by Lia Chang

Marva Hicks, Jerry DeVore, Clarke Thorell and Joe Spinelli. Photo by Lia Chang

It Don’t Mean A Thing…
Marva Hicks and Clarke Thorell

Brian Whitted, Marva Hicks, Jerry DeVore, Clarke Thorell and Joe Spinelli. Photo by Lia Chang

Brian Whitted, Marva Hicks, Jerry DeVore, Clarke Thorell and Joe Spinelli. Photo by Lia Chang

Marva Hicks has appeared on Broadway in The Lion KingMotown the Musical, Lena Horne: The Lady and her Music and Caroline, or ChangeOff-Broadway: Little Shop of Horrors (City Center Encores! Off-Center), Cabin in the Sky (City Center Encores), Thunder Knocking on the Door (Minetta Lane) Caroline or Change (The Public) The First Breeze of Summer (The Signature Theatre). Regional: Arena Stage in Thunder Knocking on the Door (Helen Hayes Award), Cuttin Up, The Women of Brewster Place, co-produced with the Alliance Theatre (Suzi Award), Crowns, and Sophisticated Ladies. Bess (Austin Circle of Theatres B. Iden Payne Award) in the Zach Scott Theatre’s Jazz/Blues production of Porgy and Bess. TV: “Search Party,” “Dare Devil,” “House of Cards,” “One Life to Live,” “Mad About You,” “Star Trek: Voyager”. FILM: Labor Day, Assunder, Virtuosity, Preaching to the Choir. Marva has recorded on Polygram Records. TOURS: Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson.  She is currently touring in the symphony pops concert, Louis and Ella And All That Jazz. Currently playing the role of “Kruger” in The Front Page, Clarke Thorell made his Broadway debut in The Who’s Tommy. He originated the roles of “Corny Collins” in Hairspray, “Jim Farrell” in Titanic, and “Rooster” in the Broadway revival of ANNIE. As a vocalist, he has performed with Sting, Dave Brubeck, Liza Minnelli, ABBA, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Red Clay Ramblers, Pete Townshend, and is a proud member of Michael McElroy’s Broadway Inspirational Voices.

Upcoming performances
Monday, January 30 @ 7:30pm
Lisa Lynne Mathis and Chris Dilley – Inspirational
Monday, May 1 @ 7:30pm
Crystal Monee Hall and Marcus Paul James – Gospel
Monday, May 8 @ 7:30pm
Celisse Henderson and Eliseo Roman – Folk
Monday, May 15 @ 7:30pm
Michael McElroy and Capathia Jenkins – Broadway
Monday, May 22 @ 7:30pm
Broadway Our Way – Ensemble presentation of Broadway Inspirational Voices’s newest CD

Click here for tickets.

Broadway Inspirational Voices members with Clarke Thorell, Marva Hicks and Michael McElroy. Photo by Lia Chang

Broadway Inspirational Voices members with Clarke Thorell, Marva Hicks and Michael McElroy. Photo by Lia Chang

Broadway Inspirational Voices (BIV) is a diverse choir of Broadway artists united to change lives through the power of music and service.

The company was founded by Michael McElroy in 1994 as the Broadway Gospel Choir and in 1999 reincarnated to its current name. In 2010, BIV became a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission consists of providing HOPE to INSPIRE and TRANSFORM youth in need through music and the arts.

In addition to numerous concerts, the Grammy nominated choir has performed with award winning artists such as Mariah Carey, the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, STING, Elton John, Vanessa Williams, Heather Headley, Billy Porter. BIV has been featured on The David Letterman ShowThe Rosie O’Donnell Christmas Special, multiple Tony Awards Telecast, Smash and America’s Got Talent.

Broadway Inspirational Voices’ first album Great Joy: A Gospel Christmas was released on Sh-K-Boom Records and received a Grammy Award nomination. The choir just released their second holiday Christmas CD, Great Joy II: Around the World.  broadwayinspirationalvoices.org

Michael McElroy, Clarke Thorell, Brian Whitted, Marva Hicks, Joe Spinelli, Jerry DeVore and Andrew Levine. Photo by Lia Chang

Michael McElroy, Clarke Thorell, Brian Whitted, Marva Hicks, Joe Spinelli, Jerry DeVore and Andrew Levine. Photo by Lia Chang

Named after the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, best known for his popular radio and TV ministry in the 1950s and 60s, The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture is a project of the Archdiocese of New York with the mission of showcasing works in the performing and visual arts, lectures and symposia that highlight the true, the good, and the beautiful as they have been expressed throughout the ages. The state-of-the-art complex has a 274-seat proscenium theater equipped with five-camera high-definition livestream capability and a multi-track recording studio with thirty-two onstage inputs; an 80-seat black box theater; four rehearsal studios; and an art gallery. This facility is the newest arts center in Manhattan in 35 years and a great addition to the growing artistic community in the East Village/NoHo. www.sheencenter.org

Click here for the Lia Chang archives and here for the Lia Chang Photography archives.

 

André Holland, John Douglas Thompson, Ray Anthony Thomas, Carra Patterson, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Anthony Chisholm, Michael Potts, Harvy Blanks, Keith Randolph Smith and Brandon J. Dirden. Photo by Lia Chang

Inside the Opening Night Party with JITNEY Director Ruben Santiago-Hudson and Company

Events, Photography, Theater
Ray Anthony Thomas, Keith Randolph Smith, Anthony Chisholm, John Douglas Thompson, Brandon J. Dirden, Carra Patterson, André Holland, Michael Potts, Harvy Blanks. Photo by Lia Chang

Ray Anthony Thomas, Keith Randolph Smith, Anthony Chisholm, John Douglas Thompson, Brandon J. Dirden, Carra Patterson, André Holland, Michael Potts, Harvy Blanks. Photo by Lia Chang

Manhattan Theatre Club’s Broadway debut of August Wilson’s Jitney, directed by Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson (The Piano LessonSeven GuitarsGem of the Ocean), opened to rave reviews at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street) in New York on January 19, 2017. Check out my full coverage of the festivities on the Red Carpet, at curtain call, backstage, the press room and the after party at The Copacabana.

Anthony Chisholm, John Douglas Thompson, Brandon J. Dirden, Carra Patterson, Andre Holland, Michael Potts, Harvy Blanks. Photo by Lia Chang

Anthony Chisholm, John Douglas Thompson, Brandon J. Dirden, Carra Patterson, Andre Holland, Michael Potts, Harvy Blanks. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast features Harvy Blanks as “Shealy;” Tony Award nominee Anthony Chisholm as “Fielding,” Obie and Theatre World Award winner Brandon Dirden as “Booster;” André Holland as “Youngblood;” Carra Patterson as “Rena,”  Michael Potts as “Turnbo,” Ray Anthony Thomas as “Philmore;” Keith Randolph Smith as “Doub” and Drama Desk Award winner John Douglas Thompson as “Becker.”

Brandon J. Dirden, Carra Patterson, André Holland. Photo by Lia Chang

Brandon J. Dirden, Carra Patterson, André Holland. Photo by Lia Chang

Only one of the ten plays in two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s masterful The American Century Cycle has never been seen on Broadway – until now. Set in the early 1970s, this richly textured piece follows a group of men trying to eke out a living by driving unlicensed cabs, or Jitneys. When the city threatens to board up the business and the boss’ son returns from prison, tempers flare, potent secrets are revealed and the fragile threads binding these people together may come undone at last. Jitney is being produced in association with John Legend and his Get Lifted partner Mike Jackson,  Eric Falkenstein, Ron Simons and Ken Wirth.

André Holland, John Douglas Thompson, Ray Anthony Thomas, Carra Patterson, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Anthony Chisholm, Michael Potts, Harvy Blanks, Keith Randolph Smith and Brandon J. Dirden. Photo by Lia Chang

André Holland, John Douglas Thompson, Ray Anthony Thomas, Carra Patterson, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Anthony Chisholm, Michael Potts, Harvy Blanks, Keith Randolph Smith and Brandon J. Dirden. Photo by Lia Chang

The Red Carpet

Post-show and Backstage

Press Room at The Copacabana

Afterparty at The Copacabana

Click here for tickets and more information. Use code AUGUST for $47-$89 tickets for January 24th- March 12th. In person at the box office, call 212-947-8844 or visit telechargeoffers.com.

Barry Grove, André Holland, John Douglas Thompson, Ray Anthony Thomas, Carra Patterson, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Constanza Romero, Anthony Chisholm, Michael Potts, Harvy Blanks, Keith Randolph Smith, Lynne Meadow and Brandon J. Dirden. Photo by Lia Chang

Barry Grove, André Holland, John Douglas Thompson, Ray Anthony Thomas, Carra Patterson, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Constanza Romero, Anthony Chisholm, Michael Potts, Harvy Blanks, Keith Randolph Smith, Lynne Meadow and Brandon J. Dirden. Photo by Lia Chang

For more information on MTC, please visit www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com.

Getting to Know the Cast of August Wilson’s JITNEY at Manhattan Theatre Club; Previews Begin Dec. 28

Inside Rehearsals of MTC’s Broadway Debut of August Wilson’s JITNEY; Previews Begin December 28

Meet the Cast of MTC’s Broadway Debut of August Wilson’s JITNEY, Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Featuring Harvy Blanks, Anthony Chisholm, Brandon Dirden, André Holland, Carra Patterson, Michael Potts, Keith Randolph Smith, Ray Anthony Thomas, John Douglas Thompson 

André De Shields, Billy Eugene Jones, George Faison, Constanza Romero, Lori Tan Chinn and More Celebrate August Wilson’s SEVEN GUITARS Opening Night at Yale Rep 

MAURICE HINES TAPPIN’ THRU LIFE, Dominique Morriseau’s SKELETON CREW, Marjorie Johnson, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Tina Fabrique, Joe Morton and Debra Ann Byrd Among 2016 AUDELCO Winners 

Photos: All-Access Pass to August Wilson’s Two Trains Running with John Earl Jelks, Harvy Blanks,Chuck Cooper, Anthony Chisholm, Owiso Odera, Roslyn Ruff and James A. Williams 

Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits

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

Ray Anthony Thomas, Keith Randolph Smith, Michael Potts, Brandon Dirden, John Douglas Thompson, Carra Patterson, André Holland, Harvy Blanks, Anthony Chisholm. Photo by Lia Chang

MTC’s Broadway Debut of August Wilson’s JITNEY Begins Previews at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre Tonight

Photography, Theater

2016-12-26-jitney_photo-by-lia-chang-7Manhattan Theatre Club’s Broadway debut of August Wilson’s Jitney, directed by Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson (The Piano LessonSeven GuitarsGem of the Ocean), begins previews Wednesday, December 28th ahead of a Thursday, January 19th opening night at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street).

Ray Anthony Thomas, Keith Randolph Smith, Michael Potts, Brandon Dirden, John Douglas Thompson, Carra Patterson, André Holland, Anthony Chisholm, Harvy Blanks and Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Photo by Lia Chang

Ray Anthony Thomas, Keith Randolph Smith, Michael Potts, Brandon Dirden, John Douglas Thompson, Carra Patterson, André Holland, Anthony Chisholm, Harvy Blanks and Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast features Harvy Blanks (Jitney in WNYC’s Greene Space American Century Cycle recording, Two Trains Running at Two River Theater Company) as “Shealy;” Tony Award nominee Anthony Chisholm (Radio GolfGem of the OceanTwo Trains RunningJitney at Second Stage) as “Fielding,” Obie and Theatre World Award winner Brandon Dirden (The Piano LessonClybourne Park, “The Americans”) as “Booster;” André Holland (Joe Turner’s Come and GoneMoonlight,”American Horror Story”) as “Youngblood;” Carra Patterson (Significant OtherWitStraight Outta Compton) as “Rena,”  Michael Potts (The Book of MormonAubergine) as “Turnbo,” Ray Anthony Thomas (Jitney and Fences in WNYC’s Greene Space American Century Cycle recordings, Between Riverside and Crazy) as “Philmore;” Keith Randolph Smith (FencesKing Hedley II), as “Doub” and Drama Desk Award winner John Douglas Thompson (Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at the Mark Taper Forum, Satchmo at the Waldorf) as “Becker.”

2016-12-26-jitney_photo-by-lia-chang-9Only one of the ten plays in two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s masterful The American Century Cycle has never been seen on Broadway – until now. Set in the early 1970s, this richly textured piece follows a group of men trying to eke out a living by driving unlicensed cabs, or Jitneys. When the city threatens to board up the business and the boss’ son returns from prison, tempers flare, potent secrets are revealed and the fragile threads binding these people together may come undone at last. MTC has a long history of co-producing works by this legendary playwright (King Hedley IISeven Guitars and Piano Lesson) and is proud to produce this Broadway debut.

The creative team for Jitney includes David Gallo (scenic design); Toni-Leslie James (costume design); Jane Cox (lighting design), Darron L West (sound design); Bill Sims, Jr. (original music); and Thomas Schall (fight director).

2016-12-26-jitney_photo-by-lia-chang-10Click here for tickets and more information. Use code AUGUST for $47-$77 tickets through January 22nd and $47-$89 tickets for January 24th- March 12th. In person at the box office, call 212-947-8844 or visit telechargeoffers.com.

For more information on MTC, please visit www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com.

Getting to Know the Cast of August Wilson’s JITNEY at Manhattan Theatre Club; Previews Begin Dec. 28

Inside Rehearsals of MTC’s Broadway Debut of August Wilson’s JITNEY; Previews Begin December 28

Meet the Cast of MTC’s Broadway Debut of August Wilson’s JITNEY, Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Featuring Harvy Blanks, Anthony Chisholm, Brandon Dirden, André Holland, Carra Patterson, Michael Potts, Keith Randolph Smith, Ray Anthony Thomas, John Douglas Thompson 

André De Shields, Billy Eugene Jones, George Faison, Constanza Romero, Lori Tan Chinn and More Celebrate August Wilson’s SEVEN GUITARS Opening Night at Yale Rep 

MAURICE HINES TAPPIN’ THRU LIFE, Dominique Morriseau’s SKELETON CREW, Marjorie Johnson, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Tina Fabrique, Joe Morton and Debra Ann Byrd Among 2016 AUDELCO Winners 

Photos: All-Access Pass to August Wilson’s Two Trains Running with John Earl Jelks, Harvy Blanks,Chuck Cooper, Anthony Chisholm, Owiso Odera, Roslyn Ruff and James A. Williams 

Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits

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

Ruben Santiago-Hudson, André Holland, Brandon Dirden, Ray Anthony Thomas and John Douglas Thompson. Photo by Lia Chang

Getting to Know the Cast of August Wilson’s JITNEY at Manhattan Theatre Club; Previews Begin Dec. 28

Photography, Theater
Anthony Chisholm, Carra Patterson, Katti Gray, Marcia Pendleton, Harvy Blanks, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Ray Anthony Thomas, John Douglas Thompson and André Holland. Photo by Lia Chang

Anthony Chisholm, Carra Patterson, Katti Gray, Marcia Pendleton, Harvy Blanks, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Ray Anthony Thomas, John Douglas Thompson and André Holland. Photo by Lia Chang

Manhattan Theatre Club’s Broadway debut of August Wilson’s Jitney, directed by Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson (The Piano LessonSeven GuitarsGem of the Ocean), begins previews Wednesday, December 28th ahead of a Thursday, January 19th opening night at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street).

Ruben Santiago-Hudson, André Holland, Brandon Dirden, Ray Anthony Thomas and John Douglas Thompson. Photo by Lia Chang

Ruben Santiago-Hudson, André Holland, Brandon Dirden, Ray Anthony Thomas and John Douglas Thompson. Photo by Lia Chang

This week, I was treated to a behind the scenes look of bringing Jitney to Broadway in the MTC Rehearsal Studios in New York City.

Award-winning journalist Katti Gray moderated a panel featuring Jitney director Ruben Santiago-Hudson, and cast members Harvy Blanks (Jitney in WNYC’s Greene Space American Century Cycle recording, Two Trains Running at Two River Theater Company) as “Shealy;” Tony Award nominee Anthony Chisholm (Radio GolfGem of the OceanTwo Trains RunningJitney at Second Stage) as “Fielding,” Obie and Theatre World Award winner Brandon Dirden (The Piano LessonClybourne Park, “The Americans”) as “Booster;” André Holland (Joe Turner’s Come and GoneMoonlight,”American Horror Story”) as “Youngblood;” Carra Patterson (Significant OtherWitStraight Outta Compton) as “Rena,” Ray Anthony Thomas (Jitney and Fences in WNYC’s Greene Space American Century Cycle recordings, Between Riverside and Crazy) as “Philmore;” and Drama Desk Award winner John Douglas Thompson (Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at the Mark Taper Forum, Satchmo at the Waldorf) as “Becker.”

Michael Potts (The Book of MormonAubergine) who plays “Turnbo”, and Keith Randolph Smith (FencesKing Hedley II), who plays “Doub”, were not available for the evening.

Only one of the ten plays in two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s masterful The American Century Cycle has never been seen on Broadway – until now. Set in the early 1970s, this richly textured piece follows a group of men trying to eke out a living by driving unlicensed cabs, or Jitneys. When the city threatens to board up the business and the boss’ son returns from prison, tempers flare, potent secrets are revealed and the fragile threads binding these people together may come undone at last. MTC has a long history of co-producing works by this legendary playwright (King Hedley IISeven Guitars and Piano Lesson) and is proud to produce this Broadway debut.

Below is an edited transcription of the night.

Harvy Blanks, Anthony Chisholm, Katti Gray, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, André Holland. Photo by Lia Chang

Harvy Blanks, Anthony Chisholm, Katti Gray, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, André Holland. Photo by Lia Chang

Katti Gray: At what point and why did you decide you had to do this work?
RSH: First of all, I decided that I had to be with August and Lloyd when they were doing what they were doing, when I first saw Ma Rainey. This particular work became a battle cry when August was ill and I wanted to complete the cycle as far as all the plays being on Broadway. That was my motivation, so August could have something that no other playwright in American history has done – write ten plays and have them all go to Broadway. I always felt why not us? Why not black folks? Why not an African American playwright? Why doesn’t he have that distinct honor? So I tried to do everything possible that I could do to make it happen. It’s never been my goal to just be a Broadway director. I just wanted to be a director to tell our stories. I’m only one and I can only tell so many stories. I hitched my wagon to August at this time and now this is complete. I can kind of relax a little bit.

Katti Gray and Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Photo by Lia Chang

Katti Gray and Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Photo by Lia Chang

KG: When did you start this?
RSH: 11 years. 11 years is when August passed, and it was two weeks before he passed that I told him that Jitney would be my goal. He wanted me to do How I Learned What I Learned. That’s why he was calling me. In that conversation, I said I would love to complete Jitney as the final play on Broadway of all your ten. He said, “Do it, do it. You can do it. But do How I Learned first and let everybody see it can be done without me. Then others actors can do it. But do Jitney also.” I promised him and then two weeks he had gone. Then I got on this quest. I found out it was tougher for me. I thought if I told everybody I wanted to do this and people believed in me, they would get behind me. But it backfired. I told everybody I wanted to do it and everybody blocked me. That’s just the reality of it. The best thing that I did was shut up. So I shut up for one minute and I left it up to the powers that be. And it came to fruition.

John Douglas Thompson. Photo by Lia Chang

John Douglas Thompson as Becker. Photo by Lia Chang

KG:So this question is for the cast. Introduce yourself and the character you play. What is that character’s job and function in this work? What is the challenge of meeting that?
John Douglas Thompson: I play the character of Becker. Without giving too much away, I run or own the jitney station. That’s my place. All the people that are there work with me. I’m a father, and I have a son who has been in prison for 20 years. I haven’t ventured to go visit him, spoken to him, seen him. During the course of the play, we meet, father and son. That’s the challenge. Encountering that mountain.

There’s also urban renewal that’s happening, which is also threatening the livelihood of the jitney station, and those people that work there. It’s also something that I’m encountering.

André Holland as Youngblood and Ray Anthony Thomas as Philmore. Photo by Lia Chang

André Holland as Youngblood and Ray Anthony Thomas as Philmore. Photo by Lia Chang

Ray Anthony Thomas: I play Philmore. I’m one of those cats in the community, the one you actually see that comes to use the jitney drivers to get home. I think my biggest challenge, with as little time as possible, create a whole life of this person and what this place means to him in his life. I don’t have too many lines to do it in so that’s really the challenge.

John Douglas Thompson as Becker and Brandon Dirden as Booster. Photo by Lia Chang

John Douglas Thompson as Becker and Brandon Dirden as Booster. Photo by Lia Chang

Brandon Dirden: Thank you all for coming tonight and thank you in advance for all the people you’re bringing with you to come see this show. I play Booster, the son of Becker. As he said, I’ve been away for the last 20 years. The challenge is where to begin with this new life, this new reality. What is there between my father and I, given that he hasn’t come to see me in the last 20 years, when I was just a few miles down the road at Western Penn. It’s the process of reconciliation. How do you forgive when you’re the only one trying to forgive? What is love? How strong is it? How fragile is it? Trying to piece together so that you can move on and not get stuck in the past where the most pain lives.

André Holland as Youngblood and Carra Patterson as Rena. Photo by Lia Chang

André Holland as Youngblood and Carra Patterson as Rena. Photo by Lia Chang

André Holland: I play Youngblood who is this young guy in the community who has been sent away. He’s been at war, the Vietnam War. Along with the love of his life is trying to start a new chapter. He works with the fellows at the jitney station, so when the urban renewal proposal comes along, the little bit that he’s been able to gather for himself is suddenly threatened. So he’s scrambling, like many of us to try and put it together. The biggest challenge is obviously, for myself, trying to keep up with these incredibly talented people. There are some bad people in this cast.

Harvy Blanks, Anthony Chisholm. Photo by Lia Chang

Harvy Blanks, Anthony Chisholm. Photo by Lia Chang

Anthony Chisholm: I play a character named Fielding. He’s one of the drivers at the station. We’re all drivers except for a couple of people. It’s the life of these drivers in this storefront cab station. Someone one tried to figure out the mystery of Jitney. We played it in so many cities- Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Baltimore- and broken house records, literally, all time house records. Someone was trying to figure out- why is that? It is the humanity of the play. It’s guys bearing their souls in the jitney station. There are a lot of stories going on. There is no one star. This is a true ensemble piece. The more it becomes an ensemble; the more it becomes this one character of what this whole story is about. I play an alcoholic. He’s an alcoholic driver, not a drunk. An alcoholic is someone who is addicted to the alcohol. And yet it can function. So he drives a cab and he drinks. He had an illustrious past where he was a master tailor for celebrities and musicians. He was married to a lady that he has been separated from for over 20 years. He still thinks she loves him.

Harvy Blanks as Shealy. Photo by Lia Chang

Harvy Blanks as Shealy. Photo by Lia Chang

Harvy Blanks: I play Shealy. When Anthony mentioned humanity, there’s so much that ran through my mind because in casting, our brilliant director, casted from an authentic, ethnic angle, which means that every black folks you’ve ever grown up with, been with, and know about is in this. And that includes Shealy who basically is from Mississippi. He brings a sort of accent, a sort of flavor that we all know in our brothers and sisters, grandmamas, granddaddies, that sort of thing. He likes to talk like folks we hear. I’m a bookie. I go and take numbers. I bring a sort of flavor that I think you’ll enjoy.

RSH: He’s also a deacon at the church on Sunday.

Carra Patterson, Harvy Blanks and Anthony Chisholm. Photo by Lia Chang

Carra Patterson, Harvy Blanks. Photo by Lia Chang

KG: Carra, the added question for you being the only woman in this piece. Why do you think Wilson opted to only have one woman in the play?
Carra Patterson: I play Rena. Rena is a young mother. I have a son with Youngblood. I want to raise my son and give him a better life. I’m trying my best to give him a stable home and make sure that he has opportunities that I didn’t have and that Youngblood didn’t have. The obstacle to that is that we have a past. Some things that we’ve been through that we’re trying to overcome. In the present, he’s not telling me what he’s doing. I’m trying to be on the same page with him.

Being the only woman in the cast, hearing it, and you’ll see, women are very present in their lives. You’ll see their connection is. They either have very strong connections to their wives or their mothers. But Reena is the only one that interrupts the space. I don’t care what y’all have going on, I need to be heard. I think women still are in the story. It’s great. It’s fun. It’s a man’s world, but as soon as a woman steps into the space, it changes.

Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Photo by Lia Chang

Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Photo by Lia Chang

RSH: My goal was simple. I wanted to put together a collection of the finest theater actors that I possible could put in a room. This is what you have. We’re in New York City. There are twenty actors for every role here. So the thing is this, everybody always is, “I want to work with Ruben.” They’ll tell you working with Ruben ain’t a walk in the park. Ruben is very meticulous, Ruben is very studious, Ruben is very, very intense, very passionate. I’ve been directed by directors who have fallen asleep, in the room. But that ain’t me. So when you come in my room, you better be on, because I’m on. And I’m going to be on until I fall asleep tonight when I get to my bed. I wake up at six o’clock in the morning, my script is out. I’m taking notes. I come in; we have a moment of wisdom every day where I drop some knowledge, a quote, some history.

The World of August Wilson's JITNEY. Photo by Lia Chang

The World of August Wilson’s JITNEY. Photo by Lia Chang

Y’all can see on the wall, we’re about who we are. We’re not about pretending. We’re about living a moment, sharing something that we are very familiar with. It’s an introduction to people who don’t know us. But if you do know us, that’s what you see in all its authenticity. I’m about cultural specificity. What is appropriate and how we do things. So no matter, that it is a man’s world, when that woman does come in, people give space. When she says, “I wanna talk to you.” to her man, you see people like we bowin’ out. Because that’s how it is. We want to magnify not just what’s bad or different about us in a way that people don’t understand, but the beauty of us. As a collective, I wanted to make sure that each actor was as intense as I was, as meticulous as I was about the work and it meant as much to them as it does to me. So I assembled this group. There’s only a couple people I haven’t worked with on the stage. I think Carra and JDT. Other than that, the people here, they know what I’m expecting. I’m not cruel by any means at all because I’m like them; I’m an actor too. So I will never do anything to them that I don’t want done to me. And I allow them their space and encourage them to reach higher goals. To push further.

KG: So your iteration of this- how is it the same and different from other casts of Jitney that you’ve seen?
RSH: The only thing that is the same is the cultural specificity. Everything else is different. It’s completely different. Chis just talked about the play like he did it in Los Angeles and Chicago. I don’t want Los Angeles and Chicago. I’m looking for today. I’m looking for right now. He gets in habits that he’s done before and I call him on it. I say that worked before, that doesn’t work for me. Chis jumped right to it and did something different. Chis is one of the finest character actors in the country. He’ll do something that they teach us in school for like 5 years, like leaving your endings up, keeping the ball, staying on top of things. He does things that they teach you. He probably has the least formal acting training of all of us, and the most life training. He’s just incredible.

KG: How do you prepare to be in an August Wilson play?
BD: I want to talk about working for this man. When he talks about his passion, it’s not easy. I want to make a distinction. It’s not easy not because Ruben is a tyrant or a dictator in the room, cracking the whip. That’s not what makes it difficult working for Ruben Santiago-Hudson. I might be the person on this stage that’s worked with him the most. This is our sixth or seventh show. The thing that keeps me coming back to work with Ruben and say yes to him, when I say no to many other people, the thing that keeps me saying yes to him is because what he’s asking is for you to be your best you. And then he’s asking you to be better than that. Every time. There’s not a single time that I have ever worked with this man where I have not come out a better person, a better husband, a better father, a better brother, a better son, and least of all, a better actor. This is no exception. Whether you like this process or you hate this process, you cannot say that you’re not a better person or a better artist because you were in this man’s room.

So how do you work on an August Wilson play? That’s what you need. You need to come in knowing that I’m not enough yet. I’m enough to start, but I’m not enough yet to go where we got to get to. You got to be open, you got to be vulnerable. You have to realize that yes, it’s in here. Everything that you are, August needs. Everything that you’re grandmother and grandfather were. Everything that your ancestors put in your DNA that’s welcome in this room. And that’s necessary in this room. But see, as actors we aren’t always allowed that freedom. They don’t even want all that. But the play, any August Wilson script, demands that you bring that. I will accept nothing less than that. That’s what it takes to work on an August Wilson play, your best and then some.

Carra Patterson, Harvy Blanks and Anthony Chisholm. Photo by Lia Chang

Carra Patterson, Harvy Blanks and Anthony Chisholm. Photo by Lia Chang

HB: I’ve done all ten of August’s pieces and I worked with one of the foremost directors, both mentor to August and Lloyd Richards, the late Israel Hicks. He was a tremendous director but I think that Ruben Santiago-Hudson is the best director in the country. That’s my opinion. I’m also biased. You can’t get any finer than Ruben. Ruben can see humanity especially in black folks that other people can’t and won’t. He won’t accept anything less than that. Partially that’s why I think I have the role I have. The way I play this character, only black people, you know the English, they have cockney? The cockney, we go see them play, you come out saying, “What did he say?” White folks might come out saying, “What did he say?” Because it’s the way we’ve expressed ourselves from being here. That first slave that was in the cotton field, that became an African American when he rose up and said, “Oh Lord, what am I doing here?” That’s what is here. It goes way back. It’s purely and certainly African American.

KG: Let’s talk about process. What did you say when you came to rehearsal?
RSH: It’s usually something off the top of my head. I told Carra that to be in love is “to have heart as a swinging door”. That means it goes both ways. You give just as much as you take.

The other thing that I said to them, “Just in the moment when I was lost, my dungeon shook and my chains fell off.” It’s just something I heard old folks saying in Lackawanna.

That’s the process of art. Any artist gets to that point where you hit a wall, it’s like where am I going? From my experience and the artists that I know. Then all of a sudden something shakes and you’re free. You know you’re free. It happens in acting all the time. We talk about what’s happening in the world. We talk about things that happen in the walk of our life and being people of color and how we persevere.

I’ve never been more in awe of these actors. This is the most important moment in my career. And I don’t take that for granted. We had an hour and a half of rehearsal and I have to back them off. Y’all are going too far, too fast. Don’t get bored. They never get bored. We cry every day. We laugh every day. You can’t help it.

CP: This is my first August Wilson play, but it is just a full circle God moment for me. I remember looking for monologues when I was 18 and auditioning for colleges. I wasn’t raised in the theater. I didn’t know plays, but I heard if you want to get into college as a drama student, you have to have a Shakespeare and an August Wilson monologue. So I literally did not have time to ready any full plays. I flipped through and picked one. And I came across Rena. And it was her house monologue. I was able to relate to it immediately because Rena is one of the younger of August Wilson’s women, and so it was easy for me to jump into what she was talking about. I’ve been doing this monologue and working these scenes since I was 18 only in scene study classes. I’ve never been in a full production.

Ruben Santiago-Hudson, André Holland, Brandon Dirden. Photo by Lia Chang

Ruben Santiago-Hudson, André Holland, Brandon Dirden. Photo by Lia Chang

KG: So the rest of you, this process, this work, when the rest of you come in and Ruben says whatever he’s going to say for the day. How does that affect your work?
AH: For me, it gives me permission. A lot of times, especially the things that I’ve done, I’ve always felt like you’re on a proving ground. You first have to prove that you have the right to be there. You’re constantly trying to modulate what you say and how you say it. Is now the time for me to fully express who I am? Or express this thing in the way that I would naturally express it. But from the very beginning, he sets the tone. We’re going to play all of our notes today here. Not only are you allowed to, but you are actually compelled to. You’re required to bring all of you to it. So for me, it’s freeing. Actors would probably understand what I am talking about because it is difficult to explain just how wonderful that feels to know that all of you is welcome.

CP: For me, coming in every day and hearing his wisdom, also just his style, I don’t think it’s too hard. It reminds me of – it feels like home to me. I feel like I have to bring my best. I have to do my best. And nothing less is acceptable. It reminds me of how my grandmother used to speak to me. This is the best experience I’ve had.

AH: And you know, grandmama and granddaddy got your best interest at heart. They’re not going to let you embarrass yourself or hurt yourself. It’s the same thing. You take the direction. If it is harsh, it’s harsh. You know it’s for the right reasons.

Ray Anthony Thomas as Philmore. Photo by Lia Chang

Ray Anthony Thomas as Philmore. Photo by Lia Chang

KG: Is there a part of this, a line in this, a silence in this, a scene of this that parallels your personal biography, and resonates for you in a particular way? What is that?
RAT: Philmore: “Mama don’t like to see you coming; but she’ll take you in.” Every time I do an August Wilson, it reminds me of my grandmother, my parents. Every summer in Louisiana, just being there. Don’t make me cry. I think August demands that of you. That you give everything you have. I never felt like I shorted him on the attempt. I don’t know if I reached it all the time, but I tried so hard. There’s been times when I finished a show, I didn’t feel like acting no more ‘cause it took everything I had. It’s a beautiful thing. This don’t happen all the time. It really doesn’t.

Katti Gray, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, André Holland, Brandon Dirden, Ray Anthony Thomas, John Douglas Thompson. Photo by Lia Chang

Katti Gray, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, André Holland, Brandon Dirden, Ray Anthony Thomas, John Douglas Thompson. Photo by Lia Chang

RSH: It’s funny, with him, people are always calling me about August Wilson plays, “I need an actor.” And I used to say, get Ray, get Harvy. They would say, “Where am I going to put them?” I’d say, put them anywhere. They’re going to fill any spot. So when I got them two guys, it’s like having a basketball team and having two power forwards. You can put them anywhere.

These people have graduated and attended some of the finest cultural institutions teaching acting in the nation- NYU and Yale and all these schools. One day, I came in the room and said, “They spend so much time teaching you what they think is correct in acting. They teach you so far away from your grandmother. What I’m asking you to do is bring her; I want to see her in the room. If you’re not bringing your grandmother, you’re not doing August Wilson. I’m bringing her back. All that they tore out of us, in those schools and conservatories, that’s what I want to see. So let me see that, because now it is time to revisit.”

Ruben Santiago-Hudson, André Holland. Photo by Lia Chang

Ruben Santiago-Hudson, André Holland. Photo by Lia Chang

KG: You had mentioned the mechanics and the obstacles to getting here. What currency does a John Legend co-producer bring to this?
RSH: When I said I got quiet, I didn’t stop working. I stopped telling people this is what I’m going to do. It’s a different thing because they just blocked it. So I said, if I let it go, it’s not that important to me anymore because there’s too many other things I got in front of me.

I got two or three other writers I’m developing right now. I gotta make sure when I go to dust, they’ll be fine. Particularly, I was talking about taking August Wilson’s play to Broadway. I could take a writer in this room, and say I want to do your work. I’ll get it done. I’ll get it done before the year is over. Many theaters want me to come do work there.

Broadway is held by a small group of people. When a person comes in with money sayin’ I got all the money to produce a play, which I did. I ain’t producing this one. Manhattan Theatre Club is producing this one. They didn’t take my money. They took the play and took me as the director. They gave me a date and a theater. And gave me a seat at the table which was very important, or I wouldn’t be here.

The people that run it and hold it don’t want some outsider coming in. Name Black men or female directors on Broadway. We can’t get past five.

So here I am intruding and saying I want a say. I had to come to a theater that trusted that say. That I’m going to do a play and honor a play, also respect the theater, but also, my agenda would be intact. That I bring the finest actors. That I do an ensemble. And that I reach out- Marci can tell you this- that I want to reach out to my community and let them know they’re invited. That’s why tickets are $47. They aren’t going to do that for a lot of plays, but I told them we got to go into my community and do that. That’s why I went to Harlem to be honored. I want you all to know, y’all come, this is yours. Broadway don’t need some intruder trying to tell them what to do. All I want to do is my art. I don’t want to run Broadway. I’m at the Signature Theatre, that’s my home. I can do two plays there next season. I wanted August to have this moment.

We as entertainers, particularly rappers, singers, artists, we make all our props be invisible. As soon as something come up that we need to be very visible for, we get invisible. And John Legend is not one of them. Jessie Williams, people like that, they stand right up there. When you put yourself out there like I have, you gonna take a hit. There’s a price to it. John Legend, if you look at what he’s producing in film and TV, it’s about us telling our stories. Let us be the custodians of our grandmother’s history, our history, of who we are. Quit letting other people tell us who we are. We’ll never measure up if we don’t hold up the measuring stick.

The thing with John Legend, he wanted to be a part of this. He didn’t know anything about August Wilson. He asked for nothing but to be a part of it. He walked in the room last week and said, “I want y’all.” So when you make this the biggest hit in New York, when we finish with it, we got John Legend with us to say, “John, let’s roll.” We just need more people to say, “Let’s roll.” There are 100 August Wilson actors that want to be in this play. When my cast members go to do movies and stuff, I’ll grab the next one in line. We could go back to London, go around the country. This is the first one he wrote, which is the last one to be done. This is the beginning again. We can start back. We’re going to get Gem of the Ocean back. We closed in three months. Phylicia Rashad didn’t get the Tony for that, she got it for Raisin. She should have got it for Aunt Ester. We’re start with Gem and go right on down that line. Radio Golf ain’t seen what it should see. Two Trains Running ain’t seen what it should see. King Hedley, Joe Turner closed in three months.

KG: How does Jitney resonates with you now, from when you first read the play?
RSH: I have a real personal connection with Jitney. A lot of people don’t know. I’ve shared it with the cast. Jitney was a very short play in ’79 when it was written, when it was completed. If you look at the history, in ’96, it was right after Seven Guitars. There’s at least forty minutes of this play that came out if Seven Guitars. And that forty minutes is all Canewell, which is the character I played in Seven Guitars. August did a drastic cut on Canewell, which caused us to not speak for six weeks. I think it was two weeks, but said it was longer. He was on Charlie Rose and he said, “Me and my friend, we didn’t speak for six weeks.” The glory of it to me is that it ended up still living. When an actor loses something, he thinks it’s dead. When a writer takes something, it’s still alive. It lives somewhere else. So it lives here.

They know if they are stumbling on lines, they get mad at me ‘cause I’ll throw a line out to ‘em. They say, “You know every damn line?” I just make them think that. So it is a personal connection. A lot of these words, I’ve said in front of hundreds and hundreds and thousands of people. Now it’s like a father passing on something to their child, because it was mine. It ain’t mine no more. Eventually this play that I’m directing, is not mine anymore. Ownership goes to them. It’s not August’s anymore, it’s not mine anymore. It belongs to them. They know where the pain of each character is, where the bunion is on the foot. That time has not come yet. I’m still a papa. That time will come, when the first ass hits the seats on December 28th, there will be some passing over of the keys. Y’all in for a treat.

Ray Anthony Thomas, Keith Randolph Smith, Michael Potts, Brandon Dirden, John Douglas Thompson, Carra Patterson, André Holland, Anthony Chisholm, Harvy Blanks and Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Photo by Lia Chang

Ray Anthony Thomas, Keith Randolph Smith, Michael Potts, Brandon Dirden, John Douglas Thompson, Carra Patterson, André Holland, Anthony Chisholm, Harvy Blanks and Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Photo by Lia Chang

Q: What would you say to your younger acting self?
RAT: Don’t turn nothing down. Do as much work as you can.

AC: Stay in touch with God. Keep your seat belt fastened. Don’t do any bad writing. Have the ability to tell the difference between the two. Bad writing is hard on everybody. It’s hard on the designers, sets, lights, the actors, and backstage crew. It’s hard on everyone. You wonder, how did this thing get produced? Some way, some how, it slipped through the cracks. Somebody put up the money and made it happen. It could harm your instrument. Try to stay away from bad writing.

RSH: There’s no one answer to that question. I say turn down work. Don’t do anything you’re not going to be proud of. Film is forever. Whatever you do on film is forever.

JDT: Something really simple that some teachers told me that I didn’t quite pay attention to in school, was that there was no substitute for hard work. I often, when I was in drama school, skipped class, played hooky and it kind of got me nowhere. I remembered some of the things that I was taught, I didn’t remember until 5-10 years down the road. Then I started to apply them.

The writing thing-I can tell bad writing because there was a point at which I could do no more with it. You can go as far as you want to go emotionally, and it just doesn’t support you. Then you start trying to work it out, but it doesn’t quite work.

BD: See as much theater as you can. There’s a lot of free way to see theater. Find the free ways. Even if you don’t think you’re going to like it. That’s the one thing I felt like I got right. Because you develop your taste, you develop your palate. You develop a sense of what’s good and what’s bad. You realize what is available to you. It might not be August Wilson, it might be Chekhov. You might be an expert in Chekhov. You might not even know it. When you see it come to life, this is what drama is about. This is what plays are about. They are written to be performed and seen and witnessed. Not just read. August Wilson is great literature. I read them all the time. But it’s meant to be seen and experienced. See as much as you can.

AC: The ability to listen. The better you listen, the better you are going to be as a performer because acting is reacting. Learn to listen. A lot of actors, they are not even listening, they’re waiting to say your lines.

AH: Make your own stuff. Write, direct, produce, edit- whatever you got to do to make your own stuff. If I could tell myself anything, that’s what I would say.

RSH: If it were me, it would be learn the craft. Prepare yourself mentally, physically and spiritually for the long run. Figure out what your goals are and how to attain them. It all starts with one step. I knew where I wanted to be and I know where I’m going to be in three years. I got it already booked. Know what you want and figure out a real attainable way to get it without compromise. Learn the craft.

HB: Stay physically fit because you can’t do it if you’re not healthy. Eat well, get on a workout regimen, work your body and stay physically fit.

CP: For me, it was keep a connection to God or something greater that can sustain you through all the ups and downs ‘cause it’s a very crazy making industry. And to create your own work and your own opportunities. When I was coming out of undergrad, I put together my own showcase that led to so many open doors that led me to New York. Equally to the art, be very sensitive about who you have around you in your circle. Like relationships and friendships that can be equally as toxic.

Click here for tickets and more information. Use code AUGUST for $47-$77 tickets through January 22nd and $47-$89 tickets for January 24th- March 12th. In person at the box office, call 212-947-8844 or visit telechargeoffers.com.

Inside Rehearsals of MTC’s Broadway Debut of August Wilson’s JITNEY; Previews Begin December 28

Meet the Cast of MTC’s Broadway Debut of August Wilson’s JITNEY, Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Featuring Harvy Blanks, Anthony Chisholm, Brandon Dirden, André Holland, Carra Patterson, Michael Potts, Keith Randolph Smith, Ray Anthony Thomas, John Douglas Thompson 

André De Shields, Billy Eugene Jones, George Faison, Constanza Romero, Lori Tan Chinn and More Celebrate August Wilson’s SEVEN GUITARS Opening Night at Yale Rep 

MAURICE HINES TAPPIN’ THRU LIFE, Dominique Morriseau’s SKELETON CREW, Marjorie Johnson, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Tina Fabrique, Joe Morton and Debra Ann Byrd Among 2016 AUDELCO Winners 

Photos: All-Access Pass to August Wilson’s Two Trains Running with John Earl Jelks, Harvy Blanks,Chuck Cooper, Anthony Chisholm, Owiso Odera, Roslyn Ruff and James A. Williams 

Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits

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

Director Ruben Santiago-Hudson, John Douglas Thompson and Brandon Dirden. Photo by Lia Chang

Inside Rehearsals of MTC’s Broadway Debut of August Wilson’s JITNEY; Previews Begin December 28

Photography, Theater
John Douglas Thompson and Brandon Dirden. Photo by Lia Chang

John Douglas Thompson and Brandon Dirden. Photo by Lia Chang

Manhattan Theatre Club’s Broadway debut of August Wilson’s Jitney, directed by Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson (The Piano Lesson, Seven Guitars, Gem of the Ocean), begins previews Wednesday, December 28th ahead of a Thursday, January 19th opening night at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street). Click here for tickets and more information.

André Holland and Carra Patterson. Photo by Lia Chang

André Holland and Carra Patterson. Photo by Lia Chang

The ensemble of nine cast members featuring seven veterans of August Wilson plays is currently in rehearsal at the MTC Rehearsal Studios in New York City.

Anthony Chisholm, Michael Potts and Brandon Dirden. Photo by Lia Chang

Anthony Chisholm, Michael Potts and Brandon Dirden. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast features Harvy Blanks (Jitney in WNYC’s Greene Space American Century Cycle recording, Two Trains Running at Two River Theater Company) as “Shealy;” Tony Award nominee Anthony Chisholm (Radio Golf, Gem of the Ocean, Two Trains Running, Jitney at Second Stage) as “Fielding,” Obie and Theatre World Award winner Brandon Dirden (The Piano Lesson, Clybourne Park, “The Americans”) as “Booster;” André Holland (Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Moonlight,”American Horror Story”) as “Youngblood;” Carra Patterson (Significant Other, Wit, Straight Outta Compton) as “Rena,” Michael Potts (The Book of Mormon, Aubergine) as “Turnbo;” Keith Randolph Smith (Fences, King Hedley II) as “Doub;” Ray Anthony Thomas (Jitney and Fences in WNYC’s Greene Space American Century Cycle recordings, Between Riverside and Crazy) as “Philmore;” and Drama Desk Award winner John Douglas Thompson (Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at the Mark Taper Forum, Satchmo at the Waldorf) as “Becker.”

Only one of the ten plays in two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s masterful The American Century Cycle has never been seen on Broadway – until now. Set in the early 1970s, this richly textured piece follows a group of men trying to eke out a living by driving unlicensed cabs, or Jitneys. When the city threatens to board up the business and the boss’ son returns from prison, tempers flare, potent secrets are revealed and the fragile threads binding these people together may come undone at last. MTC has a long history of co-producing works by this legendary playwright (King Hedley II, Seven Guitars and Piano Lesson) and is proud to produce this Broadway debut.

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Directing is Ruben Santiago-Hudson, called “perhaps the foremost interpreter of the legendary August Wilson” by The New York Times.

The creative team for August Wilson’s Jitney includes David Gallo (scenic design); Toni-Leslie James (costume design); Jane Cox (lighting design), Darron L West (sound design); Bill Sims, Jr. (original music); and Thomas Schall (fight director).

Ray Anthony Thomas, Keith Randolph Smith, Michael Potts, Brandon Dirden, John Douglas Thompson, Carra Patterson, André Holland, Anthony Chisholm, Harvy Blanks and Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Photo by Lia Chang

Ray Anthony Thomas, Keith Randolph Smith, Michael Potts, Brandon Dirden, John Douglas Thompson, Carra Patterson, André Holland, Anthony Chisholm, Harvy Blanks and Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Photo by Lia Chang

For more information on MTC, please visit www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com.

Meet the Cast of MTC’s Broadway Debut of August Wilson’s JITNEY, Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Featuring Harvy Blanks, Anthony Chisholm, Brandon Dirden, André Holland, Carra Patterson, Michael Potts, Keith Randolph Smith, Ray Anthony Thomas, John Douglas Thompson 

André De Shields, Billy Eugene Jones, George Faison, Constanza Romero, Lori Tan Chinn and More Celebrate August Wilson’s SEVEN GUITARS Opening Night at Yale Rep 

MAURICE HINES TAPPIN’ THRU LIFE, Dominique Morriseau’s SKELETON CREW, Marjorie Johnson, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Tina Fabrique, Joe Morton and Debra Ann Byrd Among 2016 AUDELCO Winners 

Photos: All-Access Pass to August Wilson’s Two Trains Running with John Earl Jelks, Harvy Blanks,Chuck Cooper, Anthony Chisholm, Owiso Odera, Roslyn Ruff and James A. Williams 

Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits

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

Yale Rep Artistic Director James Bundy with Billy EuGene Jones, Antoinette Crowe-Legacy, director Timothy Douglas (in hat), Wayne T. Carr (foreground), Danny Johnson, Stephanie Berry, Rachel Leslie, and André De Shields at the opening night celebration at Atelier Florian. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields, Billy Eugene Jones, George Faison, Constanza Romero, Lori Tan Chinn and More Celebrate August Wilson’s SEVEN GUITARS Opening Night at Yale Rep

Events, Photography, Theater
Lori Tan Chinn, André De Shields, Garth Kravits and Lia Chang at the opening night celebration at Atelier Florian. Photo by Lauren E. Banks

Lori Tan Chinn, André De Shields, Garth Kravits and Lia Chang at the opening night celebration at Atelier Florian. Photo by Lauren E. Banks

On December 1st, I took a road trip to New Haven with Garth Kravits, Lori Tan Chinn and Sir Shadow to celebrate André De Shields’ debut as Hedley in the opening night performance of August Wilson’s SEVEN GUITARS, directed by Timothy Douglas, at Yale Repertory Theatre (1120 Chapel Street). Mr. De Shields and Ms. Chin, who currently appears in “Orange is the New Black,” are castmates in Jerry Mitchell’s Broadway-bound HALFTIME. Other special guests included Tony Award-winning choreographer and producer and director George Faison (The Wiz) and August Wilson’s widow Constanza Romero.

André De Shields, August Wilson’s widow Constanza Romero and Timothy Douglas at the opening night celebration at Atelier Florian. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields, August Wilson’s widow Constanza Romero and Timothy Douglas at the opening night celebration at Atelier Florian. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast of SEVEN GUITARS includes Wayne T. Carr (Canewell), Antoinette Crowe-Legacy (Ruby), Stephanie Berry (Louise), André De Shields (Hedley), Danny Johnson (Red Carter), Billy Eugene Jones (Floyd Barton), and Rachel Leslie (Vera).

Yale Rep Artistic Director James Bundy with Billy EuGene Jones, Antoinette Crowe-Legacy, director Timothy Douglas (in hat), Wayne T. Carr (foreground), Danny Johnson, Stephanie Berry, Rachel Leslie, and André De Shields at the opening night celebration at Atelier Florian. Photo by Lia Chang

Yale Rep Artistic Director James Bundy with Billy EuGene Jones, Antoinette Crowe-Legacy, director Timothy Douglas (in hat), Wayne T. Carr (foreground), Danny Johnson, Stephanie Berry, Rachel Leslie, and André De Shields at the opening night celebration at Atelier Florian. Photo by Lia Chang

The production team includes music director Dwight Andrews, scenic designer Fufan Zhang, costume designer An-lin Dauber, lighting designer Carolina Ortiz Herrera, Sound Designerand composer Fan Zhang, technical director Ian Hannan, dramaturg Catherine María Rodríguez, dialect coach Ron Carlos, fight director Rick Sordelet, casting director Tara Rubin Casting, and stage manager Helen Irene Muller.

Director Timothy Douglas and André De Shields backstage at Yale Rep. Photo by Lia Chang

Director Timothy Douglas and André De Shields backstage at Yale Rep. Photo by Lia Chang

Pittsburgh, 1948. Following the untimely death of Floyd “Schoolboy” Barton, a local blues guitarist on The Edge of stardom, friends grapple with his legacy. The fifth chapter in August Wilson’s epic Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning cycle, SEVEN GUITARS strikes moving chords of the African American experience in the 20th century: faith, artistry, humor, oppression, brutality, and love.

 André De Shields backstage at Yale Rep. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields backstage at Yale Rep. Photo by Lia Chang

Performances continue through December 17th. Tickets range from $12-99 and are available online at yalerep.org, by phone at (203) 432-1234, and in person at the Yale Rep Box Office (1120 Chapel Street). Student, senior, and group rates are also available.

Jamal Story, Dion Graham, James Bundy, Timothy Douglas, Andre De Shields, Tad Schnugg, George Faison, Danny Johnson and Wayne T. Carr backstage at Yale Rep. Photo by Lia Chang

Jamal Story, Dion Graham, James Bundy, Timothy Douglas, Andre De Shields, Tad Schnugg, George Faison, Danny Johnson and Wayne T. Carr backstage at Yale Rep. Photo by Lia Chang

Backstage at Yale Rep:

Opening Night celebration at Atelier Florian

Danny Johnson, André De Shields, Lia Chang and Billy Eugene Jones at the opening night celebration at Atelier Florian. Photo by Lia Chang

Danny Johnson, André De Shields, Lia Chang and Billy Eugene Jones at the opening night celebration at Atelier Florian. Photo by Lia Chang

Production Photos: André De Shields, Billy Eugene Jones, Rachel Leslie, Stephanie Berry, Danny Johnson, Wayne T. Carr and Antoinette Crowe-Legacy in Yale Rep’s SEVEN GUITARS 

Broadwayworld.com Photo Flash: Starry SEVEN GUITARS Celebrates Opening Night at Yale Rep with Andre De Shields and More 

Two-time Tony Nominee André De Shields, Rachel Leslie, Billy Eugene Jones, Stephanie Berry, Wayne T. Carr, Danny Johnson and Antoinette Crowe-Legacy Open Tonight in Timothy Douglas Helmed SEVEN GUITARS at Yale Rep

New Haven Register: André De Shields adds dramatic voice to August Wilson’s ‘Seven Guitars’ at Yale Rep

Broadwayworld.com André Robin De Shields and More Headed to Yale Rep’s SEVEN GUITARS; Cast, Creatives Announced!

André De Shields’ CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P. at Victory Gardens- Tech to Closing Night 

Black Theatre Network Honors CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P. Star André De Shields

Video: Two-time Tony Nominee and Emmy Award Winner André De Shields in CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P. at Victory Gardens, Aug. 26-28

Production Photos and Video: WOZ: A ROCK CABARET with Guest Star André De Shields at Victory Gardens through 7/17

André De Shields and Mathilde Mukantabana, Ambassador of the Republic of Rwanda to the United States of America, “Celebrate Rwanda” at The SUNY Global Center 

Two-time Tony Nominee André De Shields and Ambassador Mathilde Mukantabana featured in Celebrate Rwanda! Event at The SUNY Global Center on June 29

STC’s THE TAMING OF THE SHREW Opening Night with André De Shields, Maulik Pancholy, Telly Leung, Oliver Thornton and More

Photos: Santino Fontana, André De Shields, John Larroquette, Nikki Renée Daniels, Bryce Pinkham, John Behlmann, Christiane Noll and More in New York City Center’s Encores! 1776 

Closing Night Party of Encores! 1776 with André De Shields, Santino Fontana, John Larroquette, Nikki Renée Daniels, Bryce Pinkham, Ann Harada at New York City Center 

Click here for more articles on André De Shields.

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

Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits

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

Ray Anthony Thomas, Keith Randolph Smith, Michael Potts, Brandon Dirden, John Douglas Thompson, Carra Patterson, André Holland, Anthony Chisholm, Harvy Blanks and Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Photo by Lia Chang

Ruben Santiago-Hudson Helms MTC’s JITNEY on Broadway Featuring Anthony Chisholm, André Holland, Brandon Dirden, John Douglas Thompson, Keith Randolph Smith and More

Photography, Theater
Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Photo by Lia Chang

Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Photo by Lia Chang

Manhattan Theatre Club (Artistic Director Lynne Meadow and Executive Producer Barry Grove) is presenting the Broadway debut of August Wilson’s Jitney, directed by Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson (The Piano Lesson, Seven Guitars, Gem of the Ocean).

August Wilson’s Jitney will begin previews Wednesday, December 28 ahead of a Thursday, January 19 opening night at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street). Click here for tickets and more information.

“This is a dream come true for me,” said Santiago-Hudson. “11 years I’ve been working to make this happen and now beginning on December 28th ..It’s on! Blessed. Grateful.”

The ensemble of nine cast members featuring seven veterans of August Wilson plays met the press at the MTC Rehearsal Studios in New York City on November 29, 2016.

Ray Anthony Thomas, Keith Randolph Smith, Michael Potts, Brandon Dirden, John Douglas Thompson, Carra Patterson, André Holland, Anthony Chisholm, Harvy Blanks and Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Photo by Lia Chang

Ray Anthony Thomas, Keith Randolph Smith, Michael Potts, Brandon Dirden, John Douglas Thompson, Carra Patterson, André Holland, Anthony Chisholm, Harvy Blanks and Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast features Harvy Blanks (Jitney in WNYC’s Greene Space American Century Cycle recording, Two Trains Running at Two River Theater Company) as “Shealy;” Tony Award nominee Anthony Chisholm (Radio Golf, Gem of the Ocean, Two Trains Running, Jitney at Second Stage) as “Fielding,” Obie and Theatre World Award winner Brandon Dirden (The Piano Lesson, Clybourne Park, “The Americans”) as “Booster;” André Holland (Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Moonlight,”American Horror Story”) as “Youngblood;” Carra Patterson (Significant Other, Wit, Straight Outta Compton) as “Rena,” Michael Potts (The Book of Mormon, Aubergine) as “Turnbo;” Keith Randolph Smith (Fences, King Hedley II) as “Doub;” Ray Anthony Thomas (Jitney and Fences in WNYC’s Greene Space American Century Cycle recordings, Between Riverside and Crazy) as “Philmore;” and Drama Desk Award winner John Douglas Thompson (Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at the Mark Taper Forum, Satchmo at the Waldorf) as “Becker.”

2016-11-29-jitney_photo-by-lia-chang-1Only one of the ten plays in two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s masterful The American Century Cycle has never been seen on Broadway – until now. Set in the early 1970s, this richly textured piece follows a group of men trying to eke out a living by driving unlicensed cabs, or Jitneys. When the city threatens to board up the business and the boss’ son returns from prison, tempers flare, potent secrets are revealed and the fragile threads binding these people together may come undone at last. MTC has a long history of co-producing works by this legendary playwright (King Hedley II, Seven Guitars and Piano Lesson) and is proud to produce this Broadway debut. Directing is Ruben Santiago-Hudson, called “perhaps the foremost interpreter of the legendary August Wilson” by The New York Times.

The creative team for August Wilson’s Jitney includes David Gallo (scenic design); Toni-Leslie James (costume design); Jane Cox (lighting design), Darron L West (sound design); Bill Sims, Jr. (original music); and Thomas Schall (fight director).

For more information on MTC, please visit www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com.

Ray Anthony Thomas, Keith Randolph Smith, Michael Potts, Brandon Dirden, John Douglas Thompson, Carra Patterson, André Holland, Harvy Blanks, Anthony Chisholm. Photo by Lia Chang

Ray Anthony Thomas, Keith Randolph Smith, Michael Potts, Brandon Dirden, John Douglas Thompson, Carra Patterson, André Holland, Harvy Blanks, Anthony Chisholm. Photo by Lia Chang

MAURICE HINES TAPPIN’ THRU LIFE, Dominique Morriseau’s SKELETON CREW, Marjorie Johnson, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Tina Fabrique, Joe Morton and Debra Ann Byrd Among 2016 AUDELCO Winners 

Photos: All-Access Pass to August Wilson’s Two Trains Running with John Earl Jelks, Harvy Blanks,Chuck Cooper, Anthony Chisholm, Owiso Odera, Roslyn Ruff and James A. Williams 

Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits

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

Nehal Joshi, Lia Chang and Jaygee Macapugay. Photo by Garth Kravits

Jaygee Macapugay, Olivia Chun and Nehal Joshi at Broadway’s SCHOOL OF ROCK

Photography, Theater

2016-11-27-new-york_photo-by-lia-chang-104

Thanks to the School of Rock lottery, we scored two seats in the second row to experience the high octane action in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s smash hit musical School of Rock – The Musical at the Winter Garden Theatre last night.

Jaygee Macapugay and Olivia Chun play mother and daughter in SCHOOL OF ROCK, and share the same birthday - November 26. Photo by Lia Chang

Jaygee Macapugay and Olivia Chun play mother and daughter in SCHOOL OF ROCK, and share the same birthday – November 26. Photo by Lia Chang

Now in it’s second year on Broadway, School of Rock stars Eric Petersen as wannabe rock star, Dewey Finn.

The Kid Band, who perform Andrew Lloyd Webber’s score live at every performance, includes new cast members Rachel Katzke as Katie the bass player and Walden Sullivan as Lawrence the keyboardist, along with returning cast members, Brandon Niederauer as Zack the guitarist and Raghav Mehrotra as Freddy on drums. Additional new SOR cast members include sassy Olivia Chun as super serious band manager Summer, Steven Booth as Ned, Annabelle Wachtel as Marcy, Terrance Bell, Jr. as Mason, Chloe Bryan as Madison, and Ellie Kim join the cast as a swing.

The new class of School of Rock – The Musical also features Will Blum as the Dewey alternate, Jenn Gambatese as Rosalie Mullins, Becky Gulsvig as Patty, Bobbi MacKenzie as Tomika, and Luca Padovan as Billy. The adult ensemble includes Emily Cramer, Natalie Charle Ellis, John Arthur Greene, Michael Hartney, Merritt David Janes, Nehal Joshi, Lulu Lloyd, Jaygee Macapugay, Cassie Okenka, Patrick O’Neill, Morgan Rose, Jesse Swimm, Josh Tower, and J. Michael Zygo. The kid’s ensemble features Paul Luke Bonenfant, Ava Della Pietra, Gabby Gutierrez, Gianna Harris, Jason Kisare, and Jersey Sullivan.

Check out the School of Rock cast on the 2016 Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Eric Petersen has been seen on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and in national tours, most notably as Shrek in Shrek: The Musical, Peter and the Starcatcher, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. On television, Petersen played Arlo Barth on TVLand’s “Kristie,” and has been seen on Disney Channel’s “Jessie,” “Pair of Kings” and “Kirby Buckets.”

Jaygee Macapugay makes her Broadway debut in SCHOOL OF ROCK. Photo by Lia Chang

Jaygee Macapugay makes her Broadway debut in SCHOOL OF ROCK. Photo by Lia Chang

Jaygee Macapugay makes her Broadway debut in School of Rock.  Her Off-Broadway credits include School of Rock  (Gramercy); Here Lies Love  (Imelda Marcos, Public Theater); Hello, Dolly!  (Irene Molloy, Signature).  Her regional credits include Smokey Joe’s Cafe  (Brenda, Maltz Jupiter), Miss Saigon  (MUNY, 5th Avenue, Casa Manana), The King & I  (KC Starlight).  International:  Where Elephants Weep.

Olivia Chun made her Broadway debut as the Royal Twin in Lincoln Center’s Tony award-winning revival of The King and I of LCT. Workshops: Annie Kidz (CAA), DoogeunDoogeun Hangul(KCC), Bway Prep (JCC) Short Film: Curbside Waltz. Twitter: @chun_olivia, Insta: @oliviachunofficial

Nehal Joshi has appeared on Broadway in the original revival of Les Miserables and the Roundabout’s ThreePenny Opera. His Off-Broadway credits include Working (Drama Desk Award), Falling for Eve, Whose your baghdaddy…Regionally, he has worked at Arena Stage, Dallas Theatre Center, ATL. TV: “The Wire” (HBO), Game: War of Warcraft: Catacylm.

Nehal Joshi, Lia Chang and Jaygee Macapugay. Photo by Garth Kravits

Nehal Joshi, Lia Chang and Jaygee Macapugay. Photo by Garth Kravits

After the show, we visited onstage with Nehal Joshi and birthday girls, Jaygee Macapugay and Olivia Chun, who play mother and daughter and share the same birthday, November 26th.

School of Rock – The Musical is based on the smash hit 2003 film of the same, featuring music from the movie, as well as an original score by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Glenn Slater, a book by Julian Fellowes and direction by Laurence Connor. School of Rock – The Musical opened to rave reviews on Sunday, December 6, 2015. School of Rock – The Musical was nominated for four 2016 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score (Lloyd Webber and Slater), Best Book (Fellowes), and Best Leading Actor in a Musical (Alex Brightman).

School of Rock – The Musical is a hilarious new musical that follows Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star who decides to earn a few extra bucks by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. There he turns a class of straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. While teaching these pint-sized prodigies what it means to truly rock, Dewey falls for the school’s beautiful, but uptight headmistress, helping her rediscover the wild child within.

School of Rock features choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter, scenic and costume design by Anna Louizos, lighting design by Natasha Katz, and sound design by Mick Potter and music supervision by Ethan Popp.

Andrew Lloyd Webber, once again, has the rare distinction of having three musicals running simultaneously on Broadway: School of Rock – The Musical, CATS, and The Phantom of the Opera.

School of Rock – The Musical recently opened in London’s West End at the New London Theatre.

School of Rock – The Musical is produced on Broadway by Andrew Lloyd Webber for The Really Useful Group, Warner Music Group & Access Industries, The Shubert Organization, and The Nederlander Organization. Nina Lannan and Madeleine Lloyd Webber serve as Executive Producers. Click here to purchase tickets and for more information.

The School of Rock Digital Lottery, now open, will open daily at 12:01am ET for entrants to win a limited number of $37 same day tickets to that day’s performance(s) at schoolofrocklottery.com.

The complete rules and regulations for the new digital lottery are as follows: – A limited number of tickets for each performance will be sold via digital lottery. – The School of Rock Digital Lottery will open at 12:01am ET each day and will remain open until 10:59am ET for matinees and 2:50pm ET for evening performances. – Winners will be drawn daily at approximately 11:15am ET for matinees and approximately 3:15pm ET for evening performances. – Winners will be notified by e-mail immediately upon drawing. – To claim tickets, winners must present their photo ID at the Winter Garden Theatre box office at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the corresponding performance to purchase their tickets. – Seat locations and number of tickets awarded by the lottery are subject to availability.

Tickets Now on Sale for Broadway Production of ALLEGIANCE, Starring George Takei, Lea Salonga and Telly Leung, in Cinemas Nationwide on Dec. 13 

PHANTOM, Starring James Barbour, Ali Ewoldt, and Jordan Donica, Celebrates 12,000 Performances on Broadway 

Two-time Tony Nominee André De Shields, Rachel Leslie, Billy Eugene Jones, Stephanie Berry, Wayne T. Carr,  Danny Johnson and Antoinette Crowe-Legacy Begin Previews Tonight in Timothy Douglas Helmed SEVEN GUITARS at Yale Rep 

Inside the 2016 Urban Action Showcase and Expo with BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA’s Peter Kwong and Lia Chang; Full List of 2016 Honorees 

MTC Extends Qui Nguyen’s VIETGONE Starring Raymond Lee, Paco Tolson, Samantha Quan, Jon Hoche and Jennifer Ikeda through Dec. 4 

Greg Watanabe Stars in Perseverance Theatre’s Production of Jeanne Sakata’s HOLD THESE TRUTHS in Juneau through Dec. 4, and in Anchorage, Jan. 6-15 

Jose Llana and Laura Michelle Kelly Lead THE KING AND I at SHN Golden Gate Theatre in SF through Dec. 11 

Signature Theatre’s Brilliant and Scorching Revival of Athol Fugard’s ‘MASTER HAROLD’ … AND THE BOYS, Extends through Dec. 11 

Lynn Nottage’s SWEAT Featuring John Earl Jelks, Johanna Day, James Colby, Carlo Alban, Miriam Shor, Michelle Wilson and Will Pullen Extends at The Public through Dec. 18 

Suzan-Lori Parks’ THE DEATH OF THE LAST BLACK MAN IN THE WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD Extended at Signature Theatre through Dec. 18 

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

Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits

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

THE GREAT BLUENESS Cast and Creative Team. Photo by Lia Chang

Mark Linn-Baker, Barbara Walsh, Garth Kravits and More Set for New Victory LabWorks’ Reading of Andrew Gerle’s THE GREAT BLUENESS on Nov. 10

Photography, Theater

The New Victory Theater, a leading presenter of Theater for Young Audiences, is presenting a special invitational reading of The Great Blueness, a new musical with book, music and lyrics by Andrew Gerle (Meet John Doe) on Thursday, November 10, 2016, as part of the 2016-17 New Victory LabWorks Artists series. Based on the book by Arnold Lobel (author of the beloved Frog and Toad series), The Great Blueness tells the story of a town where everything is grey, until the town Wizard discovers Blue and a magical new world of color unfolds.

John Carrafa, Mark-Linn Baker, Andre Gerle and Barbara Walsh. Photo by Lia Chang

John Carrafa, Mark-Linn Baker, Andre Gerle and Barbara Walsh. Photo by Lia Chang

Produced by Adrianne Lobel, the reading of The Great Blueness will be directed by two-time Tony nominee John Carrafa and stars Mark Linn-Baker as the Wizard, with Barbara Walsh as Mayor Charlotte, Garth Kravits as Councilman Amasa, Kat Nejat as Councilwoman Jerutha and Ava Della Pietra as Iris. The ensemble features Pamela Bob, Jeremy Geller, Laura Hall, David Hess, Tiffany Mann and Frank Viveros.

Mark-Linn Baker and Ava Della Pietra. Photo by Lia Chang

Mark-Linn Baker and Ava Della Pietra. Photo by Lia Chang

The creative team for The Great Blueness includes Jody Schum (Musical Director), Reed Ridgley (General Manager), Xander Rovang (Second Keyboard), Rachel Windfield (Director’s Assistant), and Jennifer Wheeler Kahn (Production Stage Manager). The Great Blueness received its first reading this past summer as part of New York Stage and Film & Vassar’s 32nd Powerhouse Season.

Mark-Linn Baker, Barbara Walsh and Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Mark-Linn Baker, Barbara Walsh and Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Composer, playwright and pianist Andrew Gerle won the 2012 Kleban Award for outstanding librettist for his show GLORYANA, which also won a 2011 Richard Rodgers Award. He has also won three other Rodgers Awards for THE TUTOR (book and lyrics by Maryrose Wood).

With lyricist Eddie Sugarman, he won a Jonathan Larson Award for their show, MEET JOHN DOE (cast album on Broadway Records), and he received the first Burton Lane Fellowship for Young Composers from the Theater Songwriters’ Hall of Fame. His play RENOVATIONS was premiered in 2011 at the White Plains (NY) Performing Arts Center, and selections from his opera THE BEACH (libretto by Royce Vavrek) were premiered by the New York City Opera as part of their VOX reading series. Recent projects include an adaptation of The Tempest with legendary lyricist Tom Jones (The Fantasticks) and a score for Barrington Stage Company’s production of Much Ado About Nothing.

THE GREAT BLUENESS Cast and Creative Team. Photo by Lia Chang

THE GREAT BLUENESS Cast and Creative Team. Photo by Lia Chang

Gerle has been a Fellow at the MacDowell Artists’ Colony and a writer-in-residence at the Sundance Theater Institute at Ucross, the Rhinebeck Writers’ Retreat, and the Eugene O’Neill Musical Theatre Conference. As a musical director, he has worked on dozens of Off-Broadway, regional and touring productions, and was heard as the “hands” of Coalhouse Walker, Jr., in the recent Tony Award-winning revival of Ragtime. He has served as musical director and accompanist for such distinguished artists as Kitty Carlisle Hart, John Raitt, Jennifer Holliday, Shirley Jones, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Leslie Uggams and Liz Callaway. A CD of his jazz arrangements of the songs of Maltby & Shire with vocalist Christa Justus was released in 2010 under the PS Classics Label. He is the author of The Enraged Accompanist’s Guide to the Perfect Audition, which is becoming the go-to reference for professional and aspiring musical theater actors alike. He is on the faculty of Yale University, where he teaches musical theater performance and songwriting.

John Carrafa (Director) Good Vibrations (NY Stage and Film, Broadway). Academy (NY Music Theater Festival, Daegu International Music Theater Festival. Best Musical.) Fucking Hipsters (NY Musical Theater Festival), Cirque Berzerk (Microsoft Theater), The Rocky Horror Show (Strand Theater, ACT). Choregrapher: Into The Woods (Tony Nomination), Urinetown (Tony Nomination, Obie Award, Lucille Lortel Award and Dora Award, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Award Nominations), Dirty Blonde, Dance of the Vampires, Love Valour Compassion, Finding Nemo (Disney World), Encores! Series: The Pajama Game, Out of this World. TV: “The Knick,” “Empire,” “Transparent,” “Limitless,” “Nashville,” “Blue Bloods,” “Elementary,” “The Black List,” “Nurse Jackie”. Film: If I Stay, The Other Guys, Something Borrowed (World Dance Award), Bride Wars, The Polar Express (2005 Media Choreography Honors), The Last Days of Disco, The Thomas Crown Affair, Rebel in the Rye (2017).

THE GREAT BLUENESS Cast and Creative Team. Photo by Lia Chang

THE GREAT BLUENESS Cast and Creative Team. Photo by Lia Chang

Designed to foster the creation of new work, New Victory LabWorks offers resources and opportunities for professional exchange among a broad spectrum of artists living and working in New York City. Managed by the New Victory Artistic Programming staff, New Victory LabWorks has grown to include a diverse spectrum of nearly 500 New York City-based arts professionals, including artists, practitioners, educators, presenters and producers.

THE GREAT BLUENESS Cast and Creative Team. Photo by Lia Chang

THE GREAT BLUENESS Cast and Creative Team. Photo by Lia Chang

New Victory LabWorks Artists also have access to the feedback and support of New Victory staff, as well as professional development and networking events with New Victory visiting companies and guest artists. All season long, the greater New Victory LabWorks community is invited to attend workshops, master classes and various networking events, as well as performances in the New Victory season, to promote local, national and international exchange and further their exploration of theater for family audiences.

Ava Della Pietra, Barbara Walsh, Garth Kravits and Kat Nejat. Photo by Lia Chang

Ava Della Pietra, Barbara Walsh, Garth Kravits and Kat Nejat. Photo by Lia Chang

For more information about New Victory LabWorks, please contact the New Victory Artistic Programming Department at LabWorks@New42.org.

About The New Victory Theater
The New Victory Theater brings kids to the arts and the arts to kids as New York City’s premier theater devoted to the highest quality performing arts for kids and families. Serving the city in all its diversity, The New Victory Theater on 42nd Street presents theater, dance, circus, opera and music from around the world at affordable ticket prices. In addition to its public performances, the New Vic is also the largest provider of live performance to NYC school kids, serving 40,000 students in grades PreK-12 from more than 200 schools, after school programs and day camps each year. The New Victory Theater’s contributions to the cultural landscape of the city have been honored by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities with the 2014 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, a national Arts Education Award from Americans for the Arts and a 2012 Drama Desk Award for “providing enchanting, sophisticated children’s theater that appeals to the child in all of us, and for nurturing a love of theater in young people.

Designs by Adrianne Lobel. Photo by Lia Chang

Designs by Adrianne Lobel. Photo by Lia Chang

Broadwayworld.com: Photo Flash: In Rehearsal with Mark Linn-Baker, Barbara Walsh, Garth Kravits and More for New Victory LabWorks’ Reading of Andrew Gerle’s THE GREAT BLUENESS

 

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

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

Artist Arlan Huang in his studio during Gowanus Arts Walk 2016 on October 16, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Arts Gowanus Presents Paintings by Arlan Huang during 20th Annual Gowanus Open Studios Weekend

Photography
Paintings by Arlan Huang on view during Gowanus Arts Walk 2016 on October 16, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Paintings by Arlan Huang on view during Gowanus Arts Walk 2016 on October 16, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

This afternoon I headed out to Gowanus to check out artist Arlan Huang’s new paintings at his studio during the 20th Annual Gowanus Open Studios weekend.

Arlan Huang and his wife Lillian Ling during Gowanus Arts Walk 2016 on October 16, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Arlan Huang and his wife Lillian Ling during Gowanus Arts Walk 2016 on October 16, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

For one weekend each year, artists working in the former factories, warehouses and studio buildings in Gowanus invite the public to visit their studios, see their work, and talk about their process. This year 328+ artists participated in the Gowanus Arts Walk 2016 held on October 15‐16 from 12‐6pm.

Paintings by Arlan Huang on view during Gowanus Arts Walk 2016 on October 16, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Paintings by Arlan Huang on view during Gowanus Arts Walk 2016 on October 16, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Huang’s paintings have evolved over the years into a meditative practice where beauty is revealed at the edge of the painting’s possible destruction or dissolution. Brush marks in the forms of lines, dashes, and dots are layered until the right equation of visible and obscured form is achieved. Huang’s abstract paintings aim to capture what Allen Ginsberg called, “The dearness of the vanishing moment.” The 13 paintings below were created by Huang during his residency in the grounds of Zenkoji Temple, Japan last year. air-zenkouji.com

Paintings by Arlan Huang on view during Gowanus Arts Walk 2016 on October 16, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Paintings by Arlan Huang on view during Gowanus Arts Walk 2016 on October 16, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Huang finds meaning and memories in atmospheric and spatially dissolving compositions. His paintings challenge a concrete understanding of their fleeting formal structures. Hurt creates relational and autonomous forms that connect to the viewer’s physical body, while breaking the mold of painting’s rectilinear support.

Paintings by Arlan Huang on view during Gowanus Arts Walk 2016 on October 16, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Paintings by Arlan Huang on view during Gowanus Arts Walk 2016 on October 16, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Artist Arlan Huang in his studio during Gowanus Arts Walk 2016 on October 16, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Artist Arlan Huang in his studio during Gowanus Arts Walk 2016 on October 16, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Arlan Huang
Arlan Huang was born in Bangor, Maine, USA in 1948. He grew up in San Francisco, California. He currently lives in Manhattan. He is a painter and glassblower with permanent glass installations in New York, San Francisco and Japan. Recent accolades include: Joan Mitchell Creating A Living Legacy (CALL) award, 2014; Artist-in-Residence in the grounds of Zenkoji Temple, air-zenkouji.com, Japan, 2015; interviewed by Robin Clark (SFMOMA) for the CALL/VoCA talk series.

Arlan Huang’s Studio
168 7th Street 2A
Brooklyn, NY 11215
718-499-1584

Visitors are encouraged to create their own self‐guided tours during this FREE event. The Arts Gowanus website features an Online Directory of Artists of all participating artists with samples of their art and includes an interactive map. Visitors can select artists to visit by perusing this directory or pick up a printed map throughout the neighborhood during the GOS 2016 weekend.

Paintings by Arlan Huang on view during Gowanus Arts Walk 2016 on October 16, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Paintings by Arlan Huang on view during Gowanus Arts Walk 2016 on October 16, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

With the landscape of Brooklyn slowly changing for working artists, Gowanus remains one of the largest communities of visual artists, musicians, glassblowers, textile artists, graphic designers, and craftspeople. Today, Gowanus Open Studios is not only an opportunity for visitors in the tri‐state area to experience the diverse collection of creativity in the neighborhood, but also a symbol of artistic resilience in the face of unbridled real estate development and hyper‐gentriication. In addition to hosting Gowanus Open Studios, Arts Gowanus is working year‐round with city and local elected oficials to find ways to keep artists in Gowanus.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

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

André De Shields, Rebecca Naomi Jones and Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

My Birthday Visit to MARIE AND ROSETTA with André De Shields, Garth Kravits, Anthony Chisholm and More at Atlantic Theater

Photography, Theater
André De Shields, Kecia Lewis and Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields, Kecia Lewis and Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Last night, I celebrated my birthday with André De Shields and Garth Kravits at Atlantic Theater Company’s world premiere production of George Brant’s play with music, Marie and Rosetta, at Atlantic Theater Company’s Linda Gross Theater. Helmed by Artistic Director Neil Pepe, Marie and Rosetta stars Kecia Lewis as Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Rebecca Naomi Jones as Marie Knight. Also in the house- Anthony Chisholm, Carla Brothers and Virginia Woodruff.

André De Shields, Rebecca Naomi Jones and Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

André De Shields, Rebecca Naomi Jones and Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

A huge influence on Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles and Jimi Hendrix, Sister Rosetta Tharpe (Lewis) was a legend in her time, bringing fierce guitar-playing and swing to gospel music. Tharpe was the queen of ‘race records’ in the 30’s and 40’s, a woman who played guitar as passionately as Clapton, who performed mornings at churches and evenings at the Cotton Club, who was a big enough star to fill a baseball stadium for her third wedding, but ended up buried in an unmarked grave in Philadelphia. Marie and Rosetta chronicles Sister Rosetta’s first rehearsal with a young protégée, Marie Knight (Jones), as they prepare to embark on a tour that would establish them as one of the great duet teams in musical history.

Rebecca Naomi Jones, André De Shields, Kecia Lewis. Photo by Lia Chang

Rebecca Naomi Jones, André De Shields, Kecia Lewis. Photo by Lia Chang

Marie and Rosetta, which recently received a 2016 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award, began previews on August 24, officially opened September 14 and has been extended through October 16 at Atlantic Theater Company’s Linda Gross Theater. Tickets can be ordered online at www.atlantictheater.org, by calling OvationTix at 866-811-4111, or in person at The Linda Gross Theater box office (336 West 20th Street between 8 and 9 Avenues).

MARIE AND ROSETTA director Neil Pepe, stars Rebecca Naomi Jones and Kecia Lewis, playwright George Brant. Photo by Lia Chang

MARIE AND ROSETTA director Neil Pepe, stars Rebecca Naomi Jones and Kecia Lewis, playwright George Brant. Photo by Lia Chang

Kecia Lewis recently starred in the title role of Mother Courage Off-Broadway. She made her Broadway debut as “Effie” in the original company of Dreamgirls, originated the role of “Asaka, Mother of The Earth” in Once on This Island and has appeared in the Broadway musicals Big RiverAin’t MisbehavinThe Gospel at ColonusThe Drowsy ChaperoneChicago and earned a Drama Desk Award nomination for her performance in Dessa Rose at Lincoln Center Theatre.

MARIE AND ROSETTA stars Kecia Lewis and Rebecca Naomi Jones. Photo by Lia Chang

MARIE AND ROSETTA stars Kecia Lewis and Rebecca Naomi Jones. Photo by Lia Chang

Rebecca Naomi Jones has performed in the Broadway musicals American IdiotPassing Strange, and most recently as Yitzhak in the hit revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. She has appeared Off-Broadway in Murder Ballad, Big Love and The Fortress of Solitude and recently starred in Martyna Majok’s play Cost of Living at Williamstown Theatre Festival.

Carla Brothers, Anthony Chisholm, Lia Chang and André De Shields. Photo by Garth Kravits

Carla Brothers, Anthony Chisholm, Lia Chang and André De Shields. Photo by Garth Kravits

MARIE AND ROSETTA

MARIE AND ROSETTA

Sister Rosetta Tharpe was widely acclaimed among the greatest Sanctified gospel singers of her generation; a flamboyant performer whose music often flirted with the blues and swing, she was also one of the most controversial talents of her day, shocking purists with her leap into the secular market – by playing nightclubs and theaters, she not only pushed spiritual music into the mainstream, but in the process also helped pioneer the rise of pop-gospel.

Marie and Rosetta features scenic design by Riccardo Hernández, costume design by Dede Ayite, lighting design by Christopher Akerlind, sound design by Steve Canyon Kennedy, music direction by Jason Michael Webb and casting by Telsey + Company.

Schedule:

Tuesday at 7pm, Wednesday-Saturday at 8pm, Saturday and Sunday at 2pm.

Wednesday matinee at 2pm on October 5, October 12.

Anthony Chisholm, Carla Brothers, André De Shields, Kecia Lewis, Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Anthony Chisholm, Carla Brothers, André De Shields, Kecia Lewis, Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Garth Kravits (The Drowsy Chaperone) was recently featured as Goldberg in B-Side Productions’ The Wild Party by George Wolfe and Michael John LaChuisa. André De Shields (Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Wiz, The Full Monty, Play On!) is set for August Wilson’s Seven Guitars, directed by Timothy Douglas at Yale Repertory Theatre, Nov. 25 – Dec. 17.  Anthony Chisholm (Two Trains Running, Gem of the Ocean, Radio Golf) returns to Broadway in the Ruben Santiago-Hudson helmed production of August Wilson’s Jitney at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, with previews begin December 28 and opening night set for January 19, 2017. The play is the only work from Wilson’s The American Century Cycle never seen on Broadway. Set in the early 1970’s, the story follows a group of men who drive unlicensed cabs or jitneys.

Broadwayworld.com Photo Flash: André De Shields, Garth Kravits and Anthony Chisholm Visit #MARIEROSETTAATC at Atlantic Theater

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

Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits

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

Doug Peck, Taylor Moore, Robert Reddrick, André De Shields, Kimberly Lawson, Anthony J. Mhoon and Donica Lynn. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields’ CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P. at Victory Gardens- Tech to Closing Night

Dance, Photography, Theater
Matt De Caro, Monica Lopez Orozco, André De Shields, Lauren Molina. Photo by Lia Chang

Matt De Caro, Monica Lopez Orozco, André De Shields, Lauren Molina. Photo by Lia Chang

The Chicago theatrical community turned out to celebrate two-time Tony nominee and Emmy winner André De Shields (THE WIZ, AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’, THE FULL MONTY, PLAY ON!) during the three performance run of his self-penned CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P., in the Začek McVay Theater at Victory Gardens this weekend.