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.

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