Watch: BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang – Signature Theatre Celebrates Jim Houghton Way Street Sign Unveiling on October 16 at 6:30pm on FIOS 34, RCN 83, Spectrum 56/1996. 

Awards, Benefits, Photography, Theater

This episode of BACKSTAGE PASS WITH LIA CHANG, a new Arts and Entertainment program will air on Sunday, October 16 at 6:30pm on FIOS 34, RCN 83, Spectrum 56/1996. 

Photo by Lia Chang

On October 4, light rain and blustery winds did not dampen the mood of Signature Theatre’s unveiling of the 
42nd Street and Dyer Avenue intersection in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood as the newly co-named Jim Houghton Way, which celebrates the groundbreaking company’s founder, the late James Houghton.

For this festive gathering, elected officials, legendary members of the city’s theater community, and members of the Houghton family gathered at Pershing Square Signature Center in honor of Houghton, who formed the company in 1991 with a mission of supporting playwrights through a multi-play residency model designed to invest in a body of work and provide a supportive artistic home.

Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, Signature Board Chair Edward Norton, Signature Associate Artistic Director Beth Whitaker, Lily Houghton, Signature Residency 5 Playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Council Member Erik Bottcher, Senator Brad Holyman. Photo by Lia Chang

The program began at Pershing Square Signature Center featuring remarks by Signature Associate Artistic Director Beth Whitaker, Signature Artistic Director Paige Evans, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, City Council Member Erik Bottcher, New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, Signature Board Chair Ed Norton, Houghton’s daughter, Lily Houghton, and Signature Resident Playwright Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins.

This episode of BACKSTAGE PASS WITH LIA CHANG, a new Arts and Entertainment program will air on Sunday, October 16 at 6:30pm on FIOS 34, RCN 83, Spectrum 56/1996. 

Houghton was beloved by the theatre community and known for supporting visionary playwrights and theatremakers including Edward Albee, Will Eno, Horton Foote, Athol Fugard, John Guare, Katori Hall, David Henry Hwang, Bill Irwin, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Adrienne Kennedy, and Sam Shepard.

Annie Baker, Will Eno, Lily Houghton, Henry Houghton, David Henry Hwang and Branden Jacob-Jenkins. Photo by Lia Chang

Artistic alumni of Signature Theatre who came to celebrate Jim included Annie Baker, Becky Ann Baker, Dylan Baker, Jo Bonney, Martha Clarke, Will Eno, Hailie Foote, David Henry Hwang, Charles Mee, Edward Norton, Lois Smith, Harris Yulin and many more.

Paige Evans, Signature Artistic Director, Lily Houghton, Signature Board Chair Edward Norton. Photo by Lia Chang

Becky Ann Baker Christine Jones, Loren Toolajian and Dallas Roberts. Photo by Lia Chang

Charles Mee and Lily Houghton. Photo by Lia Chang

Houghton tirelessly fundraised for and realized the building of Signature’s flagship three-theatre complex and cultural space, The Pershing Square Signature Center-its 75,000-square-foot facility designed by Frank Gehry Architects and opened in 2012. Houghton’s conviction about theatre’s integral role in community-building resulted in Signature’s Access ticket program (formerly Signature Ticket Initiative), providing over a million affordable, subsidized tickets since its launch; and the Pershing Square Signature Center’s open, public space that invites community gathering and connection.

Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, Signature Theatre Executive Director, Board Trustee Nina Matis, Paige Evans, Signature Artistic Director. Photo by Lia Chang

Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine. Photo by Lia Chang

Council Member Erik Bottcher. Photo by Lia Chang

Senator Brad Hoylman. Photo by Lia Chang

Senator Brad Hoylman. Photo by Lia Chang

Guests at the unveiling fill the lobby of The Pershing Square Signature Center. Photo by Lia Chang

Signature Board Chair Edward Norton. Photo by Lia Chang

Signature Resident Playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.Photo by Lia Chang

Signature Resident Playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.Photo by Lia Chang

After the speeches, we all filed outside to witness the unveiling, and then returned to Pershing Square Signature Center for a light bites and prosecco reception.

Jim Houghton Way Street Sign Unveiling. Photo by Lia Chang

Lily Houghton gets ready to unveil the Jim Houghton Way Street Sign in New York on October 4, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

Jim Houghton Way Street Sign Unveiling. Photo by Lia Chang

Jim Houghton Way Street Sign Unveiling. Photo by Lia Chang

Senator Brad Hoylman and Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine. Photo by Lia Chang

Signature Associate Artistic Director Beth Whitaker, Lily Houghton, Signature Resident Playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Senator Brad Hoylman, Henry Houghton, Council Member Erik Bottcher and Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine. Photo by Lia Chang

Signature Theatre Associate Artistic Director Beth Whitaker, Lily Houghton, Signature Resident Playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Senator Brad Hoylman, Henry Houghton, Council Member Erik Bottcher and Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine. Photo by Lia Chang

Signature Associate Artistic Director Beth Whitaker, Lily Houghton, Signature Resident Playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Senator Brad Hoylman, Henry Houghton, Council Member Erik Bottcher and Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine. Photo by Lia Chang

Jim Houghton Way Street Sign Unveiling. Photo by Lia Chang

Lily Houghton. Photo by Lia Chang

The Houghton Family. Photo by Lia Chang

Timothy J. McClimon, Signature Executive Director, Paige Evans, Signature Artistic Director. Photo by Lia Chang

Signature Associate Artistic Director Beth Whitaker, Executive Director Timothy J. McClimon, Artistic Director Paige Evans. Photo by Lia Chang

Signature Associate Artistic Director Beth Whitaker, Artistic Director Paige Evans. Photo by Lia Chang

Will Eno and Adam Bernstein, Executive Director of The New Group. Photo by Lia Chang

Signature Board Chair Edward Norton, Dallas Roberts, Bill Migliore, Juan Leon, Silvan Tropea. Photo by Lia Chang

Signature Associate Artistic Director Beth Whitaker, Lily Houghton, Henry Houghton and David Hatkoff (former director of marketing and audience services). Photo by Lia Chang

Signature Associate Artistic Director Beth Whitaker with the Rauch Family. Photo by Lia Chang

The Houghton Family is flanked by Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins and Beth Whitaker. Photo by Chang

The staff of Signature Theatre Company in the lobby of The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on October 4, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, activist and an Award winning filmmaker and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Lia is a Signature alum, having performed in Signature’s revival of Chicago, directed by Joe Chaiken during Signature’s Sam Shepard season in 1996 at The Public Theater.

Lia is also the host and Executive Producer of BACKSTAGE PASS WITH LIA CHANG, a new Arts and Entertainment program that airs on Sundays at 6:30pm on FIOS 34, RCN 83, Spectrum 56/1996 and MNN2.

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. Her short film, When the World Was Young recently garnered a 2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2022 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang, unless otherwise indicated. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at backstagepasswithliachang@gmail.com

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