Happy 77th Birthday, André De Shields; UW–Madison Distinguished Alum Visits Alumni Park and Will Receive Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC)’s 2023 Howard Ashman Award

Awards, Performances, Photography, Theater

Happy birthday to Tony, Grammy and Emmy winner André De Shields, who turns 77 on January 12.

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

André is currently playing the role of Ben Loman, opposite Wendell Pierce as Willy Loman and Sharon D Clarke as Linda Loman, in the Broadway production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, which ends its limited 17-week run at the Hudson Theatre on Saturday, January 15, 2023. Click here for tickets.

McKinley Belcher III, Sharon D Clarke, Wendell Pierce, André De Shields, Khris Davis. Photo by Lia Chang

DEATH OF A SALESMAN Starring Wendell Pierce, Sharon D Clarke, André De Shields, McKinley Belcher III, Khris Davis, Delaney Williams, and More to End Limited Run on Jan. 15

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

To celebrate André’s birthday, I’ve assembled a photo diary highlighting his trip to his alma mater in October where he toured the Wisconsin Alumni Association’s new exhibit that honors him at Alumni Park.

10:30am

On October 17, UW–Madison alumnus André De Shields woke up to a snow squall for his tour of Alumni Park with Sarah Schutt, Chief Alumni Officer, WAA.WAA’s fifth anniversary of Alumni Park included the unveiling of 11 new alumni honorees and their exhibits featured in the park. (video forthcoming)

Martin and Florence Below Alumni Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields and Sarah Schutt, Chief Alumni Officer WAA. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields and Sarah Schutt, Chief Alumni Officer WAA. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields, Sarah Schutt, McKenzie Zdrale and Andrea Berns at University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Alumni Park in Madison, Wisconsin on October 17, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Alumni Park in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo by Lia Chang

University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Alumni Park in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo by Lia Chang

University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Alumni Park in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields at University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Alumni Park in Madison, Wisconsin on October 17, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields at University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Alumni Park in Madison, Wisconsin on October 17, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields in Rathskeller. Photo by Lia Chang

Andrea Berns, Sarah Schutt, André De Shields, Shasparay, McKenzie Zdrale in Rathskeller at University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, Wisconsin on October 17, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

Andrea Berns, Sarah Schutt, André De Shields, Shasparay, McKenzie Zdrale in Rathskeller at University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, Wisconsin on October 17, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

Sarah Schutt, Chief Alumni Officer WAA and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields poses with a display that features William Smith Noland, the first African-American to graduate from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1875. Photo by Lia Chang

Shasparay  and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

12:15pm Lunch at the Monona Terrace Hilton to discuss The André De Shields Fund, launched in 2020 by Wisconsin Union Theater.  

Lunch at the Monona Terrace Hilton: Seated: Shasparay, Michael Goldberg. Standing: Kelly De Haven, Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association; Dan Koehn; Allisanne Apple; Dawry Ruiz, Performing Arts committee student chair; Stephanie Diaz De León; Elizabeth Snodgrass, Director Wisconsin Union Theater, Orange Schroeder; Dr. Sandra Adell; André De Shields; Mark Guthier, Associate Vice Chancellor and Executive Director of Wisconsin Union. Photo by Lia Chang

The André De Shields Fund, launched in 2020 by Wisconsin Union Theater, recognizes De Shields’ significant achievements in the performing arts, and his example as an African American actor who journeyed to stardom. The Fund supports artistic projects and performances that are created, performed, designed, or produced by individuals from underrepresented groups, or that examine or portray issues related to diversity, equity, social systems, or injustices against marginalized groups and their stories of resistance and their right to belong. Click here to read the full article.

André De Shields and Michael Goldberg. Photo by Lia Chang

Investing in Diversity in the Arts: An André De Shields Fund Update

A New Effort to Support BIPOC Artists and Stories and How André De Shields Became Its Namesake

2:30pm Meeting in the Dean’s Office at the School of Education

Meeting with Diana Hess, Dean of the School of Education; Kate Corby, Chair of the Theater and Drama Department and professor in the Dance Department; Faisal Abdu’Allah, Professor of Printmaking and Chazen Family Distinguished Chair; and Professor Baron Kelly, a Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor in the Department of Theatre and Drama 

Broadway actor and UW–Madison alumnus André De Shields meets with Dean Diana Hess and School of Education faculty across the arts. From left: Faisal Abdu’Allah, Hess, De Shields, Kate Corby, and Baron Kelly. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields, Faisal Abdu’Allah, Baron Kelly, Kate Corby and Dean Diana Hess. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields, Faisal Abdu’Allah, Baron Kelly, Kate Corby and Dean Diana Hess. Photo by Lia Chang

Dean Diana Hess and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Dean Diana Hess and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

4:00pm-Student performance in the Play Circle Theater with a Q & A with André  facilitated by Chris Walker, Director, Division of the Arts at UW-Madison

André De Shields and Chris Walker, Director Division of the Arts at UW Madison. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields and Chris Walker, Director Division of the Arts at UW Madison. Photo by Lia Chang

Shasparay and André De Shields pose with students in the Play Circle Theater. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields visits with students after the Q & A. Photo by Lia Chang

6:30pm Dinner at Cento

Don Schutt, Sarah Schutt, Zorba Paster, Ben Sidran, André De Shields, Shasparay, André De Shields, Baron Kelly, André De Shields at Centro. Photo by Lia Chang

Ben Sidran, André De Shields and Zorba Paster. Photo by Lia Chang

Ben Sidran and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

The Badger Herald: No Lights, No Camera, All Action: Andre De Shields fund established to bring accessibility to arts

HUDSON THEATRE IN NEW YORK

Don and Sarah Schutt, Chief Alumni Officer WAA visit André De Shields after a performance of DEATH OF A SALESMAN in New York on January 6, 2023. Photo by Lia Chang

Dr. Sandra Adell visits André De Shields after a performance of DEATH OF A SALESMAN in New York on January 7, 2023. Photo by Lia Chang

McKenzie Zdrale, André De Shields and Peggy Glynn after a performance of DEATH OF A SALESMAN.

On February 6, the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) will honor André with the 2023 Howard Ashman Award at the 10th Annual GMHC Cabaret 2023 at Joe’s Pub at The Public, 425 Lafayette Street in New York. The program begins at 7pm.

He will be saluted by friends, including Broadway, cabaret, movie, and TV stars. Confirmed performers so far include John Edwards (MJ: The Musical), Claybourne Elder (Company), J Harrison Ghee (Some Like It Hot), Crystal Monet-Hall (Rent), John-Andrew Morrison (A Strange Loop), Khadija Sankoh (Little Shop of Horrors), Tiffany Renee Thompson (Little Shop of Horrors). Guest appearances will include (in alphabetical order): Kimberly Marable (Hadestown), Javier Muñoz (Hamilton), Marc Shaiman (Some Like It Hot).

The evening will be produced by Courter Simmons and Jason Cianciotto, who created the event in 2013. Kyle Brazil will music direct.

The Howard Ashman Award is named for the Oscar, Golden Globe, and Grammy Award-winning lyricist of Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Little Shop of Horrors who died of AIDS-related complications in 1991. Proceeds from the cabaret will directly support GMHC’s lifesaving programs, which benefit people living with or affected by HIV and AIDS each year through HIV testing and prevention programs, mental health and substance use counseling, legal, housing, and nutrition services-and more. Click here for more information.

Below are some of André’s highlights of 2022.

Click here to watch Lincoln Center Presents: André De Shields: Old Dawg; New Tricks

Michael R. Jackson’s A STRANGE LOOP Receives 11 Tony Awards® Nominations; #TBT to Opening Night with André De Shields

André De Shields and Miss Nevada Kataluna Enriquez Celebrate National Honor Our LGBTQ Elders Day in Las Vegas

Inside the NYU Alumni Association’s Annual Awards Luncheon with 2022 NYUAA Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient André De Shields

Inside André De Shields’ Last Night as Hermes in HADESTOWN and A Proclamation from New York City Mayor Eric Adams Citing May 29, 2022 as “André De Shields Day”

Multimedia: Wendell Pierce and Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award® Winner André De Shields Discuss DEATH OF A SALESMAN at BroadwayCon First Look; Previews Begin September 17

Unscripted Live: André De Shields, Valerie Simpson, Cory Daye, Fonzi Thornton, Lisa Fischer, Rahsaan Patterson, Joshie Jo Armstead and More at The Loft at City Winery

Lia Chang and André De Shields. Photo by Carol Schroeder

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, photo activist, documentarian 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 also the host and Executive Producer of BACKSTAGE PASS WITH LIA CHANG, an Arts and Entertainment and Lifestyle 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 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.

She is the recipient of the 2022 Prospect Muse Award, 2000 OCA Chinese American Journalist Award, the 2001 AAJA National Award for New Media. Lia is an AAJA Executive Leadership Graduate (2000), a Western Knight Fellow at USC’s Annenberg College of Communications for Specialized Journalism on Entertainment Journalism in the Digital Age (2000), a National Press Photographers Association Visual Edge/Visual Journalism Fellow at the Poynter Institute for New Media (2001), a Scripps Howard New Media Fellow at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism (2002), and a National Tropical Botanical Garden Environmental Journalism Fellow (2003).

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