Happy birthday to Tony, Grammy and Emmy winner André De Shields, who turns 77 on January 12.
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.
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.
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)
12:15pm Lunch at the Monona Terrace Hilton to discuss The André De Shields Fund, launched in 2020 by Wisconsin Union Theater.
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.
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
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
6:30pm Dinner at Cento
HUDSON THEATRE IN NEW YORK
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
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).