Presented by The Working Theater, Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory: From Douglass to Deliverance was created, researched and written by Mr. De Shields, and will be directed by Alfred Preisser.
Mr. De Shields notes that the months of January and February 2010 host the following historic events: Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday (Jan 19); the first anniversary of the inauguration of our first African-American President, Barack Obama (Jan 20); Abraham Lincoln’s birthday (Feb 12) and the anniversary of Frederick Douglass’ birth (Feb/1818). “In my performance, I explore the life and achievements of the Great Emancipator, Frederick Douglass. Douglass began his life as a slave, through heroic efforts, became one of America’s most important and historically influential African American leaders.”
De Shields just returned to New York from Atlanta, where he was starring in the Alliance Theatre’s production of David Mamet’s A Life in the Theatre opposite Ariel Shaffir, to attend the 37th Annual Audelco Awards ceremony at Aaron Davis Hall on November 16. His turn as the title character in the Classical Theatre of Harlem’s production of ARCHBISHOP SUPREME TARTUFFE, garnered him his 6th Audelco, “The Viv” award for Outstanding Performance in a Musical, Male.
AUDELCO (Audience Development Committee, Inc.) was established and incorporated in 1973 by the late Vivian Robinson, to stimulate interest in, and support of performing arts in black communities. The annual Vivian Robinson/AUDELCO Recognition, “The VIV”Awards are the only formally established awards presented to the black theatre community.
ARCHBISHOP SUPREME TARTUFFE, co-written by Alfred Preisser and Randy Weiner, received three other Audelcos, including Musical Production of the Year, Outstanding Performance in a Musical, Female (Kim Brockington) and Outstanding Musical Director (Kelvyn Bell).
Loosely based on Moliere’s classic work Tartuffe, and inspired by the fabulously unorthodox ministries of Daddy Grace, Reverend Ike and Rasputin, ARCHBISHOP SUPREME TARTUFFE enjoyed a successful sold out run at The Harold Clurman on 42nd Street in the Summer of 2009. The musical is set to reopen later this season for an open commercial run.
Click here for a full list of AUDELCO winners.
De Shields has appeared in numerous Broadway, Off Broadway and regional productions as well as television and film. This summer, in addition to the wildly successful Off-Broadway production of The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s ARCHBISHOP SUPREME TARTUFFE, he appeared in The Public Theatre’s production of Euripides’ The Bacchae in Central Park. On Broadway, he appeared in Impressionism as well as the original Broadway casts of The Wiz, Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award), Play On!, The Full Monty and Prymate, among many others. He also conceived, co-wrote, directed, and starred in Haarlem Nocturne.
In August, he was presented with The National Black Theatre Festival’s “Living Legend” Award. He won the coveted OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance in 2007. His television credits include Cosby, Sex and the City, Law & Order, Lipstick Jungle and Life on Mars.
André De Shields’ Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory: From Douglass to Deliverance will run from February 4 through 14, 2010 at the Abingdon Theater, 312 West 36 St. in New York. The performance schedule for Mine Eyes is Wednesday through Saturday at 8pm with matinees on Wednesday, February 10th at 2pm, Saturday at 2pm and Sunday at 3pm. All tickets are $25 and can be ordered online at www.smarttix.com or by calling (212) 868-4444. For special group discounts call (212) 244-3300. www.theworkingtheater.org.
Founded in 1985, The Working Theater’s mission is to produce plays for and about working people. “We believe that theater should not be a privilege or a luxury, but a staple,” says Mark Plesent. “We want working people who may not be able to afford commercial theater or who feel that it does not resonate with their lives and experience, to make play-going a regular part of their cultural activities.” Over the years, the company has commissioned and produced more than 70 world premieres of culturally diverse new plays; garnered widespread recognition and critical acclaim for writing, acting, directing as well as their pioneering efforts in audience development.
Click on the arrow below for an excerpt of André as Frederick Douglass.
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Classical Theatre of Harlem’s ARCHBISHOP SUPREME TARTUFFE Reviews
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