It was a big night for The Manhattan Theater Club’s production of Lynn Nottage’s Ruined and the Classical Theatre of Harlem’s musical Archbishop Supreme Tartuffe at the 2008-2009 Audelco Awards, which were handed out at Aaron Davis Hall, on Monday, November 16. 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.
Ruined took home seven awards, for Dramatic Production of the Year, playwright Lynn Nottage, lead actress Saidah Arrika Ekulona, supporting actress Quincy Tyler Bernstine, supporting actor Russell G. Jones, costume designer Paul Tazewell and set designer Derek McLane.
Archbishop Supreme Tartuffe, co-written by Alfred Preisser and Randy Weiner, won four awards including Musical Production of the Year, Outstanding Performance in a Musical, Male (André De Shields), Outstanding Performance in a Musical, Female (Kim Brockington) and Outstanding Musical Director (Kelvyn Bell). The musical is set to reopen later this season for an open commercial run.
Carlyle Brown’s Pure Confidence received three awards for Director, Dramatic Production (Marion McClinton), lead actor (Gavin Lawrence) and sound designer C. Andrew Mayer.
The Signature Theatre Company garnered three awards, Best Revival for Zooman and the Sign and lighting designer Matthew Frey. Kevin Carroll, Tracey Bonner and January Lavoy, were honored for their Outstanding Ensemble Performance in Home.
Other winners included actor Khalil Ashanti for his Solo Performance in Basic Training and The Wiz’s Keith Lee Grant, who took home two trophies, for Choreographer and Director, Musical Production.
This year, AUDELCO celebrated 37 years of Excellence in Black Theatre, honoring nine Outstanding Pioneer Theatre Companies 35+ years, with the “The VIV” 2009 Annual Vivian Robinson/AUDELCO Recognition Awards. The Outstanding Pioneer Theatre Companies 35+ years include: AMAS, Billie Holiday Theatre, Black Spectrum Theatre, Frank Silvera’s Writer’s Workshop, National Black Theatre, Negro Ensemble Company, New Federal Theatre, Richard Allen Center for Culture & Arts and the Roger Furman Theatre.
Lia Chang is an actor, performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multimedia journalist.
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As a photographer and videographer, Lia collaborates with artists, organizations and companies in establishing their documentary photo archive and social media presence. She has been documenting her colleagues and contemporaries in the arts, fashion and journalism since making her stage debut as Liat in the National Tour of South Pacific, with Robert Goulet and Barbara Eden.
Selections of Lia’s archive of Asian Pacific Americans in the arts, fashion, journalism, politics and space are now in the newly created LIA CHANG THEATER PHOTOGRAPHY PORTFOLIO in the ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN PERFORMING ARTS COLLECTION housed in the Library of Congress Asian Division’s Asian American Pacific Islander Collection.
Lia’s portraits and performance photos have appeared in Vanity Fair, Gourmet, German Elle, Women’s Wear Daily, The Paris Review, TV Guide, Daily Variety, Interior Design, American Theatre, Broadwayworld.com, Life & Style, OUT, New York Magazine, InStyle, Timeout.com, Villagevoice.com, Playbill.com, Theatermania.com, thelmagazine.com, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe, New York Times and Washington Post. A former syndicated arts and entertainment columnist for KYODO News, Lia is the New York Bureau Chief for AsianConnections.com. She writes about culture, style and Asian American issues for a variety of publications and this Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog.
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