Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang: André De Shields in Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory: From Douglass to Deliverance

ANDRE DE SHIELDS as Frederick Douglass (Photo by Lia Chang)

ANDRE DE SHIELDS as Frederick Douglass (Photo by Lia Chang)

Channeling Frederick Douglass, Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. and Barack Obama in Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory: From Douglass to Deliverance, award-winning Broadway star André De Shields was a powerful and mesmerizing tour-de-force for a standing room only audience on February 9, 2009.  The special performance, in celebration of Black History Month, was presented by Actors Equity Association’s EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) Committee at SEIU District 1199, 310 West 43rd St in New York. Click on the arrow below for an excerpt of the performance.

Conceived, researched and written by Mr. De Shields, Mine Eyes was directed by Alfred Preisser, Artistic Director, Classical Theatre of Harlem, where Mr. De Shields has frequently performed.

ANDRE DE SHIELDS as Frederick Douglass (Photo by Lia Chang)

ANDRE DE SHIELDS as Frederick Douglass (Photo by Lia Chang)

Mr. De Shields notes that the months of January and February 2009 host “a constellation of precedent setting historic events: Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday (Jan 19); the inauguration of our first African-American President, Barack Obama (Jan 20); the Bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln (Feb 12) and the anniversary of Frederick Douglass’ birth. 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.”

The multiple Tony Award nominee has appeared in numerous Broadway, Off Broadway and regional productions as well as television and film, and  returns to Broadway this season in Impressionism, the world premiere of a new play by Michael Jacobs, which stars Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons, and opens March 12. On Broadway, he appeared in the original casts of The Wiz, Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award), Play On!, The Full Monty and Prymate. He also conceived, co-wrote, directed, and starred in Haarlem Nocturne. In 2007, he won the coveted OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence in Performance. His television credits include Cosby, Sex and the City, Law & Order, Lipstick Jungle and Life on Mars. He has served on Actors Equity’s Council since 1992.

7 comments on “Lia Chang: André De Shields in Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory: From Douglass to Deliverance

  1. Ruth Banks
    February 26, 2009

    Great to see and hear you on my computer in Denmark when I cannot travel to New York at present.

    Love, lots of hugs ,and good luck with everything you do and want


  2. Klaus Schønning
    February 27, 2009

    Dear Mr. Andrè De Shields.
    I am happy that Ruth Banks referred to this page where I just enjoyed your fabulous performance on the YouTube sequense.
    I can understand that you like the music I am working with and I would be happy to send you some of my other CD`s if you like.
    All best regards from Denmark, – Klaus Schønning

  3. Conte' DeShields-Coates
    February 27, 2009

    Bravo Andre’ Bravo !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Mary Barkley-DeShields
    March 3, 2009

    Jeffrey DeShields III and I were just studying Frederick Douglass for homework. Now I know where he gets his singing and performing talent from. Hope to see you soon!

    Mary R. Barkley-DeShields

  5. Ralph west
    March 23, 2009

    it is always a pleasure to see you perform. Its a honor knowing you. Can not wait.

  6. karl koerwitz
    June 13, 2009

    hi andre, good to see you are still so active…we met back in chicago in the early1970s when you were performing in a wonderful space serial…since i live in mexico now, i wasnt aware of your current work so i googled you… take care karl

  7. mg
    July 1, 2009

    Greetings Andre,
    Do you still listen to The Vanilla Fudge’ “You Keep Me Hanging On” as you put on your socks? Madison was such a dreamworld, yes? I was talking to a beautiful ebony black woman S.T. and your melodious name was mentioned. Been so long, thought perhaps you would get this.

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