Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang: Celebrating Woodie King, Jr.

Woodie King, Jr. at a reading and reception at Maysles Cinema in New York on 2/19/09. Photo by Lia Chang

Woodie King, Jr. at a reading and reception at Maysles Cinema in New York on 2/19/09. Photo by Lia Chang

In celebration of Black History Month, from February 3-21, Maysles Cinema presented Another Side of a King: Films and Literature of Woodie King, Jr.,showcasing several of King’s films including: Death of A Prophet (1981, a documentary about Malcolm X’s last 24 hours and featuring music by Max Roach; Segregating The Greatest Generation (2006), about black artists during World War II; The Long Night (1976), his first feature film; and The Torture of Mothers: The Case of the Harlem Six (1980)based on a true story that occurred in 1963.

I caught up with Woodie on February 19 at Maysles Cinema for an evening of readings of excerpts from his books and a book party where he autographed copies of his books and DVD’s. It was standing room only as many actors came out to show their love and appreciation for Woodie and his words. Click on the arrow below for a slideshow of the actors who participated in the readings.

Born in Alabama, the pioneering writer and director for both stage and screen,was raised in Detroit where he worked for Ford Motor Company before becoming an engineer. Dissatisfied with the state of theater and lack of roles for black actors, he began forging his own movement first in Detroit, and later in New York City where he would go on to found the New Federal Theatre. http://newfederaltheatre.org/

On March 30, Amas Musical Theatre will honor Woodie King, Jr. and multiple Grammy winning singer Dionne Warwick at its 40th annual gala, to be held at Lighthouse International (111 East 59th Street) at 7pm. Proceeds will benefit  Amas Musical Theatre’s ongoing theatre and arts education programs.

Tony Award winner Leslie Uggams will present the Rosie Award, named after founder Rosetta LeNoire, to Warwick, while television and film star Reginald VelJohnson will present the award to King.

The evening will feature a special “Blast from the Past” concert of songs and numbers from four decades of Amas Musicals, including Bubbling Brown Sugar, It’s So Nice to Be Civilized, Zanna Don’t!, SHOUT! The Mod Musical, Four Guys Named Jose, Stormy Weather, Langston Hughes’s Little Ham, From My Hometown, Lone Star Love, and Wanda’s World. Maria Torres will direct and choreograph, with musical direction by Doug Oberharmer.

Performers will include Adrian Bailey, Erin Crosby, James Royce Edwards, Harriet D. Foy, Carmen Ruby Floyd, Kevin R. Free, Andre Garner, Georgia Hair, Beth Leavel, Michelle Marmolejo, Olga Merediz, Sandra Reaves-Phillips, Vivian Reed, Nicolle Rochelle, Eliseo Roman, Sandie Rosa, Erica Shroeder, Denise Summerford, Corliss Taylor Dunn, Clarke Thorell, and Chris Vettel.

For more information, call 212-563-2565 or visit www.amasmusical.org.

Bookmark and Share

Lia Chang is an actor, performance and fine art botanical photographer, and a multimedia journalist. A former syndicated arts and entertainment columnist for KYODO News, Lia is the New York Bureau Chief for AsianConnections.com. 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. She is currently working on several botanical portrait commissions for the New York City Health and Hospital Corporation Art Collection and on a book of portraits of her favorite Asian American men in the arts and space.


Bookmark and Share

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2011 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachang@hotmail.com.

Lia Chang Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography

Lia Chang Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography

Lia Chang is an actor, performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multimedia journalist.

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.

Other Articles by Lia Chang:
A night out with Gordana Rashovich, Flora Goforth in The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore
André De Shields Set for World Premiere of Charles Smith’s The Gospel According to James at Indiana Rep, 3/22-4/10
Photos:The Working Theater’s Off-Broadway production of HONEY BROWN EYES by Stefanie Zadravec at The Clurman
Lia Chang Photo Slideshows of Productions in the Working Theater’s 25th Anniversary Season
Multimedia: Photos of Ed Cardona, Jr.’s American Jornalero at the Dorothy Strelsin Theatre
Multimedia: Photos of André De Shields in Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory: From Douglass to Deliverance
Photos: A.B. Cruz III and Lillian Kimura Receive 2011 AALDEF Justice in Action Awards
Andy Warhol, Romare Bearden, Alexander Calder, Lia Chang in Art & Healing Exhibit at Snug Harbor on SI
Juicy Buns at Ollie’s
The Dish on Susur Lee and Shang
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow Backstage Pass with Lia Chang on WordPress.com