Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang: André De Shields stars in Mine Eyes have Seen the Glory: From Douglass to Deliverance at The Yard

Andre De Shields as Frederick Douglass (Photo by Lia Chang)

André De Shields as Frederick Douglass (Photo by Lia Chang)

In André De Shields solo show, Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: From Douglass to Deliverance, De Shields begins with a character who is a slave in middle passage. That slave transforms into Frederick Douglass, Douglass becomes a Martin Luther King Jr. figure, then transitions into election night with the speech Barack Obama made the night he won the presidency. Mesmerizing as he draws a line showing how these men are connected in American cultural history, De Shields’ powerful performance is inspiring and spellbinding.

Over the Labor Day weekend, the two-time Tony Award nominee will perform four shows of Mine Eyes, at the Yard in Chilmark, Martha’s Vineyard on September 4, 5, and 7.

Directed by Alfred Preisser and conceived, researched and written by De Shields, in Mine Eyes, he explores the life and achievements of the Great Emancipator, Frederick Douglass. Douglass began his life as a slave, and through heroic efforts, became one of America’s most important and historically influential African American leaders.

In early August, De Shields received a Living Legend Award at the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival® (NBTF) in Winston-Salem, NC. He has appeared in numerous Broadway, Off Broadway and regional productions as well as television and film. The busy actor just completed two Off-Broadway runs, The Public Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park production of The Bacchae, directed by Joanne Akalitis and starring Jonathan Groff and Anthony Mackie, and the Classical Theatre of Harlem’s Archbishop Supreme Tartuffe, co-written by Alfred Preisser and Randy Weiner, and directed by Preisser. He appeared in the original casts of Michael Jacobs’ Impressionism, starring Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons,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.

Friday, Sept. 4th, 2009- 8PM – Opening Night with Dessert & Champagne!
$50.00 General Seating
$100.00 Premium Seating
$25.00 Seniors and under 30
Saturday, Sept. 5th, 2009- 4PM (Family Matinee) & 8PM
Monday, Sept. 7th (Labor Day), 2009- 7PM
Saturday & Monday evenings$25.00 General Seating
$50.00 Premium Seating
$15.00 Seniors and under 30
Saturday matinee Free admission (donations welcome)

For tickets
www.dancetheyard.org.
Click on the arrow below for an excerpt of Andre as Frederick Douglass.

Lia Chang is an actor, performance and fine art botanical photographer, and a multimedia journalist. 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. She is the New York Bureau Chief for AsianConnections.com.

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