Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang: Costume Designer Karen Perry Receives Audelco Nod for The Public Theatre’s Brother/Sister Trilogy by Tarell Alvin McCraney

Karen Perry Photo by Lia Chang

Karen Perry Photo by Lia Chang

A big shout out to my friend and colleague costume designer extraordinaire Karen Perry for her latest Audelco nomination, for The Public Theatre’s “Brother/Sister Trilogy by Tarell Alvin McCraney, a Pulitzer nominee, directed by Tina Landau and Robert O’Hara. The show has received a whopping 15 nominations.

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 38th Annual Vivian Robinson/AUDELCO Recognition Awards for Excellence in Black Theatre, “The VIV”, will be handed out on Monday, November 15, at the Harlem Stage/Aaron Davis Hall, Inc., Marian Anderson Theatre, 133rd Street & Convent Avenue in Harlem, New York. We Are Family is this year’s theme and the awards presentation, which begins at 6:30pm will be co-hosted by Melba Moore and Ron Lucas, followed by a gala reception from 10pm-11pm. For more information, check out www.audelco.net.

Ms. Perry’s current projects include Regina Taylor’s “Trinity River Trilogy” plays, Walter Mosely’s “Fall of Heaven”, directed by Tony nominee Marion McClinton at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and “The Last Fall” by Stephanie Berry directed by Lynda Gravatt. Ms Perry’s awards and nominations include the Lucille Lortel for “Brother/Sister Trilogy”; 2008 Audelco for NY Signature Theatre’s NEC “First Breeze of Summer” and “Seven Guitars”; a 2007 Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Costume Design and 2006 Audelco Award for August Wilson’s “Two Trains Running” directed by Seret Scott at the Old Globe Theatre; 2006 “Woodie” Award, and the 2005 National Black Theatre Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Costume Design for Excellence in American and Black Stage, Film and Television.

Long considered a master in her profession, Ms. Perry has built an incredible body of work on Stage and Screen over a period of three decades, garnering a winning reputation as both a tremendous talent and sheer “joy to work with.” (for which I can personally vouch)

The native New Yorker began designing for the stage in the 1980’s. Her earlier film and stage works includes “The Brother from Another Planet”, directed by John Sayles, “Just Looking”, directed by Jason Alexander, the celebrated Public Theatre hit musical “Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk”, as well as NBC’s “Saturday Night Live”, UPN series “Abby” with Sydney Poitier and CBS’s acclaimed original movie “One Day In Montgomery: The Rosa Park Story”, directed by Julie Dash and HBO’s “Strapped”, directed by Forrest Whittaker, both of which Ms. Perry’s received a Costume Designer Guild Award and Cable Ace Award nominations. In addition, Ms. Perry worked as the personal stylist for many premier artists, including the late great Gregory Hines. Over a 13 year period, their collaborations included the films “Bleeding Heart”, directed by Mr. Hines and “The Tic Code” directed by Gary Winick; CBS’s TV series “The Gregory Hines Show”, and the Showtime original film “Bojangles”: The Bill ‘Bojangle’ Robinson Story. Ms Perry’s theatre design highlights include NFT’s “Paul Robeson”, “The Taking of Miss Janie”, “It Hasn’t Always Been This Way”, “Three Travelers” and “Salaam Huey P Newton”; “Crumbs for the Table of Joy”, “Raisin in the Sun”, “Dancing on Moonlight”, ”Breathe Boom”, “Resurrection” by Daniel Beaty, directed by Oz Scott, the McCarter Theatre’s “The Brother/Sister Trilogy”, by Tarell Alvin McCraney, and NYTW “Things of Dry Hours” by Naomi Wallace, directed Ruben Santiago Hudson. Regionally, she has created the costumes for six August Wilson productions including “Gem of the Ocean”, “Piano Lesson”, “King Hedley II”, “Radio Golf”, “Two Trains Running” and “Seven Guitars”.

Below is the full list of “THE VIV” Nominees:

LIGHTING DESIGN
James Carter (Pecong)
Peter Kaczorowski (The Brother/Sister Plays)
Brian Nason (The Emperor Jones)
Ben Stanton (A Cool Dip in the Barren Saharan Crick)
Justin Townsend (On the Levee)

SET DESIGN
Patrice Davidson (What Would Jesus Do?)
Jaime Durant (Grandmothers, Incorporated)
Peter Ksander (On the Levee)
Kris Stone (A Cool Dip in the Barren Saharan Crick)
Donyale Werle (Broke-ology)

COSTUME DESIGN
Antonia Ford-Roberts (The Emperor Jones)
Karen Perry (The Brother/Sister Plays)
Helen L. Simmons (What Would Jesus Do?)
Ali Turns (August Wilson’s Women)
David Withrow (Pecong)

SOUND DESIGN
Ryan Rumery/Christian Frederickson (The Emperor Jones)
Lindsay Jones (The Brother/Sister Plays)
Leon Rothenberg (On the Levee)
David D. Wright (Oshun)

DIRECTOR/DRAMATIC PRODUCTION
Lear deBessonet (On the Levee)
Imani (Dr. May Edward Chinn)
Thomas Kail (Broke-ology)
Tina Landau (Brother/Sister Plays: In the Red and Brown Water)
Robert O’Hara (Brother/Sister Plays: The Brother Size & Marcus)

DIRECTOR/MUSICAL PRODUCTION
Akin Babatunde (Blind Lemon Blues)
Kent Gash (Langston in Harlem)
Susan Stroman (The Scottsboro Boys)

CHOREOGRAPHER
Akin Babatunde (Blind Lemon Blues)
Byron Easley (Langton in Harlem)
Barry McNabb (The Emperor Jones)
Susan Stroman (The Scottsboro Boys)


PLAYWRIGHT

Marcus Gardley (On the Levee)
Yvette Heyliger (What Would Jesus Do?)
Nathan Louis Jackson (Broke-ology)
Tarell Alvin McCraney (The Brother/Sister Plays)
Charles Smith (Freed)

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Francois Battiste (Broke-ology)
Damon Gupton (Clybourne Park)
David Heron (Pecong)
Jamil A.C. Mangan (What Would Jesus Do?)
Willie Teacher (Bintou)

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Colette Bryce (Broke-ology)
Crystal A. Dickinson (Clybourne Park)
Harriett D. Foy (On the Levee)
Zainab Jah (Bintou)
Johnnie Mae (What Would Jesus Do?)

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL/FEMALE
Bambi Jones (Nunsense)
Kenita Miller (Langston in Harlem)
C. Kelly Wright (Langston in Harlem)

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL/MALE
Brandon Victor Dixon (The Scottsboro Boys)
Josh Tower (Langston in Harlem)
Glenn Turner (Langston in Harlem)

MUSICAL PRODUCTION OF THE YEAR
Blind Lemon Blues (York Theatre Company)
Langston in Harlem (Urban Stages)
The Scottsboro Boys (Vineyard Theatre)

OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE
August Wilson’s Women-Jannie Jones, Thursday Farrar,Kimberley Dalton Mitchell, Michael Jones, Jamil A.C. Mangan (Juneteenth Legacy Theatre)
Blind Lemon Blues-Akin Babatunde, Inda Ballard, Carmen Ruby Floyd, Timothy Parham, Cain Yarbrough, Alisa Peoples Yarbrough (York Theatre Company)
Neighbors-Jocelyn Bioh, Danielle Davenport, Brandon Gill, Birgit Huppuch, Chris McKinney, Okieriete Onaodowan, Tonye Patano, Eric Jordan Young (The Public Theatre)
The Brother/Sister Plays-Sterling K. Brown, Kimberly Hebert Gregory, Brian Tyree Henry, Andre Holland, Marc Damon Johnson, Sean Allan Krill, Nikiya Mathis, Kianne Muschett, Heather Alicia Simms (The Public Theatre)
The Domestic Crusaders-Abbas Zaidi, Adeel Ahmed, Kamran Khan, Imran Javais, Monisha Shiva, Nidhi Singh
(Nuyorican Poets Cafe)

SOLO PERFORMANCE
Daniel Beaty (Through the Night)
Colman Domingo (A Boy and His Soul)
Perri Gaffney ( The Resurrection of Alice)
Anna Deavere Smith (Let Me Down Easy)
Charlayne Woodard (The Night Watcher)

LEAD ACTOR
Jerome Preston Bates (What Would Jesus Do?)
Sheldon Best (Freed)
Amari Chetom (The Book of Grace)
Sean Phillips (In the Heat of the Night)
Wendell Pierce (Broke-ology)
John Douglas Thompson (The Emperor Jones)

LEAD ACTRESSYvonne Farrow ( What Would Jesus Do?)
Ciera Payton (Savannah Black & Blue)
Phyllis Yvonne Stickney (Pecong)
Valarie Tekosky (Gladys’ Dilemma)
Adenike Thomas (Bintou)
Kim Yancey-Moore (Dr. May Edward Chinn)

BEST REVIVALGladys’ Dilemma (The H.A.D.L.E.Y. Players)
Pecong (Take Wing and Soar)
The Emperor Jones (Irish Repertory Theatre)

DRAMATIC PRODUCTION OF THE YEAR
Broke-ology ( Lincoln Center Theatre)
Freed (Penguin Rep Theatre)
On the Levee ( Lincoln Center Theatre)
The Brother/Sister Plays (The Public Theatre)
What Would Jesus Do? (Billie Holiday Theatre)

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Achieving the American Dream, Professional Charmer Andre De Shields Sees Theater is a Way to Life
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Lia Chang

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, performance and fine art botanical photographer, 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.

This year, selections of Lia’s archive of Asian Pacific Americans in the arts, fashion, journalism, politics and space will become part of 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, VIBE, 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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