Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang Photos: De Shields, McClendon, Elisa, Glasco, Phillips, Thompson in The Sovereign State of Boogedy Boogedy

Frequent collaborators André De Shields and playwright Lonnie Carter. Photo by Lia Chang

Frequent collaborators André De Shields and playwright Lonnie Carter. Photo by Lia Chang

The Negro Ensemble Company presented a one night only staged reading of Lonnie Carter’s The Sovereign State of Boogedy Boogedy, directed by and starring Carter’s frequent collaborator and multiple Tony nominee André De Shields (The Full Monty, Play On!, Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Wiz), on Valentine’s Day in the June Havoc Theatre, at the Abingdon Theatre Complex in New York.

 Forrest McClendon as Nebuchadnezzar. Photo by Lia Chang

Forrest McClendon as Nebuchadnezzar. Photo by Lia Chang

The Sovereign State of Boogedy Boogedy cast also featured Forrest McClendon (Scottsboro Boys), Gillian Glasco (New Federal Theatre’s hit Knock Me A Kiss), Sean Phillips (New Federal Theatre’s hit Knock Me A Kiss), Alexander Elisa (The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s Black Nativity) and Roenia Thompson (Blues in the Night ).

Lonnie Carter‘s play The Romance of Magno Rubio won 8 Obies for its Ma-Yi Theater production in 2003. A recent work The Lost Boys of Sudan was produced at the Childrens’ Theater Company in 2007 and Victory Gardens in Chicago in 2010. He teaches in the Dramatic Writing Program in the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. He is a Guggenheim Fellow, twice a Fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts, an alumnus of New Dramatists and The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis and one of the founding members of the Victory Gardens Playwrights’ Ensemble. In a much earlier version The Sovereign State of Boogedy Boogedy was read at the NEC with Douglas Turner Ward reading the role of Shadrach. It was subsequently produced at Victory Gardens and then Woodie King, Jr’s New Federal Theater with André De Shields playing the role of Nebuchadnezzar.

André De Shields, Roenia Thompson, Gillian Glasco, Sean Phillips, Lonnie Carter, Forrest McClendon and Alexander Elisa Photo by Lia Chang

(L-R) André De Shields, Roenia Thompson, Gillian Glasco, Sean Phillips, Lonnie Carter, Forrest McClendon and Alexander Elisa Photo by Lia Chang

In a career spanning more than forty years, André De Shields has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, writer and educator. He is the recipient of the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival Living Legend Award, and the 2007 Village Voice OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. Mr. De Shields is a multiple Tony Award nominee, and the author of the solo performance, MINE EYES HAVE SEEN THE GLORY: Frederick Douglass. He is best known for his show stopping performances in the original Broadway productions of four legendary musicals: The Full Monty (Noah “Horse” T. Simmons), Play On! (Jester), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (The Viper) and the title role in The Wiz. A triple Capricorn, he is the ninth of eleven children born and reared in Baltimore, Maryland. www.andredeshields.com.

Alec Nemser and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Alec Nemser and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

The mission of the Negro Ensemble Company, Inc. (NEC) is to provide African-American, African and Caribbean professional artists with an opportunity to learn, to work, to grow and to be nurtured in the performing arts. The overall mission of the NEC is to present live theatre performances by and about black people to a culturally diverse audience that is often underserved by the theatrical community.

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 liachangpr@gmail.com.

André and I have collaborated together since 1993, after acting together in Lonnie Carter’s Gulliver at La MaMa. Photo by Merle Frimark

André and I have collaborated together since 1993, after acting together in Lonnie Carter’s Gulliver at La MaMa. Photo by Merle Frimark

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.

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, 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 on Andre De Shields:
Spend Valentine’s Day with André De Shields in The Sovereign State of Boogedy Boogedy at the Abingdon Theatre
playbill.com: Andre De Shields Will Direct and Star in Reading of The Sovereign State of Boogedy Boogedy
Theatermania.com: André De Shields to Direct and Star in Reading of The Sovereign State of Boogedy Boogedy
André De Shields and Charlayne Woodard are featured in Red Bull Theater’s Off Broadway Production of The Witch of Edmonton
André De Shields leads cast of Charles Smith’s Knock Me A Kiss at Abrons Arts Center
Andre Dé Shields is having a Devilishly Good Time in Damn Yankees at The John W. Engeman Theater at Northport
Photos of André De Shields in Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory: From Douglass to Deliverance
Achieving the American Dream, Professional Charmer Andre De Shields Sees Theater is a Way to Life
André De Shields Celebrates Black History Month Starring in The Working Theater’s Production of Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory at The Abingdon in February 2010
Classical Theatre of Harlem’s Archbishop Supreme Tartuffe, MTC’s Ruined are Top Winners at 2009 Audelcos
Multimedia: Archbishop Supreme Tartuffe Opening Night Party Photos
Multimedia: Archbishop Supreme Tartuffe
André De Shields and Reg E. Cathey Star in Cato at The Flea
The Dish on Susur Lee and Shang Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive.

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