Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang: Ruby Dee, Alicia Keys, Sidney Poitier to be Honored at Woodie King, Jr.’s New Federal Theatre’s 40th Anniversary Gala at Edison Ballroom on May 22

updated 4/15/11

Ruby Dee Photo by Lia Chang

Ruby Dee Photo by Lia Chang

Ruby Dee, Sidney Poitier, Ntozake Shange, Alicia Keys, Mayor David Dinkins, Imhotep Gary Byrd, George Faison, Amiri Baraka, Rev. Malcolm Boyd, Elizabeth McCann, Carla Pinza, Terrie Williams, National Black Theatre and Sylvia Sprinkle Hamlin will be feted at Woodie King, Jr.’s New Federal Theatre’s 40th Anniversary Reunion Gala Benefit at the Edison Ballroom in New York City on Sunday, May 22, 2011.

The evening’s Honorary Chairperson is Dr. Maya Angelou and the Co-Chairs are Laurence Fishburne, John Morning and Susan Taylor. Randall Pinkston and Lynn Whitfield will co-host the dinner and award ceremony. Danny Glover, S. Epatha Merkerson, Sonia Sanchez, Glynn Turman,
Tommy Hicks, Oz Scott, Pia Lindstrom, Ted Lange, Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell and Spike Lee are the presenters.

About the honorees:
Sir Sidney Poitier
Actor and Diplomat

Ntozake Shange
Author and Playwright

Ruby Dee
Activist, Actress, and Playwright

Alicia Keys
Musician and Philanthropist, Keep a Child Alive Foundation

Mayor David Dinkins
Former Mayor of the City of New York

Imhotep Gary Byrd
Radio Announcer, WBLS Radio Station

George Faison
Choreographer, Founder, Faison Firehouse Theater

Amiri Baraka
Activist Writer, Founder of the Black Arts Movement

Rev. Malcolm Boyd
Civil Rights Activist

Elizabeth McCann
Broadway Producer

Carla Pinza

Terrie Williams
Publicist and Author

National Black Theatre Festival & Sylvia Sprinkle Hamlin

The Gala begins with a reception at 4:30pm, followed by the dinner and award ceremony at 5:30pm. Tables of ten, available at $5,000, $10,000, $15,000 and $20,000. Individual tickets start at $400. For reservations and sponsorship packages, call New Federal Theatre at 212-353-1176 or Lorelei Enterprises at 212-838-2660, ext. 14.

The Edison Ballroom is located at 240 West 47th St., between Broadway and 8th Avenue in New York.

Woodie King Jr’s New Federal Theatre has presented over 200 productions in its 40-year history. Mr. King has produced and directed on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in Regional theatres, and in universities across the United States. He co-produced For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf (first produced by NFT and Joseph Papp’s Public Theatre), What The Wine Sellers Buy, Reggae and The Taking of Miss Janie (Drama Critics Circle Award).

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Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive.

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. Lia currently plays Nurse Lia on “One Life to Live”. She has appeared in Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and “New York Undercover”.

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,, Life & Style, OUT, New York Magazine, InStyle,,,,,, 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 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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