Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang Photo: Playwright Camille Darby

Playwright Camille Darby © Lia Chang

Playwright Camille Darby © Lia Chang

On June 6, 2011, playwright Camille Darby and 49 other African American female playwrights surprised Ntozake Shange onstage at Playwright’s Horizon in New York, as Shange accepted her Lifetime Achievement Award at The Second Annual Lilly Awards.

The Lilly Awards, named in honor of Lillian Hellman, and The Committee for Recognizing Women in Theater were founded in 2010 by Marsha Norman, Julie Crosby, John Eisner, Gary Garrison, Tina Howe, Julia Jordan, Theresa Rebeck, Susan Rose, and Tim Sanford. Their mission is “to celebrate the work of outstanding, successful and up-and-coming women playwrights, directors, designers and advocates for the work of women in the theater.

Receiving the email invitation to The Lilly Awards from Ms. Norman, who was Darby’s NYU Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Program thesis professor, proved an eye-opening and life changing experience, inspiring her to write about the night on her blog Camille Plays.

Camille Darby, a 2011 finalist for the Van Lier Fellowship program at The Lark Play Development Center, was born in Jamaica, West Indies, but migrated to New York City with her family at 6 years old. Her constant attempts at adjusting to American culture—she soon discovered—were best manifested through her writing. It was her first play Mother, May I? written as a high school student during the Theatre Development Fund’s Residency Arts Program that drew the attention of acclaimed playwright, Wendy Wasserstein. With the guidance and encouragement of Ms. Wasserstein, the budding playwright continued to study theatre, literature and film at Sarah Lawrence College where she received her B.A. in 2005. Ms. Darby is the recipient of the 2008 Bronx Recognizes Its Own (BRIO) playwriting prize from the Bronx Council on the Arts for her full-length play Lords Resistance. Most recently, her play, Exodus was produced as part of the sold-out Horse Trade Theatre Group’s The Fire This Time Festival, an alternative showcase of new work by early-career playwrights of African-American descent, at The Red Room in New York’s East Village. Ms. Darby holds an M.F.A (2007) in Dramatic Writing from New York University’s, Tisch School of the Arts, and during that time, has had readings at The Public Theatre.

Fire This Time Festival Coverage Summary
nytheatre.com
nytheatrecast.com
parabasis.typepad.com
aszym.blogspot.com

Reviews
nytheatre.com
offoffonline.com

Listings (partial listing)
nytimes.com
kadmusarts.com
rahrahrah.posterous.com
theandygram.com
offoffbroadway.broadworld.com
africanamericanplaywrightsexchange.blogspot.com

Other articles by Lia Chang
Camille Darby’s Lord’s Resistance
Photos: Rick Shiomi Checks out Performing Arts Playwrights Series in the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection of Library of Congress; Attends “Asian American Plays for a New Generation” Book Signing in NY
Lia Chang Theater Portfolio at Library of Congress Features Photos of Thom Sesma’s Makeup Transformation as Scar in Disney’s The Lion King Las Vegas, Robert Lee and Leon Ko’s Heading East Starring BD Wong, David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish, and Samrat Chakrabarti and Sanjiv Jhaveri’s Bakwas Bumbug!
Photos:Alexander McQueen:Savage Beauty Extends at Met through 8/7, Met Mondays w/ McQueen begin 6/6
Photos: Willie Reale, Frances McDormand, Lewis Black, Bela Fleck, Renee Goldsberry, Duncan Sheik, Lisa Benavides, Abigail Washburn, Tim Blake Nelson at The 52nd Street Project Benefit
Meshach Taylor talks Wigger on Wendy Williams Show
Artwork by Asia Flores on display in Mercy High School Annual Art & Soul Art Exhibition in SF
Photos of AEA’s Asian Heritage Celebration, featuring the Leviathan Lab Asian American Women Writers Workshop
Photos: Samrat Chakrabarti, Soham Mehta and Shiva Shankar Bajpai at the New York Indian Film Festival
Photos: David Duchovny, John Earl Jelks, Amanda Peet, Tracee Chimo opening night of Neil LaBute’s The Break of Noon
Multimedia: Exclusive photos and video of Disney’s The Lion King Las Vegas -In the Makeup Chair with Thom Sesma
NY Yankee Fans Show Love for Brett Gardner at Lord & Taylor Fifth Ave
Multimedia: Promises, Promises’ Stars Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes at Lord & Taylor Fifth Ave
Multimedia: Lord & Taylor 2009 Christmas Windows
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 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.

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