Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang: Signature’s Revival of The Piano Lesson Sweeps AUDELCO’s with 8 Wins including Best Revival, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Roslyn Ruff, Chuck Cooper and Brandon J. Dirden; Also Among 2013 “VIV” Winners – Wild with Happy’s Colman Domingo and Sharon Washington, and Storyville’s Mercedes Ellington

Michael Carnahan, Chuck Cooper, Brandon J. Dirden and Roslyn Ruff with the eight AUDELCO Awards for Signature Theatre Company's revival of August Wilson's The Piano Lesson, at the 41st Annual Vivian Robinson/AUDELCO “VIV” Recognition Awards for Excellence in Black Theatre, held in the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space in New York, on Monday, November 25, 2013. Photo courtesy of Chuck Cooper

Michael Carnahan, Chuck Cooper, Brandon J. Dirden and Roslyn Ruff with the eight AUDELCO Awards for Signature Theatre Company’s revival of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson, at the 41st Annual Vivian Robinson/AUDELCO “VIV” Recognition Awards for Excellence in Black Theatre, held in the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space in New York, on Monday, November 25, 2013. Photo courtesy of Chuck Cooper

Signature Theatre Company’s Revival of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson was the big winner at Dance! Dance! Dance!, the 41st Annual Vivian Robinson/AUDELCO “VIV” Recognition Awards for Excellence in Black Theatre, held in the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space in New York, on Monday, November 25, 2013.

Eric Lenox Abrams, Roslyn Ruff, Alexis Holt and James A. Williams in Signature's revival of August Wilson's The Piano Lesson, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Photo by Joan Marcus

Eric Lenox Abrams, Roslyn Ruff, Alexis Holt and James A. Williams in Signature’s revival of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Photo by Joan Marcus

This year’s co-chairs included Aduke Aremu, Carmen de Lavallade, and two of my Power Play leading men, Jerome Preston Bates and Roscoe Orman. Melba Moore, George Faison and Kevin Phillips shared co-hosting duties during the ceremony.

Chuck Cooper, Jason Dirden, Brandon Dirden and Roslyn Ruff in Signature's revival of August Wilson's The Piano Lesson, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Photo by Joan Marcus

Chuck Cooper, Jason Dirden, Brandon Dirden and Roslyn Ruff in Signature’s revival of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Photo by Joan Marcus

The Piano Lesson’s impressive haul included winning eight of the ten categories it was nominated for: Best Revival, Best Lead Actress for Roslyn Ruff, Best Lead Actor for Brandon J. Dirden, Best Supporting Actor for Chuck Cooper, Best Lighting Design for Rui Rita, Best Set Design for Michael Carnahan, Best Costume Design for Karen Perry and Best Director/Dramatic Production for Ruben Santiago-Hudson, who has been receiving rave reviews for his solo turn in Signature Theatre’s production of August Wilson’s How I Learned What I Learned, which has been extended through December 22, 2013.
Signature’s Off-Broadway Revival of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson, helmed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson

Sharon Washington and Colman Domingo in a scene from “Wild With Happy,” at The Pubilc, which Domingo also wrote. Photo by Joan Marcus

Sharon Washington and Colman Domingo in a scene from “Wild With Happy,” at The Pubilc, which Domingo also wrote. Photo by Joan Marcus

The Public Theater’s production of Colman Domingo’s Wild with Happy garnered three AUDELCOs, including Dramatic Production of the Year, Best Playwright for Colman Domingo and Best Supporting Actress for Sharon Washington. Harlem Repertory Theatre’s production of Dreamgirls won in the category of Musical Production of the Year, Best Director/Musical Production for Keith Lee Grant and Outstanding Performance in a Musical/Female for Dion Millington.

Natalia Peguero, Dion Millington and Isis Kenney in Harlem Rep's production of Dreamgirls, directed by Keith Lee Grant. Photo by Edward Corcino

Natalia Peguero, Dion Millington and Isis Kenney in Harlem Rep’s production of Dreamgirls, directed by Keith Lee Grant. Photo by Edward Corcino

York Theatre Company’s production of Storyville won two AUDELCOs -Best Choreographer for Mercedes Ellington and Outstanding Performance in a Musical/ Male for Michael Leonard James.

 Clifton Samuels, Debra Walton, Michael Leonard James, NaTasha Yvette Williams, Karen Burthwright, Zakiya Young in York Theatre Company's production of Storyville. Photo by Carol Rosegg


Clifton Samuels, Debra Walton, Michael Leonard James, NaTasha Yvette Williams, Karen Burthwright, Zakiya Young in York Theatre Company’s production of Storyville. Photo by Carol Rosegg

The AUDELCO Award for Outstanding Dance Company of the Year was shared by Alvin Ailey American Dance Center and Forces of Nature.

Nicholas L. Ashe, Kyle Beltran, Grantham Coleman, Chuck Cooper, Austin Pendleton, Jeremy Pope, Wallace Smith were honored for their Outstanding Ensemble Performance in Manhattan Theatre Club’s production of Choir Boy by Tarell Alvin McCraney, who is one the playwrights featured in the PBS film, Playwright: From Page to Stage, set to air on December 16, 2013
Chuck Cooper, Austin Pendleton, Nicholas L. Ashe, Kyle Beltran, Grantham Coleman, Jeremy Pope, and Wallace Smith Set for MTC’s World Premiere of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Choir Boy, June 18- July 21, 2013
Dec. 16: Award Winning Playwrights Rajiv Joseph and Tarell Alvin McCraney, the focus of PBS Film, Playwright: From Page to Stage

A Special Pioneer Award was presented to Lorna Littleway; Special Achievement Awards were presented to Bishop Nathaniel Townsley and Lenora Fulani, and The Rising Star Award was presented to Andre “Chez” Lewis.

Congrats also to David D. Wright – Best Sound Design for Take Wing and Soar/New Heritage’s production of The Importance of Being Earnest; Ryan Touhey – Outstanding Musical Director for Gallery Players production of Dreamgirls; Jeannette Bayardelle-Solo Performance for Shida; and Karamu House – 2013 Repertory Company of the Year Award.

Other articles by Lia Chang:
Knock Me a Kiss Sweeps Audelcos with 9 Wins Including Best Dramatic Play, André De Shields, Marie Thomas, Charles Smith and Chuck Smith
Photos: André De Shields, Erin Cherry, Gillian Glasco, Marie Thomas, Sean Phillips, Morocco Omari, Charles Smith and Chuck Smith Among 13 Audelco Nods for Knock Me a Kiss
Costume Designer Karen Perry Receives Audelco Nod for The Public’s Brother/Sister Trilogy by Tarell Alvin McCraney
Classical Theatre of Harlem’s Archbishop Supreme Tartuffe, MTC’s Ruined, De Shields and Nottage Among 2009 Audelco Winners
AUDELCO 2009 “The VIV” Nominees for the 2008-2009 Theatre Season
Photos: Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Phylicia Rashad, John Earl Jelks, Leslie Uggams, Anthony Chisholm, S. Epatha Merkerson, Taraji P. Henson, Jesse L. Martin, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Kenny Leon and More Set for August Wilson American Century Cycle Recording Series at The Greene Space in NY, Aug. 26-Sept. 28, 2013
Photos: All-Access Pass to August Wilson’s Two Trains Running with John Earl Jelks, Harvy Blanks, Chuck Cooper, Anthony Chisholm, Owiso Odera, Roslyn Ruff and James A. Williams
Jan. 9 – Feb. 9: Thom Sesma and Michele Ragusa to Star in Greg Edwards and CRAVING FOR TRAVEL at Peter J. Sharp Theater
Feb. 4 – Mar. 16: Cole Horibe, Francis Jue, Peter Kim and More Set for Signature’s World Premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu
Dec. 16: Award Winning Playwrights Rajiv Joseph and Tarell Alvin McCraney, the focus of PBS Film, Playwright: From Page to Stage
Photos: David Henry Hwang, Annie Baker and Rajiv Joseph honored at Sixth Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards
Photos: Cheryl Lynn Bruce, André De Shields, Sandra Marquez, Dennis Zacek and More Celebrate Opening Night of Appropriate by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins at Victory Gardens
Photos: Christine Toy Johnson, Baayork Lee, Jose Llana, Ann Harada, Dodie Pettit and More at Charles Randolph-Wright’s “Three Voices” concert series at Stage 72
Photos: André De Shields, Michael Shannon, Rajiv Joseph, Christine Sherrill, Doug Peck, Alexis J. Rogers, Karen Ziemba and More Celebrate 2013 Jeff Equity Awards

National Black Theatre Festival Photos: Backstage with André De Shields, Marie Thomas, Erin Cherry, Sean Phillips and Morocco Omari in Knock Me A Kiss
Photos: The 58th Annual Drama Desk Awards and After Party
Albee, Hwang, Enos, Taylor, Wilson, Clarke and Jacobs-Jenkins Set for Signature Theatre’s 2013-14 Season
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang. Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography

Lia Chang. Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia recently starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman, Lorey Hayes, Marcus Naylor and Phynjuar.

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