Two-time Tony nominated and Emmy award winning actor, director, choreographer and educator André De Shields will be at Florida Atlantic University on Friday, January 24, 2014, at 7 p.m. with his solo performance Frederick Douglass: Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory. The event will take place in the University Theatre on FAU’s Boca Raton campus, 777 Glades Road, and is free and open to the public.
De Shield’s solo performance explores the life and achievements of the great emancipator Frederick Douglass. “Though Douglass began his life as a slave, through heroic effort, he became one of America’s most important and historically influential icons,” said De Shields.
De Shields will be at FAU as the Dorothy F. Schmidt Eminent Scholar in Performing Arts during the week of January 20, 2014. He will work with faculty and students in FAU’s School of the Arts over three days, culminating with his public performance. Additionally, he will be presented with the 2014 FAU Dorothy F. Schmidt College Arts and Letters Making Waves Award at a reception on Wednesday, January 22, 2014.
In a career spanning more than forty years, André De Shields has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, choreographer and educator. He is best known for his show stopping performances in the original Broadway productions of four legendary musicals: THE FULL MONTY, for which he received Tony, Drama Desk and Astaire Award nominations, in addition to both the Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Awards; PLAY ON! (Tony nomination), AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’ (Emmy Award) and THE WIZ (title role). Additional Broadway credits include PRYMATE and IMPRESSIONISM. His film and television credits include Extreme Measures, “Sex And The City,” “Cosby,” and more. De Shields is the recipient of the 2012 Fox Foundation Fellowship/Distinguished Achievement, 2009 National Black Theatre Festival Living Legend Award, the 2009 AUDELCO Award for Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actor in a Musical (Male) and the 2007 Village Voice OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance.
Last October, De Shields completed his run as King Louie and Akela in the world premiere of Mary Zimmerman’s adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s THE JUNGLE BOOK, a co-production of Chicago’s Goodman Theatre and Boston’s Huntington Theatre. For his critically-acclaimed role as King Louie, he garnered a Jeff Award for Outstanding Achievement in the category of Actor in a Supporting Role – Musical, a 2013 BTAA for Best Featured Actor in a Play (Musical or Revue) at The 19th Annual Black Theater Alliance Awards, which honor excellence in African American theater and dance productions in the Chicago area, and a 2013 Broadwayworld Chicago Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Revue.
As an educator, Mr. De Shields has served as Visiting Artist/Lecturer, SUNY-Buffalo State College; Harold Clurman Visiting Professor, CUNY-Hunter College; Adjunct Professor, Gallatin School of Individualized Study, NYU; Adjunct Professor, School of Education, Health, Nursing and Arts Professions (SEHNAP), NYU; Distinguished Visiting Professor, Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University (SMU), Dallas, TX; Algur H. Meadows Distinguished Visiting Professor (SMU); DR. Martin Luther King Jr.-Rosa Parks-Cesar Chavez Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor; Distinguished Visiting Professor, Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA, among others. He has taught a wide variety of courses ranging from Shakespeare to Masterpieces of Western Literature to Musical Theatre and an interdisciplinary arts workshop in Extreme Performance: From Ancient Africa to Postmodern America.
In observance of Black Heritage Month 2009, De Shields created his very first solo performance titled Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: From Douglass To Deliverance. His performance at FAU will kick off FAU’s 2014 Black History Month events.
For more information about the De Shields event, call 561-297-2595.
The FAU Dorothy F. Schmidt College Arts and Letters Making Waves Award was launched in 2012 to recognize artists who have made significant contributions to the arts and education. The inaugural award was presented to Broadway legend and musical theatre composer Charles Strouse.
Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. This summer she 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 Penwah, July 30-August 1, 2013.
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