Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Signature Theatre to Be Honored with the 2014 Regional Theatre Tony Award

Leigh Silverman, James Houghton, David Henry Hwang and Beth Whitaker at the opening night party of Kung Fu at The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on February 24, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Leigh Silverman, James Houghton, David Henry Hwang and Beth Whitaker at the opening night party of Kung Fu at The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on February 24, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Congrats to New York’s Signature Theatre, the recipient of the 2014 Regional Theatre Tony Award. I am proud to be an alumni of Signature, having appeared in Signature’s 1996 revival of Sam Shepard’s Chicago at The Public, directed by Joe Chaikin.

Playwright Sam Shepard with the cast of the Signature Theatre's production of Chicago on the set The Public Theatre in New York in 1996.

Playwright Sam Shepard with the cast of Signature Theatre’s production of Chicago on the set at The Public Theatre in New York in 1996.

Each year, the Tony Awards Administration Committee presents a Tony Award to a regional theatre on the recommendation of the American Theatre Critics Association.


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
Signature Theatre’s Revival of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson Leads 28th Annual Lucille Lortel Awards Nominations

The 2014 Tony Awards, which are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, will be broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall, on the CBS television network on Sunday, June 8, 2014.


“Signature Theatre is an integral part of the theater landscape. By dedicating each season to a single playwright, Signature Theatre offers audiences an unmatched explorative experience with the writer’s message across multiple bodies of work. We are honored to present them with the 2014 Regional Theatre Award,” say Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League and Heather Hitchens, Executive Director of the American Theatre Wing.


C.J. Wilson navigates armor and swordplay in Signature Theatre Company’s World Premiere of Kenneth Lonergan’s Medieval Play
Athol Fugard’s Blood Knot, starring Colman Domingo & Scott Shepherd in The Alice Griffith Jewel Box at The Pershing Square Signature Center through March 11, 2012

About Signature Theatre
Signature Theatre exists to honor and celebrate the playwright. Founded in 1991 by James Houghton, Signature makes an extended commitment to a playwright’s body of work, and during this journey, the writer is engaged in every aspect of the creative process. By championing in-depth explorations of a playwright’s body of work, Signature delivers an intimate and immersive journey into the playwright’s singular vision. Signature recently presented the world premiere of Residency One Playwright David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu.

The cast and creative team of David Henry Hwang's celebrate at their opening night party at Signature Theatre Company's Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on February 24, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast and creative team of David Henry Hwang’s celebrate at their opening night party at Signature Theatre Company’s Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on February 24, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Photos: Backstage and Opening Night of Signature’s World Premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu
Signature’s Production Photos of David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu, Opens February 24, 2014

Signature serves its mission through its permanent home at The Pershing Square Signature Center, a three-theatre facility on New York City’s West 42nd Street. At the Center, opened in January 2012, Signature continues its founding Playwright-in-Residence model as Residency One, a first-of-its-kind, intensive exploration of a single writer’s body of work. Residency Five, the only program of its kind, was launched at the Center to support multiple playwrights as they build bodies of work by guaranteeing each writer three productions over a five-year period. The Legacy Program, launched during Signature’s 10th Anniversary, invites writers from both residencies back for productions of premiere or earlier plays. The Pershing Square Signature Center is a major contribution to New York City’s cultural landscape and provides a venue for cultural organizations that supports and encourages collaboration among artists throughout the space. In 2005, the company established the groundbreaking Signature Ticket Initiative to make its productions accessible and affordable to all by underwriting the cost of initial run tickets. Signature will serve it’s audiences for the next 20 years with these subsidized tickets, which are currently priced at $25 for all seats.


Photos: Laila Robins, Sean Dugan, C.J. Wilson, Peter Francis James, Bill Irwin and Tricia Paoluccio at Signature Theatre Company’s revival of Edward Albee’s The Lady From Dubuque

Signature has presented entire seasons of the work of Edward Albee, Lee Blessing, Horton Foote, Maria Irene Fornes, Athol Fugard, John Guare, David Henry Hwang, Bill Irwin, Adrienne Kennedy, Tony Kushner, Romulus Linney, Charles Mee, Arthur Miller, Sam Shepard, Paula Vogel, August Wilson, Lanford Wilson, and a season celebrating the historic Negro Ensemble Company. Signature’s current Residency Five playwrights include Annie Baker, Martha Clarke, Will Eno, Katori Hall, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Kenneth Lonergan and Regina Taylor. Signature, its productions and its resident writers have been recognized with the Pulitzer Prize, Lucille Lortel Awards, Obie Awards, Drama Desk Awards, and AUDELCO Awards, among many other distinctions.


The Tony Award Nominations will be announced on Tuesday, April 29th. The Tony Nominations can be viewed LIVE (8:30am ET) in their entirety at www.TonyAwards.com. The Tony Awards, hosted by Hugh Jackman, will be broadcast in a live three-hour ceremony from Radio City Music Hall, on the CBS television network on Sunday, June 8, 2014. For more information on the Tony Awards, please visit www.TonyAwards.com.


Photos: Backstage with Michi Barall and the cast of Regina Taylor’s stop.reset. at Signature Theatre
Michi Barall, Teagle Bougere, Ismael Cruz Cordova, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Carl Lumbly, Donald Sage MacKay set for Signature’s World Premiere of stop. reset. by Regina Taylor in The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre, August 20 -September 29, 2013

Other articles by Lia Chang:
Francis Jue, Bryan Cranston, Olympia Dukakis, Paul Daigneault, All The Way, The Jungle Book, The Flick, Tribes, Hairspray Among 32nd Annual Elliot Norton Award Winners
Branden Jacob-Jenkins’ Appropriate, Lisa Kron’s Fun Home, Sonya Tayeh, Emmanuel Brown, Mia Katigbak, K. Todd Freeman, John Earl Jelks Among 2014 OBIE Award Winners
Lucille Lortel Awards for Here Lies Love, Fun Home, The Open House, Good Person of Szechwan
Apr. 29-May 17: Gordana Rashovich, Mia Dillon and Brian Murray Lead Cast of Westport Country Playhouse’s A SONG AT TWILIGHT
May 19: The Orphan of Zhao’s BD Wong and A.C.T. Artistic Director Carey Perloff in Conversation at A.C.T.’s Geary Theater
May 1-30: Eating Cultures, A Multidisciplinary Art Exhibition at SOMArts Cultural Center, Features Christine Toy Johnson, Cathy Lu, Genevieve Erin O’Brien, Kate Hers Rhee and More
Jun. 4-29: Tony Award–winner BD Wong Leads Cast of A.C.T.’s U.S. Premiere of Orphan of Zhao, a co-production with La Jolla Playhouse
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder Leads 2014 Tony Award Nominations; Bryan Cranston, LaTanya Richardson, Leigh Silverman among nominees
Photos: Late Night with Holy Land’s Jojo Gonzalez
Tony Award Winning Playwright David Henry Hwang Receives $275,000 Doris Duke Artist Award
Photos: André Braugher, Ami Brabson, Christine Toy Johnson, Antoinette LaVecchia, Richard Topol, Victor Williams, Nikkole Salter, Elizabeth Van Dyke at Oni Faida Lampley’s Tough Titty at the Paradise Factory
Miss Saigon’s Francis Jue Receives Elliot Norton Award Nomination for Outstanding Musical Performance by an Actor
Apr. 22 – May 18: Working Theater Presents The off-Broadway Premiere of James McManus’ CHERRY SMOKE at Urban Stages
André De Shields, Mary Zimmerman, Among 4 Elliot Norton Award Nominations for Huntington’s World Premiere of The Jungle Book, a co-production with The Goodman
Photos: Bryan Cranston, Peter Jay Fernandez, Roslyn Ruff, Tamara Tunie, Leslie Uggams, Ruben Santiago-Hudson Celebrate All The Way Opening Night
Photos: AALDEF Honors Mari Matsuda, Aasif Mandvi, and John Chou in 2014 at 40th Anniversary Celebration
Jun. 22 – July 27: Richard Thomas and Kristen Connolly Set for Old Globe Debut in OTHELLO
Apr. 17-May 18: Tonya Pinkins and Roscoe Orman Lead the Cast of New Federal Theatre’s Off-Broadway Production of The Fabulous Miss Marie
Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz Presents “LADY” Featuring Lia Chang, Monica Garrido, Carolyn Holmes, Noel Simon’ Wippler, Linda Hudson, Adi Meyerson and Kathleen Doran
Photos: Harriet Harris, John Tartaglia, Christine Toy Johnson, Alan Muraoka, James Saito and More celebrate Ann Harada’s Debut at Lincoln Center in the American Songbook Series
Photos: Steve Rosen, David Rossmer, Hannah Elless, Vadim Feichtner, Cathryn Salamone, Ken Triwush and Kate Wetherhead Celebrate The Other Josh Cohen Opening Night
Q & A with Meet Me in St. Louis: A Live Radio Play’s Garth Kravits
Photos: David Henry Hwang, Annie Baker and Rajiv Joseph honored at Sixth Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards
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
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Other articles about Signature Theatre:
Signature Theatre’s 2013-14 Season Features New Works by Albee, Hwang, Enos, Taylor, Wilson, Clarke and Jacobs-Jenkins
Signature’s Production of David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu, starring Cole Horibe, Phoebe Strole and Francis Jue, extends through April 6, 2014
Photos: Backstage and Opening Night of Signature’s World Premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu
Signature’s Production Photos of David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu, Opens February 24, 2014
Celebrating the Year of the Horse with David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu at Signature Theatre; Previews begin February 4, 2014
Photos: David Henry Hwang, Annie Baker and Rajiv Joseph honored at Sixth Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards
Signature Theatre’s World Premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu Stars SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE’s Cole Horibe as Bruce Lee
Photos: Backstage with Michi Barall and the cast of Regina Taylor’s stop.reset. at Signature Theatre
Signature Theatre’s Revival of David Henry Hwang’s The Dance and The Railroad Set for Wuzhen Theatre Festival in Wuzhen, China, May 9-12, 2013
Photos: David Henry Hwang’s The Dance and The Railroad Opening Night at Signature Theatre
Photos: Partying with the Cast of David Henry Hwang’s Golden Child; Extended Run Ends December 16, 2012
David Henry Hwang Set as Signature Theatre’s Residency One Playwright for the 2012-2013 Season
Signature Theatre’s Revival of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson Leads 28th Annual Lucille Lortel Awards Nominations
Signature Theatre extends David Henry Hwang’s The Dance and The Railroad starring Ruy Iskandar and Yuekun Wu through March 24, 2013
Signature Theatre’s World Premiere of Sam Shepard’s Heartless Starring Lois Smith, Gary Cole, Jenny Bacon, Betty Gilpin, and Julianne Nicholson Extends through September 30, 2012
C.J. Wilson navigates armor and swordplay in Signature Theatre Company’s World Premiere of Kenneth Lonergan’s Medieval Play
Photos: Laila Robins, Sean Dugan, C.J. Wilson, Peter Francis James, Bill Irwin and Tricia Paoluccio at Signature Theatre Company’s revival of Edward Albee’s The Lady From Dubuque
Athol Fugard’s Blood Knot, starring Colman Domingo & Scott Shepherd in The Alice Griffith Jewel Box at The Pershing Square Signature Center through March 11, 2012
Photos: The 58th Annual Drama Desk Awards and After Party

Lia Chang

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia made her jazz vocalist debut in Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz “LADY” at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York. All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2014 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

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