Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Jun. 18: National Black Theatre to Honor Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Susan Taylor, Sonia Sanchez and More at TEER Spirit Awards Gala


On Founder’s Day, Dr. Barbara Ann Teer’s National Black Theatre’s (NBT) will host the TEER Spirit Awards Gala to celebrate nine remarkable people in its community: Susan L. Taylor, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Sonia Sanchez, Keith Josef Adkins, Pastor Michael A. Walrond, Rev. Dr. Iris J. Banister, Marjorie Moon, James Haughton, and William L. Strickland. The gala takes place at National Black Theatre, 2031 Fifth Avenue in New York, on Wednesday, June 18, 2013 at 6:00PM. The event is being co-hosted by Johnnie Mae Allen & Thaddeus Daniels. Mr. Bert Price, musical director of NBT’s House Band, will provide live entertainment with Carol Maillard of Sweet Honey In the Rock, a theatrical excerpt from Facing Our Truth featuring C. Kelly Wright, and a dance tribute performance by Dyane Harvey. Honorary co-chairs are Phylicia Rashad, Sherry B. Bronfman, Michele Shay, Soffiyah Elijah and Kevin Powell.

The TEER Spirit Awards were inaugurated in 2008 after the passing of the founder of the National Black Theatre, Dr. Barbara Ann Teer. The awards were created in honor and recognition of the contribution of three leaders and pioneers within National Black Theatre’s history: Dr. Barbara Ann Teer [Susan L. Taylor, recipient] who founded the National Black Theatre in 1968 and whose vision is the foundation on which National Black Theatre stands, Adetunde Samuel [Marjorie Moon and Ruben Santiago-Hudson, recipients], a charismatic producer that headed NBT’s award winning Theatre Arts Program, and Fredrica L. Teer [Pastor Michael A. Walrond and Rev. Dr. Iris J. Banister, recipients] who as an institution builder conceived and organized the foundation that made the idea of National Black Theatre a reality. Outside of these awards, National Black Theatre honors Pioneers Sonia Sanchez, James Haughton and William Strickland in the field of Culture, Art and History. And for the first time this year, will give the Trailblazer Award to Keith Josef Adkins, a visionary and catalyst creating new possibilities for artistic expression.

June 18th is the birth date of Dr. Barbara Ann Teer and is called Founder’s Day. The event also begins the celebration of National Black Theatre’s 46th year of serving the community. Admission for the award ceremony is $150 per person and $1,500 for a table of 10 people, and includes a cocktail reception, silent auction, banquet dinner and a musically charged evening inside NBT’s historical landmark home on Fifth Avenue.

Tickets are on sale now. To charge by phone, or for additional information on the Fifth Annual TEER Spirit Awards, call 212-722-3800 or visit Seating is limited.

Directions: Take 4,5,2,3 trains to 125th St.

Other articles by Lia Chang:
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
Wesley Taylor and Mitchell Jarvis’ ‘it could be worse’ Series Featuring Adam Chanler-Berat, Alison Fraser, Gideon Glick and More Airs on Pivot TV in June; and on Hulu in July
June 4: Garth Kravits, Lena Hall, Lesli Margherita, Wesley Taylor and More Strip Down with The Skivvies at 54 Below
Lucille Lortel Awards for Here Lies Love, Fun Home, The Open House, Good Person of Szechwan
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder Leads 2014 Tony Award Nominations; Bryan Cranston, LaTanya Richardson, Neil Patrick Harris, Mark Rylance, Audra McDonald, Leigh Silverman among nominees Signature Theatre to Be Honored with the 2014 Regional Theatre Tony Award
Photos: Bryan Cranston, Peter Jay Fernandez, Roslyn Ruff, Tamara Tunie, Leslie Uggams, Ruben Santiago-Hudson Celebrate All The Way Opening Night
Remembering Civil Rights Activist Yuri Kochiyama, 1921-2014
Jun. 4-29: Tony Award–winner BD Wong, Sab Shimono, Julyana Soelistyo, Stan Egi, Orville Mendoza, Paolo Montalban and More Set for A.C.T.’s U.S. Premiere of Orphan of Zhao, a co-production with La Jolla Playhouse
June 22 – July 27: Blair Underwood, Richard Thomas and Kristen Connolly Lead the Cast of The Old Globe’s Othello, helmed by Barry Edelstein
May 31 – June 22: Annette O’Toole Leads Cast of Wendy Wasserstein’s “Third” Helmed by Michael Cumpsty at Two River Theater Company
June 5-7: National Asian Artists Project To Present All-Asian Production of OLIVER! Featuring Raul Aranas, Anthea Neri, Bonale Zohn Fambrini, Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, Cindy Cheung, Scott Watanabe, Virginia Wing, David Shih and More
May 28 – June 29: Lisa Joyce, Henry Kelemen and CJ Wilson Join Mary McCann in Atlantic Theater Company’s OUR NEW GIRL
Jun. 23: The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream at Carnegie Hall Features Chapman Roberts, Norm Lewis, André De Shields, Chuck Cooper, Brandon Victor Dixon and More
May 20: George Gee Swing Orchestra CD – “Swing Makes You Happy!” Party at Swing 46 Jazz & Supper Club
Photos: The George Gee Swing Orchestra at SWING46; Launches Indiegogo Campaign for New CD, Swing Makes You Happy
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
Asia Flores Debuts Royal72Co Fashion Line at Pa’ina Lounge
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
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: André De Shields, Michael Shannon, Rajiv Joseph, Christine Sherrill, Doug Peck, Alexis J. Rogers, Karen Ziemba and More Celebrate 2013 Jeff Equity Awards
Photos: Backstage and Opening Night of Signature’s World Premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu
Photos: David Henry Hwang, Annie Baker and Rajiv Joseph honored at Sixth Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards
Photos: The 58th Annual Drama Desk Awards and After Party
Crafting a Career
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang

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 2013 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman, Lorey Hayes, Marcus Naylor and Phynjuar, and made her jazz vocalist debut in Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz “LADY” at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York.  She is profiled in Jade Magazine.

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

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