Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Two-time Tony Nominee and Emmy Winner André De Shields Performs FREDERICK DOUGLASS: Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory and Speaks on The Wisdome of the Ancient Art of Storytelling at AFP 2014: Change Through Stories, Sept. 8-9, 2014

André De Shields. Photos by Lia Chang

André De Shields. Photos by Lia Chang

On Monday, September 8, 2014, Two-time Tony Nominee and Emmy winner André De Shields performs his solo show, FREDERICK DOUGLASS: Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory, at Warren Enters Theatre, Upton Hall, SUNY Buffalo State, 1300 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, NY 14201, at 7:00 PM, as part of AFP 2014: Change Through Stories, the annual conference of The Anne Frank Project (AFP). Call 716-878-5559, email theannefrankproject@buffalostate.edu or click here to R.S.V.P for  tickets.

A story about brutality and deliverance—implausible yet historically accurate—that will captivate you with a slave ballet, hand-to-hand combat and impassioned singing. These are but a few of the elements that make up the journey from human bondage to freedom experienced by the young Douglass as performed by De Shields in his self-crafted solo performance depicting the Great Black Emancipator: FREDERICK DOUGLASS: My Eyes Have Seen The Glory.  Gripping shackles, De Shields infuses his performance with dance, song and rousing spoken word as he transforms from embittered and illiterate slave to America’s incomparable orator and abolitionist right before the eyes of his audience.  As performed by De Shields, Douglass’ ultimate escape from chains to freedom is full of hope and achievement as it is darkness and anger.

On Tuesday, September 9, 2014, De Shields will give a talk on The Wisdome of the Ancient Art of Storytelling in the Donald Savage Theatre from 9:25 AM – 11:05 AM.

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). De Shields is the recipient of the 2012 Fox Foundation Fellowship/Distinguished Achievement, 2009 National Black Theatre Festival Living Legend Award, and the 2007 Village Voice OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance.

As an educator, Mr. De Shields has served as Visiting Artist/Lecturer, SUNY-Buffalo State College; Harold ClurmanVisiting 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.

De Shields is currently in rehearsal for the world premiere new musical The Fortress of Solitude, a co-production with Dallas Theater Center and The Public Theater in New York City, which will have performances at The Public, September 30 – November 2, 2014. The Fortress of Solitude is based on the nationally best-selling novel of the same name by 2005 MacArthur Fellow Jonathan Lethem. The musical is conceived and directed by Daniel Aukin, with a book by Itamar Moses, and music and lyrics by Michael Friedman (Love’s Labour’s Lost, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson). The Fortress of Solitude is the extraordinary coming-of-age story about 1970s Brooklyn and beyond — of black and white, soul and rap, block parties and blackouts, friendship and betrayal, comic books and 45s. And the story of what would happen if two teenagers obsessed with superheroes believed that maybe, just maybe, they could fly.

Click here to learn more about The Fortress of Solitude.

www.andredeshields.com.

The Anne Frank Project (AFP) provides tools and vocabulary for conflict resolution, community building, and identity exploration through story-building. Multiple local, national and international initiatives provide a forum for honoring the life of Anne Frank as inspiration for a peaceful world, continuing to tell the stories of victims of injustice and exploring innovations in Human Rights education. It is a forum for artists, scholars, community leaders, and activists to tell stories that inspire change, engage people in the lessons of those stories, and provide tools and vocabulary that encourage people to change their world. www.annefrankproject.buffalostate.edu

Other articles by Lia Chang:
Dinner with André De Shields at Chez Josephine
Mar. 7-Apr. 6: André De Shields, Adam Chanler-Berat, Kyle Beltran, Kevin Mambo and More Set for DTC’s World Premiere Musical The Fortress of Solitude,  A Co-Production with The Public Theater 
Photos & Video: The Wiz’s André De Shields Sang “So You Wanted to Meet the Wizard” in The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream at Carnegie Hall
June 23: André De Shields, Billy Porter, Chuck Cooper, Brandon Victor Dixon, Clifton Davis, Norm Lewis, Chapman Roberts and More Set for The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream at Carnegie Hall
May 8: New Dramatists Presents Reading of Lonnie Carter’s Bronzeville Featuring André De Shields, Nambi Evelyn Kelley, April Matthis, and Danyon Davis
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
André De Shields, Adam Chanler-Berat, Kyle Beltran, Kevin Mambo and More Set for DTC’s World Premiere Musical The Fortress of Solitude, A Co-Production with The Public Theater
André De Shields to receive 2014 Making Waves Award; will perform “Frederick Douglass: Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory” at Florida Atlantic University
Nov. 16: Conversations with the Divine with Owais Ahmed, Baize Buzan, Kathryn Cesarz, Kamal Hans, Brian Grey, Donica Lynn, Patrese McClain and Miranda Zola at Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theater
Photos: André De Shields, Michael Shannon, Rajiv Joseph, Christine Sherrill, Doug Peck, Alexis J. Rogers, Karen Ziemba and More Celebrate 2013 Jeff Equity Awards
André De Shields Delivers Keynote at the International Conference of Fine Arts Deans in New Orleans
Photos: André De Shields, Mary Zimmerman, Akash Chopra, Richard M. Sherman, Kevin Carolan, Larry Yando, Nehal Joshi and More Celebrate The Jungle Book Opening Night at Huntington Theatre in Boston
Click here for more articles on André De Shields.

Other articles by Lia Chang:
Joe Mantegna, Delta Burke, Gerald McRaney, President Bill Clinton and More Remember Meshach Taylor
Photos: Meshach Taylor Celebrates 67th Birthday with Arlene and Joe Mantegna, Delta Burke, Gerald McRaney, Jean Smart, Dennis Franz, Ernie Hudson, John Heard, Keith Szarabajka, Stuart Gordon, Shadoe Stevens and More
Photos: Maxine Hong Kingston, Billie Tsien, Bill T. Jones, Linda Ronstadt, John Kander, Julia Alvarez, Jeffrey Katzenberg Receive 2013 National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama 
Golden Globe Winner James Shigeta, Veteran of Film and TV, Dies at 85; Excerpts of 2007 A/P/A Institute Q & A with Sukhdev Sandhu
Maxine Hong Kingston, Billie Tsien, Bill T. Jones, Linda Ronstadt, John Kander, Jeffrey Katzenberg Among 12 to Receive 2013 National Medal of Arts
Photos: Artist Arlan Huang, One Brush Stroke at a Time
June 22 – July 27: Blair Underwood, Richard Thomas and Kristen Connolly Lead the Cast of The Old Globe’s Othello, helmed by Barry Edelstein 
Late Night Singing with Garth Kravits at 54 Below with The Skivvies, at Jim Caruso’s Cast Party at Birdland and Michael Raye’s Soul Gathering
Photos and Video: Ben Vereen Performs at Carnegie Hall in The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream
Photos and Video: Obba Babatunde and cast members from the original cast of Dreamgirls perform at Carnegie Hall in The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream
Remembering Frank Trenholm Lyman III, 1968-2014; Fund Established for The Lyman Children
Remembering Civil Rights Activist Yuri Kochiyama, 1921-2014
Ruby Dee, Actress and Activist, 1922 – 2014
Fred Korematsu, American Hero and Civil Rights Activist, Dies at 86
July 31-Aug. 3: Drama Desk Nominee Joel de la Fuente stars in Jeanne Sakata’s Hold These Truths at ACT, Helmed by Lisa Rothe
Bryan Cranston, Audra McDonald, Neil Patrick Harris, Jessie Mueller, Lena Hall, Sophie Okonedo, Kenny Leon, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, All The Way, A Raisin in the Sun, Hedwig and the Angry Inch and More Take Home 2014 Tony Awards
Lucille Lortel Awards for Here Lies Love, Fun Home, The Open House, Good Person of Szechwan
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
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: 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
Celebrating my mom – AN ACTIVE VISION: BEVERLY UMEHARA…LABOR ACTIVIST…1945-1999 Crafting a Career
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang Photo by GK

Lia Chang Photo by GK

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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