Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

André De Shields, Keith David, Tony Plana, Hill Harper, Armando Riesco, Kevin Mambo, Colman Domingo, and Peter McRobbie Set for Staged Reading of Lemon Andersen’s ToasT at Guild Hall

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ToasT at Guild Hall August 14th [side aChris Mack in association with Guild Hall is presenting a staged reading of the new Public Theater production of ToasT,  an electrifying new play by acclaimed spoken word artist and Tony Award-winning writer Lemon Andersen (The Public’s County of Kings: The Beautiful Struggle, HBO’s “Def Poetry”), developed and directed by Andersen’s County of Kings collaborator Elise Thoron.

The cast of ToasT includes Keith David (EnlistedPlatoon, Ken Burns’ “Jazz,” There’s Something About Mary), André De Shields (The Full Monty, Play On!The Wiz, Ain’t Misbehavin), Tony Plana (“Ugly Betty,” “The West Wing,” Richard III), Hill Harper (“CSI:NY,” 1982), Armando Riesco (The Happiest Song Plays Last, 25th Hour), Kevin Mambo (Fela!, Cadillac Records), Colman Domingo (The Butler, Passing Strange, The Scottsboro Boys), and Peter McRobbie (“Boardwalk Empire,” “Law & Order,” Lincoln), on Thursday, August 14, 2014 at Guild Hall, 158 Main Street, East Hampton Village at 8 P.M.

A Public Theater commission first presented at The Public’s Under the Radar Festival, ToasT ingeniously weaves major characters from black oral narratives into a gripping story about a group of inmates fighting to keep their minds free amidst the 1971 riots that rocked Attica Prison. After 27 years served for murder in Attica’s D-Block, Willie Green, aka Dolomite, has become an unlikely father figure to his cellmates, folklore heroes like Jesse James, Hobo Ben, Annabelle Jones, Stackolee and Hard Rock. Though word is brewing throughout Attica that a riot is coming, Dolomite would rather not get involved. But when one of the youngest inmates in their block is viciously beaten by guards for protesting prison conditions, Dolomite has to decide whether to join the riots or lock himself in his cell and hope for a promised parole date and the chance to taste freedom.

Honoring the spoken word narratives recited in pool halls, bars and prisons across America by generations of black poets, ToasT is a stunning new play about men trying to live free in a system—and a world—designed to keep them chained. ToasT honors an art form of reciting poetry based on characters and situations from the Black Experience, mostly performed in prisons, bars and pool halls. ToasT was developed at the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab and the Sundance Institute Playwrights Retreat at Ucross. Funding for the development of ToasT is provided by Time Warner Inc., and the MAP Fund, a program of Creative Capital supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Tickets are $50 prime orchestra ($48 members),  $30 orchestra and balcony ($28 members), and can be purchased online at www.GuildHall.org or at Box Office 631-324-4050; www.theatermania.com; or 1.866.811.4111.

Train: LIRR (departing from Penn Station or Atlantic Terminal) to East Hampton
Driving: Via the Long Island Expressway approximately 2.5 hours to East Hampton

updated August 11, 2014.

Other articles about André De Shields:
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
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
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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