Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Matt Dillon, Rocco Sisto, John Patrick Shanley, Reg E. Cathey, Everett Quinton and More Set to Salute Olympia Dukakis at La MaMa Gala



Olympia Dukakis

Olympia Dukakis

LA MAMA will honor award-winning Olympia Dukakis for her creative achievement in the arts and her work as an activist for social change; and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom partner Dan Kurtz for his steadfast advocacy on behalf of nonprofit organizations at the La MaMa Earth Gala on Thursday, November 13th. Guests Include Austin Pendleton (who will toast Olympia), John Patrick Shanley, Matt Dillon, among others.

Proceeds from the benefit will greatly assist La MaMa in producing its 53rd season of diverse and innovative work. In announcing the gala, Artistic Director Mia Yoo stated, “At La MaMa, we are expressing a worldview through the artists we present and the community we serve. All voices need to be heard. La MaMa Earth is our theme this season and we are focusing on work that raises awareness about global ecology and issues of social justice and that is why we are thrilled to be honoring Dan Kurtz and Olympia Dukakis for their work and support of human rights and social and the environment.”

La MaMa Earth Gala will take place at The Ellen Stewart Theatre, 66 East 4th Street. The evening begins with cocktails at 6:30pm, followed by dinner, special performances and honoree tributes. Single tickets start at $300. To purchase tickets or for more information contact the development office at 212/254-6468; email:; or visit:

Gala performances will feature Reg E. Cathey (“House of Cards,” “The Wire”); The La MaMa Cantata just back from their tour through Turkey and Macedonia; and Lois Weaver of Split Britches as her alter ego Tammy WhyNot. Olympia Dukakis’s son, Stefan Zoric, will perform in tribute to his mother, with Al Ramos. Daniel Koren. Gala directed by Everett Quinton. Celebrity Auctioneer from Heritage Auctions Kathleen Guzman. Additional performances to be announced.

Gala Chairs are Patsy Tarr and Joel Zwick; the Gala Committee includes: Stuart Breslow & Anne Miller, Donald Capoccia, William M. Carey, Frank Carucci, Ping Chong, Douglas Dunham, Jane Friedman, Tim Fulham & Lise Olney, Dr. Marjorie Fisher & Roy Furman, R. Scott Greathead & Juliette Bennett, Matthew Hall, Victor Kovner, Neil LaBute, Seth & Sarah Lederman, Warren Leight & Karen Hauser, Desiree Matthews, Jeffrey Neuman & Patricia Machado, Jennifer Ortega, Estelle Parsons, Austin Pendelton, James Reynolds, Wynn Salisch, John Patrick Shanley, Peggy Shaw, Sonya Soutus, Peter Swords, Lois Weaver and Scott Wittman.

La MaMa’s 53rd season opened this month. Currently playing: Tempest 3: The Tide Is Rising (Oct. 2 – Dec. 21) presents three diverse, international productions of William Shakepeare’s play (U.S. – Korea – Italy) as the centerpiece of the La MaMa Earth Season. AdA: Author directing Author (Oct. 16 – Nov. 2) Neil LaBute and Marco Calvani reunite once again for the unique, international collaboration. This year’s theme is desire and each author will direct the other playwright’s work centered around this most primal of emotions. Angelus Novus (Oct 2 – 26) is a solo exhibition of painting, sculpture and video by the New York City-based artist Lucero Gonzalez Jameson.

Founded by Ellen Stewart in 1961, La MaMa is recognized as the seedbed of new work by artists of all nations and cultures. It is the place where emerging artists learn from established artists and where artists from around the globe share work and ideas. To date, La MaMa has presented artists from over 70 nations. Each season, La MaMa offers more than 100 presentations and reach an audience of more than 32,000 people of all ages and all backgrounds.

Sam Shepard, Blue Man Group, Lanford Wilson, Philip Glass, David and Amy Sedaris, Meredith Monk, Harvey Fierstein, Diane Lane, and Joel Zwick are just a few of the artists who began their careers at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club in the heart of Manhattan’s East Village. La MaMa has been honored with more than 30 Obie Awards and dozens of Drama Desk Awards, Bessie Awards and Villager Awards. La MaMa has become a world-renowned cultural institution that is home to three theaters, an art gallery, rehearsal studios, a visiting artist dormitory, office space, and an extensive archive documenting the history of Off-Off Broadway.

For more information visit

Other articles by Lia Chang:
Reg E. Cathey, Ching Valdes-Aran, Joseph Harrington, Tony Torn and More in La MaMa’s The Tempest through November 2, 2014
Stephen Adly Guirgis to Receive the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award at the Seventh Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards on November 17
Six Questions for Melody Butiu, Currently Appearing as Estrella in David Byrne and Fat Boy Slim’s Here Lies Love at The Public
Costume Institute’s Spring 2015 Exhibition at Metropolitan Museum to Focus on Chinese Imagery in Art, Film, and Fashion, May 7–August 16, 2015
Signature Theatre Presents World Premiere of OUR LADY OF KIBEHO by Katori Hall through December 7, 2014
Nov. 17: Chapman Roberts, Loretta Abbott, André De Shields, David Greer, Norm Lewis, Cherine Anderson, Lawrence Evans, Colby Christina & Nicholas A. Jenkins to Receive Special AUDELCO Awards
2014 AUDELCO Nominations Announced; Ceremony at Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space on November 17
Suzan-Lori Parks’ Father Comes Home From The Wars, Extends at The Public Theater through November 30
Opening Night Photos: Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) by Suzan-Lori Parks at The Public Theater
Photos: Tommy Tune, Bob Avian, Lee Roy Reams, Christine Toy Johnson, Orville Mendoza, Lori Tan Chinn, Raul Aranas, Virginia Wing and More Celebrate 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award Recipient Baayork Lee
Photos: André De Shields, Adam Chanler-Berat, Jose Llana, Kevin Mambo, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Kyle Beltran, Kim Brockington and More at The Fortress of Solitude 
Geoffrey Holder, Artist, Actor, Dancer, Choreographer, Two-Time Tony Award-winning Director and Costume Designer for The Wiz, Dies at 84; Son Pens Intimate Account of Last Days
Photos: Art Salon with Artist Yang Chihung and Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang at New-York Historical Society
Photos: Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion on View through April 19, 2015 at New York Historical Society
Coming to America through The Angel Island Immigration Station
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 
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
Joe Mantegna to Helm ‘Criminal Minds’ Season 10 Episode to Honor the late Meshach Taylor
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 
Photos: Artist Arlan Huang, One Brush Stroke at a Time
Joe Mantegna, Delta Burke, Gerald McRaney, President Bill Clinton and More Remember Meshach Taylor
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 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, 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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow Backstage Pass with Lia Chang on
%d bloggers like this: