The Theatre School at DePaul University will celebrate two-time Tony nominee and Emmy winner André De Shields, and Lou Raizin, President of Broadway in Chicago, at the 2015 Awards for Excellence in the Arts. The gala will be held Monday, Nov. 9 at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, 221 N. Columbus Drive in Chicago, IL.
The 27th Annual Awards for Excellence in the Arts recognizes distinguished artists and visionaries who have proven their dedication, talent and leadership in support of the arts. All proceeds from the event directly benefit The Theatre School Scholarship Fund, supporting students from all over the nation to come to train at the school.
André De Shields will accept the 2015 Award for Excellence in the Arts in recognition of distinguished artistry and cultural contributions through the performing arts. Mr. De Shields is currently rehearsing GOTTA DANCE, the new Broadway-bound musical about professional basketball’s first ever aged 60-and-older dance team, which begins performances on December 13, 2015 and runs through January 10, 2016 at Broadway In Chicago’s Bank of America Theatre. Over the summer, he debuted his new work, CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P. at Victory Gardens Theater.
Two-Time Tony nominee André De Shields, Tony Winner Lillias White, ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK’s Lori Tan Chinn, Stephanie Powers, Georgia Engel & More Lead Broadway-Bound Musical GOTTA DANCE in Chicago; Full Cast Announced
In a career spanning forty-six years, André De Shields has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, choreographer and educator. He is the recipient of three Jeff Awards, one as Director for Victory Gardens’ 1987 production of The Colored Museum, and two as Featured Performer in a Musical for the Goodman Theatre productions of Play On! (1998) and Mary Zimmerman’s The Jungle Book (2013). In fact André’s professional career began at Chicago’s Shubert Theatre in the 1969 production of Hair. From there he moved on to The Me Nobody Knows at the Civic Opera House, and ultimately became a member of The Organic Theatre Company, where he created the role of Xander the Unconquerable, Ruler of the Sixth Dimension in the cult sensation Warp. A two-time Tony Award nominee, he is best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway musicals: The Wiz, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Play On! and The Full Monty. His numerous accolades include an Emmy Award for the NBC Special based on Ain’t Misbehavin’, the National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award, the Village Voice OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance and two Doctor of Fine Arts degrees honoris causa one each from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the State University of New York-College at Buffalo. A triple Capricorn, Mr. De Shields is the ninth of eleven children born and reared in Baltimore, Maryland. www.andredeshields.com.
Lou Raizin will receive the 2015 Leadership Award for Excellence in the Arts in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to arts and cultural institutions in Chicago. Mr. Raizin has over 30 years experience in the entertainment industry. As the prime mover behind Broadway In Chicago, a joint theatrical venture formed in 2000, his leadership propelled the transformation of Chicago from a short-term stop on “the road” to the third most important city in the world for theater. Encompassing the five premier theater stages in the city, Broadway In Chicago brings an economic impact of over $750 million annually to the City of Chicago and State of Illinois, and supports more than 9,200 local jobs. As Senior Vice President of the Nederlander Organization, one of the world’s leading entertainment companies, Mr. Raizin is responsible for the development of new ventures, theatres and the pursuit of acquisitions in entertainment-related fields domestically and abroad.
The corporate sponsors for the 2015 Awards for Excellence in the Arts include Geico, Antunovich Associates and PNC Bank.
The co-chairs for the 2015 Awards for Excellence in the Arts include Joseph Antunovich, president of Antunovich Associates; Sondra A. Healy, chairman of Turtle Wax Inc.; Trisha Rooney, President of R4 Services; and the Rev. Monsignor Kenneth Velo, senior executive, Office of Catholic Collaboration, DePaul University.
6 p.m. Cocktail Reception | 7 p.m. Dinner and program | Dessert reception to follow
Single tickets can be purchased for $500. For more information and table pricing, please contact DePaul University’s Office of Advancement: (312) 362-8455 or eventRSVP@depaul.edu.
Click here for online registration.
ABOUT THE EVENT
The Theatre School at DePaul University, founded in 1925 as the Goodman School of Drama, is one of the oldest and most respected theatre training conservatories in the country.
Since its inception in 1989, The Awards for Excellence in the Arts have recognized distinguished artists and visionaries who have proven their dedication, talent, and leadership in support of the arts. All proceeds are placed in The Theatre School Scholarship Fund, enabling the next generation of theatre artists and leaders to continue their training in pursuit of their dreams.
In addition to the Awards for Excellence in the Arts presented to a select few inspiring artists, a Corporate Award was established in 1998 to honor exemplary corporate philanthropy to the arts. Also, in 2007, a Leadership Award was established to honor the vision of extraordinary individuals, and their commitment to strengthening the arts in our community.
Since the award’s inception, 119 artists have been honored, including Joan Allen, Gillian Anderson, Ed Asner, Alec Baldwin, Angela Bassett, Blythe Danner, Melinda Dillon, Laurence Fishburne, Brian Dennehy, Judy Greer, Pam Grier, Gregory Hines, Bonnie Hunt, Martin Landau, Nathan Lane, John Mahoney, Michael Maggio, Karl Malden, Joe Mantegna, Marlee Matlin, Rita Moreno, Lois Nettleton, Edward James Olmos, Maria Tallchief Paschen, Elizabeth Perkins, David Hyde Pierce, Aidan Quinn, Phylicia Rashad, John C. Reilly, Emma Thompson, Wendy Wasserstein, George Wendt, Jane Wyman, and Louis Zorich.
Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in FebOne1960.com Blog, Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.
Other articles about André De Shields:
Two-Time Tony nominee André De Shields, Tony Winner Lillias White, ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK’s Lori Tan Chinn, Stephanie Powers, Georgia Engel & More Will Lead Broadway-Bound Musical GOTTA DANCE in Chicago
Photos and Video: Behind the Scenes with THE WIZ’s André De Shields at The Wiz is 40 at #Summerstage30
Video: André De Shields sings Smile in CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P. in Victory Gardens’ 2015 IGNITION Festival of New Plays
Video: André De Shields sings Street Corner Symphony and Mary Mack in CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P. in Victory Gardens’ 2015 IGNITION Festival of New Plays
Photo and Video Preview: Two-time Tony nominee André De Shields Kicks Off Victory Gardens’ 2015 Ignition Festival of New Plays with CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P
Two-time Tony nominee André De Shields, GREY’S ANATOMY star Sandra Oh, Kimberly Lawson, Donica Lynn, Tony Mhoon, Doug Peck, Robert Reddrick, Anjali Bhimani and More set for 2015 IGNITION Festival of New Plays at Victory Gardens Theater, July 16-19
Victory Gardens Theater’s IGNITION Festival of New Plays features new works by Two-time Tony nominee André De Shields, Julia Cho, Minita Gandhi, Basil Kreimendahl, José Rivera, Madhuri Shekar and A. Zell Williams, July 16-19
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