Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Karen Perry, Regina Taylor, Chuck Smith, Eugene Lee, Terry Bellamy, Kelvin Roston, Jr. among The 2015 Black Theater Alliance/Ira Aldridge Awards Recipients

Edgar Sanchez (J), Tim Decker (Tim), Eugene Lee (Alexander Ames), Lisa Tejero (Deb) and Jacqueline Williams (Jan) in the Goodman Theatre's production of stop. reset. written and directed by Regina Taylor in 2015. Costumes by Karen Perry. Photo by Liz Lauren

Edgar Sanchez (J), Tim Decker (Tim), Eugene Lee (Alexander Ames), Lisa Tejero (Deb) and Jacqueline Williams (Jan) in the Goodman Theatre’s production of stop. reset. written and directed by Regina Taylor in 2015. Costumes by Karen Perry. Photo by Liz Lauren

The Goodman Theatre’s production of stop. reset. written and directed by Regina Taylor has garnered three 2015 Black Theatre Alliance Awards including The Lorraine Hansberry Award for Best Writing of a Play for Regina Taylor, The Sidney Poitier Award for Best Leading Actor in a Play for Eugene Lee and The Ruth E. Carter Award for Best Costume Design for Karen Perry.

Vincent Williams, Founder and President of The Black Theater Alliance Awards, Inc. (BTAA) is presenting the 21st Annual Black Theater Alliance/Ira Aldridge Awards and nominee certificates on Monday, November 16, 2015, in the lobby of The Harold Washington Cultural Center, 4701 S. Martin Luther King Dr. in Chicago, IL.

Congratulations to all of the winners.

The 2015 Black Theater Alliance/Ira Aldridge Awards recipients are:

The Negro Ensemble Award
Outstanding Stage Production
Men Of Soul – Black Ensemble Theater

The Target Community Relations Award
Best Ensemble
The Project(s) – The American Theater Company

The Lloyd Richards Award
Best Direction of a Play
Chuck Smith – Two Trains Running

The Oscar Brown, Jr. Award
Best Direction of a Musical
Daryl Brooks – Men Of Soul

The Lorraine Hansberry Award
Best Writing of a Play
Regina Taylor – Stop. Reset.

The Sidney Poitier Award
Best Leading Actor in a Play
Eugene Lee – Stop. Reset.

The Ossie Davis Award
Best Featured Actor in a Play
Terry Bellamy – Two Trains Running

The Sammy Davis, Jr. Award
Best Leading Actor in a Musical
Kelvin Roston, Jr. – Twisted Melodies

The Bill Bojangles Robinson Award
Best Featured Actor in a Musical
Matthew Hunter – Men Of Soul

The Ruby Dee Award
Best Leading Actress in a Play
Alana Arenas – Marie Antoinette

The Hattie McDaniel Award
Best Featured Actress in a Play
Mildred Langford – The Royale

The Diahann Carroll Award
Best Actress in a Musical
Candace C. Edwards – At Last: A Tribute To Etta James

The Denzel Washington Award
Most Promising Actor
Kyle Smith

The Phylicia Rashad Award
Most Promising Actress
Anna Dauzvardis

The Duke Ellington Award
Best Musical Direction
Robert Reddrick – Men Of Soul

The Ruth E. Carter Award
Best Costume Design
Karen Perry – Stop. Reset.

Best Lighting Design
Jared Gooding – Stickfly

Best Set Design
Andrei Onegin – Twisted Melodies

Best Sound Design
Bemaji Tillman – Love and Heroes

The Katherine Dunham Award
Best Choreography
Amansu Eason – Legend

The Alvin Ailey Award
Best Choreography
Matthew Rushing – Odetta

Karen Perry Photo by Lia Chang

Karen Perry Photo by Lia Chang

For over three decades, costume designer Karen Perry has built an incredible body of work on Stage and Screen, and has long been a master in her profession.

The award-winning designer  recently designed the costumes for for Two River Theater’s production of August Wilson’s Seven Guitars, with actor Brandon J. Dirden making his directorial debut. She returns in 2016 to work on the world premiere of Lives of Reason, a new play by Two River Founder Robert Rechnitz and Kenneth Stunkel. Upcoming projects include designing the costumes for Encores! Great American Musicals in Concert production of Cabin in the Sky, helmed by  Ruben Santiago-Hudson, which runs Feb. 10-14, 2016; Dreamgirls at Dallas Theater Center; and Having Our Say at Hartford Stage.

The native New Yorker began designing for the stage in the mid 70’s. Her earlier film and stage works includes The Brother from Another Planet, directed by John Sayles, Just Looking, directed by Jason Alexander, the celebrated Public Theatre hit musical Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk, as well as NBC’s Saturday Night Live, UPN series Abby with Sydney Poitier and CBS’s acclaimed original movie One Day In Montgomery: The Rosa Park Story, directed by Julie Dash and HBO’s Strapped, directed by Forrest Whittaker, both of which Ms. Perry’s received a Costume Designer Guild Award and Cable Ace Award nominations. In addition, Ms. Perry worked as the personal stylist for many premier artists, including the late great Gregory Hines. Over a 13 year period, their collaborations included the films Bleeding Heart, directed by Mr. Hines and The Tic Code directed by Gary Winick; CBS’s TV series The Gregory Hines Show, and the Showtime original film Bojangles: The Bill ‘Bojangle’ Robinson Story.

Her recent credits include Dead and Breathing starring Lizan Mitchell at National Black Theatre, PROOF (Quick Silver Theater Company and Classics in Color), The Happiest Song Plays Last (Second Stage); Clybourne Park, A Raisin in the Sun (Dallas Theater Center); stop. reset. and The Piano Lesson (Signature); Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (dir. Phylicia Rashad, Mark Taper); the 10th Anniversary production of Crowns, written and dir. by Regina Taylor (Goodman); Pearl Cleage’s Blues for an Alabama Sky, dir. Sheldon Epps (Pasadena Playhouse); John Grisham’s A Time to Kill, dir. Ethan McSweeny (Arena); Regina Taylor’s Trinity River Plays, dir. Ethan McSweeny (Dallas Theater Center, Goodman); The Trip to Bountiful, Walter Mosley’s The Fall of Heaven, dir. Marion McClinton (Cincinnati Playhouse); The Brother/Sister Plays by Tarell McCraney, dir. Tina Landau (The Public) and Landau and Robert O’Hara (McCarter); Things of Dry Hours by Naomi Wallace, dir. Ruben Santiago-Hudson (NYTW); Having Our Say, written and dir. by Emily Mann (McCarter); and Resurrection by Daniel Beaty, directed by Oz Scott (Arena). She has designed eight of the 10 August Wilson plays including: Gem of the Ocean, The Piano Lesson, King Hedley II, Radio Golf, Two Trains Running, and Seven Guitars. Other shows at Two River include THIRD and Trouble in Mind in 2014, August Wilson’s Two Trains Running in 2013 and Jitney in 2012. Other theatre design highlights include NFT’s Paul RobesonThe Taking of Miss JanieIt Hasn’t Always Been This WayThree Travelers and Salaam Huey P NewtonCrumbs for the Table of JoyDancing on MoonlightBreathe, Boom.

Ms. Perry received her third NAACP Image Award in 2014 for the Phylicia Rashad helmed production of August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at the Center Theater Group/Mark Taper Forum.

Her other two NAACP Image Awards are for her designs for Blues for Alabama Sky and Rosa Parks Story. She is the recipient of six AUDELCO Awards including The Piano Lesson-2013First Breeze of Summer -2008 and Seven Guitars –2006; Chicago’s Ira Aldridge Award 2012, Ovation TV Theatre Award 2013, a 2007 Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Costume Design and 2006 Audelco Award for August Wilson’s Two Trains Running directed by Seret Scott at the Old Globe Theatre; the 2006 “Woodie” Award, and the 2005 National Black Theatre Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Costume Design for Excellence in American and Black Stage, Film and Television; as well as Henry Hewes nominations and Lortel nominations.

Multimedia: In the Costume Shop with Seven Guitars’ costume designer Karen Perry at Two River Theater
Photos: In Rehearsal with Seven Guitars’ Director Brandon J. Dirden at Two River Theater
Brandon J. Dirden makes directorial debut with August Wilson’s Seven Guitars at Two River Theater, September 12 – October 4
Photos: Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s YOUR BLUES AIN’T SWEET LIKE MINE starring Brandon J. Dirden, Merritt Janson, Roslyn Ruff, Andrew Hovelson and Charles Weldon at Two River Theater through May 3 
Video: Deonna Bouye, Alfredo Huereca, Socorro Santiago, Charles Socarides in World Premiere of ‘Guadalupe in the Guest Room’ by Tony Meneses at Two River Theater through March 15

Lia Chang

Lia Chang

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, which will screen at the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival on November 21st. She is profiled in Examiner.com, FebOne1960.com BlogJade Magazine and Playbill.com.

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