Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P. Star André De Shields to Receive the Black Theatre Network’s Winona Lee Fletcher Award on Aug. 9

Black Theatre Future ForwardBlack Theatre: Future Forward, Black Theatre Network’s 30th anniversary conference is convening in Chicago, with events taking place at the Palmer House Hilton, Columbia College and Black Ensemble Theatre, from Aug. 7 – 10, 2016.

Black Theatre Network (BTN) is the nation’s preeminent organization of scholars, artists, students, and educators dedicated to the study and promulgation of black theatre. To register for the conference, which will feature a great lineup of workshops, panels, performances and other special events, click here.

André De Shields Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields
Photo by Lia Chang

On Day 3, August 9th, BTN’s Awards luncheon will honor outstanding black theatre practitioners, including Broadway and Chicago Star André De Shields (The Wiz, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Play On!, The Full Monty), who is in town to headline CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P. in the Začek McVay Theater at Victory Gardens, Aug. 26-28.

Mr. De Shields will receive the Black Theatre Network’s 2016 Winona Lee Fletcher Award for Outstanding Achievement and Excellence in Black Theatre, along with Katori Hall and Marcia Pendleton at the Palmer House Hilton in the Honore Room, 3rd Floor. This prestigious award was established in 1994 and named after the leading theatre educator Dr. Winona Lee Fletcher. Past illustrious recipients include Ed Burbridge, Vinnie Burrows, Vinnette Carroll, Pearl Cleage, Ruby Dee, Sidney Poitier, Lloyd Richards, Philip Rose, Ntozake Shange and Glynn Turman.

Prior to the luncheon, from 11:00A.M. – 11:30A.M., Mr. De Shields will lead Theatre Church in the Chicago Room, 5th Floor. After the Awards luncheon, from 1:45P.M. -2:15P.M., he’ll take part in a Q & A in StudentQuest in the Wilson Room, 3rd Floor. During the luncheon, Mr. De Shields will perform a number from CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P., accompanied by bassist Tony Mhoon.

The Palmer House Hilton is located at 17 East Monroe Street, Chicago, Illinois, 60603.

Andre De Shields_P.I.M.P. flyer 1c -2

Dennis Začek and Grippo Stage Co., Inc., are presenting CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P., written and performed by Mr. De Shields, and directed by Samuel G. Roberson and Dennis Začek. The cast also includes Kimberly Lawson and Donica Lynn.

Donica Lynn as Mau Mau Bett and André De Shields as Baba Femi. Photo by Lia Chang

Donica Lynn as Mau Mau Bett and André De Shields as Baba Femi. Photo by Lia Chang

CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P. has performances on Friday, August 26th at 8:00P.M., Saturday, August 27th at 8:00P.M. and Sunday, August 28th at 7:30P.M. in the Začek McVay Theater at Victory Gardens Theater, located at 2433 N. Lincoln Ave in Chicago.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at www.victorygardens.org or by calling the box office at 773-871-3000.

From the heat of urban insurrection in Baltimore, Maryland to the incandescent glare of New York’s Great White Way, “Jelly Belly” has many stories to tell. Through song, dance, and spoken word, join Victory Gardens Theater’s Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellow André De Shields in this riveting solo-performance as we follow this adventure from inner city impoverishment to self-actualization.

The creative team for CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P. includes Doug Peck (musical direction), Jake Huppert (sound design), Brandon Moorhead (lighting design), Austin Pettinger (costume design) and Charles Smith (dramaturge). The band includes Tony Mhoon (bass) and Robert Reddrick (percussion). Tina Jach is the stage manager.

Robert Reddrick, Doug Peck, André De Shields, Tony Mhoon, Kimberly Lawson and Donica Lynn at the curtain call for CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P. in Victory Gardens' 2015 IGNITION Festival of New Plays in Chicago on July 16, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Robert Reddrick, Doug Peck, André De Shields, Tony Mhoon, Kimberly Lawson and Donica Lynn at the curtain call for CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P. in Victory Gardens’ 2015 IGNITION Festival of New Plays in Chicago on July 16, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P. originally premiered as part of Victory Gardens’ 2015 IGNITION Festival of New Plays.

André De Shields in CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P. in Victory Gardens' 2015 IGNITION Festival of New Plays in Chicago on July 16, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields in CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P. in Victory Gardens’ 2015 IGNITION Festival of New Plays in Chicago on July 16, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

In a career spanning forty-seven 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 Mr. De Shields’ professional career began at Chicago’s Shubert Theatre, now the Bank of America 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 multiple 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, a 2015 Award for Excellence in Theatre from the Theatre School at DePaul University, 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

Two-time Tony Nominee and Emmy Award Winner André De Shields Talks About “WOZ: A Rock Cabaret”  and “CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P.” at Victory Gardens 

Production Photos and Video: WOZ: A ROCK CABARET with Guest Star André De Shields at Victory Gardens through 7/17

Two-time Tony Nominee and Emmy Award Winner André De Shields Talks About “WOZ: A Rock Cabaret”  and “CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P.” at Victory Gardens 

Multimedia: CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P. Opening Night with André De Shields 

André De Shields and Mathilde Mukantabana, Ambassador of the Republic of Rwanda to the United States of America, “Celebrate Rwanda” at The SUNY Global Center 

Two-time Tony Nominee André De Shields and Ambassador Mathilde Mukantabana featured in Celebrate Rwanda! Event at The SUNY Global Center on June 29

STC’s THE TAMING OF THE SHREW Opening Night with André De Shields, Maulik Pancholy, Telly Leung, Oliver Thornton and More

Photos: Santino Fontana, André De Shields, John Larroquette, Nikki Renée Daniels, Bryce Pinkham, John Behlmann, Christiane Noll and More in New York City Center’s Encores! 1776 

Closing Night Party of Encores! 1776 with André De Shields, Santino Fontana, John Larroquette, Nikki Renée Daniels, Bryce Pinkham, Ann Harada at New York City Center 

Click here for more articles on André De Shields.

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. 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 Examiner.comJade Magazine and Playbill.com.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s