Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Phylicia Rashad, Marjorie Johnson, Jason Dirden, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Joe Morton, Tina Fabrique, Francois Battiste, Colman Domingo, Maurice Hines Among 2016 AUDELCO Award Nominees; SKELETON CREW AND FAMILIAR Lead with Nine Nods Each

“The VIV” Awards, the annual Vivian Robinson/AUDELCO Recognition, are the only formally established awards presented to the black theatre community. AUDELCO (Audience Development Committee, Inc.) was established and incorporated in 1973 by the late Vivian Robinson, to stimulate interest in, and support of performing arts in black communities. AUDELCO celebrates 44 years of Excellence in Black Theatre this year at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th St. in New York on Monday, November 21. Doors open at 6:30P.M. Program  begins at 7:00P.M. Click here to purchase tickets.

Jason Dirden, Lynda Gravatt and Nikiya Mathis in Atlantic Theater Company's Skeleton Crew. Photo by Ahron R. Foster

Jason Dirden, Lynda Gravatt and Nikiya Mathis in Atlantic Theater Company’s Skeleton Crew. Photo by Ahron R. Foster

Atlantic Theater’s production of Dominique Morisseau’s Skeleton Crew and Playwrights Horizon’s production of Danai Gurira’s Familiar lead with nine nominations each

Dominique Morisseau’s SKELETON CREW starring Jason Dirden, Wendell B. Franklin, Lynda Gravatt, Nikiya Mathis and Adesola Osakalumi at Atlantic’s Linda Gross Theater through June 19 

Myra Lucretia Taylor and Tamara Tunie in Playwrights Horizon's production of Danai Gurira's Familiar. Photo by Joan Marcus

Myra Lucretia Taylor and Tamara Tunie in Playwrights Horizon’s production of Danai Gurira’s Familiar. Photo by Joan Marcus

Skeleton Crew (Atlantic Theater Company); Dead and Breathing (National Black Theatre); Dot (Vineyard Theatre); Familiar (Playwrights Horizons); Smart People (Second Stage Theatre) and The Royale (Lincoln Center Theater) are nominated for Dramatic Production of the Year; while Cherchez La Femme: A Musical Excuse (La Mama); Maurice Hines Tappin’ Thru Life (New World Stages); The First Noel (Classical Theatre of Harlem) and The Total Bent (The Public Theater) are in the running for Musical Production of the Year.

Lizan Mitchell and Nikki Walker in Dead and Breathing. Photo by Josephine Caldwell

Lizan Mitchell and Nikki Walker in Dead and Breathing. Photo by Josephine Caldwell

Lead actor nominees include Mahershala Ali (Smart People); Khris Davis (The Royale); RJ Foster (Richard III); Wendell B. Franklin (Skeleton Crew); Joe Morton (Turn Me Loose) and Jahi Kassa Taquara (The Piano Lesson).

Joe Morton. Photo: Monique Carboni

Joe Morton. Photo: Monique Carboni

Nominees for lead actress include Lynda Gravatt (Skeleton Crew); Marjorie Johnson (Dot); Kecia Lewis (Mother Courage and Her Children); Phylicia Rashad (Head of Passes); Tessa Thompson (Smart People) and Tamara Tunie (Familiar). 

John Earl Jelks, Arnetia Walker, Phylicia Rashad, and Francois Battiste. Photo by Joan Marcus

John Earl Jelks, Arnetia Walker, Phylicia Rashad, and Francois Battiste. Photo by Joan Marcus

The Public Theater’s critically-acclaimed premiere of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Head of Passes, starring Phylicia Rashad and featuring Alana Arenas, Francois Battiste, Kyle Beltran, J. Bernard Calloway, Robert Joy, John Earl Jelks, and Arnetia Walker, receives a second extension 

Supporting actor nominees include Francois Battiste (Head of Passes); Jason Dirden (Skeleton Crew); Michael Potts (Mother Courage and Her Children); Larry Powell (The Christians); David Roberts (The Fall of the Kings) and Kim Sullivan (The Piano Lesson).

Linda Powell, Andrew Garmon, Larry Powell, Richard Henzel and the Choir in "The Christians." at the 38th Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville. (Photo by Michael Brosilow)

Linda Powell, Andrew Garmon, Larry Powell, Richard Henzel and the Choir in “The Christians.” at the 38th Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville. (Photo by Michael Brosilow)

Supporting actress nominees include Ito Aghayere (Familiar); Alana Arenas (Head of Passes); Vinie Burrows (I Will Look Forward to This Later); Montego Glover (The Royale); Nikiya Mathis (Skeleton Crew); Linda Powell (The Christians) and Myra Lucretia Taylor (Familiar).

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Tina Fabrique and the company of Classical Theatre of Harlem’s THE FIRST NOEL.

In musical acting categories, nominees include Tina Fabrique (The First Noel); Ashley Ware Jenkins (The First Noel); Traci Michelle (Cherchez La Femme: A Musical Excuse); Ato Blankson-Wood (The Total Bent); Isaac Gay (Cherchez La Femme: A Musical Excuse); Vondie Curtis Hall (The Total Bent); Maurice Hines (Maurice Hines Tappin’ Thru Life); CB Murray (Cherchez La Femme: A Musical Excuse) and
Nathaniel Stampley (The First Noel).

Maurice Hines. Photo by Carol Rossegg

Maurice Hines. Photo by Carol Rossegg

MAURICE HINES TAPPIN’ THRU LIFE at New World Stages 

The solo performance nominees are Trezana Beverley (Mabel Madness); Staceyann Chin (Motherstruck!);
Cherie Danielle (The Diary of An Afro Goddess); Tommie J. Moore (Dare to Be Black: The Jack Johnson Story); Khalil Muhammad (Pryor Truth) and Reginald L. Wilson (Sugar Ray).

 Tommie J. Moore in Theater for the New City's production of “Dare to Be Black: The Jack Johnson Story.” Photo by Tanja Marie

Tommie J. Moore in Theater for the New City’s production of “Dare to Be Black: The Jack Johnson Story.” Photo by Tanja Hayes

The director for dramatic performance nominees are directors Carl Cofield (Macbeth); Kenny Leon (Smart People); Jonathan McCrory (Dead and Breathing); Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Skeleton Crew) and Liesl Tommy (Eclipsed); while Steve H. Broadnax III (The First Noel); Jeff Calhoun (Maurice Hines Tappin’ Thru Life); Angie Kristic (Cherchez La Femme: A Musical Excuse) and Joanna Settle (The Total Bent) have been nominated for their direction of musical productions.

Lizan Mitchell and Nikki Walker star in National Black Theatre’s New York premiere of DEAD AND BREATHING by Chisa Hutchinson 

In order to cast your vote, you must become a Friend of AUDELCO by October 28, 2016. Join the voting membership by clicking here.

Tickets can be purchased online and at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space Box Office. Tickets are $100/$75; Seniors $50; Day of Show $125/$75.

Below is a full list of the 2016 “The VIV” Nominees for the 2015-2016 Theatre season. Good luck to all of the nominees. For more information, click on www.AUDELCO.org

LIGHTING DESIGN
Alan C. Edwards (Macbeth)
Nathan Hawkins/William Kenyon (Blood at the Root)
Tyler Micoleau (Familiar)
Austin R. Smith (The Royale)
Thom Weaver (The Total Bent)

SET DESIGN
Michael Carnahan (Skeleton Crew)
Maruti Evans (Dead and Breathing)
G.W. Mercier (Head of Passes)
Clint Ramos (Familiar)
Daniel Robinson (The First Noel)

COSTUME DESIGN
Dede M. Ayite (The Royale)
Gabriel Berry (The Total Bent)
Rachel Dozier-Ezell (Macbeth)
Susan Hilferty (Familiar)
Toni-Leslie James (Head of Passes)

SOUND DESIGN
Obadiah Eaves/Sten Severson (The Total Bent)
Rob Kaplowitz (Skeleton Crew)
John McKenna (Macbeth)
Liz Sokolak (Blood at the Root)
Darron L. West (Familiar)

DIRECTOR/DRAMATIC PRODUCTION
Carl Cofield (Macbeth)
Kenny Leon (Smart People)
Jonathan McCrory (Dead and Breathing)
Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Skeleton Crew)
Liesl Tommy (Eclipsed)

Pascale Armand, Lupita Nyong'o and Saycon Sengbloh in 'Eclipsed'. Photo: Joan Marcus

Pascale Armand, Lupita Nyong’o and Saycon Sengbloh in ‘Eclipsed’. Photo: Joan Marcus

DIRECTOR/MUSICAL PRODUCTION
Steve H. Broadnax III (The First Noel)
Jeff Calhoun (Maurice Hines Tappin’ Thru Life)
Angie Kristic (Cherchez La Femme: A Musical Excuse)
Joanna Settle (The Total Bent)

PLAYWRIGHT
Lydia Diamond (Smart People)
Colman Domingo (Dot)
Danai Gurira (Familiar)
Chisa Hutchinson (Dead and Breathing)
Dominique Morisseau (Skeleton Crew)
Marco Ramirez (The Royale)

Colman Domingo’s DOT starring Marjorie Johnson, Sharon Washington, Stephen Conrad Moore, Libya V. Pugh, Colin Hanlon, Michael Rosen and Finnerty Steeves, extends

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Francois Battiste (Head of Passes)
Jason Dirden (Skeleton Crew)
Michael Potts (Mother Courage and Her Children)
Larry Powell (The Christians)
David Roberts (The Fall of the Kings)
Kim Sullivan (The Piano Lesson)

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Ito Aghayere (Familiar)
Alana Arenas (Head of Passes)
Vinie Burrows (I Will Look Forward to This Later)
Montego Glover (The Royale)
Nikiya Mathis (Skeleton Crew)
Linda Powell (The Christians)
Myra Lucretia Taylor (Familiar)

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL – FEMALE
Tina Fabrique (The First Noel)
Ashley Ware Jenkins (The First Noel)
Traci Michelle (Cherchez La Femme: A Musical Excuse)

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL –
MALE
Ato Blankson-Wood (The Total Bent)
Isaac Gay (Cherchez La Femme: A Musical Excuse)
Vondie Curtis Hall (The Total Bent)
Maurice Hines (Maurice Hines Tappin’ Thru Life)
CB Murray (Cherchez La Femme: A Musical Excuse)
Nathaniel Stampley (The First Noel)

CHOREOGRAPHY
Brian Harlan Brooks (The First Noel)
Maurice Hines (Maurice Hines Tappin’ Thru Life)
David Neumann (The Total Bent)
Tiffany Rea-Fisher (Macbeth)
Kyndra “Binkie” Reevey (Cherchez La Femme: A Musical Excuse)

Heather Alicia Simms, Benja Kay Thomas, Kim Wayans and Marc Damon Johnson in Robert O'Hara's "Barbecue," at The Public Theater. Photo by Joan Marcus

Heather Alicia Simms, Benja Kay Thomas, Kim Wayans and Marc Damon Johnson in Robert O’Hara’s “Barbecue,” at The Public Theater. Photo by Joan Marcus

OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE
A Lovely Malfunction (Negro Ensemble Company)
Barbecue (The Public Theater)
but I cld only whisper (The Flea)
Dead and Breathing (National Black Theatre)
Eclipsed (The Public Theater)
Proof (Quick Silver Theatre/Classics in Color Theatre Co.)
Timeless: The Mystery of the Dark Water (Black Spectrum Theatre)

Alejandro Rodriquez, Nafeesa Monroe, Lolita Foster and Count Stovall. Photo by Lia Chang

Alejandro Rodriquez, Nafeesa Monroe, Lolita Foster and Count Stovall. Photo by Lia Chang

SOLO PERFORMANCE
Trezana Beverley (Mabel Madness)
Staceyann Chin (Motherstruck!)
Cherie Danielle (The Diary of An Afro Goddess)
Tommie J. Moore (Dare to Be Black: The Jack Johnson Story)
Khalil Muhammad (Pryor Truth)
Reginald L. Wilson (Sugar Ray)

Jason Dirden and Wendell B. Franklin in Atlantic Theater Company's Skeleton Crew. Photo by Ahron R. Foster

Jason Dirden and Wendell B. Franklin in Atlantic Theater Company’s Skeleton Crew. Photo by Ahron R. Foster

LEAD ACTOR
Mahershala Ali (Smart People)
Khris Davis (The Royale)
RJ Foster (Richard III)
Wendell B. Franklin (Skeleton Crew)
Joe Morton (Turn Me Loose)
Jahi Kassa Taquara (The Piano Lesson)

 Kecia Lewis as Mother Courage, at Classic Stage Company. Photo: Joan Marcus

Kecia Lewis as Mother Courage, at Classic Stage Company. Photo: Joan Marcus

IMG_7105LEAD ACTRESS
Lynda Gravatt (Skeleton Crew)
Marjorie Johnson (Dot)
Kecia Lewis (Mother Courage and Her Children)
Phylicia Rashad (Head of Passes)
Tessa Thompson (Smart People)
Tamara Tunie (Familiar)

BEST REVIVAL
In the Heights (Harlem Repertory Theatre)
In White America (New Federal Theatre)
Macbeth (Classical Theatre of Harlem)
Mother Courage and Her Children (Classic Stage Company)
Proof (Quick Silver Theatre/Classics in Color Theatre Co.)
The Piano Lesson (Gallery Players)
Walk Hard (Metropolitan Playhouse)

MUSICAL PRODUCTION OF THE YEAR
Cherchez La Femme: A Musical Excuse (La Mama)
Maurice Hines Tappin’ Thru Life (New World Stages)
The First Noel (Classical Theatre of Harlem)
The Total Bent (The Public Theater)

DRAMATIC PRODUCTION OF THE YEAR
Dead and Breathing (National Black Theatre)
Dot (Vineyard Theatre)
Familiar (Playwrights Horizons)
Skeleton Crew (Atlantic Theater Company)
Smart People (Second Stage Theatre).
The Royale (Lincoln Center Theater)

My Birthday Visit to MARIE AND ROSETTA with André De Shields, Garth Kravits, Anthony Chisholm and More at Atlantic Theater 

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.

One comment on “Phylicia Rashad, Marjorie Johnson, Jason Dirden, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Joe Morton, Tina Fabrique, Francois Battiste, Colman Domingo, Maurice Hines Among 2016 AUDELCO Award Nominees; SKELETON CREW AND FAMILIAR Lead with Nine Nods Each

  1. Pingback: Phylicia Rashad & Joe Morton Among Black Actors Being Honored for Theatre – Black And Making It

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