Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Yale School of Drama Beinecke Fellow André De Shields in BLACK BY POPULAR DEMAND at Yale Rep on Dec. 8

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

The Yale School of Drama is presenting a conversation with Yale School of Drama Beinecke Fellow André De Shields, the two-time Tony Award nominated actor currently appearing in Seven Guitars at Yale Rep, on Thursday, December 8 to explore and challenge the myriad of influences on the work and legacy of August Wilson.

André De Shields and Billy Eugene Jones in August Wilson's Seven Guitars, directed by Timothy Douglas. Photo by Joan Marcus 2016.

André De Shields and Billy Eugene Jones in August Wilson’s Seven Guitars, directed by Timothy Douglas. Photo by Joan Marcus 2016.

Baltimore, Blues, and Black Nationalism converge in this dynamic conversation featuring Marléne Danielle, Larry Spivack, and Freida Williams at 3:30 P.M. at the Yale Repertory Theatre, 1120 Chapel Street in New Haven, CT. The event is free and open to the public.

André De Shields in August Wilson's Seven Guitars, directed by Timothy Douglas. Photo by Joan Marcus 2016.

André De Shields in August Wilson’s Seven Guitars, directed by Timothy Douglas. Photo by Joan Marcus 2016.

August Wilson’s SEVEN GUITARS, directed by Timothy Douglas at Yale Repertory Theatre (1120 Chapel Street), has performances through December 17. The cast also features Billy Eugene Jones, Rachel Leslie, Stephanie Berry, Danny Johnson, Wayne T. Carr and Antoinette Crowe-Legacy.

Yale Rep Artistic Director James Bundy with Billy EuGene Jones, Antoinette Crowe-Legacy, director Timothy Douglas (in hat), Wayne T. Carr (foreground), Danny Johnson, Stephanie Berry, Rachel Leslie, and André De Shields at the opening night celebration at Atelier Florian. Photo by Lia Chang

Yale Rep Artistic Director James Bundy with Billy EuGene Jones, Antoinette Crowe-Legacy, director Timothy Douglas (in hat), Wayne T. Carr (foreground), Danny Johnson, Stephanie Berry, Rachel Leslie, and André De Shields at the opening night celebration at Atelier Florian. Photo by Lia Chang

Tickets for August Wilson’s SEVEN GUITARS range from $12-99 and are available online at yalerep.org, by phone at (203) 432-1234, and in person at the Yale Rep Box Office (1120 Chapel Street). Student, senior, and group rates are also available.

Wayne T. Carr, Stephanie Berry, and André De Shields in August Wilson's Seven Guitars, directed by Timothy Douglas. Photo by Joan Marcus 2016.

Wayne T. Carr, Stephanie Berry, and André De Shields in August Wilson’s Seven Guitars, directed by Timothy Douglas. Photo by Joan Marcus 2016.

In a career spanning forty-seven years, André De Shields has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, choreographer and educator. Seven Guitars marks his second collaboration with Timothy Douglas, the first having been as “Stool Pigeon” in August Wilson’s King Hedley II. He is a Beinecke Fellow at Yale School of Drama this season.

André De Shields and Billy Eugene Jones in August Wilson's Seven Guitars, directed by Timothy Douglas. Photo by Joan Marcus 2016.

André De Shields and Billy Eugene Jones in August Wilson’s Seven Guitars, directed by Timothy Douglas. Photo by Joan Marcus 2016.

De Shields 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 WizAin’t Misbehavin’Play On! and The Full Monty. Recent projects include creating the role of Ron in the Broadway bound musical Gotta Dance at the Bank or America Theatre in Chicago; appearing as Cardinal Gremio, Curtis and Vincentio in the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of The Taming of the Shrew featuring an all-male cast; WOZ: A Rock Cabaret  and his self-penned CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P. at Victory Gardens Theater.

Billy Eugene Jones, André De Shields, and Wayne T. Carr in August Wilson's Seven Guitars, directed by Timothy Douglas. Photo by Joan Marcus 2016.

Billy Eugene Jones, André De Shields, and Wayne T. Carr in August Wilson’s Seven Guitars, directed by Timothy Douglas. Photo by Joan Marcus 2016.

De Shields 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 WizAin’t Misbehavin’Play On! and The Full Monty. Recent projects include creating the role of Ron in the Broadway bound musical Gotta Dance at the Bank or America Theatre in Chicago; appearing as Cardinal Gremio, Curtis and Vincentio in the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of The Taming of the Shrew featuring an all-male cast; WOZ: A Rock Cabaret  and his self-penned CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P. at Victory Gardens Theater.

André De Shields and Antoinette Crowe-Legacy in August Wilson's Seven Guitars, directed by Timothy Douglas. Photo by Joan Marcus 2016.

André De Shields and Antoinette Crowe-Legacy in August Wilson’s Seven Guitars, directed by Timothy Douglas. Photo by Joan Marcus 2016.

De Shields numerous accolades include an Emmy Award for the NBC Special based on Ain’t Misbehavin’, the 2007 Village Voice OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance, the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award, a 2012 Fox Foundation Fellowship in Distinguished Achievement, Florida Atlantic University’s 2014 Making Waves Award, the Theatre School at DePaul University 2015 Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Riant Theatre’s 2016 Pioneer of the Arts Award, the Black Theatre Network’s 2016 Winona Lee Fletcher Award, nine AUDELCO Awards. 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

André De Shields, Billy Eugene Jones, George Faison, Constanza Romero, Lori Tan Chinn and More Celebrate August Wilson’s SEVEN GUITARS Opening Night at Yale Rep

Production Photos: André De Shields, Billy Eugene Jones, Rachel Leslie, Stephanie Berry, Danny Johnson, Wayne T. Carr and Antoinette Crowe-Legacy in Yale Rep’s SEVEN GUITARS 

Broadwayworld.com Photo Flash: Starry SEVEN GUITARS Celebrates Opening Night at Yale Rep with Andre De Shields and More 

Two-time Tony Nominee André De Shields, Rachel Leslie, Billy Eugene Jones, Stephanie Berry, Wayne T. Carr, Danny Johnson and Antoinette Crowe-Legacy Open Tonight in Timothy Douglas Helmed SEVEN GUITARS at Yale Rep

New Haven Register: André De Shields adds dramatic voice to August Wilson’s ‘Seven Guitars’ at Yale Rep

Broadwayworld.com André Robin De Shields and More Headed to Yale Rep’s SEVEN GUITARS; Cast, Creatives Announced!

André De Shields’ CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P. at Victory Gardens- Tech to Closing Night 

Black Theatre Network Honors CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P. Star André De Shields

Video: Two-time Tony Nominee and Emmy Award Winner André De Shields in CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P. at Victory Gardens, Aug. 26-28

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

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 Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

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