Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

An Evening with Ruben Santiago-Hudson: Celebrating the Broadway directorial debut of August Wilson’s JITNEY on Dec. 7

Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Photo by Lia Chang

Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Photo by Lia Chang

First Corinthian Baptist Church Dream Center in association with The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, HARLEM WEEK, Harlem Arts Alliance New Heritage Theatre Group, and Walk Tall Girl Productions on Wednesday, December 7 at 7PM at Harlem Hospital’s Mural Pavilion, 136th Street and Malcolm X Blvd (Lenox Avenue) presents An Evening with Ruben Santiago-Hudson: Celebrating the Broadway directorial debut of August Wilson’s Jitney, opening January 19, 2017.

Joining in the celebration of Santiago-Hudson’s numerous contributions will be the cast of Jitney with performances from NAACP and Obie award winner Daniel Beatty, Harlem’s Oscar and Grammy nominated IMPACT Repertory Theatre, Harlem musician and band leader Keith “The Captain” Gamble, Cuban Batá drummers, Manhattan Theatre Club Executive Producer Barry Grove, Executive Director of The Center for Arts and Culture at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation Dr. Indira Etwaroo, and more. The evening’s proceeds will support the self-sustaining multi-generational extension of First Corinthian Baptist Church (FCBC), The Dream Center is the tangible vision of Senior Pastor Michael A. Walrond, Jr.

Ray Anthony Thomas, Keith Randolph Smith, Michael Potts, Brandon Dirden, John Douglas Thompson, Carra Patterson, André Holland, Anthony Chisholm, Harvy Blanks and Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Photo by Lia Chang

Ray Anthony Thomas, Keith Randolph Smith, Michael Potts, Brandon Dirden, John Douglas Thompson, Carra Patterson, André Holland, Anthony Chisholm, Harvy Blanks and Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Photo by Lia Chang

Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson has received many awards and has a distinguished and accomplished resume as playwright, actor, director, and musician. Santiago-Hudson recently directed the world premieres of Dominique Morriseau’s Skeleton Crew at the Atlantic Theatre and Paradise Blue at the Williamstown Theater Festival as well as Your Blue Ain’t Sweet Like Mine at The Two River Theatre Company. Other directing credits include Cabin in the Sky at Encores!, The Piano Lesson(Obie, Lucille Lortel, Joseph A. Callaway, Audelco), The Happiest Song Plays Last at Second Stage Theatre, Things of Dry Hours at NY Theatre Workshop, My Children My Africa, Seven Guitars, and The First Breeze of Summer all at the Signature Theatre Company. Other awards and honors include: four Audelco Directing Awards, Clarence Derwent Award, Joseph A, Calloway Directing Award, two Obie awards, Lucille Lortel Award, Helen Hayes Award, Harper College Distinguished Alumni Honor, and the Glenn G. Bartle Award of Excellence from Binghamton University among many others.

Santiago-Hudson won a Tony for his performance in Wilson’s Seven Guitars; he also appeared in Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean on Broadway and directed his The Piano Lesson Off-Broadway.

August Wilson’s Jitney will begin preview performances at MTC’s Samuel J. FriedmanTheatre on Wednesday, December 28 with opening night scheduled for Thursday, January 19, 2017.

Only one of the ten plays in two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s masterful The American Century Cycle has never been seen on Broadway – until now. Set in the early 1970s, this richly textured piece follows a group of men trying to eke out a living by driving unlicensed cabs, or Jitneys. When the city threatens to board up the business and the boss’ son returns from prison, tempers flare, potent secrets are revealed and the fragile threads binding these people together may come undone at last. MTC has a long history of co-producing works by this legendary playwright (King Hedley II, Seven Guitars and Piano Lesson) and is proud to produce this Broadway debut. Directing is Ruben Santiago-Hudson, called “perhaps the foremost interpreter of the legendary August Wilson” by The New York Times.

For admittance to An Evening with Ruben Santiago-Hudson Celebration go to www.dreamcenter.org or call Marko Nobles at 212-862-7200.

For more information on MTC, please visit www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com.

Inside Rehearsals of MTC’s Broadway Debut of August Wilson’s JITNEY; Previews Begin December 28
Meet the Cast of MTC’s Broadway Debut of August Wilson’s JITNEY, Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Featuring Harvy Blanks, Anthony Chisholm, Brandon Dirden, André Holland, Carra Patterson, Michael Potts, Keith Randolph Smith, Ray Anthony Thomas, John Douglas Thompson 

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 

MAURICE HINES TAPPIN’ THRU LIFE, Dominique Morriseau’s SKELETON CREW, Marjorie Johnson, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Tina Fabrique, Joe Morton and Debra Ann Byrd Among 2016 AUDELCO Winners 

Photos: All-Access Pass to August Wilson’s Two Trains Running with John Earl Jelks, Harvy Blanks,Chuck Cooper, Anthony Chisholm, Owiso Odera, Roslyn Ruff and James A. Williams 

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.

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