Under The Duvet Productions

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The American Theatre Wing New Chair & Advisory Board by Photojournalist Lisa Pacino

The American Theatre Wing: Tony Award winning playwright David Henry Hwang will succeed William Ivey Long as new chair and the new advisory board appointments include Patti LuPone, Robyn Coles, Alia Jones-Harvey, Lucy Liu, Charles Tolbert, Liesl Tommy, Sergio Trujillo, and Lia Vollack.

David Henry Hwang

Tony Award winning playwright David Henry Hwang. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

New York, NY (June 28, 2016) — Tony Award® winning Playwright David Henry Hwang has been elected the Chair of the American Theatre Wing. Having joined the board of the American Theatre Wing in 2009, Mr. Hwang will succeed current Chair William Ivey Long, who concludes his four-year term this year (the maximum number of consecutive years permitted). Mr. Long will maintain an active role in the Wing as he takes on the responsibilities as Immediate Past Chair. Mr. Hwang will serve as Chair of the Wing’s Board of Directors, and will be joined by Co-Vice Chairs Natasha Katz, Marva Smalls, and Pamela Zilly; Treasurer James Higgins; Secretary Jane Fearer Safer; and Immediate Past Chair William Ivey Long. The Wing’s President and CEO Heather Hitchens recently completed her fifth full year in that role.

 “I am honored to serve the American Theatre Wing as it celebrates a century advancing excellence,” said Mr. Hwang. “Through its wide range of programs and activities, the Wing supports the vitality and diversity of theatre in our nation. I will do my best to help build on this iconic legacy.”
 “As the Wing’s Chief Executive Officer for the last five years, I have been extremely fortunate to be able to work hand in hand with two extraordinary chairs, William Ivey Long and Ted Chapin, who both elevated and advanced our work and programs,” said Ms. Hitchens. “David Henry Hwang is an exceptional artist and advocate, and I am thrilled that he will be by my side as we lead the Wing to even greater heights.”

 New appointments to the American Theatre Wing’s Advisory Committee include Patti LuPone, Robyn Coles, Alia Jones-Harvey, Lucy Liu, Charles Tolbert, Liesl Tommy, Sergio Trujillo, and Lia Vollack.

 The American Theatre Wing (Heather Hitchens, President and CEO) is dedicated to advancing artistic excellence and nurturing theatre’s next generation: on the stage, behind the scenes, and in the audience. For nearly a century, the Wing has pursued this mission with programs that span the nation to invest in the growth and evolution of American Theatre. Traditionally, the Wing has encouraged members of the theatre community to share their off-stage time and talent directly with the theatre audience at large–whether it was singing for the troops in the Stage Door Canteen of the 1940s, or sharing their stories on a podcast today.  As the founders of The Tony Awards®, the American Theatre Wing has developed the foremost national platform for the recognition of theatrical achievement on Broadway. Yet the Wing’s reach extends beyond Broadway and beyond New York. The Wing develops the next generation of theatre professionals through the SpringboardNYC and Theatre Intern Network programs, incubates innovative theatre across the country through the National Theatre Company Grants, fosters the song of American theatre through the Jonathan Larson Grants, honors the best in New York theatrical design with the Henry Hewes Design Award, and illuminates the creative process through the “Working in the Theatre” program and media archive. Beginning last season, the American Theatre Wing has entered into a long-term partnership with The Village Voice to co-present The Obie Awards, Off Broadway’s Highest Honor.
David Henry Hwang is a Tony Award® winner and three-time nominee, a three-time Obie Award winner, and a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. His work includes the plays M. Butterfly, Chinglish, Yellow Face, Golden Child, Kung Fu, The Dance and the Railroad, and FOB, as well as the Broadway musicals Aida (co-author), Flower Drum Song (2002 revival) and Disney’s Tarzan. He is also America’s most-produced living opera librettist, and a writer/producer for the Golden Globe-winning TV series “The Affair”. Hwang has been honored with the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels Award for a Master American Dramatist, the 2012 Inge Award, the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright “Mimi” Award, a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award, and the 2015 IPSA Distinguished Artist Award. He has also been a long-time board member of Young Playwrights Inc. and the Lark Play Development Center. Hwang was recently the Residency One Playwright at New York’s Signature Theatre, and currently serves as Head of Playwriting at Columbia University School of the Arts.
  Patti LuPone is an American actress and singer, best known for her work in stage musicals. She is a two-time Grammy Award winner and a two-time Tony Award® winner. She is also a 2006 American Theater Hall of Fame inductee. LuPone began her professional career with The Acting Company in 1972 and made her Broadway debut in Three Sisters in 1973. She received the first of six (as of 2014) Tony Award® nominations for the 1975 musical The Robber Bridegroom. She won the Tony Award® for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Eva Perón in the 1979 original Broadway production of Evita. She played Fantine in the original London cast of Les Misérables and Moll in The Cradle Will Rock, winning the 1985 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her work in both. Other stage musical performances include her Tony®-nominated role as Reno Sweeney in the 1987 revival of Anything Goes, her Olivier-nominated role as Norma Desmond in the 1993 original production of Sunset Boulevard in London, her Tony®-nominated role as Mrs. Lovett in the 2005 production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, her Tony Award®-winning role as Mama Rose in the 2007 revival of Gypsy, and her Tony®-nominated role as Lucia in the 2010 original production of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. She starred alongside Audra McDonald in the 2007 Los Angeles Opera production of Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny and won two Grammy Awards for the 2008 recording, for Best Classical Album and Best Opera Recording. On television, she starred in the drama series “Life Goes On” (1989-1993) and received Emmy Award nominations for the TV Movie “The Song Spinner” (1995) and for her guest role in the sitcom “Frasier” (1998). She also had a role in the third season of the FX thriller series “American Horror Story: Coven” (2013-2014). Her films include “Witness” (1985), “Driving Miss Daisy” (1989), “State and Main” (2000) and “Parker” (2013). LuPone was part of the first graduating class of Juilliard’s Drama Division, which also included actors Kevin Kline and David Ogden Stiers. She graduated from Juilliard in 1972 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
Robyn Coles is currently president of TRATE Properties, a real estate management and ventures company. Prior to her current duties, Ms. Coles served as the CEO of Computer Marketing Services and CEO of Scientific Supplies Network, a medical supply company. She has been an active fundraiser for healthcare causes such as the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and served as chairperson of the San Francisco American Cancer Society Inaugural Gala in 2011. Ms. Coles is a member of the board of directors for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. She is also a member of the San Francisco Opera Guild and a member of the board of directors for the American Conservatory Theater. Ms. Coles is a trustee of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Foundation and also serves as a member of their finance committee. Ms. Coles is a former trustee of Today’s Youth Matter. In New York City, Ms. Coles has been involved with The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Multicultural Audience Development Initiative. Ms. Coles received her bachelor’s degree in Urban Affairs and Economics from Goucher College.
 Alia Jones-Harvey is the only woman of color currently a lead producer on Broadway. Her company Front Row productions began with the revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in 2008, continued with A Streetcar Named Desire, was involved with The Trip to Bountiful, and most recently with Eclipsed, which was nominated for 6 Tony Awards® including Best Play — three of the four productions featuring all‑black casts, the third (Streetcar) primarily people of color. She teaches a course entitled “Producing for Broadway” at the City College School of Continuing and Professional Studies.
Lucy Liu is an American actress, model and artist. She became known for playing the role of the vicious and ill-mannered Ling Woo in the television series “Ally McBeal” (1998–2002), for which she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series. Liu’s film work includes starring as one of the heroines in Charlie’s Angels (2000), playing O-Ren Ishii in Kill Bill (2003), and appearances in Payback (1999), Chicago (2002), and the animated series Kung Fu Panda (2008). In 2008, she starred in an ABC comedy-drama, “Cashmere Mafia,” which ended after one abbreviated season. The show was one of only a few American television shows to have an Asian American series lead. In 2012, Liu joined the cast of the TNT series “Southland” in the recurring role of Jessica Tang, for which she won the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Drama Guest Actress. She is currently co-starring in the Sherlock Holmes–inspired crime drama series “Elementary” as Joan Watson, and voicing Silvermist in Disney’s Tinker Bell film series. In March 2010, Liu made her Broadway debut in the Tony Award®–winning play God of Carnage as Annette on the second replacement cast alongside Jeff Daniels, Janet McTeer, and Dylan Baker.
 Charles Tolbert is an intellectual property attorney handling legal and business matters for entertainment and technology businesses and counseling an eclectic roster of designers, authors, production companies, and artists. He has provided legal services for stage and film including the documentary feature Brooklyn Castle and the Oscar®-nominated best documentary feature How To Survive A Plague. Prior to private practice, Tolbert managed intellectual property rights for Pearson the UK based media and publishing group where he was responsible for global partnerships and managed the Dick and Jane and Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer properties. He previously worked in business affairs for Dove Audio in Beverly Hills a pioneer in the audiobook business. Tolbert serves on the Board of Directors of Save Venice, is a Trustee of Adelphi University, and is a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences. He formerly served as Vice President of the Board of Directors of Grand Street Settlement.
 Liesl Tommy is the Tony®-nominated director of Eclipsed. Her previous directing credits include the world premieres of Party People by Universes (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), The White Man – A Complex Declaration of Love by Joan Rang (DanskDansk Theatre, Denmark), Peggy Picket Sees the Face of God by Roland Schimmelpfennig (Luminato Festival/Canadian Stage), Eclipsed by Danai Gurira (Yale Reperatory Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, and McCarter Theatre), The Good Negro by Tracey Scott Wilson (The Public Theater/NYSF and Dallas Theater Center), A History of Light by Eisa Davis (Contemporary American Theatre Festival), and Angela’s Mixtape by Eisa Davis (Synchronicity Performance Group, New Georges). Other credits include Hamlet (California Shakespeare Theater), American Buffalo (Baltimore Centerstage), The Piano Lesson (Yale Repertory Theatre), Ruined (Oregon Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, and Berkeley Repertory Theatre), Stick Fly (Contemporary American Theatre Festival), A Christmas Carol (Trinity Repertory Company), and Flight (City Theatre). Her productions have won numerous awards for directing, acting, and design. She has taught master classes in acting, directing, and new play development internationally and has taught at The Juilliard School, Trinity Rep/Brown University, The Strasberg Institute, and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Ms. Tommy was awarded the NEA/TCG Directors Grant and is an artistic associate at Sundance Theatre Institute. She is a native of Cape Town, South Africa and a graduate of Newton North High School and Trinity Repertory Conservatory.
 Sergio Trujillo is the recipient of the 2015 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer. In 2011, Mr. Trujillo had the honor of having four shows simultaneously running on Broadway; Tony Award® winning Best Musical Memphis (Olivier Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama Desk and Astaire Award noms.), Tony® and Olivier Award winning Best Musical Jersey Boys (Greenroom Award, Olivier, Drama Desk, Dora, Outer Critics Circle Award noms.), The Addams Family, and Next to Normal, the recipient of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize. Sergio is the choreographer of the Broadway production On Your Feet! The Emilio and Gloria Estefan Musical. Other Broadway choreography credits: Hands on a Hardbody (Drama Desk nomination), Leap of Faith, Guys and Dolls (Astaire Awards nom.) and All Shook Up. Trujillo made his Broadway debut as a performer in Jerome Robbins’ Broadway in 1989 and also appeared in Guys and Dolls (1992), Victor/Victoria (1998), and Fosse (1999). He made his choreographic debut with All Shook Up in 2005. That same year he choreographed Jersey Boys on Broadway, and he worked with the Las Vegas, West End, Chicago, and US national tour companies as well. Off-Broadway, Trujillo choreographed Invisible Thread (2015), Bare: A Pop Opera (2004), A Tree Grows in Brooklyn for City Center Encores!, The Great American Trailer Park Musical (2005), Public Theater/Shakespeare in the Park’s production of Romeo & Juliet (2007), Kismet for “Encores!” and Saved (2008) for Playwrights Horizons (Lucille Lortel Awards Nomination).
 Lia Vollack is considered one of the leaders of music for film. She started her career in NYC as a theatre sound designer and eventually went to California where she became the President of Worldwide Music of Theatrical for Sony Pictures Entertainment. She created the digital label Madison Gate to publish film music that otherwise may have never seen the light of day. Some of its latest releases include Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ soundtrack to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the jazz score to Midnight in Paris, a second volume for Country Strong as well as the soundtrack for The Social Network. She was also involved with Adele’s Oscar-winning son Skyfall for the James Bond film of the same name. Additional projects she has spearheaded include the soundtrack for The Amazing Spider Man and the remake of Annie. Other artists she has worked with include Paul McCartney, Pharrell Williams, Britney Spears, One Direction, Hans Zimmer, and Danny Elfman, to name a few. More recently, Ms. Vollack was appointed the Executive Vice President of Theatrical for Sony Pictures Entertainment, where she is helping develop a number of film-to-stage projects, including the West End musical Groundhog Day, based on the 1993 Bill Murray comedy.

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Photography by Celebrity Photojournalist Lisa Pacino of Under The Duvet Productions, NY. All Rights Reserved.

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