Signature Theatre to Celebrate its 30th Anniversary at Virtual Annual Gala on May 6
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 06:25 pm EDT 04/28/21

Signature Theatre
Will Celebrate its 30th Anniversary and
Present the inaugural Signature Outstanding Artist Award to
Resident Playwright Anna Deavere Smith at
Thursday, May 6, 2021

Signature Theatre (Paige Evans, Artistic Director; Harold Wolpert, Executive Director) has announced that the company's 30th Anniversary Annual Gala: Three Decades Together, One Future for Us All will take place virtually on Thursday, May 6, 2021. The 30th Anniversary Gala will celebrate the company's beloved community of resident playwrights, artists and audiences. Signature Theatre will also present the inaugural Signature Outstanding Artist Award to Resident Playwright Anna Deavere Smith. The gala program is directed by Lila Neugebauer and will feature Katori Hall, Samuel D. Hunter, Dominique Morisseau and Lynn Nottage, with performances by Dave Malloy and cast members from Signature's production of Lauren Yee's Cambodian Rock Band: Abraham Kim, Jane Lui, Joe Ngo, and Courtney Reed. Gala co-chairs for this year are Bloomberg Philanthropies, Edward Skyler, Citi, and Nina B. Matis & Alan Gosule.

The virtual gala is free to attend and will be streamed at 7PM on the Signature Theatre YouTube page. For more information and to RSVP please visit www.signaturetheatre.org/gala.

Anna Deavere Smith is an actress and playwright. She is credited with creating a new form of theater. To write plays covering topics as diverse as the school-to-prison pipeline (Notes from the Field), civic uprisings (Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 and Fires in the Mirror), and health care (Let Me Down Easy), Smith interviews hundreds of individuals. She performs her plays as one person shows, in which she represents disparate world views. They are also performed by multiple actors. Smith is recognizable to television and film audiences from performances in "Black-ish", "The West Wing", "Nurse Jackie", "For the People", "Philadelphia", and "The American President". Her many honors include a MacArthur Fellowship, the Dean's Medal from the Stanford University School of Medicine, the George Polk Career Award in Journalism, the National Humanities Medal bestowed by President Obama, and numerous honorary degrees. She is a professor at NYU.

Signature Theatre celebrates playwrights and gives them an artistic home. Signature makes an extended commitment to a playwright's body of work, producing several plays by each Resident Writer and delivering an intimate and immersive journey into the playwright's singular vision.

Signature serves its mission by hosting Signature's distinctive resident playwrights and cultural community at its permanent home at The Pershing Square Signature Center, a three-theatre facility on West 42nd Street designed by Frank Gehry Architects. At the Center, opened in January 2012, Signature continues its original Playwright-in-Residence model with Residency 1, a year-long intensive exploration of a single writer's body of work. Residency 5, the only program of its kind, supports playwrights as they build a body of work by guaranteeing each writer three productions over a five-year period. The Legacy Program, launched during Signature's 10th Anniversary, invites writers from both residencies to premiere or re-produce earlier plays. In 2020, Signature launched SigSpace, to bring free artistic programming to the Center's public spaces and more fully activate Signature's lobby as a free public workspace and social hub for New York artists.

The Pershing Square Signature Center is a major contribution to New York City's cultural landscape. The Center supports and encourages collaboration among artists, cultural organizations and local communities by providing free, public access throughout the space. In addition to its three intimate theatres, the Center features a studio theatre, a rehearsal studio and a public café, bar and bookstore.

Founded in 1991 by James Houghton, Signature Theatre is now led by Artistic Director, Paige Evans and Executive Director, Harold Wolpert. Signature's Resident Playwrights include: Edward Albee, Annie Baker, Lee Blessing, Martha Clarke, Will Eno, Horton Foote, María Irene Fornés, Athol Fugard, John Guare, Stephen Adly Guirgis, A.R. Gurney, Katori Hall, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Samuel D. Hunter, David Henry Hwang, Bill Irwin, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Adrienne Kennedy, Tony Kushner, Romulus Linney, Kenneth Lonergan, Dave Malloy, Charles Mee, Arthur Miller, Dominique Morisseau, Lynn Nottage, Suzan-Lori Parks, Sarah Ruhl, Sam Shepard, Anna Deavere Smith, Regina Taylor, Paula Vogel, Naomi Wallace, August Wilson, Lanford Wilson, Lauren Yee, The Mad Ones, and members of the historic Negro Ensemble Company: Charles Fuller, Leslie Lee, and Samm-Art Williams.

Signature and our artists have been recognized with Tony Awards, Pulitzer Prizes, MacArthur "Genius" grants, and Lucille Lortel, Obie, Drama Desk, AUDELCO, and Artios Awards as well as the 50/50 Award for Gender Parity in Theatre, among many other distinctions. In 2014, Signature became the first New York City theatre to receive the Regional Theatre Tony Award for our body of work and accomplishments as an institution. For more information, please visit signaturetheatre.org.

The groundbreaking Signature Ticket Initiative: A Generation of Access, which recently celebrated its one millionth ticket sold, guarantees affordable tickets to every Signature production through 2032. Serving as a model for theatres and performing arts organizations across the country, the Initiative was founded in 2005 and is made possible, in part, by Lead Partner -The Pershing Square Foundation.

Link http://www.signaturetheatre.org

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