Posted by: Official_Press_Release 09:16 am EDT 04/16/24




The Acting Company (Kent Gash, Artistic Director; Devin Brain, Producing Director; Erik Schroeder, Managing Director) has announced that Tony Award winner Julie White will host The Acting Company's "Fantastic Journeys" Gala on Monday, April 29 at 583 Park Avenue, honoring Stephen McKinley Henderson with this year's John Houseman Award Honor, and William H. Wright II with the Joan M. Warburg Award Honor.

The evening will include performances from Abby Mueller (Broadway's SIX, Beautiful, Kinky Boots) and Tatiana Wechsler (Broadway's Mr. Saturday Night) along with Anya Whelan-Smith, Layla Khoshnoudi, Abiola Obatolu, and Zamo Mlengana (all from the company of TAC's world premiere of Odyssey, written and directed by Lisa Peterson with original songs by Masi Asare); and Peter Douskalis (guitarist for Broadway's Water for Elephants, The Lion King and Hamilton).

This one-night-only event will celebrate more than a half a century of developing emerging actors by bringing classics and new plays across the US on fantastic journeys that have changed the American cultural landscape. The evening will include a cocktail hour that begins at 6:30 PM, followed by a silent auction, raffle, special guests, performances, a gourmet dinner, and dancing.

Timothy K. Saunders Jr. and Tejal P. Wadhwani serve as Co-chairs for the event. The Gala Committee includes J. Barclay Collins II, Peter H. Darrow, Cheryl L. Davis, Eric Falkenstein, Beanie Feldstein, Olivia Fussell, Margot Harley, Dana Ivey, Jessie McClintock Kelly, Ezra Knight, Dakin Matthews, Angela Pierce, John Rando, Randy Stuzin, Rosemary Spaziani, Richard J. Reilly, Jr., Louis Rodriguez, Roslyn Ruff, Earl D. Weiner, Nancy Bendiner Weiss, and Lori-Ann Wynter.

Tickets and tables for the "Fantastic Journeys" Gala on Monday, April 29 at 583 Park Avenue are available for purchase by calling 212-258-3111 or by visiting https://theactingcompany.org/gala.


ABBY MUELLER is a Drama Desk Award winner and Grammy nominee. She has been seen on Broadway as the original Jane Seymour in Six, in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, and Kinky Boots. Her off-Broadway credits include A Minister's Wife and School of Rock. She originated the role of Carole King on the first national tour of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and some favorite regional roles include: The Last Five Years (Cathy), Les Misérables (Fantine), Miss Saigon (Ellen), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Narrator), 1776 (Abigail Adams), Brigadoon (Fiona MacLaren), and Pippin (Catherine). On TV, Abby has appeared on "America's Got Talent" and the "Today" show.

TATIANA WECHSLER is a Brooklyn-based actor, singer/songwriter, and creative. With The Acting Company, she has done X: Or..., Julius Caesar, Othello. Her Broadway credits include Mr. Saturday Night. Off-Broadway/NYC credits include Pericles (Fiasco Theater); The Golden Bride at Folksbiene. Regional: Penelope (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival); Love's Labor's Lost, first woman to play Curly in Oklahoma! (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Benny & Joon (Paper Mill Playhouse); Love in Hate Nation (Two River Theatre); Legend of Georgia McBride (Marin Theatre Company). Many readings and workshops. NYU New Studio grad.

JULIE WHITE won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for The Little Dog Laughed as well as Obie and Ovation awards and Drama Desk, OCC, and Lorel nominations. Additional Broadway: POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive (Tony nom.); Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus (Tony nom.); A Doll's House, Part 2; A.R. Gurney's Sylvia; Airline Highway (Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League noms.); Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike; The Heidi Chronicles. Off-Broadway: The Understudy, From Up Here (Drama Desk, Drama League noms.), Fiction, Twelfth Night, Bad Dates. Film: Lincoln; Transformers 1, 2, & 3; Michael Clayton; The Astronaut Farmer; Monsters vs. Aliens. Television: "How We Roll," "NCIS: Hawai'i," "Roar," "weCrashed," "Mrs. America," "Big Mouth," "Designated Survivor," "Nurse Jackie," "Alpha House," "Go On" (Gracie Award), "The Good Wife," "Man Seeking Woman," "You're the Worst," "Damages," "Cavemen," "Six Feet Under," "Grace Under Fire," "Law & Order: SVU."


STEPHEN MCKINLEY HENDERSON has worked on stages throughout the United States and abroad, on and off Broadway, and in television and film. His eight Broadway performances include Between Riverside and Crazy (Tony nomination), Fences (Tony nomination), A Raisin in the Sun, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, and A Doll's House Part 2. Off-Broadway roles include LAByrinth Theatre Company's The Last Days of Judas Iscariot and Second Stage Theater's Jitney (Drama Desk, Obie, and Audelco awards for outstanding ensemble). He is the 2023 recipient of the Drama Desk's Harold Prince Lifetime Achievement Award. His stage directing credits include Signature Theater's Zooman and the Sign, Ali! in New York, London, and Atlanta, and The Meeting for St. Louis Black Repertory Theater presented at the Kennedy Center. Stephen's work appears in six Oscar nominated films: Dune; Fences; Lady Bird; Lincoln; Manchester by the Sea; and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. In his freshman year at Lincoln University in Missouri, a historically black institution, he auditioned for John Houseman and Michael Kahn and became a member of Group l, Juilliard Drama Division in 1968. His conservatory training continued at North Carolina School of the Arts (BFA) where he served as president of the student government and at Purdue University Graduate School (MA), where he was Director of the Drama Workshop for the Black Cultural Center. Stephen was part of a master class taught by Lloyd Richards at the Actor's Center and he continued to study with Mr. Richards on a Fox Foundation Fellowship for three years. He is a Lunt and Fontanne Ten Chimneys Fellowship Teacher and a former Chair of the University at Buffalo Department of Theatre and Dance. John Houseman cited Stephen's work as a student in his memoir, Final Dress, and Dr. Samuel Hay cites his work as an actor, director, and educator in his text, African American Theater, A Critical Analysis

WILLIAM H. WRIGHT II is an expert in investment banking, finance and corporate governance. Most recently, he was a managing director at Morgan Stanley, retiring in 2010 after 28 years with the firm. During his career in investment banking, he was a trustee of the Morgan Stanley Foundation. Wright has been consulted on securities regulation reform by the Securities and Exchange Commission Division of Corporation Finance and the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services. He has also served on the faculties of the Ray Garrett Institute of the Northwestern University School of Law and the Practicing Law Institute. Wright is chair of the board of trustees at Doris Duke Foundation, he sits on the board of Mount Sinai Health System, Inc. and its seven member institutions, and he is a member of the board of directors of the New York City Ballet. Wright has also served as senior warden of St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue and is currently a vestryman of Trinity Church Wall Street. He is also treasurer and a member of the board of trustees of Historic Hudson, as well as of the Josiah Macy Foundation, where he became board chairman in October 2010. In 2000, Wright was elected a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Wright received a Bachelor of Arts in history from Yale University and served as a member of the board of directors of the Yale Alumni Fund. He was also awarded the Yale Medal, which is the highest honor afforded to alumni for distinguished service to the university. Wright also received a master's degree in business administration from the University of Virginia, where he was named the Thomas I. Storrs Fellow, received the C. Stewart Sheppard Award for public service and was elected to University Raven Honor Society.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Kent Gash, Producing Director Devin Brain and Managing Director Erik Schroeder, The Acting Company brings professional productions and education programs, in-school residencies, and teacher training workshops to thousands of audience members and students in underserved communities and schools each year. Founded by John Houseman and Margot Harley, the company seeks to develop emerging actors and build enthusiastic, knowledgeable audiences for the theater in towns across the United States. The Acting Company launched the careers of nearly 500 actors, including Kevin Kline, Patti LuPone, Mary Lou Rosato, Keith David, Rainn Wilson, Lorraine Toussaint, Frances Conroy, Harriet Harris, Lisa Banes, Jeffrey Wright, Hamish Linklater, Jesse L. Martin, Roslyn Ruff, Jimonn Cole, and Kelley Curran.

Among many accolades, The Acting Company received the 2003 Tony Award for Excellence in the Theater, and recently won the 2019 Audelco Award for Best Play for its production of Nambi E. Kelley's Native Son directed by Seret Scott. Since 1972, The Acting Company has performed for over 4 million people in 48 States, 10 foreign countries, on and Off-Broadway, and at leading resident theaters including The Guthrie and The Kennedy Center. New works commissioned by the company include plays by William Finn, Marcus Gardley, Rebecca Gilman, John Guare, Beth Henley, Tony Kushner, Lynn Nottage, Meg Miroshnik, Ntozake Shange, Maria Irene Fornés, Spalding Gray, Marsha Norman, Charles Smith, Samm-Art Williams, and Wendy Wasserstein. theactingcompany.org
Link https://theactingcompany.org/gala

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