Monday, June 6, 2016

The Riant Theatre Will Present The PIONEER OF THE ARTS AWARD To JOE MORTON (TVs SCANDAL's Papa Pope), BARBARA MONTGOMERY (TV's AMEN & A DIFFERENT WORLD), ANDRÉ DE SHIELDS (TONY Nominee THE FULL MONTY, THE WIZ) & CHAPMAN ROBERTS (Broadway's HAIR, BUBBLING BROWN SUGAR) at the Launch Party for the Strawberry One-Act & Theatre Festival on June 25th at 3PM


The Honorees:

JOE MORTON is an American stage, television, and film actor. He made his Broadway debut in Hair, appeared in Salvation, and was nominated for a Tony Award for Raisin. He has appeared in over 70 movies, including John Sayles' The Brother from Another Planet (as The Brother), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (as Dr. Miles Bennett Dyson) and Blues Brothers 2000 (as 'Cabel "Cab" Chamberlain', based upon the late Cab Calloway).
On daytime, Morton has had roles on Search for Tomorrow (Dr. James Foster, 1973–74), Another World (Dr. Abel Marsh and Leo Mars, 1983–84), and All My Children (Dr. Zeke McMillan, 2002). In 2002, he appeared on the London stage in the play Art.

Morton has made many notable TV guest appearances, including his appearances as Dr. Steven Hamilton in the first two seasons of Smallville. He has starred in the Sanford and Son spin-off Grady (1975–76), Under One Roof (1995) and E-Ring (2005).

He portrayed the jack-of-all-trades scientist Henry Deacon as a regular on Syfy Channel's Eureka (2006–12). Morton is currently playing the role of Rowan Pope on the hit drama Scandal, a role for which he has received the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series.

BARBARA MONTGOMERY'S exceptional career as an actor, writer and director has taken her from the Off-Off Broadway Movement, Regional Theatre, Broadway, Europe and the Far East. Early years include The Old Reliable Theatre, Café La MaMa, Joseph Papp’s Public Theatre, the Negro Ensemble Company in productions of Waiting for Mongo, The First Breeze of Summer, Daughters of the Mock, Eden, Nevis Mt. Dew, The Great Mac Daddy and The Abercrombie Apocalypse. Regional theatres include: Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Arena Stage, Cricket Theatre, Coconut Grove Playhouse, Yale Repertory Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre and the Intiman, in such classics as The Old Settler, Genet’s The Blacks, No Place to Be Somebody, The Amen Corner, and Oedipus Rex.  La MaMa Tours from Spoleto, Italy to Persia in productions of A Rat’s Mass, As You Like It, Caligula, Macbeth, and The Cotton Club.

On Broadway; Raisin The Musical, My Sister My Sister. The First Breeze of Summer, Kennedy’s Children, Inacent Black and The Tap Dance Kid. In 1983, she co-founded and was Artistic Director of Black Women in Theatre, Inc., where she compiled and directed The Actress. She is the recipient of an Obie Award and several AUDELCO Awards.

Then a call came and there Barbara was in Los Angeles embarking on the Television part of her career; Series regular on Amen and Married People and in productions of The Women Of Brewster Place, Polly, Polly One More Time, Quantum Leap, A Different World, Women Of The House, Daves World, The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air and Living Single.
Film: Lift, Moscow on the Hudson, The Fight for Jenny, and Evergreen.

Then the "calling", back to New York; In Woody Kings' New Federal Theater productions of Do Lord Remember Me, The Trial Of One Shortsighted Black Woman vs. Mammy Louise and Safretta Mae, and The Dance On Widows Row. At LaMaMa E.T.C. directing three Paul Green one acts and his Hymn To The Rising Sun. Conceived, wrote and directed Cacao Dolce (Sweet Chocolate) conceived and directed Linizo del Dolore (The Beginning of Sorrows) at LaMaMa Umbria,Italy. Director in Residence for Opera Ebony, two seasons, The Meeting and Harriet Tubman / Frederick Douglas. Directed Blues in a Broken Tongue for the Negro Ensemble Company and Showboat for Mercury Opera, Rochester N.Y.

As a result of her work as an artist and commitment to community, Barbara's professional and humanitarian interests have come together in her directing and producing of the film "Mitote".

Photo by Lia Chang

ANDRÉ DE SHIELDS In a career spanning forty-seven years, André De Shields has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director and educator.  His numerous accolades include the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award, the 2007 Village Voice OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance, and eight AUDELCO Awards for Outstanding Performance, Direction and Choreography. He is widely renown for five critically acclaimed collaborations with Alfred Preisser at The Classical Theatre of Harlem: Derek Walcott’s Dream on Monkey Mountain, Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity, and the title roles in Caligula, King Lear and Archbishop Supreme Tartuffe. He is best known for his show stopping performances in four   legendary Broadway musicals: The Full Monty (Tony Nomination), Play On! (Tony Nomination), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award) and The Wiz (Title Role). Mr. De Shields is currently starring in the all male production of The Taming of the Shrew at Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC. A triple Capricorn, André is the ninth of eleven children born and reared in Baltimore, Maryland. Ubuntu!


CHAPMAN ROBERTS debuted in the original Broadway cast of Hair. His subsequent stage appearances included feature roles, on and off Broadway, in Salvation, Hello Dolly (Pearl Bailey and Cab Calloway), Jesus Christ Superstar (Ben Vereen), and as El Gallo in The Fantasticks. He has recorded with Gregory Hines, Horace Silver, Weather Report, and B.B. King (Grammy). His critically acclaimed vocal arrangements can be heard on eight original Broadway- and West End– cast albums of shows that garnered 25 Tony nominations.
Roberts’ vocal arrangements and musical direction have been pivotal in a string of Broadway and West End successes, including, Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope, the original productions of Eubie, Bubbling Brown Sugar (two Oliviers, Grammy), Your Arm’s too Short to Box with God (Tony), Blues in the Nite, Five Guys Named Moe (two Oliviers), and Playwrights Horizons’ Avenue X. He was last presented on Broadway and London’s West End in the smash hit Smokey Joe’s Café (Grammy), and off Broadway in Three Mo’ Tenors. His film credits include Year of the Comet with Louis Jourdan and Solomon and Sheba with Halle Berry.

Roberts has served as a special events musical director and supervisor for President Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan’s Kennedy Center Honors, Mrs. Lyndon Johnson, the Inaugural Gala of Governor Ann Richards of Texas, India’s Jazz Yatra Festival, Lincoln Center, Manhattan Plaza, Kool Jazz Festival, and St. Peter’s Jazz Church in New York City. His other musical associations include the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Henry Mancini, Al Green, Patti LaBelle, Bette Midler’s Harlettes, Eubie Blake, Bill Cosby, Harry Belafonte, Sammy Davis, Willy Nelson, Foreigner, Manhattans, Leslie Uggams, Ruth Brown, Freda Payne, Eartha Kitt, Della Reese, Lena Horne, Savion Glover, Paul Simon, Public Theatre, Metropolitan Opera Guild, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Richard Allen Center for Culture and Art, Morgan State Choir, Harlem Gospel Singers, American Idol, and President Barack Obama.

The Gospel According to Broadway, a Chapman Roberts concept chronicling 300 years of African American Sacred Music, was recorded by the BBC Concert Orchestra, Michael Terry Singers USA, and London Community Gospel Choirs, and is being prepared for a world tour.

Chapman Roberts is the proud recipient of The Josephine Foundations Award, The New York Association of Black Journalists Award, The Audelco Outstanding Pioneer Award, The National Black Theatre Festival Living Legend Award, 3 Grammys and now the Riant Theatre's PIONEER OF THE ARTS AWARD.

AT 3:00 PM
The Poet's Den Theatre
309 East 108th St, NYC
Between 1st & 2nd Avenue 

3:00 PM: Screening of the VIDEO DIARIES PROJECT, A Series of Short Films about the Artists in the Strawberry One-Act & Theatre Festival.


4:30 PM: Reception - Food, Drinks & Dancing.

Tickets: $50 before June 15th
$60 after June 14th
To Buy Tickets Click Here
(Cash Only At The Box Office)
Box Office: 646-623-3488

Saturday, June 25th
at 8PM
at the Westside Theatre
407 West 43rd St., NYC

Tickets: $140.00
(Includes Ticket to Launch Party)

To Buy Tickets Click Here

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