Magazine article The Crisis

NAACP Awards Honor Blacks in Theater

Magazine article The Crisis

NAACP Awards Honor Blacks in Theater

Article excerpt

On June 30, Black thespians took over the stage in Hollywood as the Beverly Hills/Hollywood branch of the NAACP held its 18th Annual NAACP Theatre Awards and Theatre Awards Festival weekend.

"We're very honored and excited about the opportunity to be able to offer this to the theater world," said Ron E. Hasson, president of the Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP. "It's one of the many things that we try to promote. This is an aspect of society that deserves recognition and acknowledgement."

Both the NAACP Theatre Awards and the NAACP Image Awards were created by the Beverly Hills/Hollywood branch. When the national office took over the Image Awards, the Beverly Hills/Hollywood branch continued to host the Theatre Awards.

The Theatre Awards Festival took place for the first time this year. It was created as a way to increase visibility for people in the theater community. The festival weekend included a number of activities including workshops on Black Theatre in the 21st Century, Actors on Acting, Mastering the Audition and How to Finance and Produce a Play.

"Salute to Black Theatre," was the theme for this year's events. The awards were hosted by Kimberly Elise and Anthony Anderson.

Harold Wheeler, the first African American music conductor for the Oscars, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

"It's even more an honor that it's coming from the NAACP. It's always very special when you're recognized by your own," said Wheeler.

Even though the award is for lifetime achievement, Wheeler said, "I have so much more to do." Indeed. He is the current producer and musical supervisor of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf, a revival that will be opening on Broadway in September. The play was staged on Broadway more than 30 years ago.

Longtime actress and producer Vivica A. Fox was the recipient of the Spirit Award. …

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