Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception

Woodie King, Jr.'s New Federal Theatre (NFT) will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a special Gala at the historic Edison Ballroom on Sunday evening, May 22nd. This special event saluting NFT, for 40 years a seminal force in Black Theater, will be co-hosted by Randall Pinkston (CBS News) and Lynn Whitfield. Chairmen for the event are Laurence Fishburne, John Morning and Susan Taylor. The Honorary Chair is Dr. Maya Angelou. In addition to celebrating NFT's vital contribution to the arts internationally, the Gala will feature special awards for 13 individuals that changed the cultural life of our nation: Sidney Poitier, Ntozake Shange, Ruby Dee, Alicia Keys, Mayor David Dinkins, Imhotep Gary Byrd, George Faison, Amiri Baraka, Rev. Malcolm Boyd, Elizabeth McCann, Carla Pinza, Terrie Williams and Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin (for the National Black Theatre Festival).

On Monday, April 25, the honorees gathered at Trump Place in a welcome reception. BroadwayWorld was on hand and brings you photo coverage below!

Founded by Woodie King, Jr. in 1970, New Federal Theatre has gone on to international acclaim for its bold mission to integrate minorities and women into the mainstream of American theater by training artists for the profession and by presenting plays by minorities and women to integrated, multicultural audiences - plays which evoke the truth through beautiful, artistic recreations of ourselves. Specializing in minority drama, New Federal Theatre has brought the joy of the living stage to not only the minority community living on the Lower East Side near NFT's home at Henry Street Settlement's Abrons Arts Center, but to audiences from all over the metropolitan area. NFT has provided emerging playwrights with the opportunity to have their works produced; it has brought minority actors, directors and designers to national attention and sponsored numerous ethnic theater groups and events. NFT's vocational training workshops continue to prepare minority people for employment in theater and related fields. Most importantly, NFT provides the multi-ethnic Lower East Side, as well as the New York Metro area, with theater of the highest caliber that relates to the interest of different cultural groups. The impact of NFT is nothing less than extraordinary. Writers first presented at NFT are now part of the literary fabric of the American mainstream. Many plays attained national significance and reached much wider audiences by having been showcased at NFT. The alumni list of NFT productions reads like a Who's Who of American theater, film and television: Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Debbie Allen, Phylicia Rashad, S. Epatha Merkerson, Jackee Harry, Laurence Fishburne, Dick Anthony Williams, Taurean Blacque, Debbie Morgan, Robert Downey, Jr. Garrett Morris, Lynn Whitfield, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Ruby Dee, Leslie Uggams, Samuel L. Jackson and many more. Under Woodie King, Jr.'s stewardship, NFT presented over 280 productions in the last four decades including: For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf, What the Winesellers Buy, Reggae, The Taking of Miss Janie and The Dance and The Railroad. His directorial credits are extensive and include work in film as well as in theater. He has directed at the most prominent theaters across the country and has been the recipient of numerous awards from AUDELCO, The NAACP, Drama Critics Circle and an Obie Award for Sustained Achievement.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
George Faison & Woodie King Jr. attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Lamman Rucker & Woodie King Jr. attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Woodie King Jr. & Lamman Rucker attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Woodie King Jr. & Terrie Williams & Lamman Rucker attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Woodie King Jr. attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Woodie King Jr. attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Lamman Rucker attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Lamman Rucker attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Ruby Dee attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Lamman Rucker, Woodie King Jr. & Ruby Dee attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Lynn Whitfield attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Lynn Whitfield attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Ruby Dee & Lynn Whitfield attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Ruby Dee & Lynn Whitfield attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Ruby Dee & Lynn Whitfield attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Lynn Whitfield attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Ruby Dee attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Ruby Dee attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Amiri Baraka attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Imohotep Gary Bird attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Carla Pinza attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Carla Pinza attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Ntozake Shange attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Terrie Williams attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Ruby Dee attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Rubt Dee & Elizabeth McCann attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Terrie Williams & Ntozake Shange attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
George Faison attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Carla Pinza & George Faison attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Lamman Rucker, Lynn Whitfield, Ruby Dee attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Lamman Rucker, Lynn Whitfield, Ruby Dee, Elizabeth I. McCann, Carla Pinza attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
George Faison, Amiti Baraka, Terrie Williams, Ntozake Shange & Imohotep Gary Bird attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Lamman Rucker attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Lamman Rucker attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Lamman Rucker attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Lamman Rucker attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Lynn Whitfield attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Lynn Whitfield attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Lynn Whitfield attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Lynn Whitfield attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Lynn Whitfield attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Lynn Whitfield attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Lynn Whitfield attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Lamman Rucker & Lynn Whitfield attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Lamman Rucker & Lynn Whitfield attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Lamman Rucker & Lynn Whitfield attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception
Standing: Lamman Rucker, Imohotep Gary Bird, Lynn Whitfield, George Faison, Woodie King Jr, Terrie Williams, John Morning attending the New Federal Theatre Press Conference at Trump Place, New York City.

Photo Coverage: New Federal Theatre Honors Poitier, Keys et al. Press Reception



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Walter McBride As a 14 year old youth, Walter was transfixed by his first Broadway Show, the original production of 'GREASE'. His Journey to celebrity photojournalism began that fateful night. Meeting, photographing and getting to know the cast inspired him to spend his professional life doing what he loved. Walter moved to Manhattan and for a leading role as a Photographer & Photo Researcher. Currently headlining in New Jersey with his partner Richard and family members Dali (Jack Russell) & Gala (Schnoodle). Recently he made his Broadway debut sharing the stage with Hugh Jackman in 'Hugh Jackman on Broadway' as well as receiving the Actors' Equity Association Gypsy Spirit Award. Walter McBride Photography is syndicated worldwide by Corbis/AP.