American Blues Theater Presents Annual Fundraiser BLUE BASH Tonight; Dina Bair & Steve Sanders to Co-Host
American Blues Theater, Chicago's second oldest Equity Ensemble, hosts "Blue Bash," their annual fundraiser, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 from 5:30 - 9 p.m., at the office of Seyfarth Shaw, Suite 2400, 131 S. Dearborn. The "Blue Bash," hosted by WGN anchors Dina Bair and Steve Sanders and co-chaired by Joan Esposito and Jill DeVaney, includes live and silent auctions, the presentation of two awards; the 2014 Blue Ink Playwriting Award and the Focus Award to the family of the late Arthur D. "Chip" Pringle, III, board member and long time supporter of American Blues Theater, as well as a sneak preview of their 29th Season. Proceeds from the "Blue Bash" benefit American Blues Theater's artistic programs and services, including the Education Outreach Initiative, The Lincoln Project. Individual tickets for the 2014 "Blue Bash" are $125 and may be purchased by calling 312.725.4228 or online at americanbluestheater.com.
The "Blue Bash" is American Blues Theater's largest fundraiser of the year. Attendees may enjoy an open bar with signature Blue Bash cocktail paired with hors d'oeuvres and desserts. In addition, guests receive sneak preview of the upcoming 29th Season, including performances from the return of Hank Williams: Lost Highway, the coproduction of Native Son with Court Theater and the 13th year of the smash hit It's a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago.
The evening includes the presentation of two awards: the annual Blue Ink Playwriting Award and American Blues Theater's Focus Award to the family of Arthur D. "Chip" Pringle, III.
The Blue Ink Award is given annually to a selected playwright chosen by submission to the American Blues Theater Ensemble. In 2013, American Blues received nearly 400 submissions from across the United States, England, and Canada. The selected playwright, who is announces at the event, receives a $$1,000 cash prize and a staged-reading with the Ensemble.
The Focus Award is given to an individual who brings integrity and national attention to the Chicago theater community. "American Blues Theater and the city of Chicago lost one of its strongest supporters with the untimely passing of Chip this past summer. American Blues grew as an organization because of his incredible leadership and passion. Not only was Chip a great board member and a previous chair of the "Blue Bash," but a wonderful person to know. We are proud to recognize him as the Focus honoree and to share with his family this honor." said Producing Artistic Director, Gwendolyn Whiteside.
American Blues Theater's multi-generational and interdisciplined ensemble & artistic affiliates comprise all aspects of theater, television and film. As of 2013, American Blues Theater has individually received more than 126 Joseph Jefferson Awards celebrating excellence in Chicago theater, two Pulitzer Prize nominations, two Academy Awards and nominations, three Golden Globe Awards and nominations, 13 Emmy Awards and nominations, six Writers' Guild Awards, 20 Black Theatre Alliance Awards and nominations, 21 After Dark Awards and multiple regional theater awards from New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Florida. American Blues Theater is the second-oldest Equity Ensemble theater in Chicago. The 39-member Ensemble has nearly 500 combined years of collaboration on stage.
Dina Bair is an Emmy award-winning journalist who is currently the anchor for WGN Midday News. In addition, she is the medical reporter for the "Medical Watch" segments on WGN Midday News and WGN News at Nine. Bair joined WGN-TV as a full-time general assignment reporter in September 1994. Recently in 2013, Bair traveled to Italy to cover the election of the new Pope. She reported live from Vatican City. She anchored the WGN Weekend Morning News from December 1994 to December 1999.
Bair came to WGN-TV from CLTV in Oak Brook where she was an anchor and reporter. Prior to CLTV, she worked at WHOI-TV in Peoria as an anchor, reporter and producer. Bair also worked at WMAQ-TV in Chicago as a field producer.
Bair is the recipient of numerous awards including seven Emmy awards, a Peter Lisagor award from the Society of Professional Journalists, and multiple Associated Press awards for both anchoring and reporting. Bair was named a Fellow by the National Press Foundation for the "Cancer Issues" seminar in Washington D.C. In perhaps the most rewarding story of her career, she spent a month reporting inside the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Children's Memorial Hospital. Her news series and documentary, "Intensive Caring," detailed the cutting edge medical treatments and life and death decisions won awards for its news and documentary coverage.
Bair is originally from the East Coast and received her B.S. in Radio-TV-Film from Northwestern University in Evanston. She is married with four children and a tri-athlete who enjoys running, boxing, lifting weights, and competitive ballroom dancing.
She is a founding Board member of the breast cancer charity One in a Million: Dancing With Chicago Celebrities. And she leads a media running team devoted to raising funds for charity. Bair is also involved with The National
Italian American Foundation, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, LUNGevity, Respiratory Health Association, American Cancer Society, and Imerman Angels.