Eden Espinosa, Jessica Hecht, and More to Appear at Williamstown Theatre Festival Gala
Williamstown Theatre Festival has announced that the annual WTF Gala will include special appearances by Eden Espinosa (WTF's Lempicka, Wicked), Tony Award nominee Jessica Hecht (WTF's The Closet, "Friends"), and 2018 Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Martyna Majok (WTF's Cost of Living).
The 2019 WTF Gala: "An Evening with Audra McDonald," honoring WTF Board Chairman Matt Harris, will be held at 583 Park Avenue in New York City on Monday, February 11, 2019 at 6:30 PM. The event will include cocktails and dinner and feature an evening of performance by Tony, Grammy, and Emmy Award winner and two-time Festival star, Audra McDonald.
Audra McDonald is unparalleled in the breadth and versatility of her artistry as both a singer and an actor. The winner of a record-breaking six Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards, and an Emmy Award, she received a 2015 National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama and was also named one of TIME magazine's 100 most influential people that year. Tony-winning performances include Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, and Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill - which served as the vehicle for her Olivier-nominated 2017 West End debut. On television, McDonald is known for her roles in ABC's "Private Practice" and NBC's "The Sound of Music Live!", and she won an Emmy as the official host of PBS's "Live From Lincoln Center." She can currently be seen as Liz Lawrence on CBS All Access' "The Good Fight," which launches its third season in spring 2019. Recent film credits include Ricki and the Flash, Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast, and movie-musical Hello Again. The Juilliard-trained soprano also maintains a major career as a concert and recording artist. Her latest solo album, Sing Happy, was recorded live with the New York Philharmonic for Decca Gold. Of all her many roles, her favorites are the ones performed offstage: passionate advocate for equal rights and homeless youth, wife to actor Will Swenson, and mother.
McDonald has appeared twice on the Williamstown Theatre Festival stage. In 2004, under Artistic Director Michael Ritchie, she performed in the world premiere of Michael John LaChuisa's musical R Shomon. McDonald also appeared in Eugene O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten in 2015 under Artistic Director Mandy Greenfield.
Matt Harris has served as a Festival Trustee for a total of 20 years and has been Board Chairman for 13 of them. He started his investing career at Bain Capital private equity in 1995, having worked previously at Bain & Company, and attended Williams College, where he majored in political economy. In 2000, Harris founded Village Ventures, which he ran for 12 years and where he focused on early-stage fintech investing. In 2012, he rejoined Bain Capital Ventures. He is also a board member at Endeavor, an organization leading the global movement to catalyze long-term economic growth by selecting, mentoring and accelerating the best high-impact entrepreneurs around the world. Outside of work, Harris enjoys spending any free moments with his wife, Jessica, and their five children.
The 2019 Williamstown Theatre Festival Gala Committee includes the following friends of Matt Harris and passionate advocates of the Festival: Saheem Ali, Becky Ann Baker & Dylan Baker, Lewis Black, Joshua Boone, Julia Bowen & Brad Svrluga, David Cromer, Dennis Dunne & Charlotte Byers, Eden Espinosa, Halley Feiffer, Joe & Tracy Finnegan, Shana Fisher & Jonathan Glick, Alfie Fuller, Tavi Gevinson, Matt Gould, Yvonne Hao & Mark Wu, Jessica Hecht, Kristen Johanson & Tom Green, Jeff Johnson & Hy Conrad, Jill Kargman, Raja Feather Kelly, Sylvia Khoury, Basil Kreimendahl, Hoon Lee, Matthew Lopez, Martyna Majok, Rhon & James Manigault-Bryant, Lindsay Mendez, Omar Metwally, Carol Miller & Rich Levy, Alfred Molina, Dominique Morisseau, Anne & Josh Morris, Gregg Mozgala, Lila Neugebauer, Diana Oh, Jiehae Park, Mary-Louise Parker, Sarah Jessica Parker & Matthew Broderick, Katherine & Bo Peabody, Annie & Nick Pell, David Hyde Pierce, Zhenya Pomerantsev & James Waldinger, Portia, Adam Rapp, Condola Rashad, Susan Rose & Alan Lafer, Roslyn Ruff, Caren Pasquale Seckler & Mike Seckler, Amanda Seyfried & Thomas Sadoski, Jen Silverman, Courtney Smith & Graham Duncan, Lucy Thurber & Jenna Worsham, Marisa Tomei, James Anthony Tyler, Alex Volckhausen, and Samira Wiley.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos