Jefferson Mays, Bryce Pinkham & Lily Tomlin Set for NCTF 2014 Awards Gala Honoring Kristin Chenoweth, 3/31

Jefferson Mays, Bryce Pinkham & Lily Tomlin Set for NCTF 2014 Awards Gala Honoring Kristin Chenoweth, 3/31

On March 31st at New York City's Pierre Hotel, the National Corporate Theatre Fund (NCTF) will honor Tony and Emmy Award Winning singer and actress Kristin Chenoweth, and the Edgerton Foundation for their leadership in the arts at the NCTF 2014 Chairman's Awards Gala.

More than 300 theatre patrons, Broadway leaders and industry professionals from across the country will gather for an evening honoring individuals and institutions that have made significant contributions to the national theatre community, and an exciting program of performances and special appearances is expected. The evening will include a special performance by Tony Award Winner Jefferson Mays and Bryce Pinkham, stars of the current hit musical A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder; an excerpt from the highly acclaimed show Witness Uganda, currently at A.R.T. (an NCTF member theatre); and an appearance by legendary comedian Lily Tomlin, currently on tour with a solo show. Tomlin will offer a special salute to departing NCTF Board Members. Mays and Pinkham will perform "Better With a Man" accompanied by composer Steven Lutvak at the piano. A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder was developed and performed at two of NCTF's theatres, Hartford Stage and Old Globe, before becoming a recent hit on Broadway.

The evening, which will raise funds for NCTF's ten nonprofit member theatres in the U.S., will be chaired by Chairman James S. Turley, former CEO of Ernst & Young; Cisco Systems, Inc.; Joseph F. Kirk, Wells Fargo; and world-renowned playwright David Henry Hwang. Bank of America serves as the Reception sponsor. Proceeds will be generously matched with a grant of up to $250,000 from the Edgerton Foundation which will benefit new theatrical works at NCTF's member theatres, ensuring the creation of another year of innovative and thought-provoking productions nationwide.

"Today's regional theatres share a common thread with the corporate world: a focus on innovation, creativity and strong community leadership. I am proud to support outstanding theatre programming and education initiatives at NCTF theatres across the U.S.," said James S. Turley, Chairman of NCTF.

Known to most as Glinda from Wicked, Broadway legend and Tony and Emmy Award Winner Kristin Chenoweth will receive the "Theatre Artist Award" at the Gala. Writer and Producer Robert Harling will present. Chenoweth's stunning talent with singing, dancing and acting has garnered her critical acclaim in Broadway hits You're a Good Man Charlie Brown; Steel Pier; The Apple Tree; and Promises, Promises; as well as on acclaimed television shows The West Wing and Pushing Daisies. She has also guest starred on numerous shows, including Sesame Street and Glee. Her big screen credits include The Pink Panther, Bewitched and more.

Chenoweth is currently in production on several film projects, including Universal's The Boy Next Door, alongside Jennifer Lopez, A Bet's A Bet with Mena Suvari and Eric Roberts and an indie teen drama entitled Hard Sell. In spring of 2014, she will be seen in Rio 2, voicing the character of Gaby, a hilarious poisonous frog. Additionally, she will be featured in a guest arc on the TV Land series, "Kirstie" and will return for the 100th episode of "Glee," set to air in March.

"It is an honor to be recognized as NCTF's Theatre Artist Award winner this year", said Ms. Chenoweth. "It is through partnerships like those facilitated by NCTF, and the great theatres they support, that our visions as artists can be explored and developed for the public. This is truly inspiring."

The "Leadership in Theatre Award" will be going to the Edgerton Foundation for their substantial contribution to the creation of significant new work in the American Theatre. Most recently, the Foundation offered a matching grant of up to 250,000 dollars for all new or increased contributions to the NCTF Gala, providing nonprofit theatres such as Los Angeles Center Theatre Group; San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater; Cleveland Play House; and the Seattle Repertory Theatre, among others, with significant investments for new productions. Productions supported in the past by the Edgerton Foundation include 13, All the Way, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (Pulitzer Nominee), Good People (Tony Nominee), In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play (Pulitzer and Tony Nominee), Next to Normal (Pulitzer Prize Winner, Tony Nominee), Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Tony Winner), and Witness Uganda(2014 Richard Rodgers Award Winner).

"The connections NCTF makes between theatre, philanthropic and arts communities reflect a recognition of the immeasurable impact of the arts on the vitality of the communities in which they are based," said Bruce Whitacre, Executive Director of NCTF. "It is a privilege to celebrate the incredible work and influence of regional theatre with the many artists, supporters and organizations that have made these programs a reality. It is truly a pleasure to honor Ms. Chenoweth and the Edgerton Foundation today for their role in advancing theatre in America."

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

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