Liesl Tommy to be Honored at NYTW 2024 Gala; Shoshanna Bean, Brandon Victor Dixon & More to Appear

The Gala will be held on Monday, March 18 at 6PM at Gotham Hall.

By: Feb. 20, 2024
Liesl Tommy to be Honored at NYTW 2024 Gala; Shoshanna Bean, Brandon Victor Dixon & More to Appear
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New York Theatre Workshop's 2024 Gala will honor theater and film visionary Liesl Tommy. The Gala will be held on Monday, March 18 at 6PM at Gotham Hall (1356 Broadway, New York, NY 10018).
 
Liesl Tommy is a visionary artist and a true groundbreaker,” said Artistic Director Patricia McGregor. “Her career has blazed a path for so many others to follow – myself among them. I am moved that New York Theatre Workshop played a role in Liesl’s story, and I’m thrilled to be honoring her this spring.”
 
Added Executive Director Jeremy Blocker, “Liesl Tommy embodies so many of the values of New York Theatre Workshop: curiosity, virtuosity and breaking barriers. A former NYTW Fellow, she is now an inspiration for the many artists who have followed in her footsteps. We feel so lucky to count her as a member of our community.”
 
Liesl Tommy is a groundbreaking, multi-award-winning director and producer of theater, television and film. She’s the first Black woman ever nominated for the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play, which she earned for Danai Gurira’s Eclipsed, starring Lupita Nyong’o. Liesl has directed over 50 productions throughout the world, including the world premiere of the John Kander and Greg Pierce musical Kid Victory, the first stage adaptation of Frozen as a multimedia extravaganza for Disneyland, and her box-office juggernaut production of Les Misérables. For the latter two, she made the groundbreaking choice to shift the casting to center people of color, laying the foundation for future productions. Liesl made her acclaimed feature directorial debut in 2021 with Respect, based on the life of Aretha Franklin, starring Jennifer Hudson, Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald and Mary J. Blige. Tommy has also enjoyed a successful career directing episodes of television including “Queen Sugar,” “Insecure,” “The Walking Dead” and “Mrs. Fletcher.”  
 
Liesl’s childhood in Apartheid-era South Africa has deeply influenced her passion for stories about people fiercely pursuing personal and cultural freedom, propelling her to launch her NYC-based production company Crocodile Eyes with co-producer Jennifer Mudge in 2020. Projects in development include a collaboration with Andrea Ciannavei and Oscar-winning writer Alex Dinelaris’ Lexicon NY, an original Feminist Horror film trilogy, and a legacy title live-action feature with Disney+. Upcoming TV projects include collaborations with two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage and Tony Gerber, Emmy nominee Tanya Barfield, as well as Sister Pictures and Paramount+. On Crocodile Eyes’ theatre slate is the previously announced Imitation of Life, a musical adaptation that Liesl conceived with book by Lynn Nottage and music and lyrics by John Legend; a revival with Wagner Johnson Productions; and the Rwanda Project with London-based producer Ryan Hugh Mackey and 2023 Olivier winner Mervyn Millar
 
The evening’s program will be hosted by Nicole Ari Parker (“And Just Like That,” The Refuge Plays), directed by Kevin Cahoon (Shucked), and feature musical direction by Rick Hip-Flores (Bad Cinderella). The evening will be scripted by Thaddeus McCants (“Julia”). The live auction will be conducted by Robby Gordy.
 
The evening will also feature appearances and performances from Tony Award nominee Shoshanna Bean (Hell’s Kitchen), Tony Award nominee Brandon Victor Dixon (Hell’s Kitchen), Tony Award winner Adrienne Warren (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical), Obie Award winner Eisa Davis (“Mare of Easttown”), Tamika Lawrence (The Heart of Rock and Roll), Joy Woods (The Notebook), Elizabeth Judd (Hamilton), John Manzari (Funny Girl) and more.
 
The NYTW Annual Gala raises 10% of the Off-Broadway company’s annual budget. Funds raised at this one-night-only event help NYTW to mount world class productions and to share them with more than 50,000 audience members each season. Proceeds also support NYTW’s Artist Workshop activities through which nearly 2,000 artists develop more than 80 projects each year and their Education Initiatives including Learning Workshop, Mind the Gap, and Public Programs that serve over 1,600 students of all ages. 
 
Event tickets begin at $1,250 with tables starting at $12,500 and can be purchased at www.nytw.org or by calling 212-780-9037. 




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