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Photo Flash: Vanessa Williams, George Takei and More at NCTF Gala

On April 29th at New York City's Pierre Hotel, the National Corporate Theatre Fund (NCTF) honored Vanessa Williams (The Trip to Bountiful), American Express and five resident theatres celebrating their 50th anniversary - Actors Theatre of Louisville, Guthrie Theater, Hartford Stage, Seattle Repertory Theatre and Trinity Repertory Company - at NCTF's annual Chairman's Awards Gala. Actor George Takei, star of the Broadway-bound musical Allegiance, emceed the event. Scroll down for photos of the stars!

More than 300 theatre patrons, Broadway leaders and industry professionals from across the country gathered for an evening honoring individuals and institutions that have made significant contributions to The National Theatre community. The gala raised funds for NCTF member theatres in the U.S., some of America's finest not-for-profit theatres. Ernst & Young and Cisco Systems, Inc. co-chaired the evening's festivities.

One of the most multi-faceted performers in entertainment today, Vanessa Williams received the "Theatre Artist Award." The award was presented by James Lapine, Tony Award winning director and librettist. Williams has conquered the musical charts, Broadway, music videos, television and motion pictures. She has sold millions of albums worldwide and has achieved critical acclaim as an actress on stage, in film and on television. On Broadway, she returns this season in The Trip to Bountiful and has starred in Kiss of the Spider Woman and Into the Woods among several other productions.

Five resident theatres received the "50th Anniversary Achievement in Theatre Award." These theatres have established themselves as significant community based institutions helping to revitalize life in these cities. Luis A. Ubiñas, President of the Ford Foundation, presented the award to Actors Theatre of Louisville, Guthrie Theater, Hartford Stage, Seattle Repertory Theatre and Trinity Repertory Company. Not only have these theatres staged a wide range of award-winning dramas and musicals, the theatres have also served as laboratories for up-and-coming playwrights, actors and directors. And they have played a key role in enhancing arts education for young people in these communities through a variety of innovative programs based in schools and at the theatres themselves. Accepting on behalf of Actors Theatre of Louisville was Managing Director Jennifer Bielstein. Accepting on behalf of the Guthrie Theater was Director Joe Dowling. Accepting on behalf of Hartford Stage was Managing Director Michael Stotts, Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak and Board President Jill Adams. Accepting on behalf of Seattle Repertory Theatre was Managing Director Benjamin Moore, Artistic Director Jerry Manning and Board President Becky Lenaburg. Accepting on behalf of Trinity Repertory Company was Executive Director Michael Gennaro and The Richard L. Bready Artistic Director Curt Columbus.

National Corporate Theatre Fund (NCTF) is a not-for-profit association dedicated to sustaining America's finest not-for-profit theatres, on the stage and in the community, through innovative partnerships with companies, individuals and artists. From its base in New York, NCTF provides a national vehicle for the flow of theatre, collaboration and ideas to and from key markets.

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Photo Flash: Vanessa Williams, George Takei and More at NCTF Gala
All 2013 NCTF Honorees: Timothy McClimon, George Takei, Jerry Manning, Michael Wilson, Benjamin Moore, Michael Gennaro, Richard Thomas, Vanessa Williams, Darko Tresjnak, Curt Columbus, Jennifer Bielstein, Mike Stotts, Bruce Whitacre and Joe Dowling.

Photo Flash: Vanessa Williams, George Takei and More at NCTF Gala
Michael Wilson and Vanessa Williams

Photo Flash: Vanessa Williams, George Takei and More at NCTF Gala
Diane Paulus and George Takei

Photo Flash: Vanessa Williams, George Takei and More at NCTF Gala
George Takei, Vanessa Williams and Richard Thomas

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