Photo Flash: The Theatre School at DePaul Honors GOTTA DANCE Star Andre De Shields in Chicago
In Chicago last night (November 9), two-time Tony Award nominee and Emmy Award winner André De Shields was honored by The Theatre School at DePaul University with the 2015 Award for Excellence in the Arts. The 27th Annual Awards for Excellence in the Arts Gala, which also honored Broadway In Chicago President Lou Raizin and Theatre School alumna Karen Aldridge, was held in the Atlantic Ballroom of the Radisson Blue Aqua Hotel. Scroll down for photos!
"My art is my ministry, and that the Theatre School at DePaul University chose to honor me with the Award for Excellence in the Arts encourages me to continue my efforts in creative activism," De Shields said.
The Annual Awards for Excellence in the Arts recognize distinguished artists and visionaries who have proven their dedication, talent, and leadership in support of the arts. All proceeds from the event directly benefit The Theatre School Scholarship Fund, supporting students from all over the nation to train at the school.
De Shields is currently rehearsing GOTTA DANCE, the new Broadway-bound musical about professional basketball's first ever aged 60-and-older dance team, which begins performances on December 13, 2015 and runs through January 10, 2016at Broadway In Chicago's Bank of America Theatre. As fate would have it, De Shields' professional career began at Chicago's Shubert Theatre (since renamed Broadway In Chicago's Bank of America Theatre) in the 1969 production of HAIR and now returns to that same stage 46 years later.
De Shields has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, choreographer, and educator. For his work in Chicago, he is the recipient of three Jeff Awards, one as Director for Victory Gardens Theater's 1987 production of The Colored Museum, and two as Featured Performer in a Musical for the Goodman Theatre's productions of Play On! (1998) and Mary Zimmerman's The Jungle Book (2013). After HAIR, he moved on to The Me Nobody Knows at the Civic Opera House, and ultimately became a member of The Organic Theatre Company where he created the role of Xander the Unconquerable, Ruler of the Sixth Dimension, in the cult sensation Warp. A multiple Tony Award nominee, De Shields is best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway musicals: The Wiz, Ain't Misbehavin', Play On! and The Full Monty. His numerous accolades include an Emmy Award for the NBC Special presentation of Ain't Misbehavin', the National Black Theatre Festival's Living Legend Award, the Village Voice OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance, and two Doctor of Fine Arts degrees honoris causa from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the State University of New York-College at Buffalo.
Photo Credit: Lia Chang
Andre De Shields speaking at the 2015 DePaul University Gala in Chicago.