Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Phylicia Rashad, and More Set For LIVE AT THE LORTEL

Now in its third season, “Live at The Lortel” is hosted by Eric Ostrow and co-hosts Joy DeMichelle and John-Andrew Morrison.

By: Sep. 13, 2021
Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Phylicia Rashad, and More Set For LIVE AT THE LORTEL

The Lucille Lortel Theatre today announces its first slate of guests for its 2021-2022 "Live at The Lortel" podcast series. Now in its third season, "Live at The Lortel" is hosted by Eric Ostrow and co-hosts Joy DeMichelle and John-Andrew Morrison. The program is designed to give theater makers the opportunity to share insight into their creative process and inspiration with a larger audience. These conversations dig deep into the artists' work and career, including past, present, and future projects.

This upcoming season, Live at The Lortel looks at the intersection between art and activism. We honor the work of theater artists who boldly use their public platform for philanthropy, to advance the state of theater, and to support the issues that they are passionate about. We look to explore how an artist's passion for activism and philanthropy influences their artistry on the stage.

The live interviews will take place Mondays at 7:00 PM EST, offering theater fans the opportunity to view interviews and participate in a Q&A with artists. To join the audience, please visit Following each live interview, podcast episodes of "Live at The Lortel" will be available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Soundcloud per the below release schedule.

This fall, "Live at The Lortel" kicks off with Tony Award-winning actress Phylicia Rashad (September 20), actor and playwright Arturo Luís Soria currently starring in Off-Broadway's critically acclaimed play, "Ni Mi Madre," (September 27), actress and songstress NaTasha Yvette Williams (October 4), activist/actor Reynaldo Piniella, and Tony Award winning actor, director, playwright Ruben Santiago-Hudson (October 25)

Phylicia Rashad

Monday, September 20 - live

Podcast release: September 24

Phylicia Rashad, an accomplished actress and stage director, became a household name when she portrayed Claire Huxtable on "The Cosby Show," a character whose enduring appeal has earned numerous awards and honors for over two decades. Her film and television credits include: "A Fall from Grace," "Creed" and "Creed II," "For Colored Girls," "Soul," "Jingle Jangle," "Black Box," "This is Us" (three Emmy nominations), "David Makes Man," and "Empire."

Inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 2016, Ms. Rashad received Tony and Drama Desk Awards for her performance as 'Lena Younger' in 'A Raisin in the Sun," the Lucille Lortel Award for her performance as 'Shelah' in "Head of Passes," and a Tony nomination for her portrayal of 'Aunt Ester' in August Wilson's "Gem of the Ocean." Ms. Rashad has directed plays by August Wilson ("Gem of the Ocean," "Fences," "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," "Joe Turner's Come and Gone"), Stephen Adly Guirgis ("Our Lady of 121st Street"), and Paul Oakley Stovall ("Immediate Family") at prestigious regional and 0ff-Broadway Theaters. Rashad, who serves as Co-Chair of the Advisory Council for the African American Cultural Heritage Fund, was recently appointed Dean of the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts at Howard University.

Philanthropic/Activist Causes: African American Cultural Heritage Fund

Arturo Luís Soria

Monday, September 27 - live

Podcast release: October 1

Arturo Luís Soria is an actor and writer with roots in Brazil, Italy, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic. Most recently, Arturo can be seen Off-Broadway at the Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre in his critically acclaimed play, "Ni Mi Madre," which he wrote and stars in. A first-time playwright, "Ni Mi Madre" received rave reviews from The New York Times and Vulture. Soria made his Broadway debut in "The Inheritance" by Matthew Lopez and directed by Stephen Daldry. He played 'Tano' in the world premiere production of "Hit the Wall" by Ike Holter at the Steppenwolf Garage Theatre, reviving the role off-Broadway at Barrow Street Theatre. TV credits include: "The Blacklist" and "Insatiable." He is a graduate from Yale School of Drama and The Theatre School at DePaul University. He is currently a TV writing mentee in Lena's Waithe's mentorship program at Hillman Grad Productions.

Philanthropic/Activist Causes: youth theater education in marginalized communities

NaTasha Yvette Williams

Monday, October 4 - live

Podcast release: October 8

NaTasha Yvette Williams is an American actress, singer, and entertainer. Since she began singing at age three in the tiny tot choir at her church, she has performed from the subway to Broadway. She portrayed Aretha Franklin in "A Night with Janis Joplin," and has been seen in The Gershwin's' "Porgy and Bess" and Oprah Winfrey's "The Color Purple." Ms. Williams has previously performed with the Indianapolis Symphony, Naples Philharmonic, and Baltimore Symphony orchestras. Her current recording project is "How Deep is the Ocean," a collection of standards, and she has released a Gospel project, "Songs That Carry Me Through ... Some Old, Some New."

Her Broadway credits include "A Night with Janis Joplin," The Gershwin's' "Porgy and Bess" (as Mariah), "The Color Purple" (Sofia), and Stephen Flaherty's "Dessa Rose" at Lincoln Center. Her West End credits include Trevor Nunn's production of Margaret Martin's "Gone with the Wind" (Mammy). She appeared in the national tours of John Farrar and Jeff Lynne's "Xanadu" (Melopmene), Greg Morrison and Lisa Lambert's "The Drowsy Chaperone" (Trix the Aviatrix), Joe DiPietro's Elvis musical "All Shook Up" (Sylvia), Stephen Flaherty's "Seussical the Musical" (Sour Kangaroo), Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Cinderella" (Grace), Jason Robert Brown's "Parade," and Marvin Hamlisch's "The Goodbye Girl" (Mrs. Crosby). Regional appearances have included "Crowns" at Arkansas Repertory Theater and Arena Stage (Velma and Mabel, respectively), Marc Shaiman's "Hairspray" (MotorMouth Maybelle) and "Ain't Misbehavin'" at Papermill Playhouse, and the title role in "Mahalia: A Gospel Musical" at the Cleveland Playhouse.

Philanthropic/Activist Causes: Black Theatre United

Monday, October 11 - No show in observance of Indigenous People's Day

Reynaldo Piniella

Monday, October 18 - live

Podcast release: October 22

Reynaldo Piniella is an actor, writer, educator and activist from East New York, Brooklyn. He is an Advocacy Leadership Institute Fellow with the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC). He currently serves on the Council of the Episcopal Actors' Guild, a nonsectarian charitable organization that provides food and financial assistance to actors in need. He co-runs Youth Onstage!, a free youth theater training program for young people from underserved communities across the country. As an actor, he's been seen Off-Broadway in "The Death of the Last Black Man...," "Venus" (Signature), "The Skin of Our Teeth" (TFANA), "Lockdown" (Rattlestick), "The Space Between the Letters" (The Public/UTR), "Terminus" (NYTW Next Door). Regional work includes Baltimore Center Stage, Syracuse Stage, Sundance Theatre Lab in Morocco, the O'Neill and the Cleveland Playhouse. TV credits include "Blue Bloods," "Sneaky Pete," "Flesh & Bone," "Greenleaf," "The Carrie Diaries," "Law & Order: SVU," "NYC 22," "Us & Them," "Louie" and "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." Film credits include "Madeline's Madeline," "Shadows," "One Percent More Humid" and "Broken City." His writing has been developed and commissioned by Baltimore Center Stage, the National Black Theater, San Diego Rep, Single Carrot Theater, Pioneer Theatre Guild, Shakesqueer Theater Company, HB Studio and NYU. Piniella's play "Black Doves" won the Thomas Barbour award for Playwriting.

Philanthropic/Activist Causes: Episcopal Actors Guild National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, Weeksville Heritage Center

Ruben Santiago-Hudson

Monday, October 25 - live

Podcast release: October 29

Ruben Santiago-Hudson is currently starring in "Lackawanna Blues" which he wrote and directed on Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club. He also directed the Broadway production, "Jitney" which garnered several awards for "Outstanding Revival" including a Tony Award and six Tony nominations. Santiago-Hudson recently adapted August Wilson's play "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" for Netflix, which was produced by Denzel Washington, directed by George C. Wolfe, and starred Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman. Ruben's directing credits include: "The Piano Lesson," "Skeleton Crew," "Othello," "Gem of The Ocean," "Paradise Blue," "My Children! My Africa!," "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," "Cabin in the Sky," "The Happiest Song Plays Last," "Two Trains Running," "Things of Dry Hours" and more. Santiago-Hudson received a Tony Award as featured actor for his performance in August Wilson's "Seven Guitars" and made his Broadway acting debut alongside Gregory Hines in "Jelly's Last Jam." Other Broadway credits include "Stick Fly" and "Gem of The Ocean." Select theater credits include "The Winter's Tale," "Henry VIII" and "Measure for Measure" (The Delacorte) "Ceremonies in Dark Old Men" and "A Soldier's Play" (NEC), "Lackawanna Blues" and "East Texas Hot Links" (The Public Theater). He wrote, executive produced, and co-starred in the HBO film "Lackawanna Blues" based on his OBIE and Helen Hayes Award-winning play. The movie received many honors including Emmy, Golden Globe, NAACP Image Award, The Christopher Award, and the Humanitas Prize.

His film credits include American Gangster, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Shaft, Devil's Advocate, and Domestic Disturbance. TV credits include series regular roles on The Quad, Public Morals and Low Winter Sun as well recurring roles on Billions, The West Wing, Law & Order, and numerous other guest star appearances. Santiago-Hudson starred on the hit ABC series Castle, for three seasons and Tarell Alvin McCraney's David Makes Man for OWN.

Philanthropic/Activist Causes: The Ruben Santiago-Hudson Fine Arts Learning Center.

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