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DeWanda Wise and Alano Miller Join Roster of Stars as Co-Hosts of New Federal Theatre Gala

New Federal Theatre's "50th Anniversary Virtual Gala" will take place on January 17, 2021 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM.

DeWanda Wise and Alano Miller Join Roster of Stars as Co-Hosts of New Federal Theatre Gala

DeWanda Wise, star of the Netflix series "She'd Gotta Have It," and her husband, Alano Miller, best known for the WGN America drama series "Underground," will join Ted Lange, the actor, director and screenwriter known for the TV series "The Love Boat," as co-hosts of New Federal Theatre's "50th Anniversary Virtual Gala" January 17, 2021 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM. The event will celebrate the esteemed organization, founded by Woodie King, Jr. in 1970, for its 50 years of theatrical excellence.

This virtual gala will be accessible from the theater's website,, and will honor Cliff Frazier, Ron Himes, S. Epatha Merkerson, Ed Pitt, Phylicia Rashad, Oz Scott, Beth Turner, Glynn Turman and Douglas Turner Ward.

Attendees are encouraged to reserve early.

The celebration is written by Bill Harris and directed by Dean Irby. Honorary Committee for the event includes Debbie Allen, Harry Belafonte, Vin Diesel, Toni Fay, Danny Glover, Samuel L. Jackson, La Tanya Richardson Jackson, Sidney Poitier, Issa Rae, Phylicia Rashad, Lamman Rucker, Glynn Turman, Mfundi Vundla and Lynn Whitfield.

DeWanda Wise was last directed by Woodie King, Jr., the founder and Producing Director of New Federal Theatre, in in Leslie Lee's play "Sundown Names and Night-Gone Things" at Castillo Theatre in 2009.

Woodie King, Jr.'s New Federal Theatre has produced over 450 mainstage plays, an astonishing and influential record of achievement, sending multiple plays to Broadway and launching numerous minority and women playwrights and actors into prominent careers. Its alumni are an honor roll of artists of color from the 1970s through today.

Several early successes brought NFT to national prominence: "Black Girl" by J.E. Franklin, won a Drama Desk Award, "The Taking of Miss Janie" by Ed Bullins moved from NFT to Lincoln Center and won the Drama Critics Circle Award; "For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf" by Ntozake Shange performed on Broadway for ten months (co-produced with the late Joseph Papp) and was nominated for the Tony Award before embarking on a three-year national tour. It has subsequently been performed regionally and around the world and was revived Off-Broadway in 2019.

Among the performers who benefited from early successes on NFT's stage are the late Chadwick Boseman, Debbie Allen, Morgan Freeman, Phylicia Rashad, Denzel Washington, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Samuel L. Jackson, Issa Rae, and many more.

For more info, including an expanded list of the company's distinguished alumni, see:

Admission to this virtual gala is free and donations will be gratefully accepted. To reserve, go to or send an email to Suggested donations are $50 to $25,000 and can be made through Paypal at or by mailing a check to New Federal Theatre, 543 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036.

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