2020 Impact Honoree:
André De Shields
André De Shields is the triple-crown winner of the 2019 awards season, having won the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Tony Awards as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his unanimously critically acclaimed performance as Hermes, Messenger to the Gods, in Hadestown. The Actors’ Equity Foundation followed suit with the Richard Seff Award, which honors veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year. Prior to his Tony Award win, Mr. De Shields was best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway productions: The Wiz, Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award), Play On!, and The Full Monty. In a career spanning fifty years, he has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, and educator, receiving in 2018 the 8th Annual Off Broadway Alliance Legend Award, and the 33rd Annual Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award. Among his other accolades are the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award and the 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. On August 19, 2019, His Honor Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young presented André with the Key to the City of his hometown, Baltimore, Maryland. 2019 continued to unfold as a banner year, adding to his accolades the inaugural Harlem Week Pride 50 Award, the 2019 Project1Voice Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2019 Joyce Worshow Lifetime Achievement Award from SAGE, the 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre and induction into The American Theater Hall of Fame. On January 12, 2020, André celebrated his seventy-fourth year of living an anointed life on the Earth Plane. Mr. De Shields is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and SDC. www.andredeshields.com. Ubuntu!
2020 Guest Playwright:
Jill Wine-Banks began her career as the first female organized crime prosecutor at the US Department of Justice, which led to her selection as one of three assistant special prosecutors—and the only woman on the trial team—in the case against President Richard Nixon’s top aides for obstruction of justice in the Watergate scandal. She has also served as general counsel of the US Army, partner at Jenner and Block, first solicitor general and first woman deputy attorney general of the state of Illinois, and first female chief operating officer of the American Bar Association. Jill was a corporate executive at Motorola and Maytag, the CEO of Winning Workplaces, and the head of career and technical education for Chicago Public Schools under Arne Duncan. She now serves on the boards of the Better Government Association, Governors State University, the Veterans Art Museum, as a Life Director of Executive Service Corps and others. She is the author of the 2020 autobiography The Watergate Girl.
Table and ticket levels can be found here.
For more information, please contact Kelly Carr at KCarr@victorygardens.org or 773.634.9858.
Photos from 2019 Gala