Fences star Samuel L. Jackson and wife LaTanya Richardson Jackson, who directed her husband in the most recent Broadway revival of August Wilson’s beloved play, will reunite with singer, songwriter and the show’s Broadway co-producer Kandi Burruss this October. The trio, along with several others, will be recognized for their contributions to the stage by Black Theatre United (BTU), an organization founded to build pathways of access and opportunities for Black and other students and industry professionals who have been historically marginalized in the theatre community.
This year’s theme is “A Salute to Broadway Legends: Past, Present, and Future,” which promises to be a star-studded event in celebration of how Black culture has had and continues to have an impact on Broadway.
BTU founders, which include Norm Lewis, Audra McDonald, Billy Porter, LaChanze, Brian Stokes Mitchell and more, will headline an unforgettable evening of performances honoring trailblazing leaders in Black theatre as they inspire the next generation of Black theatre professionals.
Conceived in 2020 at the height of the COVID pandemic, BTU set out to create more equitable opportunities for Black thespians once Broadway and theaters across the nation reopened. Three years later, BTU is hosting its first gala to raise funds for its efforts, through a sponsoring partnership with Business for Good, a non-profit resource outlet.
“Black Theatre United is thrilled to have Business for Good be our lead sponsor for our first annual gala,” gushes BTU co-founder Vaness Williams. “BFG invests in people to build better businesses, stronger communities and a more equitable world. [It’s] a perfect alignment for BTU’s vision and commitment. Diversity is a fact but inclusion is a choice.“
Other honorees include President of Trate Productions Robyn Coles; Chairman of the Board for Cerevel Therapeutics Dr. N Anthony Coles; and Award-winning Arts & Culture Executive and Director of Steve Jobs Theatre at Apple Dr. Indira Etwaroo.
This first year of festivities will take place at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York.
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