The African American Film Critics Association will present AAFCA Salutes Broadway on Monday, October 17 at Lamb’s Club in New York’s Theater District.
“It’s no secret that some of our greatest actors have come off the stage or tested their talents there,” says AAFCA co-founder Gil Robertson IV. “Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis are just a handful of our beloved icons for whom this was true, with winners Tony Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Audra McDonald, Adrienne Warren and Myles Frost among those perpetuating this heritage. As a reliable pipeline for exceptional black talent in front of and behind the camera, Hollywood has benefited greatly from this esteemed training ground and AAFCA Salutes Broadway celebrates this rich heritage.
The inaugural ceremony highlights several established actors who are best known for their work in film and television but returned to the stage this fall, as well as a much-loved stage actor who is making a big screen splash and a production monumental. Respected stage actor John Douglas Thompson, who is known for his many Shakespearean roles, including his breakthrough turn in ‘The Merchant of Venice’, and is featured on the big screen in Untilwhich premiered recently at the New York Film Festival, will receive the Distinguished Achievement Award.
Pulitzer Prize-winning drama by Suzan-Lori Parks Topdog/Underdog starring Corey Hawkins and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and directed by Tony winner Kenny Leon, making its Broadway revival, will receive the Spotlight Award. Wendell Pierce, the famous actor known for Thread, Selmaand Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan who’s rocking the Broadway stage again as the lead in the reboot of Arthur Miller’s classic Death of a sellerwill receive the Beacon Award.
Finally, Tony-nominated actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson, who makes her Broadway directorial debut with August Wilson’s classic The piano lessonwith Tony nominee Samuel L. Jackson The purple color actress Danielle Brooks and John David Washington in her first Broadway role, as well as history as the first woman to direct an August Wilson play on Broadway, will receive the Vanguard Award. Plus, there’s an unannounced addition to the program that makes this celebration even more special.
“The intersectionality that exists between the communities of theatre, television and film should be celebrated,” says producer Debra Martin Chase, “The intersectionality that exists between the communities of theatre, television and film should be celebrated,” says Tony Award-winning producer Debra Martin Chase (A strange loop), who is also a producer of the CBS series The equalizer and the feature film Harriet. “I am absolutely thrilled that the AAFCA continues to do the work of advocating for artists in these spaces.”