The Covenant House will grant six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald their Beacon of Hope Award and honor Broadway star Capathia Jenkins and Take-Two Interactive at their A Night of Broadway Stars gala concert June 18.
The Late Show host Stephen Colbert will emcee the evening at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theatre alongside CBS’ John Dickerson. The concert, directed by Newsies’ Jeff Calhoun, will feature appearances by Kate Walsh, Keala Settle, Brandon Victor Dixon, Lauren Ambrose, Caissie Levy, Patti Murin, Laura Osnes, Corey Cott, Marilu Henner, Paul Alexander Nolan, Adam Kantor, Alex Newell, Ariana DeBose, and a special appearance by Rosie O’Donnell. Additional appearances will be announced at a laterdate.
The Covenant House serves 80,000 youth each year across 31 cities and six countries in the fight against youth homelessness. During the evening, some of the youth will have the chance perform alongside the Broadway favorites.
Covenant House has two homes in New York City—one with 240 beds for homeless youth and another with 50 beds for homeless teen mothers and their babies. Approximately 1,600 kids come through the front doors of Covenant House each year. Readers may be most familiar with the fundraising events known as the Broadway Sleep Out, in which the New York theatre community comes together to sleep outside for a night in solidarity with homeless youth.
McDonald, a member of Covenant House’s board of directors and regular participant in the Broadway Sleep Out, will be honored in recognition of her service on the board and her national advocacy work lifting up the voices of children and youth overcoming homelessness. Past Beacon of Hope recipients include Diana Ross, George and Olivia Harrison, Jon Bon Jovi, Herbie Hancock, Laura Bush, Sara Bareilles, and Martina McBride.
“Audra is the real deal. She’s been leading this fight against youth homelessness from the trenches,” said Kevin Ryan, President and CEO of Covenant House in a statement. “She sleeps out to raise funds so kids don’t have to. She wraps presents in the shelter for birthdays and Christmas. At the crack of dawn on Thanksgiving morning, she’s in our nursery feeding babies and helping new moms get ready for the day. And in virtually every concert performance she’s given over the past five years she has consistently lifted up the voices of young people fighting homelessness and trafficking.”
The evening also recognizes long-time Broadway performer and Covenant House board member Jenkins. “Capathia has opened doors of opportunity for thousands of young people overcoming homelessness,” Ryan continued. “She has performed across the country to raise funds for young people and always makes the time to meet and mentor our kids. She gives of her time, talent, and all of her amazing heart to every young person she meets.”
Take-Two Interactive is a leading developer, publisher, and marketer of interactive entertainment for consumers around the globe. “Our partnership with Take-Two Interactive and Chairman and CEO Strauss Zelnick is an irreplaceable source of support and hope for the work we do at Covenant House,” said Ryan. “Strauss has been a driving force behind our Covenant House Sleep Out Movement and has slept on the street himself on numerous occasions in solidarity with our young people.”