Phylicia Rashad and Ruben Santiago-Hudson host the gala, which will be held at Espace in Manhattan. The evening begins at 6:30 PM with cocktails with dinner at 7:30 PM, followed by the performances/tribute. Douglas Turner Ward is the original director of the three plays in Signature's current NEC season: Leslie Lee's The First Breeze of Summer, Samm-Art Williams' Home and Charles Fuller's Zooman and the Sign. As a playwright, Ward is best known for his award-winning one-act plays Happy Ending and Day of Absence. Ward has also received two Drama Desk Awards and a Tony nomination for his acting performances. He is an inductee in the Theatre Hall of Fame.
This year's Signature Playwrights Award, which is given to an "individual or organization that has made a significant impact on the institution," will be presented to American Express for "their incredible championship of Signature's 2008/09 Negro Ensemble Company season."
Espace is located in Manhattan at 635 West 42nd Street. Individual ticket prices range from $600-$1,200 with table prices ranging from $6,000-$25,000. For tickets and other event information, contact Katherine Jaeger-Thomas, Development Director, (212) 967-1913 ext. 18 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.