Playwright and Walking Dead star Danai Gurira, who was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play earlier this year for Eclipsed, was among the honorees at the Theatre Communications Group Gala at the Edison Ballroom in New York November 14.
Reflecting on the recent U.S. presidential election and the subsequent events of the last week, the Tony nominee told Playbill that the timing of the Gala could not have come at a better time—that it presented an ideal opportunity for artists to come together. “It’s a moment where unity—and possibly commiseration—and connection is necessary for those who do feel like they wish the country had gone in a different direction, and are finding this a hard moment to get through.”
“The honor of being here tonight is deeply connected to feeling a mandate to do more,” she continued. “For me, it’s been a very heavy week in some ways, but I definitely feel that at the core of it, I’ve felt a calling to do more.”
“The setbacks are not the period at the end of the sentence,” she went on. “Many before me have used times of struggle as times of great creativity and times when they could not relent and could not be complacent…. You have to lean more in.”
“Theatre is a place where change can be ignited, where voices that are unheard can be heard. It’s a place where communal reflection can actually be illuminated and given space.”
Gurira was being honored at the 2016 TCG Gala alongside Tony-nominated Broadway producers Stephen C. Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey, and the Vilcek Foundation and Rick Kinsel. For more than 50 years, Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre, has existed to “strengthen, nurture, and promote the professional not-for-profit American theatre.” Scroll through photos of the evening below: