Vanessa Williams Among Honorees at NCTF's Chairman's Gala, Hosted by George Takei, April 29

Tony Award nominee Vanessa Williams is among the honorees at the National Corporate Theatre Fund's annual Chairman's Awards gala April 29 at New York City's Pierre Hotel.

Vanessa Williams
Vanessa Williams (Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN)

George Takei, who was seen in the world premiere of Allegiance, emcees the event, which begins with cocktails at 6:30 PM. More than 300 theatre patrons, Broadway leaders and industry professionals from across the country are gathering for the event, which will raise funds for NCTF member theatres in the U.S.

American Express and five resident theatres celebrating their 50th anniversary — Actors Theatre of Louisville, Guthrie Theater, Hartford Stage, Seattle Repertory Theatre and Trinity Repertory Company —  are also being honored for their significant contributions to The National Theatre community.

"NCTF creates and supports exciting partnerships at the intersection of the corporate and arts communities — relationships that are central to the success of theatre and the vitality of communities in which they are based," said Bruce E. Whitacre, executive director of NCTF, in a previous statement. "It is our privilege to celebrate fifty years of achievement by these outstanding organizations and to acknowledge the instrumental role of the Ford Foundation in the development, and sustained support of these resident theatres across America."

Williams, who was nominated for her performance in Into the Woods and  is currently starring in Broadway's  The Trip to Bountiful, will receive the Theatre Artist Award.

"The theatre community is so fortunate that Ms. Williams has invested her manifold talents in such extraordinary shows over the years," added Whitacre. "We are thrilled to be able to acknowledge her talents and her generosity." American Express will receive the Corporate Leadership Award, and the theatres will receive the 50th Anniversary Achievement in Theatre Award. Luis A. Ubiñas, president of the Ford Foundation, will present the award to Actors Theatre of Louisville, Guthrie Theater, Hartford Stage, Seattle Repertory Theatre and Trinity Repertory Company.

Accepting on behalf of Actors Theatre of Louisville will be managing director Jennifer Bielstein and artistic director Les Waters. Accepting on behalf of the Guthrie Theater will be director Joe Dowling. Accepting on behalf of Hartford Stage will be managing director Michael Stotts, artistic director Darko Tresnjak and board president Jill Adams. Accepting on behalf of Seattle Repertory Theatre will be managing director Benjamin Moore, artistic director Jerry Manning and board president Becky Lenaburg. Accepting on behalf of Trinity Repertory Company will be executive director Michael Gennaro and The Richard L. Bready Artistic Director Curt Columbus.

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