Second Stage Theater celebrated its 2021 Fall Gala at Pier Sixty on Chelsea Piers November 15. The one-night-only event honored Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage and producer Debra Martin Chase.
The gala event featured performances by Brandy, Ayana George, Lady A’s Hillary Scott, and Jordin Sparks, with music by The Broadway Sinfonietta. Conceived by Charles Randolph-Wright, the evening was directed by Patricia McGregor with music direction by Macy Schmidt.
Nottage’s most recent play, Clyde’s, is currently in previews at 2ST’s Hayes Theater. Her work with the non-profit began with Crumbs From the Table of Joy in 1995, followed by the world premiere of By the Way, Meet Vera Stark in 2011. Recent credits include The Watering Hole, co-created with Miranda Haymon at Signature Theatre Company, and The Secret Life of Bees at Atlantic Theater Company. She wrote the book for MJ, which begins previews December 6 at Broadway’s Neil Simon Theatre. The opera adaptation of her play Intimate Apparel will run at Lincoln Center’s Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater in early 2022.
Chase is an executive producer of the CBS drama The Equalizer. Her TV credits include Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella and Disney Channel’s Lemonade Mouth, and film credits include Harriet, The Princess Diaries, and The Preacher’s Wife. A Mount Holyoke College and Harvard Law School graduate, she serves on the boards of B&G Foods, Inc., Bridge Investment Group, Inc., and New York City Ballet. She is a member of The Motion Picture Academy and The Television Academy.
The evening’s honorary chairs were Viola Davis and Julius Tennon, Queen Latifah, Condola Rashad, Shonda Rhimes, and Darren Walker with Carol Sutton Lewis and William M. Lewis, Jr., Stephen and Kitty Sherrill, and Lia Vollack as co-chairs. Both Chase and Nottage are members of Second Stage Theater’s Board of Directors.