The award's winners, all of whom were part of the Fela! chorus on the musical's opening night (Nov. 23, 2009), are Corey Baker, Hettie Vyrine Barnhill, Lauren De Veaux, Nicole de Weever, Elasea Douglas, Rujeko Dumbutshena, Catherine Foster, Raaen-Elijah “Talu” Green, Shaneeka Harrell, Chanon Judson, Abena Koomson, Ismael Kouyate, Gelan Lambert, Jr., Farai M. Malianga, Shakira Marshall, Afi McClendon, Adesola A. Osakalumi, Jeffrey Page, Daniel Soto, Jill Marie Vallery, J.L. Williams, Iris L. Wilson and Aimee Graham Wodobode.
“This award was created to acknowledge the enormous talent and contributions members of a chorus make to a Broadway musical,” Equity second vice president and chair of the ACCA Rebecca Kim Jordon said in a statement. “The chorus members of Fela! truly exemplify the hard work, dedication and talent it takes to be outstanding in a Broadway musical.”
The criteria applied by the ACCA, all of whom are Equity members who have worked under Chorus contracts, for the award included what was required of each chorus by the director, the choreographer, the musical director and the caliber of skill used to execute those requirements.
The five nominees for this year's ACCA Award included American Idiot, La Cage aux Folles, Come Fly Away, Memphis and Fela!
Fela! was directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Bill T. Jones, who also conceived the show with Jim Lewis and Stephen Hendel and wrote the book with Lewis. The show, currently starring Sahr Ngaujah and Kevin Mambo (who alternate in the title role), Patti LaBelle and Saycon Sengbloh, is scheduled to run through Jan. 2, 2011, at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre. *
Actors' Equity Association represents more than 49,000 professional stage actors and stage managers nationwide. The Union will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2013.