Free Performance of Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory, with De Shields, Presented Feb. 9 | Playbill

News Free Performance of Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory, with De Shields, Presented Feb. 9
To celebrate Black History Month, Actors' Equity Association's EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) presents a free performance of Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory: From Douglass to Deliverance Feb. 9 at The Martin Luther King Jr. Labor Center.

The 7:30 PM performance stars Broadway favorite and Equity councillor André De Shields, a Tony nominee for his work in The Full Monty and Play On!

Alfred Preisser, artistic director of the Classical Theatre of Harlem, directs the evening.

"In my performance," De Shields said in a statement, "I explore the life and achievements of the Great Emancipator, Frederick Douglass. Though Douglass began his life as a slave, through heroic efforts, he became one of America's most important and historically influential African American leaders."

De Shields also notes that January and February boast "a constellation of precedent setting historic events: Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday (Jan. 19); the inauguration of our first African-American President, Barack Obama (Jan. 20); the Bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln (Feb. 12); and the anniversary of Frederick Douglass' birth."

Andre De Shields as Frederick Douglass
photo by Lia Chang
The performance, which is open to the public, will be followed by a reception hosted by EEO Committee Co-Chairs, Julia Breanetta Simpson and Christine Toy Johnson. Nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in the Broadway production of The Full Monty, André De Shields re-created his role as Noah "Horse" T. Simmons for the London production. He received another Tony nomination for his performance in Play On! and also starred on Broadway in The Wiz, Ain't Misbehavin', Prymate and Haarlem Nocturne. De Shields starred in The Classical Theatre of Harlem's production of Black Nativity and played the title role in King Lear. In 2007 he won an OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence in Performance. His numerous screen credits include "Cosby," "Sex and the City," "Law & Order," "Lipstick Jungle" and "Life on Mars." He has served as on Equity's Council since 1992.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Labor Center SEIU District 1199 is located at 310 West 43rd Street in Manhattan. For more information call (212) 869-8530 or visit

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