WILLIAMSTOWN THEATRE FESTIVAL 2019 GALA PRESENTS AN EVENING WITH AUDRA MCDONALD
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, PLEASE
WILLIAMSTOWN THEATRE FESTIVAL
ANNOUNCES 2019 GALA IN NEW YORK CITY
“AN EVENING WITH AUDRA MCDONALD”
HONORING BOARD CHAIRMAN MATT HARRIS FOR HIS LEADERSHIP
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2019
New York, NY (September 4, 2018) — Williamstown Theatre Festival (Mandy Greenfield, Artistic Director) announced that the 2019 WTF Gala in New York City honoring Board Chairman Matt Harris for his visionary leadership will be held on Monday, February 11, 2019, and will feature an evening of performance by Tony®, Grammy®, and Emmy Award®-winner and two-time Festival star, Audra McDonald. Further details, including the Gala venue, will be announced at a later date.
Audra McDonald is unparalleled in the breadth and versatility of her artistry as both a singer and an actor. The winner of a record-breaking six Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards, and an Emmy Award, she received a 2015 National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama and was also named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people that year. Tony-winning performances include Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill – which served as the vehicle for her Olivier-nominated 2017 West End debut. On television, McDonald is known for her roles in ABC’s Private Practice and NBC’s The Sound of Music Live!, and she won an Emmy as the official host of PBS’s Live From Lincoln Center. She can currently be seen as Liz Lawrence on CBS All Access’ The Good Fight, which launches its third season in spring 2019. Recent film credits include Ricki and the Flash, Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast, and movie-musical Hello Again. The Juilliard-trained soprano also maintains a major career as a concert and recording artist. Her latest solo album, Sing Happy, was recorded live with the New York Philharmonic for Decca Gold. Of all her many roles, her favorites are the ones performed offstage: passionate advocate for equal rights and homeless youth, wife to actor Will Swenson, and mother.
McDonald has appeared twice on the Williamstown Theatre Festival stage. In 2004, under Artistic Director Michael Ritchie, she performed in the world premiere of Michael John LaChuisa’s musical R Shomon and was praised for “her spectacular soprano that lifts R Shomon into eerie and sublime places where perhaps no one else could take it” (The Boston Globe). McDonald also appeared in Eugene O’Neill’s A Moon for the Misbegotten in 2015 under Artistic Director Mandy Greenfield. McDonald’s “masterful portrayal” (The Boston Globe) was celebrated as “eminently watchable in its clarity and confidence” (The New York Times).
To learn more about the 2019 WTF Gala, please call (212) 395-9090 x110 or visit gala.wtfestival.org. Additional information about the 2019 WTF Gala will be announced at a later date and made available at gala.wtfestival.org.
Matt Harris has served as a Festival Trustee for a total of 20 years and has been Board Chairman for 13 of them. He started his investing career at Bain Capital private equity in 1995, having worked previously at Bain & Company, and attended Williams College, where he majored in political economy. In 2000, Harris founded Village Ventures, which he ran for 12 years and where he focused on early-stage fintech investing. In 2012, he rejoined Bain Capital Ventures. He is also a board member at Endeavor, an organization leading the global movement to catalyze long-term economic growth by selecting, mentoring and accelerating the best high-impact entrepreneurs around the world. Outside of work, Harris enjoys spending any free moments with his wife, Jessica, and their five children.
For over six decades, Williamstown Theatre Festival, recipient of the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre and the Commonwealth Award for Achievement, has brought emerging and professional theatre artists together to create a thrilling summer festival of premiere work alongside fresh, new productions of the western canon, and offers a rich array of accompanying cultural events including COMMUNITY WORKS, Late-Night Cabarets, along with readings and workshops of new plays. Under Artistic Director Mandy Greenfield, the Festival launched a New Play and Musical Commissioning Program through which theatre artists including Jocelyn Bioh, Nathan Alan Davis, Halley Feiffer, Justin Levine, Matthew Lopez, Marsha Norman, Jiehae Park, Zoe Sarnak and Benjamin Scheuer, and many others, are creating new work year-round. The Festival runs unmatched training programs for new generations of theatre talent, and artists and productions shaped at the Festival fill theatres in New York, London, and around the country each season. Williamstown Theatre Festival’s productions of The Bridges of Madison County, The Elephant Man, Fool for Love, Living on Love, and The Visit enjoyed critically acclaimed runs on Broadway, with The Elephant Man and The Visit receiving Tony Award nominations for Best Revival of a Play and Best Revival of a Musical, respectively. In addition, the Festival’s world premiere productions of Cost of Living (winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama) and Actually played acclaimed Off-Broadway runs at Manhattan Theatre Club, and Paradise Blue had an extended run at Signature Theatre in New York.
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