The Harry Belafonte Artist and Activist Achievement Award, inaugurated by RestorationArt, will be launched this season, it was announced yesterday by Dr. Indira Etwaroo, Executive Director, the Billie Holiday Theatre and RestorationArt.
The new annual awards’ 2017 honorees are two great legends of theater: Marjorie Moon, Executive Director Emeritus, Billie Holiday Theatre for over four decades and esteemed Tony and Obie Award-winning actor and director Ruben Santiago-Hudson, who just received a Tony nomination for his revival of August Wilson’s “Jitney” play.
“The Billie Holiday Theatre stood at the crossroads of art, social justice and community development for 45 years,” said Dr. Entwaroo, “and I stand on the shoulders of American theater pioneers … whose leadership ensures that there is a torch to carry forward.”
“I offer my deepest gratitude to two leaders who have been in the ranks of those of us who understood the critical importance of the prophetic voice of the artist in a global sea of injustice and inequity;” said Harry Belafonte, global humanitarian, artist and activist, “voices needed to claim our individual freedom while helping others to claim theirs.”
To honor the revolutionary ethos of its namesake, the Billie Holiday Theatre relaunches with the voices of Black women at the forefront during its opening weekend of events from Friday, May 12 through Monday, May 15, 2017. Highlights include Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God”, directed by Tony Award-winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson; monologues of 50 Black women and girls between the ages of 6 and 83 years old from near and as far as Holland, Canada, Missouri and Georgia, curated by renowned playwright Dominique Morriseau; and a Brooklyn celebration of Lynn Nottage, the first woman to receive two Pulitzer Prizes in drama.
The newly completed renovation has equipped the 200-seat Billie Holiday Theatre with new lighting, stage-rigging, audio and visual equipment, an extended stage to accommodate dance performances and improved ADA accessibility. For more information and a full schedule of events, visit: www.restorationart.org.