Theater for the New City’s 15th Annual bash honors activist & actress Vinie Burrows
February 27, 2018: A Gala tribute at The Players Club in New York City honored Vinie Burrows for her contributions to the life and culture of our city, especially the Lower East Side, where Theater for the New City, under Executive Director, Crystal Field, has been a unique cultural institution for the past 45 years. The LOVE N’COURAGE Gala benefits and supports TNC’s Emerging Playwrights program by nurturing established and emerging playwrights who experiment with new forms.
Crystal Field remarks said, “Vinie Burrows ‘is a magnificent performer.’ So said the New York Times. She is ‘one of the reigning divas of the Black Theater.’ So said Clive Barnes. But Vinie Burrows is more than a performer. She is a true activist, capable of changing the world. At the United Nations she serves as permanent representative for the Women’s National Democratic Federation. And to add to this glorious life, she finds time to be a deep and dear friend to Theater for the New City. TNC is proud to be a like mind to a Mover and Shaker who writes, ‘The future of the planet rests on people coming together to save the earth and all living things. It is 5 minutes to midnight. Come together, brothers and sisters.’”
The gala, hosted by Phoebe Legere, featured performances by a scheduled roster of stars that included Charles Busch, Andre de Shields, Phoebe Glitter Kitty Dance, Luba Mason, KT Sullivan, Malik Work, TNC After School, Yip Harburg Foundation Rainbow Troupe, Human Kinetics Movement Arts, Chinese Theatre Works and reading selections from new plays by TNC emerging writers: NORTHBOUND by Marvalee Peart and FAT ASSES, THE MUSICAL by Peter Zachari.
Vinie Burrows has appeared on Broadway in the 1950’s and 60’s in MANDINGO, THE PONDER HEART, THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH, MRS. PATTERSON, THE GREEN PASTURES and THE WISTERIA TREES. Her other numerous stage productions during her long career, include SISTER! SISTER!, BEL CANTO and BLACK ON THE GREAT WHITE WAY: THE STORY OF ROSE McCLENDON. She has been active at the United Nations Economic and Social Council on the issues of the status of women and Southern Africa, and as an associate of the Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press. She received the Paul Robson Award in 1986.
The late Betsy Von Furstenberg, a longtime supporter of Theater for the New City once remarked, “LOVE N’ COURAGE is a Valentine Gala, especially for the young writers who make Theater for the New City one of the most important theaters in this country.”
Theater for the New City complex is located at 155 First Avenue and 10th Street. For more information about TNC visit their website www.theaterforthenewcity.net or call 212 254 1109.
Photography: Barry Gordin