The National Corporate Theatre Fund (NCTF) has announced its plans to honor Tony nominated actress Vanessa Williams at its annual Chairman's Awards Gala to be held on Monday, April 29 at New York City's Pierre Hotel. Emceed by George Takei, star of the Broadway-bound musical Allegiance, the evening's event will also honor five resident theaters—Actors Theatre of Louisville, Guthrie Theater, Hartford Stage, Seattle Repertory Theatre, and Trinity Repertory Company—which will be receiving the "50th Anniversary Achievement in Theatre Award." In addition, American Express, will be receiving the "Corporate Leadership Award."
The multi-faceted Williams will receive the "Theatre Artist Award" for her achievements in music, theater, television, and motion pictures. Since debuting her first album The Right Stuff in 1988, she has sold millions of albums worldwide and has earned Grammy, Emmy, and Tony nominations. Williams made her Broadway debut in 1994 in Kiss of the Spider Woman and was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance in the revival of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods in 2002. She will be soon be returning to the Broadway stage in a revival of the 1953 play The Trip to Bountiful.
The NCTF hosts their annual gala to honor individuals and institutions it believes have made significant contributions to the national theatre community. Each year the gala raises funds for NCTF member theaters, many of which are not-for-profit. "NCTF creates and supports exciting partnerships at the intersection of the corporate and arts communities – relationships that are central to the success of theatre and the vitality of communities in which they are based," said Bruce E. Whitacre, Executive Director of NCTF. "It is our privilege to celebrate fifty years of achievement by these outstanding organizations and to acknowledge the instrumental role of the Ford Foundation in the development, and sustained support of these resident theatres across America."