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Ethan Slater, Taylor Louderman, and More Attend Theatre Forward Gala

Playwright August Wilson and composer David Yazbek were honored at the event.

Ethan Slater and Taylor Louderman, stars of Broadway's SpongeBob SquarePants and Mean Girls, respectively, attended the annual Chairman's Gala supporting the work of Theatre Forward.
(© Tricia Baron)

The annual Chairman's Awards Gala, supporting the work of Theatre Forward, was held Monday, April 9, at the Pierre New York. Celebrating its 40th anniversary season, Theatre Forward is dedicated to advancing American theaters and its communities through its Educating Through Theatre and Advancing Strong Theatre initiatives. Check out photos from the event in the gallery below.


The works of Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning playwright August Wilson (Fences, The Piano Lesson, Jitney) were honored with the Legacy Award (presented by Academy Award nominee Chazz Palminteri), while Tony Award-nominated composer David Yazbek (The Band's Visit, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Full Monty) was honored with the Creative Achievement Award (presented by six-time Tony Award nominee Danny Burstein). Citi received the 40th Anniversary Corporate Leadership Award (presented by LORT president and Guthrie managing director Jennifer Bielstein).

The event included performances by Katrina Lenk (The Band's Visit, Indecent) and the musicians of The Band's Visit); Tony Award winner Beth Leavel (The Drowsy Chaperone) and Matthew Sklar (The Wedding Singer), performed a number from the upcoming musical comedy The Prom; Kathryn Bostic (Gem of the Ocean) and Eddie Allen (acclaimed jazz trumpeter) performed a tribute to August Wilson; and Carrie St. Louis (Wicked, Cruel Intentions), Telly Leung (Aladdin), Julia Murney (Wicked, Hair), and Zak Resnick (Piece of My Heart) performed a 40th anniversary medley directed by Geraldine Anello and choreographed by Patrick O'Neill.

Additionally, a special toast was held for Carey Perloff, outgoing artistic director of American Conservatory Theater, and George Smith, former Theatre Forward board member. Ethan Slater (SpongeBob SquarePants) and Taylor Louderman (Mean Girls) attended to discuss the importance of theater education.

Pamela Farr and Buford Alexander, and James S. and Lynne P. Turley served as gala cochairs.