Theatre Forward, the non-profit arts organization, honors Tony- and Obie Award–winning director Kenny Leon at its annual gala April 4. Leon receives the Theatre Forward Artist Award at the event organized by chairs Audra McDonald and Richard K. Greene.
Presenting Leon with the award is Phylicia Rashad who has worked with the director on several occasions, including the 2004 Broadway revival of A Raisin in the Sun and productions at Atlanta, Georgia's True Colors Theatre such as Guess Who's Coming to Dinner in 2012 and Bernard Slade's 2014 production of Same Time, Next Year.
In a statement about Leon, Theatre Forward Executive Director Gretchen Shugart commented, “His work has created lasting impact on audiences nationwide, and continues to inspire and engage. We celebrate him for his enormous contributions to the field.”
The evening begins with a cocktail hour, followed by dinner and then award presentations and performances by special guests, including Kristin Chenoweth, Norm Lewis, Phylicia Rashad, Alexander Bello, and DeWitt Fleming Jr.
Additionally, Prudential Financial is receiving the Corporate Leadership Award with Chief Marketing Officer Susan Somerville Johnson accepting the honor on behalf of the company.
"We applaud Prudential’s executive team for providing meaningful support for non-profit theatre," said Shugart in a stamtent, "recognizing that these cultural institutions are vital to our quality of life and the health of our communities."
Theatre Forward supports 19 regional theatres and their efforts to improve theatre accessibility and community enrichment with a goal of creating positive social change.