Theatre Forward Gala
Theatre Forward, February 2021
Theatre Forward Gala
This star-studded digital gala raised funds for non-profit regional theaters around the country.
Participants in the virtual gala could: Experience beautiful musical performances, visit leaders from our theatres, and hear from familiar faces who call regional theatre home. The evening was about one hour in total and included a silent auction in addition to the festivities. Over $220,000 was raised through this gala!
Theatre Forward’s mission is to advance American theatre and its communities. They achieve our mission by providing funding and other resources to the country’s leading nonprofit theatres. Theatre Forward increases access and opportunity for all to experience theatre that builds community and sets the stage for individual achievement. Their focus is twofold: advancing strong theatre and educating through theatre.
Founded by their theatres in 1977, Theatre Forward was formerly known as National Corporate Theatre Fund (NCTF), which was dedicated to sustaining America’s finest not-for-profit theatres, on the stage and in the community through innovative partnerships with companies, individuals, and artists.
Theatre Forward Staff
Gretchen Shugart – Executive Director
Carl Sylvestre – Director of Development
Liv Amundsen – Communications & Patrons Services Associate
Alex Doxey – Operations & Events Associate
Ken Savage – Producer & Director
Luis Garcia – Video Designer & Editor
Leanna Keyes – Streaming Producer
Ada Westfall – Music Director & Sound Mixer
Michael P. Lawrence – Event Consultant
Carly Hughes – Host
Speciat appearances included: Annette Bening, Heidi Blickenstaff, Kathleen Chalfant, Larissa Fasthorse, David Henry Hwang, Taylor Louderman, Kelli O’Hara, AShley Park, Will Power, Regina Taylor, & Richard Thomas.
Robert Barry Fleming – Actors Theatre of Louisville
Mark Lunsford – American Repertory Theater
Jennifer Bielstein – American Conservatory Theater
Pam Mackinnon – American Conservatory Theater
Yvonne Bell – Center Theatre Group
Coleen Jackson – Cleveland Play House
Joseph Haj – Guthrie Theater
Kit Ingui – Long Wharf Theatre
Freedome Bradley-Ballentine – The Old Globe
Jeffrey Herrmann – Seattle Rep
Tom Parrish – Trinity Repertory Company
“Opening: A New World”
Performed by Kate Baldwin, George Salazar, Anika Noni Rose, Branden Noel Thomas
Piano Accompaniment by Jason Robert Brown
“Joy & Grief”
Written and Performed by The Bengsons
Courtesy of Actors Theatre of Louisville
The ACT Company of Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show
Courtesy of American Conservatory Theater
Sam Pinkleton – Director & Choreographer
Ani Taj – Associate Director & Co-Choreographer
Ada Westfall – Music Director
David Möschler – Associate Music Director
Baryl Baker – Video Editor
Featuring Rotimi Agbabiaka, Tanika Baptiste, Keiko Shimosato Carreiro, Daya Curley, Sean Okuniewicz, Maya Phillips, Kunal Prasad, Chris Steele, Branden Noel Thomas, Alysha Umphress, Ryan Patrick Welsch & Ada Westfall
“Don’t Rain on My Parade”
Written by Bob Merrill & Jule Styne
Covered and performed by Jo Lampert & Ada Westfall
“Democracy (Reprise)” from Soft Power
Courtesy of No Guarantees
David Henry Hwang – Play & Lyrics
Jeanine Tesori – Music & Additional Lyrics
Sam Pinkleton – Choreography
Leigh Silverman – Directed
Performed by Billy Bustamante, Jon Hoche, Kendyl Ito, Francis Jue, Austin Ky, Raymond J. Lee, Alyse Alan Louis, Jaygee Macapugay, Daniel May, Paul Heesang Miller, Kirsten Faith Oei, Genna Quintos, Conrad Ricamora, Trevor Salter, Kyra Smith, Emily Stillings, Emily Tumble, & John Yi.
Closed Captioning by C2 (Caption Coalition) Inc.
“Still I Will Love”
Written by Shaina Taub
Performed by Taylor Iman Jones, Ariel Anderson, Hannah Bautista, Melody Cohen, Thomas Fitzgerald, Katrina Franco, Kahlil Leneus, Blake Levinson, Jade Ma, Amarech Mendez, Roeen Nooran, Janelle Soriano, Riyana Srihari, Asal Takesh, & Rhea Verghese.
Piano Accompaniment by Shaina Taub