Broadway Black presents
The Antonyo Awards
A Juneteenth award ceremony to celebrate and recognize a season of Black theatre talent, creatives and community Featured appearances by Audra McDonald, Tituss Burgess, Alex Newell, LaChanze, Jordan E. Cooper, Teyonah Parris, James Monroe Iglehart, Jelani Alladin and more
Broadway Black, the multimedia organization highlighting the achievements of Black theatre artists, is pleased to announce the inaugural Antonyo Awards, a celebration of the Black Broadway and Off-Broadway community. This joyous online event will take place at 7:00 pm EST on June 19, 2020, also known as Juneteenth, a holiday which commemorates the end of slavery in America. The streamed ceremony will include a pre-show virtual red carpet, original musical numbers, star presenters and performers, and more.
The Antonyo Award nominations will be announced today, Tuesday, June 9th at 7:00 pm EST on Broadway Black’s YouTube and Facebook pages by Bryan Terrell Clark and Kristolyn Lloyd. In the Broadway Black spirit of community, winners will be chosen by the public. Voters will select their favorites from the nominees of this past season’s productions in categories such as Best Director and Best Play. Online voting will be open from June 9th, 7:30 pm EST through midnight on June 12th at BroadwayBlack.com.
Drew Shade, founder of Broadway Black and the companion podcast, Off Book, is Executive Producer of the Antonyos. Shade has gathered a team of creatives that include Catherine Caldwell, Darius Barnes, Kim Exum, Neville Braithwaite, Zhailon Levingston, Elijah Ahmad Lewis, Allen Louis, Eric Lockley, Edward Maware, Emma Claye, Ianne Fields Stewart and The Press Room, who are donating their time and talents to beautifully recognize Black theatre in NYC. All found this endeavour especially important given the shortened show season due to COVID-19.
“In our first meeting we decided on Juneteenth for the awards, as it is a more accurate date of freedom from slavery for Black Americans,” says Shade. “The Antonyos honor contributors to Black theatre from actors to stage and company managers, administrators and costume designers. Everyone in our community deserves to be acknowledged in what we hope will be a funny, authentic, celebratory event that is for us, by us.”
Current presenters and performers include: Audra McDonald, Tituss Burgess, Alex Newell, Jordan E. Cooper, Teyonah Parris, Ephraim Sykes, LaChanze, Derrick Baskin, Nicolette Robinson, Jelani Alladin, Christiani Pitts, James Monroe Iglehart, Amber Iman, Kalen Allen, Nzinga Williams, Jackson Alexander, Cody Renard Richard, Ashton Muñiz, Shereen Pimentel, Kirsten Childs, Aisha Jackson, Antoine L. Smith, Griffin Matthews, Michael McElroy, Jocelyn Bioh, and L Morgan Lee, with more to come.
Four special “Kinfolk Awards” – the Lorraine Hansberry Award, the Langston Hughes Award, Welcome Award and The Doors of the Theatre are Open Award – will also be presented to members of the Black theatre community as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award to be announced prior to the event.
The Antonyo Awards promise to be hilarious, uplifting and unapologetically Black. Anyone is welcome to vote for the nominees and all should join in watching on Juneteenth through Broadway Black’s YouTube and Facebook pages. Please share on social media using the hashtags #TheAntonyos and #BroadwayBlack.
Drew Shade, founder of Broadway Black, creator and co-host of the Off Book podcast, is beyond excited to share his vision for The Antonyo Awards. Shade is a multi-hyphenated artist who strives to foster artistic diversity and excellence for the love of Black theatre on and off the stage. He would like to thank the entire team of people who came together to work on this project solely on the strength of their love for US! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Kim Exum is a mother/actor/artist based in New York City. She currently stars as Nabulungi in the Broadway company of The Book of Mormon. Favorite credits include The Book of Mormon (2nd National Tour), The Country Wife (Red Bull Theater), For The Last Time (Theatre Row), and a series of PSAs for Planned Parenthood. In addition to acting, Kim serves as a co-host on Broadway Black’s critically acclaimed Off Book: The Black Theatre Podcast. A poet and solo performance artist, Kim won VIBE magazine’s inaugural Verbal Stimulation Spoken Word Showcase in which she explored current events and familial dynamics facing the black community. “An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times” – Nina Simone. #blacklivesmatter
Darius Barnes is a dancer, actor and choreographer. His career started in the concert dance world with the New York City Ballet, Aida (Metropolitan Opera) and the Dance Theatre of Harlem. As an actor, his credits include six Broadway shows including: Mean Girls, Kiss Me, Kate, Memphis and MJ: The Musical (upcoming); Off-Broadway: The Black Clown, Lincoln Center; Sweet Charity, The New Group; Cabin in the Sky, Encores! Regional: How To Succeed…, Kennedy Center; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Guthrie Theater. TV: “Katy Keene” (CW), 73rd Tony Awards (CBS), “Conqueror” Estelle (music video). Choreography: MJ: The Musical (lab) (Asst. choreographer); Broadway Bounty Hunter, Barrington Stage (Assoc. choreographer); New York Choreographic Institute.
Neville Braithwaite is a New York-based performer. A graduate of NYU, he has performed both internationally and nationally. Favorite credits include The Wings of Ikarus Jackson at the Kennedy Center, Footloose, Gypsy, 9 to 5 and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. On camera credits include “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “SNL” and Evian. As a videographer, he’s had the opportunity to bring his love of movement to the other side of the camera and has worked on projects for 305 Fitness, Broadway Bodies, Daniel Gold, Bunny Michael, and many NY based choreographers. 2 Timothy 1:7 @ohneville & @NBStudiosny
Catherine Caldwell was born and raised in New Orleans, and splits her time between New York and her hometown. She is a performing artist, award-winning choreographer, dance educator, yogi and arts administrator holding a M.A. in Arts Administration from the University of New Orleans. Catherine is the Associate Director of KM Dance Project, choreographing and performing in company works. She is a member of the admin team for Urban Bush Women and Junebug Productions, Incorporated.
Zhailon Levingston is a Louisiana-raised writer and director. Credits include: Neptune at Dixon Place and the Brooklyn Museum; The Years That Went Wrong at The Lark and MCC; The Exonerated at Columbia Law School; Chariot part 2 at SoHo Rep for The Movement Theatre Company; and Mother of Pearl at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center. He is the associate director for Primer for a Failed Super Power with Tony Award winner Rachel Chavkin and for Runaways at The Public with Sam Pinkleton. Most recently he directed Chicken and Biscuits at Queens Theatre. Zhailon is the resident director at Tina the Tina Turner Musical on Broadway.
Elijah Ahmad Lewis
Elijah Ahmad Lewis (LaCrafts Studio) is an internationally recognized multi-award-winning singer/songwriter, arranger, and actor. In his music career he has worked with artists such as SZA, Mario, Ariana Grande, Madonna, Usher and his uncle James JT Taylor (of Kool and the Gang), featured on the Grammys, “The Tonight Show” and “SNL,” to name a few. As an actor, he has appeared in the movies America starring Rosie O’Donnell and as Minister of Music in Mama, I Want to Sing!, starring Ciara, Lynn Whitfield and Patti Labelle. He was also in the Comedy Central sketch show “The Chappelle Show” with Dave Chappelle. He was recently featured starring as Stevie Wonder and Jackie Wilson in Berry Gordy’s hit Broadway Musical Motown The Musical and is currently in the record-breaking hit Broadway musical Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations as a principal standby, covering the roles of David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks, and Otis Williams. Aside from being an entertainer, he is an owner of three companies including 14-year company LaCrafts Studio (graphic design and branding company), with which he is excited to work with the Antonyo Awards. For more information visit elijahahmadlewis.com
Allen René Louis
Music Director, Composer, Arranger
Allen René Louis is a Haitian-American composer, lyricist, playwright, actor, musician, and vocalist. Allen’s diverse writing style, ranging from Folk to Traditional Musical Theatre, is deeply rooted in his soulful background and church upbringing. His contribution to artistry is fully exhibited in his developing career. His innovative and passion filled work reflects his heart’s desire to inspire, heal, and change the world.
OBIE award-winning actor, writer, producer. Stage: Choir Boy, Black Odyssey. Screen: First Reformed, Luke Cage. Eric’s comedic web series Blacker is featured on “Best Web Series” lists and his short film, The Jump is available to stream on Amazon. Eric’s written works have been seen on stages in DC, NY and Chicago. Lockley was recently featured Off-Broadway in #DateMe and regularly performs in and writes for the digital sketch comedy, “The Homemade Sketch Show.” He hosts his inspirational talk show, Turning Points on Instagram Live, mixing his unique brand of joy, inspiration and music. Lockley also produces with his Harlem-based orgs, The Movement Theatre Company & Harlem9, and he creates #blackboyjoy content on various social media platforms. @iamericlockley
Emma Claye is an up and coming actress, singer, and songwriter based in New York City. She’s studied at The New York Film Academy, Stella Adler Studio of Acting, and currently studies under Anthony Abeson. As a vocalist, Emma has performed at venues from the Kennedy Center to Rockwood Music Hall. In addition to performing, she is also a songwriter and released her first EP, “Arts and Sciences,” a compilation of original pop-soul and R&B songs, in 2014. Most recently, she released her single “I Imagine Love” on all major streaming platforms. Emma also starred in the NJ Performing Arts Center’s tour of Magic Treehouse: Showtime with Shakespeare in 2019 and is in the process of writing and recording new music. Telling nuanced narratives that are a reflection of our world and the human experience, Emma aspires to transform on stage and tell stories that touch, educate, and transform audiences.
Edward Mawere, a Brooklyn native, is an actor, improviser and writer. Edward has trained at the Professional Performing Arts High School (PPAS NYC), School at Steppenwolf, Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB NY & LA) and Temple University, where he received a B.A. in Theatre. Selected theatre credits include the Chicago premieres of Bootycandy (Windy City Playhouse), You on the Moors Now (The Hypocrites) and the World Premiere productions of The Antelope Party (Theater Wit) and One in Two (The New Group, Off-Broadway). Edward has also been featured in commercials for Allegra Allergy Medicine, Coca-Cola, Kmart, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Aldi, and most recently a series of spots for Apple called “The Underdogs” that was featured in AdWeek and won five awards at the Cannes Lion Festival 2019. Edward is the content creator of the Instagram account @TheJokesOnEddie (#BroadwayRemixChallenge), and a host for @BroadwayBlack’s black theatre podcast Off Book.
Ianne Fields Stewart
Ianne Fields Stewart (“Pose,” “The Bold Type”) is a black, queer, and transfeminine New York-based storyteller working at the intersection of theatre and activism. Their work and she are dedicated to interrupting the exclusivity of luxury by making things like entertainment, nourishment, and self-care accessible to the most marginalized in their community. Ianne is also the founder of The Okra Project which hires Black Trans chefs to cook for Black Trans People in their homes.
Broadway Black is an organization that fosters and inspires artistic diversity and excellence in theatre. Dedicated to highlighting the achievements and successes of Black theatre artists on and off the Broadway stage, Broadway Black, founded in 2012 by Drew Shade, has continued to grow into a one-of-a-kind multimedia venture with editorial content that showcases the best and the brightest stars across the industry. It’s the place for Black people to see themselves center stage. This is what happens when the theatre goes dark.
Off Book is a fresh, new theatre podcast made with Black theatre artists’ interests and issues in mind. Hosted by Drew Shade and guests, it’s proven to be an interesting journey.