As seen last night at the Theater Communications Group (TCG) Gala, the ‘the-ah-tuh’ is alive and well and chock full of dramatis personaes — the folks who dazzle and entertain us, and who often need a supportive financial framework and helping hand particularly during the early stages of their creative development. That’s TCG’s mission: providing generous scholarships, grants, and mentorships to those in the non-profit theater community.
“The federal government doesn’t give money to anybody anymore,” Eric Bogosian told us. “I think it’s wonderful that TCG has picked up the slack. Up and coming artists need the support.”
“TCG nurtured me at an early stage in my career, connected me with Philadelphia’s Freedom Theater,” Board Member, Pulitzer Prize winning playwright (“Ruined”) and MacArthur Genius Grant recipient and on of the evenings honoree Lynn Nottage shared. “I saw what it took to be a playwright, what it took to produce and make a play.” Other honorees that night: Jules Fisher, lighting designer on over 300 Broadway and Off-Broadway shows as well as ballet, opera, film and television and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Duke had a soft spot for actors and actresses, particularly those who pushed at the edges.
Jessica Hecht emceed the evening which included performances by Phylicia Rashad and Eric Bogosian. Ruth and Stephen Handel were the Gala’s Honorary Co-chairs, J Jo Bonney, Joseph P. Benincasa, president of The Actors Fund, Robert Rubin and Judith Rubin, and Basil Tweed, among the attendees.
Performances included an excerpt of the play “Immediate Family” (imagine “Modern Family” blended with “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner”) directed by Phylicia Rashad, and a musical excerpt of “A Walk On The Moon,” directed by Michael Greif.
As a grace note, bouquets of lush posies were gifted to all as we left.