2019 Theater Hall of Fame to induct DeShields, Feingold, Katz, Mann, McKechnie, Meehan, Price, Reinking
Sept. 10, 2019 – The Theater Hall of Fame announced today that the 2019 inductees will be actor Andre De Shields, critic Michael Feingold, lighting designer Natasha Katz, artistic director-playwright Emily Mann, actor Donna McKechnie, playwright Thomas Meehan (deceased), producer-artistic director Michael Price and actor-choreographer Ann Reinking.
They will be inducted on Nov. 18 in the upper lobby of Gershwin Theatre, where the walls are encrusted in gold with the names of the 560 members inducted since the Hall was founded in 1971.
The Hall electorate of 300-plus is made up of members of the Hall of Fame and American Theatre Critics Association. Eight theater notables are inducted each year; the minimum requirements are a career of at least 25 years and at least five major credits, on Broadway or elsewhere.
Andre De Shields’ career includes the original Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Wizand The Full Monty. He can be seen now on Broadway in Hadestown, for which he won the best featured actor Tony.
Michael Feingold, long-time critic (1971-2013) for the Village Voice, now writes for New York Stage Review online. He has been a dramaturg at the O’Neill Theater Center; twice won the George Jean Nathan Award for theater criticism; and was twice a finalist for Pulitzer Prize. Critics are rare in the Hall: the last was Frank Rich in 2014.
Natasha Katz has designed lights for 60 Broadway shows, winning Tonys for Long Day’s Journey, American in Paris, Glass Menagerie, Once, Coast of Utopia and Aida, and Tony nominations for eight more.
Emily Mann has been artistic director and resident playwright since 1991 at the McCarter Theatre, Princeton, N.J, which won the regional theater Tony in 1994. On Broadway, she directed her own Execution of Justice and Having Our Say and won a Tony for producing Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike.
Donna McKechnie won fame and a Tony as the original Cassie in A Chorus Line. Other Broadway shows included How to Succeed, Promises Promises and Company. She also choreographs (Astaire Award) and directs.
Thomas Meehan won Tonys for writing or co-writing the books for Annie, The Producers and Hairspray. His other librettos include I Remember Mama, Bombay Dreams, Young Frankenstein, Annie 2, Rocky and Elf. He died in 2017.
Michael P. Price was founding, executive and artistic director (1968-2015) of Connecticut’s Goodspeed Musicals, which won the Regional Theatre Tony and another. There he produced over 250 musicals including 75 world premieres and transferred 19 to Broadway including Man of La Mancha, Annie and Shenandoah, winning 13 Tonys.
Ann Reinking performed in the original Cabaret and Over Here!, Coco, Chorus Line, Dancin’ and Goodtime Charley. She directed and choreographed Fosse (Olivier Award) and a revival of Chicago (Tony, Astaire Award).
For comparison, the 2018 Hall of Fame class was Rene Auberjonois, Christine Baranski, Cicely Tyson, Joe Mantello, Maria Irene Fornes, David Henry Hwang, Adrienne Kennedy and James Houghton. The 2017 class was Audra McDonald, Marin Mazzie, Matthew Broderick, Tina Howe, Arthur Kopit, Oskar Eustis, Daryl Roth and Ernie Schier
The Hall of Fame is produced by Terry Hodge Taylor, with an executive committee of Andre Bishop, Jacqueline Davis, Dana Ivey, Estelle Parsons and Christopher Rawson. For further information on the Hall, visit its website, http://www.theaterhalloffame.org.