On Tuesday, May, 20, the NAACP announced their 18th Annual NAACP Theatre Awards that will take place on June 30 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood . Model Eva Marcille, actress Jurnee Smollett, actors Henry Simmons and Malcolm-Jamaal Warner joined the Beverly Hills NAACP branch to also announce the launch of organization’s 1st Annual Theatre Awards Festival weekend, June 27-29.
This year’s theme for the 2008 NAACP Awards Show is “Salute to Black Theatre,” which celebrates the evolution of black theater from the stereotypical caricatures played by former black actors and actresses in theaters and on the movie screen, to more realistic roles and positive depictions of African Americans in movies and in Broadway plays.
Attendees of this year’s Awards show can expect a new venue, more celebrity guests appearances, and a Festival weekend prior to the Awards Show that will be free to the public.
The Awards festival weekend will have various, workshops in the Renaissance Hotel, adjacent to the Kodak Theatre. The workshops will consist of a live audience taping, “Fade to Black” featuring a panel discussion of the issues that face African American producers, directors, actors, and actresses working in present day Hollywood. There will also be a series of one person shows throughout the festival weekend from the NAACP House of Theatre and a guest speaker sharing their thoughts on “How to Finance and Produce a Play.”
Kimberly Elise (“The Great Debaters”) and Anthony Anderson (“Transformers”) will host the stellar event.
This year’s 2008 distinguished honorees include Harold Wheeler (Music Orchestrator/Music Director) for the Lifetime Achievement Award; American’s Idol’s Randi Jackson for “Idol Gives Back” Award; David E. Talbert (Producer/Writer/Director) for the Trailblazer Award; and Vivica A. Fox (Actress/Producer) will receive the Spirit Award.
R&B singer and Grammy award-winner Stephanie Mills and Grammy nominated recording artist Mario, who recently appeared on “Dancing with the Stars,” will both perform the night of the show.