Woodie King Jr.’s New Federal Theater, the long-standing Gotham troupe that focuses on integrating minorities and women into the legit mainstream, has lined up a starry roster of presenters for its 40th anniversary gala including Spike Lee, Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, S. Epatha Merkerson and Robert Townsend.
Presenters will hand out NFT honors to the troupe’s dozen honorees, who include Sidney Poitier, Alicia Keys, Ntozake Shange, Ruby Dee and David Dinkins. Lynn Whitfield and CBS News correspondent Randall Pinkston host.
Based on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, NFT has launched titles including Shange’s “For Colored Girls…” and David Henry Hwang’s “The Dance and the Railroad.” Dee, Merkerson, Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman are among the org’s alums.
Maya Angelou serves as honorary chair of the anniversary event, set for May 22 at the Edison Ballroom in midtown Manhattan.