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Photo by Michael Key

So you want to meet the Wizard? 

Well, André De Shields’ sass, style, and excellence in theatre will be honored at the 27th Annual Awards for Excellence in the Arts on November 9, 2015 at DePaul University.

Known as a man who honored his parents’ deferred dreams of being entertainers by forging his own path to Broadway, André De Shields did more than just become an entertainer— he became a monument of creativity, spreading his talents to acting, directing, choreography and education. 

De Shields has been in the business for over forty-six years. He began his professional career in the 1969 Chicago production of Hair. He went on to join the Civic Opera House’s company of The Me Nobody Knows at the Civic Opera House. Finally, he became a member of The Organic Theatre Company’s Warp! as Xander the Unconquerable, Ruler of the Sixth Dimension.

Most notably, De Shields is known for originating the titular role of The Wiz on Broadway and for his work in Ain’t Misbehavin’Play On! and The Full Monty

He is a two-time Tony Award nominee, Emmy Award winner, and a recipient of the Village Voice OBIE Award. Mr. De Shields is currently rehearsing GOTTA DANCE, the new Broadway-bound musical about professional basketball’s first ever 60-and-older dance team.

The 27th Annual Awards for Excellence in the Arts honors  artists and visionaries who have paved the way and left a legacy in the arts. All proceeds from the event directly benefit The Theatre School Scholarship Fund, supporting students from all over the nation to train at the school.

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