The 2019 Arena Stage Annual Gala will be held Tuesday, May 21, 2019 at the Mead Center for American Theater (1101 Sixth
Street, SW). The Gala will include the presentation of the fourth annual Beth Newburger Schwartz Award to National Public Radio’s Nina Totenberg. Actor and performer Kathleen Turner will headline the Gala, as well as host an intimate reception the evening before for select event sponsors.
Lavern Chatman, vice president of business development at EDJ Associates and Arena Board of Trustees member as the chairwoman, and Annie Simonian Totah, Armenian Assembly of America’s Board of Trustees member and recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Humanitarian Award will serve as the honorary chairwoman.
“As a trustee of Arena Stage, I am pleased once again to chair this season’s Gala,” says Chatman. “The evening has garnered a reputation for honoring influential women and we are thrilled to continue this tradition, along with our Honorary Chair Annie Simonian Totah, to recognize the extraordinary journalist Nina Totenberg. Gala guests will also have the opportunity to experience the iconic Kathleen Turner in a special one-night only performance at this year’s event.”
The evening kicks off with a cocktail reception, followed by a performance and a three-course seated dinner. The performance will feature the presentation of the Beth Newburger Schwartz Award to Nina Totenberg, in recognition of her ground-breaking reporting in the broadcast world and her continuous support of the arts. Totenberg was the first radio journalist to receive the 1998 Sol Taishoff Award for Excellence in Broadcasting from the National Press Foundation. The award was first presented to Arena Stage board chair Beth Newburger Schwartz in 2016, Arlene Kogod in 2017 and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser in 2018, and celebrates a female leader who strives to better the community in which she lives through her own unique strengths and talents.
Kathleen Turner is a Golden Globe Award-winning, Academy Award-nominated and Tony Award-nominated actress who has made her mark on both the film and stage scenes. She has appeared at Arena Stage in The Year of Magical Thinking (2016), Mother Courage and Her Children (2014), Red Hot Patriot (2012) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1989). She debuted her first cabaret performance, Finding My Voice, last year, and her new book, Kathleen Turner on Acting was recently published.
All proceeds will benefit all Arena Stage artistic and educational programs.