FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
19th Anniversary Gala for Summer Theatre of New Canaan
Honorees Broadway Legend Director/Choreographer/Writer George Faison
Local Philanthropic Patrons Frank Bennack and Dr. Mary Lake Polan.
The Summer Theatre of New Canaan (Stonc) will honor the celebrated producer, writer, composer, director, choreographer and dancer George Faison. He made history as the first black choreographer to win a Broadway Tony for his breakthrough choreography on THE WIZ. He is also active in his community founding the Faison Firehouse Theatre for the performing arts outreaching to neighborhood children and young adults.
Gala evening will also feature performances by recent Broadway and local stars from the theatre's past shows. There will be performances from leading cast members singing highlights from this summers Tony winning Broadway musical Once On This Island. This production is to be directed and choreographed by the iconic George Faison.
“It is quite exciting to bring George Faison to be honored and who will also work with us this summer here in Connecticut,” says actress and educator Melody Meitrott Libonati, the theatre’s artistic director. It will be a great moment for Connecticut theatre" She adds, “I've had the joy of working with George in my career as a Broadway actress and he brings such a creative force whenver he enters the room".
read more about George:
"Our theatre company is also thrilled that we can honor and recognize Frank Bennack and Mary Lake Polan for their generous support of the performing arts in Connecticut and our educational and school touring programs” adds Libonati. Honoree Frank Bennack is the Vice Chair and former CEO of the Hearst Corporation. On the philanthropic side, he is also Chair of the Paley Center for Media, and Chair Emeritus of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and past Trustee Chair of New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Read more about Frank in his recent autobiography - "Leave Something on the Table".
Dr. Mary Lake Polan was chair of obstetrics and gynecology for 15 years at Stanford University School of Medicine and returned to the Yale School of Medicine faculty as a clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology & reproductive sciences. Mary Lake is an Emerita Trustee of Connecticut College and is currently a member of the Board of Overseers of the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University.
More about Frank Bennack and Mary Lake Polan
Evening Entertainment will feature Stars fo Summer Theatre De’Sean Dooley, Allison Gray, Daniel Klein, Mary McNaulty, Jodi Stevens, Melissa Victor, Richard Weidlich, Rebecca Mason-Wygal & Cast Members from this season’s Tony-Winning musical Once On This Island
Gala is May 14th beginning at 5:30PM Tickets include pre dinner outdoor cocktail reception, dinner, live auction with auctioneer plus Summer Theatre Stars in Concert, Funds raised will support the theatre’s upcoming season and educational programs. For more information visit the Summer Theatre of New Canaan’s website STONC.ORG or call 203-966-4634
Note of Health protocols:
All attendees should be vacinated. Mask wearing will be determined by local health protocols at time of Gala.
Photos of Honorees
Honorees Frank Bennack and Dr. Mary Lake Polan
STONC. The Summer Theatre of New Canaan is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit professional regional theatre company.