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Thanks to Borough President Mark Levine, and City Council Member Erik Bottcher and everyone else who worked to make this happen at the August Wilson Theater today. And our next job is to get West 47th Street, where Raisin in the Sun was performed at the Ethel Barrymore Theater, co-named after Lloyd Richards as a permanent marker of his contribution to Broadway, NYC, and American Theater.

7 thoughts on “Proclamation

  1. From today’s NYT: A man named Jack Shalom got a call a couple of years ago from someone who had been a classmate at Hunter College in the 1970s.

    “I’m talking about someone I had not seen or spoken to in 45 years,” said Shalom, who is 69. “We had a teacher named Lloyd Richards for acting and directing. That was the first thing we started talking about — his impact.”

    The city remembers Richards’s impact on theater as the director who brought “A Raisin in the Sun” to Broadway, as well as August Wilson’s plays.

    Shalom and his classmate remembered Richards’s impact on them. “I didn’t become a professional actor,” Shalom said. “but he was the most remarkable teacher I ever had, and I say that as someone who went on to teach high school mathematics.” (And to co-host a weekly arts program on WBAI-FM, he said as he repeated, “I’m not a professional actor.”)

    The conversation led the two Hunter classmates, who reached out to a third alumnus, to wonder about recognition for Richards and, as Shalom put it, why “the city has not done anything for him.”

    That, in turn, led to something of a campaign to designate a Lloyd Richards Day. Shalom said it had to be today because Richards was born on June 29, 1919, and died on June 29, 2006. A ceremony will be held at noon outside the August Wilson Theater on West 52nd Street.

    • Ah, you saw that little piece in the New York Times Today newsletter! The reporter, James Barron, was really intrigued by how it all came about and we talked at length about Lloyd and his contributions to American Theater. I think it got kinda truncated because he also had to report on the sudden poor air quality situation, but it was very nice of him to spend time and space on this.

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