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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Benefit Mon Nov 02 2015

DePaul's 27th Annual Theatre School Awards for Excellence to Honor Influential Community Members

By Yasmeen Ahmed

The Theatre School at DePaul University will present the 27th Annual Awards for Excellence in the Arts at a gala Monday, Nov. 9. Proceeds from the event will benefit the scholarship fund, which supports students to train at the theater school. The gala will recognize distinguished artists and visionaries who have proven dedication and talent in support of the arts.

Awards and recipients are:

Lou Raizin Karen Aldridge Andrè De Shields

Lou Raizin will receive the 2015 Leadership Award for Excellence in the Arts. Raizin is president of Broadway in Chicago and senior vice president of the Nederlander Organization, where he is responsible for developing new ventures, theaters and acquisitions in entertainment-related fields domestically and abroad. His dedication to tourism and culture has led to the creation and sponsorship of the annual League of Chicago Theater's Emerging Theater Award and the Illinois High School Musical Theatre Award.

Karen Aldridge will receive the 2015 Alumni Award for Excellence in the Arts. From Macbeth to NBC's "Chicago Fire" and more, Aldridge's experience spans television, film and theater. She received her MFA in acting from the Theatre School and has been nominated for several Jeff Awards. She received the 2008 Black Theater Alliance Award for Best Leading Actress in a play for her work in The Cook.

Andrè De Shields will accept the 2015 Award for Excellence in the Arts. In De Shields' 46 years in theater, he has worked as actor, director, choreographer and educator, and has earned three Jeff Awards. De Shields began his professional career in the 1969 Chicago production of Hair and eventually became a member of the Organic Theatre Company. He has also been awarded an Emmy, the National Black Theatre Festival's Living Legend Award, the Village Voice OBIE Award and honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the State University of New York-College at Buffalo.

"The Annual Awards for Excellence in the Arts is a great example of the belief in our students and in their potential that exists among the theater, corporate and university communities," said Dean John Culbert. "It's always amazing to see everyone come together to raise money for student scholarships. Our award recipients inspire our students to believe in their dreams and to prepare through hard work, diligence, and training. The event is a reminder of the challenges and the successes many of our students and alumni experience."

The 27th Annual Awards for Excellence in the Arts begins with a cocktail reception at 6pm and dinner and program at 7pm on Monday, Nov. 9 at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, 221 N. Columbus Dr. For more information and table pricing, contact DePaul University's Office of Advancement: 312-362-8455 or

Photo credits (left to right):
Lou Raizin - photo courtesy of Broadway In Chicago
Karen Aldridge - photo courtesy of Karen Aldridge
André De Shields - photo by Lia Chang

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


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