Outstanding Black thespians will once again be receiving their dues at the 22nd annual NAACP Theater Awards on Nov. 5. The honorees to be recognized at this year's award ceremony, as well as award presenters, were recently announced. Coming off her performance in this year's African-American production of "A Street Car Named Desire," seven-time NAACP Image Award recipient Nicole Ari Parker will be honored with the Spirit Award. Known most for his role on "Grey's Anatomy," which has received both an NAACP Image award and a Screen Actors Guild Award, stage veteran James Pickens Jr. will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
This year's Trail Blazer honorees Stephen Byrd & Alia Jones of Front Row Productions are the only African-American theater producers to have produced on both Broadway and the West End in London. The late Willis Edwards, a longtime Vice-President and board member of the NAACP, will be honored with the Humanitarian Award. Performers at this year's award ceremony include Tichina Arnold and "Wicked's" Shoshana Bean. Samuel L. Jackson, Blair Underwood, Victoria Rowell, and other celebrities are scheduled to present.