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Skylight's Fall Celebration 2022

Let's Celebrate, 2022 Fall Salute

Let’s Celebrate!

Join us as we celebrate Skylight’s return to live performance and honor the artistry and advocacy of Michael Kearns, Sarah Tubert, and Nita Whitaker. 

Enjoy some wine and a delicious bite and connect with friends in the beautiful garden at the Beverly Hills Women’s Club, then applaud Skylight’s 2022 Artivist Award winners. 

Attire: Cocktail Casual

COVID Policy: Proof of Vaccination Required - Masks Recommended

Schedule

Thurs, Oct. 6, 2022, 7:00pm - 9:30pm

I want to join the fun!

TICKETS

I can’t be there but I want to keep Skylight’s great work going.

DONATE

I’d like to send a Tribute Message on behalf of Skylight, Michael Kearns, Sarah Tubert, or Nita Whitaker.

TRIBUTE


Venue: Beverly Hills Women’s Club
1700 Chevy Chase Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Free parking in the club’s lot.
To access:
Enter the alley via Benedict Canyon Drive (between Roxbury Drive and Chevy Chase Drive).

WHY IT MATTERS

Your tickets, contributions, and tribute messages go directly to nurturing emerging artists and creating a more compassionate community through new plays with fresh perspectives.

An acclaimed 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Skylight’s world premieres have gone on to be performed Off-Broadway and across the nation, garnering every top Los Angeles theatre award including the 2017 LA Drama Critic’s Circle “Best Production” Award (tied with Hamilton) for the transgender love story Rotterdam, and Best Book and Best Lyrics for Bronco Billy - The Musical at the 30th Annual Ovation Awards.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are embedded in the fabric of Skylight (SkyLab, On Stage, Off Stage).  We nurture diverse emerging artists and tell stories that would go unnoticed or could be passed over as too controversial. Our 2023 Season is dedicated to women's voices.

Join us on October 6.  Spread a little love through a Tribute Message. Make a Donation. All of it helps create theatre that offers new perspectives and helps us connect in our polarized world.

OUR HONOREES

Michael Kearns, 2022 Artivist Award Honoree, Skylight Theatre
MICHAEL KEARNS

Actor-Writer-Director-Producer-Trailblazer-Activist
Skylight Theatre Company 2022 Icon Award
For
His Work Opening Doors and Nurturing Fellow Artists

For nearly fifty years, Michael Kearns been a provocative and impassioned voice in the cultural and artistic landscape of America. Based in Los Angeles, he has achieved success in the theater (acting, writing, directing, and producing) while a passion for social justice has also driven his teaching career and his activism.  

Perhaps best known as “the first out HIV-positive actor in the Hollywood industry,” Mr. Kearns is also beloved in the Los Angeles theatre community as a former Artistic Director of Celebration Theater; co-founder (with James Carroll Pickett) of two organizations dedicated to combating AIDS: the Southland Theatre Artists Goodwill Event (STAGE) and Artists Confronting AIDS (ACA, with Kearns as Executive Director until the early Nineties); and a frequent visiting artist at Highways Performance Space. He is currently the Education Director of Spoken Interludes (since 2008), an arts organization that brings professional writers into high schools. For ten years, he helmed a writing/performance class at the Downtown Women’s Center on Skid Row, resulting in the DIVAS (Dames Invested In Very Authentic Storytelling) which performed Spoken Word pieces throughout Los Angeles. Most recently (2011), Kearns founded QueerWise, a collective of LGBTQI seniors; the Spoken Word artists have appeared throughout the city—from Beyond Baroque to the Akbar in Silverlake and their home base, the Skylight Theatre where they mount an annual World AIDS Day show.

Michael Kearns has received the LA Weekly’s 2007 “Queen of Angels Award” for his contributions to Los Angeles theatre; a 2006 COLA grant as a writer-performer from the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department; the 2005 Robert Chesley Lifetime Achievement Playwriting Award, part of the prestigious Triangle Awards; and the 2002 Playwrights' Arena Award for Outstanding Contribution to Los Angeles, as well as awards from Celebration Theatre, among others.

Michael’s enduring relationship with Skylight Theatre Company, where he is an Artistic Associate, began more than 30 years ago when he appeared as an actor in James Carroll Pickett’s Dream Man, a signature role that he subsequently toured throughout the United States and Europe. That led to a solo career beginning with intimacies, one of his first written and performed by pieces to look at AIDS head-on, resulting in additional solo work and five years on the road.  In 2011, he forged a partnership between Skylight and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS which continues to this day. His most recent full-length plays, Bang Bang and Bloodbound, both received workshop productions at Skylight and are included in Kearns' 2021 anthology, Who's Afraid of Michael Kearns?  which also features his earlier work, Who's Afraid of Edward Albee?  Kearns will premiere his newest solo show, late sixties early seventiesa musical gender romp, in the beginning of 2023.


Sarah Tubert, 2022 Artivist Award Honoree, Skylight Theatre
SARAH TUBERT

Actor-Signer-Athlete-Activist
Skylight Theatre Company 2022 Artivist Award
For Her Artistry and Advocacy on Behalf of the Deaf Community

When Sarah was three, a surgeon severed her facial nerve paralyzing the right side of
her face and took her hearing in an operation she did not need. She used to ask her
mother, “Why am I the only one with a crooked smile and a hearing aid?” Her mother
would reply, “I don’t know why, but this is your journey and let’s see what we can do
with it.”

That is the quote Sarah lives by and it has made her who she is today.

Sarah loves to show people that you can do anything you set your mind to. She is an
Actress (one of her favorite performances is Never Is Now, written by the beautiful Wendy Kout, performed at Skylight); Co-Host of the "What the Deaf?!" Podcast with her best friend Carly Weyers; Captain of the USA National Deaf Women’s Volleyball Team; and a signer of songs (ASL) including "Show Yourself” from Frozen II (which reached over one million hits) and "Alexander Hamilton" which the creator of Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda, reposted on his social media platforms.

Sarah is also a motivational speaker, with the dream to inspire people and show that everyone has a journey... let’s see what we can do with it!


Nita Whitaker, 2022 Artivist Award Honoree, Skylight Theatre
NITA WHITAKER

Singer-Actor-Author-Nonprofit Founder-Producer-Songwriter-Wife-Mother
Skylight Theatre Company 2022 Artivist Award
For Her Artistry and Advocacy on Behalf of Literacy

Nita Whitaker recently made her Broadway debut as Wiletta Mayers in Alice Childress’s Tony nominated Trouble in Mind and was the 2019 NAACP Best Supporting Actress for her role as Mom Winans in the Broadway-bound musical Born For This. Nita is also a favorite singer of legendary producer David Foster, having sung with some of the most famous voices of our time including duets with Andre Bocelli, Michael Bolton and Josh Groban. She also sang the original demos for Whitney Houston’s standards, “I Will Always Love You”, “I Have Nothing” and “I Look to You,” and worked with greats Carol Bayer Sager, Walter A., Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Burt Bacharach, James Ingram, Steve Tyrell, Patti LaBelle, and Barbara Streisand.

Born in Shreveport, LA, this former ICU registered nurse, a former Miss Louisiana, and Star Search Hall of Fame Grand Champion, continues to champion literacy through her 501(c)(3) non-profit, In A World With Books (www.inaworldwithbooks.org), which has put 18,000 new books in the hands of underserved children, and counting. This work started as a tribute to her late husband Don LaFontaine, the voiceover master who wrote the phrase early in his career and was a lover of words and books; and to honor her late mother Ola Mae Whitaker who was a book giver and librarian on a local bookmobile in Louisiana. The mission statement of the non-profit is “Changing lives, one book at a time.” Nita believes that reading is more than fundamental, it enlarges the world. The organization's goal is to foster good reading habits that will develop a love of reading  at an eary age. 

Nita also mentored fourteen incredibly talented artists when her daughters Skye and Liisi LaFontaine created a theater group NOTASCAR, that performed their works at Skylight Theatre. With elder daughter Skye as director and actor, they all rehearsed for RENT Unplugged, Dog Sees God, and an original work called Introductions at her home. Each of these young artists continued on to wonderful artistic lives and started referring to her as “MammaNita”. Younger daughter Liisi is now starring in Moulin Rouge! The Musical in London’s West End.

Nita continues to expand as an artist having performed in four world premiere musicals, charity gala events, television and concert venues. She has contributed articles for Inspired Women online magazine and has also recorded and co-produced four independent records. She penned an independent award-winning memoir entitled: Finding My Voice: My Journey from Grief to Grace. Her second book, When Your Hand is in the Lion’s Mouth: The Life and Wisdom of a Man named Green, was released June 2022. Still the greatest delights of her life are her robustly talented daughters Skye and Liisi as they continue to soar.


Celebrate with us Thurs, Oct. 6, 2022, 7:00pm - 9:30pm

I want to join the fun!
EVENT TICKETS
I can’t be there but I want to keep Skylight’s great work going.
DONATE
I’d like to send a Tribute Message on behalf of Skylight, Michael Kearns, Sarah Tubert, or Nita Whitaker.
TRIBUTE
I’d love to help sponsor this event.
SPONSORSHIPS


Venue: Beverly Hills Women’s Club
Covid Policy
: Proof of Vaccination - Masks Recommended

Schedule

Thurs, Oct. 6, 2022, 7:00pm - 9:30pm

I want to join the fun!

TICKETS

I can’t be there but I want to keep Skylight’s great work going.

DONATE

I’d like to send a Tribute Message on behalf of Skylight, Michael Kearns, Sarah Tubert, or Nita Whitaker.

TRIBUTE


Venue: Beverly Hills Women’s Club
1700 Chevy Chase Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Free parking in the club’s lot.
To access:
Enter the alley via Benedict Canyon Drive (between Roxbury Drive and Chevy Chase Drive).

WHY IT MATTERS

Your tickets, contributions, and tribute messages go directly to nurturing emerging artists and creating a more compassionate community through new plays with fresh perspectives.

An acclaimed 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Skylight’s world premieres have gone on to be performed Off-Broadway and across the nation, garnering every top Los Angeles theatre award including the 2017 LA Drama Critic’s Circle “Best Production” Award (tied with Hamilton) for the transgender love story Rotterdam, and Best Book and Best Lyrics for Bronco Billy - The Musical at the 30th Annual Ovation Awards.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are embedded in the fabric of Skylight (SkyLab, On Stage, Off Stage).  We nurture diverse emerging artists and tell stories that would go unnoticed or could be passed over as too controversial. Our 2023 Season is dedicated to women's voices.

Join us on October 6.  Spread a little love through a Tribute Message. Make a Donation. All of it helps create theatre that offers new perspectives and helps us connect in our polarized world.

OUR HONOREES

Michael Kearns, 2022 Artivist Award Honoree, Skylight Theatre
MICHAEL KEARNS

Actor-Writer-Director-Producer-Trailblazer-Activist
Skylight Theatre Company 2022 Icon Award
For
His Work Opening Doors and Nurturing Fellow Artists

For nearly fifty years, Michael Kearns been a provocative and impassioned voice in the cultural and artistic landscape of America. Based in Los Angeles, he has achieved success in the theater (acting, writing, directing, and producing) while a passion for social justice has also driven his teaching career and his activism.  

Perhaps best known as “the first out HIV-positive actor in the Hollywood industry,” Mr. Kearns is also beloved in the Los Angeles theatre community as a former Artistic Director of Celebration Theater; co-founder (with James Carroll Pickett) of two organizations dedicated to combating AIDS: the Southland Theatre Artists Goodwill Event (STAGE) and Artists Confronting AIDS (ACA, with Kearns as Executive Director until the early Nineties); and a frequent visiting artist at Highways Performance Space. He is currently the Education Director of Spoken Interludes (since 2008), an arts organization that brings professional writers into high schools. For ten years, he helmed a writing/performance class at the Downtown Women’s Center on Skid Row, resulting in the DIVAS (Dames Invested In Very Authentic Storytelling) which performed Spoken Word pieces throughout Los Angeles. Most recently (2011), Kearns founded QueerWise, a collective of LGBTQI seniors; the Spoken Word artists have appeared throughout the city—from Beyond Baroque to the Akbar in Silverlake and their home base, the Skylight Theatre where they mount an annual World AIDS Day show.

Michael Kearns has received the LA Weekly’s 2007 “Queen of Angels Award” for his contributions to Los Angeles theatre; a 2006 COLA grant as a writer-performer from the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department; the 2005 Robert Chesley Lifetime Achievement Playwriting Award, part of the prestigious Triangle Awards; and the 2002 Playwrights' Arena Award for Outstanding Contribution to Los Angeles, as well as awards from Celebration Theatre, among others.

Michael’s enduring relationship with Skylight Theatre Company, where he is an Artistic Associate, began more than 30 years ago when he appeared as an actor in James Carroll Pickett’s Dream Man, a signature role that he subsequently toured throughout the United States and Europe. That led to a solo career beginning with intimacies, one of his first written and performed by pieces to look at AIDS head-on, resulting in additional solo work and five years on the road.  In 2011, he forged a partnership between Skylight and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS which continues to this day. His most recent full-length plays, Bang Bang and Bloodbound, both received workshop productions at Skylight and are included in Kearns' 2021 anthology, Who's Afraid of Michael Kearns?  which also features his earlier work, Who's Afraid of Edward Albee?  Kearns will premiere his newest solo show, late sixties early seventiesa musical gender romp, in the beginning of 2023.


Sarah Tubert, 2022 Artivist Award Honoree, Skylight Theatre
SARAH TUBERT

Actor-Signer-Athlete-Activist
Skylight Theatre Company 2022 Artivist Award
For Her Artistry and Advocacy on Behalf of the Deaf Community

When Sarah was three, a surgeon severed her facial nerve paralyzing the right side of
her face and took her hearing in an operation she did not need. She used to ask her
mother, “Why am I the only one with a crooked smile and a hearing aid?” Her mother
would reply, “I don’t know why, but this is your journey and let’s see what we can do
with it.”

That is the quote Sarah lives by and it has made her who she is today.

Sarah loves to show people that you can do anything you set your mind to. She is an
Actress (one of her favorite performances is Never Is Now, written by the beautiful Wendy Kout, performed at Skylight); Co-Host of the "What the Deaf?!" Podcast with her best friend Carly Weyers; Captain of the USA National Deaf Women’s Volleyball Team; and a signer of songs (ASL) including "Show Yourself” from Frozen II (which reached over one million hits) and "Alexander Hamilton" which the creator of Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda, reposted on his social media platforms.

Sarah is also a motivational speaker, with the dream to inspire people and show that everyone has a journey... let’s see what we can do with it!


Nita Whitaker, 2022 Artivist Award Honoree, Skylight Theatre
NITA WHITAKER

Singer-Actor-Author-Nonprofit Founder-Producer-Songwriter-Wife-Mother
Skylight Theatre Company 2022 Artivist Award
For Her Artistry and Advocacy on Behalf of Literacy

Nita Whitaker recently made her Broadway debut as Wiletta Mayers in Alice Childress’s Tony nominated Trouble in Mind and was the 2019 NAACP Best Supporting Actress for her role as Mom Winans in the Broadway-bound musical Born For This. Nita is also a favorite singer of legendary producer David Foster, having sung with some of the most famous voices of our time including duets with Andre Bocelli, Michael Bolton and Josh Groban. She also sang the original demos for Whitney Houston’s standards, “I Will Always Love You”, “I Have Nothing” and “I Look to You,” and worked with greats Carol Bayer Sager, Walter A., Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Burt Bacharach, James Ingram, Steve Tyrell, Patti LaBelle, and Barbara Streisand.

Born in Shreveport, LA, this former ICU registered nurse, a former Miss Louisiana, and Star Search Hall of Fame Grand Champion, continues to champion literacy through her 501(c)(3) non-profit, In A World With Books (www.inaworldwithbooks.org), which has put 18,000 new books in the hands of underserved children, and counting. This work started as a tribute to her late husband Don LaFontaine, the voiceover master who wrote the phrase early in his career and was a lover of words and books; and to honor her late mother Ola Mae Whitaker who was a book giver and librarian on a local bookmobile in Louisiana. The mission statement of the non-profit is “Changing lives, one book at a time.” Nita believes that reading is more than fundamental, it enlarges the world. The organization's goal is to foster good reading habits that will develop a love of reading  at an eary age. 

Nita also mentored fourteen incredibly talented artists when her daughters Skye and Liisi LaFontaine created a theater group NOTASCAR, that performed their works at Skylight Theatre. With elder daughter Skye as director and actor, they all rehearsed for RENT Unplugged, Dog Sees God, and an original work called Introductions at her home. Each of these young artists continued on to wonderful artistic lives and started referring to her as “MammaNita”. Younger daughter Liisi is now starring in Moulin Rouge! The Musical in London’s West End.

Nita continues to expand as an artist having performed in four world premiere musicals, charity gala events, television and concert venues. She has contributed articles for Inspired Women online magazine and has also recorded and co-produced four independent records. She penned an independent award-winning memoir entitled: Finding My Voice: My Journey from Grief to Grace. Her second book, When Your Hand is in the Lion’s Mouth: The Life and Wisdom of a Man named Green, was released June 2022. Still the greatest delights of her life are her robustly talented daughters Skye and Liisi as they continue to soar.


Celebrate with us Thurs, Oct. 6, 2022, 7:00pm - 9:30pm

I want to join the fun!
EVENT TICKETS
I can’t be there but I want to keep Skylight’s great work going.
DONATE
I’d like to send a Tribute Message on behalf of Skylight, Michael Kearns, Sarah Tubert, or Nita Whitaker.
TRIBUTE
I’d love to help sponsor this event.
SPONSORSHIPS


Venue: Beverly Hills Women’s Club
Covid Policy
: Proof of Vaccination - Masks Recommended

Skylight Theatre Company, 1816 ½ N. Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027
© 2018 Skylight Theatre Company l (213) 761-7061 l Mission l Board of Directors | Privacy Policy
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