Celebrate and support local, award-winning theater! The 2023 Skylight Theater Season is dedicated to women’s voices! Season debut party at BHWC honors the artistry and advocacy of Sarah Tubert, Nita Whitaker and Michael Kearns. BHWC members, use PROMO code ARTIVIST to save $25 off the ticket price of $150 (if purchased by October 1st).
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.
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.
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 early age.
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.
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. 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.