LPTW Awards Celebration & Big Mingle: March 10 at 6:30PM

THE LEAGUE OF PROFESSIONAL THEATRE WOMEN
AWARDS CELEBRATION & BIG MINGLE
Monday March 10
6.30 to 10pm

at The Irene Diamond Stage
The Pershing Square Signature Center
480 West 42nd Street

Press Coverage From The Event:

The League’s new event puts awards center stage!

Life Time Achievement Award:  Zoe Caldwell, Actor
Audra McDonald will present the award to Zoe Caldwell

Ruth Morley Design Award:  Judith Dolan, Costume Designer
The Ruth Morley Design Award is given annually to an outstanding female theatre designer in the field of costumes, scenery, lighting, or special effects in memory of the theatre and film costume designer, and League member, Ruth Morley.
Presented by Gregory Boyd.

The Lee Reynolds Award:  Joanna Sherman, Artistic Director, Bond Street Theatre
The award, in memory of producer and League member Lee Reynolds, is given annually to a woman or women active in any aspect of theatre, whose work through the medium of theatre has helped to illuminate the possibilities for social, cultural or political change.
Presented by Ambassador Cynthia P. Schneider

Special award to League member Sondra Gorney
A one-time award honoring actor, author and League member Sondra Gorney for her dedication to the values and the mission of the League of Professional Theatre Women.
Presented by Mary Miko

Abady Award:  Meiyin Wang, Director of the Devised Theater initiative and Co-Director of the Under the Radar Festival at The Public Theater
The Abady Award is given in memory of Josephine R. Abady, a stage and artistic director and leader of the nonprofit theatre movement in the United States. The award is given annually to a woman who is an emerging theatrical artist and has created work of cultural diversity.
Presented by Susan Feldman

Lucille Lortel Award: Katherine Kovner, Artistic Director, The Playwrights Realm
The League of Professional Theatre Women’s Lucille Lortel Award was founded in 2000 with a bequest from Lucille Lortel. The award and accompanying grant is given annually to “an aspiring woman in any discipline of theatre who is showing great creative promise and deserves recognition and encouragement.”
Presented by Leigh Silverman

tamara_tunie[1]

TAMARA TUNIE WILL HOST THIS EXCITING EVENT!

Get tickets now:  http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/567322

If you’d like to pay by check, instead of online, please do!  Make it out to the League of Professional Theatre Women & send it to LPTW, c/o TCG, 520 8th Avenue, 24th Floor, NYC  10018.

Awards Celebration & Big Mingle Write-Up
By Jenny Lyn Bader

The League of Professional Theatre Women held our annual awards celebration combined for the first time with the “Big Mingle,” a pre- and post-awards reception, on March 10, 2014 at the Pershing Square Signature Center.

After a brief cocktail and prior to the main “mingle,” we held our awards ceremony on the Irene Diamond Stage.

Katherine Kovner received the Lucille Lortel Award, given annually to “an aspiring woman in any discipline of theatre who is showing great creative promise and deserves recognition and encouragement.”

The award was presented by Leigh Silverman, a director who frequently counsels young women directors to “be proactive — you have to make your own opportunities.” She then introduced someone she said had truly built her own opportunities: Ms. Kovner, founder and Artistic Director of the Playwrights Realm.

As she spends much of her time nurturing emerging writers, Katherine Kovner said she was “more used to giving out encouragements and awards than receiving them.”

Meiyin Wang received the Abady Award, given in memory of Josephine R. Abady, a stage and artistic director and a leader of the nonprofit theatre movement. Ms. Wang works at the Public Theater both as Director of the Devised Theatre Initiative and Co-Director of the Public’s Under the Radar Festival.

Susan Feldman, Founding Artistic Director of St. Anne’s Warehouse, presented the award, saying it was intended for either an emerging director or a producer or a creative director of a work of cultural diversity who’s worked in the professional theatre for five years — and “the nice thing about Meiyin is that she’s all three.”

Accepting the award, Ms. Wang, who is originally from Singapore, remarked: “I guess I’m here as an artist, as a producer, and as a woman of color. And what is clear to me… is that I was none of these things before I came to America ten years ago.”

We then presented a Special Award to actor, author and League member Sondra Gorney for her dedication to the values and the mission of the League of Professional Theatre Women.

Fellow League member Mary Miko introduced Sondra, saying “there are many in this room who admire you and who have made you their role model.” She spoke of Sondra’s remarkable career, which began when she was a child actress —Sondra is now in her 90’s — and also of her passion for League-related events, international trips, and community.

Ms. Gorney told the audience: “I intend to continue as a proud league member and help promote visibility and increase opportunities for women in professional theatre”

Next we gave costume designer Judith Dolan the Ruth Morley Design Award, which honors the memory of Ms. Morley, the theatre and film costume designer and League member. Gregory Boyd, Artistic Director of the Alley Theatre, presented the award, speaking of the remarkable depth and detail with which Ms. Dolan approaches costume design. He also read a letter from Harold Prince describing the joys of working with Ms. Dolan. Ms. Dolan, accepting the award, said she was “truly humbled by it.”

Joanna Sherman, Artistic Director of the Bond Street Theatre, received the Lee Reynolds Award, given annually to a woman whose work through the medium of theatre has helped to illuminate the possibilities for social, cultural, or political change.

Ambassador Cynthia P. Schneider introduced the award, saying “culture is a very undervalued yet extremely powerful component of diplomacy and international relations” and telling the audience that “many more women are now voting thanks to Joanna.” Ms. Sherman then spoke about some of her experiences putting on plays in Afghanistan, where men and women act in separate companies and the women’s troupe generally can only be watched by women audiences, often in homes. Some of their theatrical work has caused some Afghani audiences to reconsider their views on selling young girls into marriage.

“You can’t tell people what to think, but you can tell people to think, and you can empower them to do it,” said Ms. Sherman.

She was once at a refugee camp in Kosovo where she met a doctor from Doctors without Borders who said to her “We’re providing the means for human survival — food, medicine, shelter — but you are providing food for the soul. You are restoring their humanity.”

Finally Zoe Caldwell received the League’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Audra McDonald presented the award, speaking with great affection about working with Ms. Caldwell and telling the audience she had even named her daughter after her. She read a letter about the awardee from Hal Prince too. And Zoe Caldwell herself then came to the podium. She began her remarks drolly: “I think it is fair to say that I am a woman.” She went on:

“I also think that it is fair to say that I am a professional in the theatre. So what better organization to be honored by? …Than the League of Professional Theatre Women.”

When she found out about the award, Ms. Caldwell said,  “I didn’t know the true definition of the word “League” oh it seemed so forceful! A ‘League’! Sounds pretty masculine to me… So I looked it up. And I was quite moved by what I found.”

She then read us the dictionary definition of League:

“An association of individuals having a common goal with an agreement for mutual help.”

After a dramatic pause she added, “That sounds like theatre to me. And women. So thank you.”

The awards ceremony was so inspirational that LPTW member Tamara Tunie, the evening’s host, departed from her scheduled remarks to say how inspirational it was:

“I just pray that this is videotaped or recorded in some way shape or form, because I don’t know about you but I have been inspired and moved and charged by every single person’s speech this evening, the presenters, and the awardees!”

The crowd agreed.

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