The League of Professional Theatre Women (Kelli Lynn Harrison and Catherine Porter, Co-Presidents), an organization which has been leading the gender parity conversation and championing women in the professional theatre for over 35 years, will present the 2019 Theatre Women Awards at The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture (18 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10012) on Monday, March 25 at 7pm (doors open at 6:30pm). For more information on the 2019 Theatre Women Awards, and to purchase tickets, please visit www.theatrewomen.org.
This year’s Theatre Women Awards will honor director/choreographer Graciela Daniele (Lifetime Achievement Award), director May Adrales (Josephine Abady Award), acting teacher and author Mari Lyn Henry (LPTW Special Award), the founding members of the feminist activist and advocacy group The Kilroys (LPTW Lucille Lortel Visionary Award), scenic designer Mimi Lien (Ruth Morley Award), translator/director/producer Joanne Pottlitzer (LPTW Special Award), producer/dramaturg Natasha Sinha (LPTW Lucille Lortel Award), and playwright Karen Zacarías (Lee Reynolds Award).
The League of Professional Theatre Women’s annual Theatre Women Awards are dedicated to promoting the visibility of the theatrical work of women artists and their contributions to the field, across all disciplines. For decades the LPTW has celebrated women who are consistently creating and working in every facet of the theatre industry. The diversity in disciplines of this year’s awardees, including choreographers, translators, casting directors, dramaturgs, educators, designers, playwrights, actors, and producers exemplifies the vast talents theatre women contribute to the art-form. Although some of these positions are not often recognized, they are critical to the success of the theatre industry, and the LPTW is proud to recognize their vital work in our community.
The theme for this year’s Theatre Women Awards is The Road to Parity. At last year’s Awards, LPTW launched its advocacy campaign #OneMoreConversation, which, in addition to taking off on social media, included direct contact with approximately 400 theatre leaders, decision-makers, and educators across the country encouraging leaders to have one more conversation — with a theatre woman — before making a hire. As 50/50 in 2020 approaches, #OneMoreConversation is only one step in the League’s Road to Parity. The breadth and scope of the 2019 TWA awardees’ experience and talent are a call to action: the goal is parity; the time is now.
Graciela Daniele (Lifetime Achievement Award) has directed on Broadway, at Lincoln Center and The Public Theater, and at regional theaters and has earned ten Tony Award nominations and six Drama Desk nominations. Her Broadway Director/Choreographic credits include Chita Rivera, The Dancer’s Life, Annie Get Your Gun, Marie Christine, Once on This Island, Chronicle of a Death Foretold and Dangerous Game. She has Musical Staged/Choreographed such shows as Ragtime (Astaire, Ovation [L.A.], NAACP, and Callaway Award), The Goodbye Girl, Zorba with Anthony Quinn, The Rink starring Liza Minnelli and Chita Rivera, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. She choreographed the New York Shakespeare Festival production of The Pirates of Penzance on Broadway, Los Angeles and London, the motion picture of Pirates, and three Woody Allen films including Mighty Aphrodite, for which she won the 1996 Fosse Award, and Everyone Says I Love You, for which she won the 1997 Fosse Award. Ms. Daniele directed and choreographed A New Brain, which enjoyed an extended run in the summer of 1998 at Lincoln Center Theatre. She is recipient of the 1998 “Mr. Abbot” Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Director/Choreographer. Ms. Daniele directed and choreographed the Michael John LaChuisa’s Little Fish (Second Stage) and Bernarda Alba (Lincoln Center Theatre) along with the Lincoln Center Theatre production of William Finn’s Elegies, A Song Cycle. Most recently, she has choreographed The Visit on Broadway and the world premiere of Sousatzka at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto.
May Adrales (Josephine Abady Award) is a director, artistic leader and teacher and has directed over 25 world premieres. She recently was awarded the prestigious Theater Communications Group Alan Schneider award for freelance directors. She is a Drama League Directing Fellow, Women’s Project Lab Director, Soho Rep Writers/Directors Lab and New York Theater Workshop directing fellow, and a recipient of the TCG New Generations Grant, Denham Fellowship and Paul Green Directing Award. She proudly serves as an Associate Artistic Director at Milwaukee Rep. She is a former Director of On Site Programs at the Lark Play Development Center and Artistic Associate at The Public Theater. May has directed and taught at Juilliard, Harvard/ART, ACT, Fordham, NYU and Bard College. She has served on faculty at the Yale School of Drama and Brown/Trinity MFA program. MFA, Yale School of Drama. World premieres include Qui Nguyen’s Lortel Award and Obie Award winning, Vietgone and Poor Yella Rednecks (Manhattan Theatre Club, South Coast Rep, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Seattle Rep); Lauren Gunderson’s Natural Shocks (WP Theater); Kemp Powers’s Little Black Shadows (South Coast); Idris Goodwin’s The Way The Mountain Moved (OSF); Chisa Hutchinson’s Somebody’s Daughter (Second Stage Theater) and The Wedding Gift (Contemporary American Theater Festival); JC Lee’s Luce (Lincoln Center); Katori Hall’s Whaddabloodclot!!! (Williamstown Theater Festival); A. Rey Pamatmat’s Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them (Actors Theatre of Louisville) and after all the terrible things I do (Milwaukee Rep); Thomas Bradshaw’s Mary (The Goodman Theatre) and The Bereaved (Partial Comfort Productions); Zakiyyah Alexander and Imani Uzuri’s girl shakes loose her skin (Penumbra); In This House (Two River Theater Company); Richard Dresser’s Trouble Cometh (SF Playhouse); and Tommy Smith’s The Wife (Access Theater). She directed David Henry Hwang’s The Dance and the Railroad at Signature Theater; Kimber Lee’s Tokyo Fish Story (Old Globe); Stefanie Zadravec’s The Electric Baby (Two River); Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop (Milwaukee Rep); Chinglish (Portland Center Stage, Syracuse Stage); Everything You Touch, (CATF); In the Next Room, or Vibrator Play and Disgraced (Syracuse Stage); and Breath and Imagination (Cleveland Playhouse). Upcoming Projects: Lloyd Suh’s The Chinese Lady at Milwaukee Rep and Hudson Valley Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing.
The Josephine 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 theatre artist who has created work of cultural diversity.
Mari Lynn Henry (LPTW Special Award) has guided thousands of actors to successful careers in film, TV and theatre for over 45 years. Upon leaving her position as Director of Casting, East Coast for ABC/NY, which she held for over thirteen years, she launched an image and career coaching business. Her book, How to Be a Working Actor, (co-written by Lynne Rogers) is currently in its 5th Edition and continues to be the “Bible of the Biz.” Her workshops on on-camera audition techniques, sight reading, script analysis and impression management have been well-received in cities and universities throughout the U.S. as well as Toronto, London, Oxford and Sydney. As a guest faculty member at the Circle in the Square Theatre School, she advises the second-year students about career preparation and monologue auditions. She is the Dean of Students for the Tom Todoroff Conservatory in New York City, where she teaches the business of acting. For several years she also has been the industry showcase consultant for the New World School of the Arts in Miami. She has been a board member and V.P. of Programs for the League of Professional Theatre Women and is head of their heritage program. In 2013 she founded the Society for the Preservation of Theatrical History which produces a program about famous actresses of the past entitled Stage-Struck Sampler. She earned her BA in Speech and Drama at San Jose State University and a master’s degree in theatre from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
Mari Lynn Henry is receiving a LPTW Special Award for her service to the industry as a casting director, acting coach and teacher, and the author of one of most widely used manuals on the business of acting, as well as her service to the League in establishing theatre history and heritage as an important parity advocacy tool for the League.
The Kilroys (LPTW Lucille Lortel Visionary Award) are a gang of Los Angeles and New York City-based playwrights, directors, and producers who are done talking about gender parity and are taking action. For the past five years The Kilroys have been advocating for equal representation on American stages, and have released an annual list of under-produced plays by woman, trans, and non-binary writers. They mobilize others in their field and leverage their own power to support other marginalized theater artists. The current class of The Kilroys are Jaclyn Backhaus, Hilary Bettis, Jennifer Chambers, Claudia de Vasco, Emma Goidel, Christina Ham, Jessica Hanna, Monet Hurst-Mendoza, Obehi Janice, Hansol Jung, Chelsea Marcantel, Caroline V. McGraw, Bianca Sams, and Gina Young. The founding members are Zakiyyah Alexander, Bekah Brunstetter, Sheila Callaghan, Carla Ching, Annah Feinberg, Sarah Gubbins, Laura Jacqmin, Joy Meads, Kelly Miller, Meg Miroshnik, Daria Polatin, Tanya Saracho, and Marisa Wegrzyn.
The LPTW Lucille Lortel Visionary Award and accompanying grant is awarded from time to time to aspiring theatre women working outside the parameters of production, embody the spirit of Lucille Lortel and the League, and who show great creative promise deserving recognition and encouragement. This is only the 4th time it has been awarded.
Mimi Lien (Ruth Morley Award) is a designer of sets/environments for theater, dance, and opera. Arriving at set design from a background in architecture, her work often focuses on the interaction between audience/environment and object/performer. In 2017, Mimi won the Tony Award for her design of Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812. In 2015, she was named a MacArthur Fellow, and is the first set designer ever to achieve this distinction. Mimi is a company member of Pig Iron Theatre Company, and co-founder of JACK, a performance/art space in Brooklyn. Selected work includes Model Home (a performance installation commissioned by WoW Festival, La Jolla Playhouse), Natasha, Pierre, & The Great Comet of 1812 (Broadway), An Octoroon (Soho Rep/TFANA), John (Signature Theatre), Appropriate (Mark Taper Forum), Preludes & The Oldest Boy (Lincoln Center), Black Mountain Songs (BAM Next Wave). Internationally, Mimi’s designs for dance have been presented in the Netherlands and Russia, and her work has been exhibited in the Prague Quadrennial. Her sculpture work was featured in the exhibition, LANDSCAPES OF QUARANTINE, at the Storefront for Art and Architecture. She is also a recipient of the Cullman Award for Extraordinary Creativity at Lincoln Center Theater, a Bessie Award, Drama Desk Award, Lucille Lortel Award, American Theatre Wing Hewes Design Award, LA Drama Critics Circle Award, and an OBIE Award for sustained excellence.
The Ruth Morley Design Award was initiated in 1998 in honor of costume designer Ruth Morley, one of the profession’s leading designers for theatre and film who also served on the LPTW Board of Directors. It is given annually to an outstanding female theatre designer in the field of costumes, scenery, lighting, or special effects.
Joanne Pottlitzer (LPTW Special Award) is a writer, theater director, and translator who has produced many Latin American plays in New York and is the winner of two Obie Awards, two Senior Fulbright Awards, two NEA translation grants, and multiple producing and writing awards. She has directed plays in New York, Los Angeles, Tucson, and Santiago de Chile. Her English translations of Latin American plays and screenplays have been produced, published, and distributed in New York and throughout the U.S. Among them are José Triana’s Common Words; Mario Vargas Llosa’s La Chunga, The Young Lady from Tacna, Kathie and the Hippopotamus; Daedalus in the Belly of the Beast by Marco Antonio de la Parra; Nelson 2 Rodrigues by Antunes Filho; Striptease and Saying Yes by Griselda Gámbaro; The Toothbrush by Jorge Díaz; and Mythweavers by Arturo Uslar Pietri. She also translated the dubbed version of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s film The Holy Mountain.
Joanne Pottlitzer is receiving a LPTW Special Award for her service to the industry as a translator, producer and archivist of Latin American theatre, and her service to the League in establishing the International Committee.
Natasha Sinha (LPTW Lucille Lortel Award) is a producer and dramaturg, focusing on new plays and new musical work. As Director of Artistic Programs at Signature Theatre, she spearheads new artistic programs for Signature, and she is artistic line producer for select plays and musicals. From 2012-2018, Natasha was Associate Director of LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater which exclusively produces premieres (including Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar, Rude Mechs’ Stop Hitting Yourself, Dave Malloy’s Preludes, War by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Bull in a China Shop by Bryna Turner, Ghost Light by Third Rail Projects, Martyna Majok’s Queens, and Antoinette Nwandu’s Pass Over). She kicked off the LCT3 Spotlight Series with SHABASH!, hosted by Danny Pudi and Parvesh Cheena. Natasha was previously the Associate Producer at Barrington Stage Company. In addition to producing and developing new plays, Natasha has worked on new musicals, including projects by Michael R. Jackson, Sukari Jones & Troy Anthony, Grace McLean, Shakina Nayfack, Sam Salmond, and Kit Yan & Melissa Li. Natasha is a co-founder of Beehive Dramaturgy Studio, which works with individual generative artists as well as organizations such as Page 73, Musical Theatre Factory, Astoria Performing Arts Center, and SDC. Natasha is on the Advisory Boards of SPACE on Ryder Farm and Musical Theatre Factory (where she co-moderates MTF’s POC Roundtable, exclusively for musical artists of color, and advises on various programs). She has also served as a judge on many award committees, taught classes, written articles, and created events to center a range of exciting new voices from historically underrepresented communities.
The LPTW Lucille Lortel Award and accompanying grant was founded in 2000 with a bequest from the estate of Lucille Lortel to annually honor “an aspiring woman in any discipline of theatre who is showing great creative promise and deserves recognition and encouragement.”
Karen Zacarías (Lee Reynolds Award) was recently hailed as one of the most produced playwrights in the US. Her award-winning plays include Destiny of Desire, Native Gardens, The Book Club Play, Legacy of Light, Mariela in the Desert, The Sins of Sor Juana, the adaptations of Just Like Us, Into the Beautiful North, Ella Enchanted, and How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent. She is the author of ten renowned TYA musicals and the librettist of several Ballets. She is one of the inaugural resident playwrights at Arena Stage, a core founder of the Latinx Theatre Commons, and a founder of Young Playwrights’ Theater. Born in Mexico, Karen resides in Washington DC with her husband and three children.
The Lee Reynolds 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.
The League of Professional Theatre Women (a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization) has been championing women and leading the gender parity conversation in the professional theatre for over 35 years. Since its founding, the LPTW’s membership has grown to 500+ theatre artists and practitioners of all backgrounds, across multiple disciplines, working in the commercial and non-profit sectors. To increase visibility of and opportunities for women in the field, the LPTW spearheads public programming, advocacy initiatives, events, media, and publications that raise awareness of the importance of nurturing women’s voices, celebrate industry luminaries, preserve the legacy of historic visionaries, and shine a spotlight on the imperative of striving for gender parity and fostering a diversity of expression, both in the theatre world and the world at large. To find out more about how you can support its endeavors, please visit http://www.theatrewomen.org.