The League of Professional Theatre Women and its International Committee are pleased to present the nominees of the 2017 LPTW Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award.

The Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award was established in 2011 in honor of Rosamond Gilder and Martha Coigney, two legendary theatre women whose work on the international stage proved that theatre knows no boundaries.

Presented every three years, this Award acknowledges the exceptional work of theatre women around the world and aims to make a difference in the life and career of an international woman theatre artist. Odile Gakire Katese from Rwanda was the inaugural recipient of the G/C Award in 2011.  Patricia Ariza from Colombia received the award in 2014.

Twenty women have been nominated for the 2017 Award:


Abir Aly (Egypt) is a director, dramaturge, cultural activist, and researcher in folklore and social history.  Through her “El Mesaharaty Laboratory” she uses art and theatre to preserve and champion the popular heritage,while creating and managing a national training and development program for young artists.


Brigitte Helbling (Switzerland) is a writer living in Germany. She works as a playwright for independent theatre and dance projects creating scripts, song texts, innovative program booklets, and conceptual texts. Her company Mass & Fieber – run jointly with her husband Niklaus Helbling – has produced continuously since 1999, and is known for politically impassioned projects and plays.


Carmina Narro (Mexico) is a multiple award-winningdramaturge, director, story teller, playwright and actress, whose  work conveys a deep exploration of thefemale role in Mexican society, and misogyny as a “global public health problem”.


Drenia Frederick (St. Lucia) is a director and theatre educator who revived a theatre community in her native countrywhich was “locked in benign retrospection”. Her work introduces and cross-references previously unexplored genres, motifs and techniques,and she is nurturing young artists to ensure the future of Theatre in St. Lucia.


Elena Gremina (Russia), a playwright and Artistic Director of Theatre.doc, labeled an “opposition theatre”that focuses on “the undisputable documentation of reality”, chronicling the lived experiences of the Russian people under an increasingly autocratic and corrupt regime.


Illire Vinca (Kosovo) is an actress and educator, committed to empowering women artists to create their own work, especially when it comes to unlocking the stories of victims held in the rape camps during the war with Serbia. She has produced, directed and acted in pieces about the war, and seeks to educate people so that the horrors of those camps are not repeated.


Jalila Baccar (Tunisia) is a playwright, actress, and co-founder of the first private theatre company in Tunisia, Le Nouveau Theatre, which has been instrumental in modernizing Tunisian theatre and engaging it in contemporary political concerns. Baccar has performed in over twenty of their plays, including major theatrical productions that have been staged worldwide. She has become “a guardian of liberty and an icon for enlightened Tunisians,.”


Jesusa Rodriguez (Mexico) is a director, actor, set designer, and playwright. The most important goal of her theater is the struggle for intellectual, material, and spiritual decolonization of Mexico by unearthing its cultural roots to improve understanding and access to an education that will allow it to develop freely.


Julia Pascal (UK) is a playwright, director, and Artistic Director of Pascal Theatre Company. She focuses on creating spaces for female experience in a radical theatre and her writing reveals epics of war, violence and love as seen through women’s eyes. Specifically, she has revealed hidden Shoah stories, which, apart from Anne Frank, have mainly been dramatized as male experience.


Kate Cherry (Australia) is a director, dramaturge andArtistic Director of the Perth company Black Swan.  She has helmed over 17 world premieres of Australian plays, many of which have toured the main-stages throughout Australia.


Lina Attel (Jordan) is a writer, director, educator, and actress running the Theatre in Education program at the Noor Al-Hussein Foundation since 1987 and since 1989 the National Interactive Theatre Troupe. NITT produces issue-based plays and tours extensively on the national and international level, making theatre a creative, informative experience accessible to all communities.


Linda Wise (France) is a voice teacher, actress and theatre director passionately concerned with a vision of the voice that engages the widest possible perspective on each person’s individuality, She teaches in the National Theatre Schools of Copenhagen, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Scotland and is a visiting teacher at the Limoges and Strasbourg French National Theatre Schools.


Marwa radwan mohamed (Egypt) is a young writer and director both for theatre and TV. She employs the means of comedy, dance and musicals to convey messages empowering to women in a traditional society.


Mihaela Drăgan (Romania) is a Roma theatre artist working in Romania and Hungary. Her companyGiuvlipen (“Womanism/Feminism” in Romani language) focuses on stories of women and girls dealing with the challenges of both a traditional Roma patriarchal culture as well as the discrimination they face from the non-Roma majority.


Nan van Houte (The Netherlands) is the Secretary General of International Network of Contemporary Performing Arts (ietm). Art and social responsibility are at the core of her work, especially in regard to helping oppressed artists, disenfranchised communities, and women around theworld. She has worked in nearly every capacity while doing this: writer,director, dramaturge, advocate, and activist.


 Natalia Kaliada (Belarus) and Belarus Free Theatre tirelessly create theatre that speaks out about political, social and psychological taboos, at great personal risk. The company is currently in exile from Belarus but has achieved international acclaim for their work.


Patricia Benecke (Germany) is a director, writer, translator and producer living in London, working both in Germany and the UK.Her company,Dialogue Productions,encourages culturaldialogue by producing and staging UK premieres of the best ofcontemporary international work.


Sabina Berman (Mexico) is a playwright focused on the struggle against the tyranny of a patriarchy that imposed on her, on other women, on her male friends, and even on animals, a severely restricted range of possible identities; and the theater, that has allowed her to objectify that struggle and to create other, more vital selves.


Sarah Berger (UK) is an actress, director, producer and founder of The So and So Arts Club to pool the talent and resources of actors, writers, directors, designers, musicians, artists and producers and – through networking and club events – to offer support, open doors, and create possibilities.


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