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2017 LPTW Awards Celebration & Big Mingle!

March 31, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 10:00 pm

The 2017 LPTW Awards Celebration & Big Mingle was a huge success, with the awards at the TimesCenter (with thanks to Prospect Theater Company) and the Mingle directly afterward at Sardi’s, sponsored by Planet Connections.

Despite the torrential rain, a fabulous time was had by all, with eloquent speeches, heartfelt gratitude, and beautiful music. The entire event was produced and directed by our VP of Programming, Shellen Lubin, with performances directed by Cara Reichel.

Congratulations to Catherine Porter, who was our Big Mingle raffle winner! Thank you to Wilburton Inn and the Williamstown Theatre Festival for their raffle donations.

Luminary of stage and screen, the electric actress Tamara Tunie, known to many for her work on Law & Order: SVU, hosted the LPTW’s 2017 Awards Celebration & Big Mingle on Friday, March 31st at The TimesCenter in New York City.

Prolific playwright and creator of TV’s Smash, Theresa Rebeck and ten-time Tony Award-winning Broadway producer  Daryl Roth opened the evening with inspirational speeches. They are the LPTW’s new Advisory Council Co-Chairs.


Costume designer and Tony Award-winner for A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Linda Cho is honored by the LPTW with the Ruth Morley Award for Design, presented by her collaborator of 20 years and 50 projects, Tony Award-winning director and Artistic Director of Hartford Stage, Darko Tresnjak.

Zainab Jah, star of last season’s Broadway hit Eclipsed, presents longtime colleague and Tony-nominated director Liesl Tommy with the Lee Reynolds Award on behalf of the LPTW. She also read a speech from playwright Lynn Nottage honoring Ms. Tommy.
MacArthur genius playwright Branden Jacob-Jenkins presents his colleague and friend of twenty years, brilliant director Lileana Blain-Cruz, with the Josephine Abady Award on behalf of the LPTW.
The bright and accomplished Emily Simoness is presented with the LPTW Lucille Lortel Visionary Award, presented by playwrights and SPACE at Ryder Farm alumni: Mfoniso Udofia, Clare Barron, and Samuel Hunter.


Neil Pepe, Artistic Director of the Atlantic Theatre Company, presents director-on-the-rise Jess Chayes of The Assembly, with the LPTW Lucille Lortel Award.


Legendary composer/songwriter Carol Hall, known for songs like Jenny Rebecca and Hard Candy Christmas, as well as the musical Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, was moved as she accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award from the LPTW, presented by friend and colleague Julie Gilbert, pictured left. Carol’s husband is pictured right.


LPTW Board (Left to Right):
First Row: Judith Binus, Co-President Carmel Owen, Erica Silberman, Big Mingle Producer & VP of Programming Shellen Lubin, Melody Brooks, Elyse Singer. Second Row: Jane Dubin, Treasurer Catherine Porter, Co-President Lisa Rothe, Frances McGarry Third Row: Sophia Romma, Secretary Ludovica Villar-Hauser, VP of Membership Kelli Lynn Harrison, Martha Steketee, Yana Landowne.


LPTW Board Members (Continued, Left to Right):

Front Row:  Melody Brooks, Pat Addiss, Frances McGarry, Judith  Binus. Second Row: Treasurer Catherine Porter, Erica Silberman, Jane Dubin, VP of Communications Kimberly Loren Eaton, Elyse Singer and Sophia Romma. Third Row: Yana Landowne, Former Co-President Lorca Peress, Secretary Ludovica Villar-Hauser, VP of Membership Kelli Lynn Harrison, Awards Nominating Committee Member Cara  Reichel, and Martha Wade Steketee.


LPTW Board Members, mingling (Left to right): VP of Communications Kimberly Loren Eaton, Co-President Lisa Rothe, and former Board Member Jenny Lyn Bader.


(Left to right) LPTW member Stella Berg, LPTW Co-Secretary Frances McGarry, and LPTW Networking Salon Chair Katherine Elliot enjoy a moment at the Big Mingle.


Broadway Producer and ten-time Tony Award-winner Daryl Roth shares sage advice with the LPTW in her role as Co-Chair of the Advisory Council.


Actresses Jocelyn Bioh and Lynette Freeman mingle with other theatre women at Sardi’s following the awards ceremony.


LPTW Board Secretary Ludovica Villar-Hauser, LPTW Board Member Margot Astrachan, and Actress Elizabeth Jasicki at Sardi’s.

CLICK HERE to read about the event on Theater Pizzazz

CLICK HERE to read our article on DC Metro Theater Arts




Hosted by Tamara Tunie

Theresa Rebeck & Daryl Roth,
Advisory Council Co-Chairs

Carol Hall 
The Lifetime Achievement Award
Presented by Julie Gilbert

Lileana Blain-Cruz
The Josephine Abady Award
Presented by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

Jess Chayes
The LPTW Lucille Lortel Award
Presented by Neil Pepe

Emily Simoness
The LPTW Lucille Lortel Visionary Award
Presented by Madeleine George and Mfoniso Udofia

Linda Cho
The Ruth Morley Design Award
Presented by Darko Tresnjak

Liesl Tommy
The Lee Reynolds Award
Presented by Lynn Nottage

A little something about the awardees:

Carol Hall -LTACAROL HALL (Composer-Lyricist-Playwright)

Carol Hall’s songs have been performed by such extraordinary singers as Tony Bennett, Barbara Cook, Barbra Streisand, Chita Rivera, Mabel Mercer, Marlo Thomas, RuPaul, Frederica von Stade, Kermit the Frog and Big Bird. Her Broadway musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas won two Drama Desk Awards, a Grammy nomination for its cast album and became a popular film starring Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton. Dolly’s recording of Carol’s song “Hard Candy Christmas” generated an ASCAP “Most Performed Country Song” Award. Recently, Cyndi Lauper recorded it with Alison Krauss, and this season, Reba McEntire included the song in her “My Kind of Christmas” CD. The song is listed among “The Best Christmas Songs Ever.” WHOREHOUSE continues to be one of the most endearing and popular musicals performed around the world.

Other theater scores are: Good Sports (Goodspeed Opera,)  Are We There Yet? (Williamstown Theater Festival,) To Whom It May Concern (Off-Broadway) and (lyrics) Paper Moon (Paper Mill Playhouse,) and, most recently, lyrics for a musical based on Truman Capote’s classic story A Christmas Memory (book: Duane Poole, music: Larry Grossman.) A particular joy of Carol’s is writing for children. For ten years, she wrote for Sesame Street and was one of the major contributors to Marlo Thomas’ ground-breaking “Free to Be… You and Me”  (Emmy Award, Gold album). Her first non-musical work, The Days are As Grass, is licensed by Samuel French. Hall is a Lifetime Member of the Dramatists Guild Council and a major supporter of the Dramatists Guild Fund.  www.carolhall.net

Lileana Blain Cruz HeadshotLILEANA BLAIN-CRUZ

(Theatre Director)

Recent projects include Suzan Lori-Parks’  The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World (Signature Theater), a devised production of SALOME (LMCC on Governor’s Island, Jack)Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins War (LCT3, Yale Rep), Alice Birch’s Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again (Soho Rep),  Lucas Hnath’s Red Speedo (New York Theater Workshop), Much Ado About Nothing (Oregon Shakespeare Festival);  Christina Anderson’s Hollow Roots  (Under the Radar Festival at The Public Theater); a new translation of The Bakkhai (Fisher Center of Performing Arts at Bard College); A Guide to Kinship and Maybe Magic, a collaboration with Jacobs-Jenkins and choreographer Isabel Lewis (Dance New Amsterdam). MFA Yale School of Drama. Upcoming projects include Henry IV Part 1 at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Bluest Eye at the Guthrie, and Dominique Morrisseau’s Pipeline at Lincoln Center.

JJess Chayes-November 18, 20164129ESS CHAYES (Theatre Director)

Jess is a Brooklyn-based director and founding co-artistic director of The Assembly, with whom she has co-created and directed eight original productions, including I Will Look Forward To This Later (New Ohio Theater/IRT Theater Archive Residency) and HOME/SICK (NY Times and Backstage Critics’ Pick). Recent directing includes Half Moon Bay (Lesser America), Primal Play (New Georges), The Bachelors (Williamstown Theater Festival), The Sister (Dutch Kills), and The Netflix Plays (Ars Nova). She has developed new work with The Vineyard Theatre, The Playwrights Center and New York Theatre Workshop, among others. Jess is a NYTW Usual Suspect, a co-founder of The New Georges Jam artists’ lab, and alum of The Civilians R&D Group and the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab. Associate Director on Peter and the Starcatcher (Brooks Atkinson Theater and New World Stages) and Misery (Broadhurst Theater). www.jesschayes.com

Emily - visionaryEMILY SIMONESS (Executive Director) 

Emily is an entrepreneur, teacher, facilitator, motivational speaker and the founder and Executive Director of SPACE on Ryder Farm, a nonprofit artist residency program committed to supporting and developing artists and activists and their work. Housed on 130 acres of organic farmland in Brewster, NY, SPACE has quickly become one of the premier centers for new play development in the country. Additionally, she has developed and taught curriculum for The North Carolina School of the Arts and NYU. In ‘13, she was the chief of staff for the Beijing International Screenwriting Competition. In ‘15 she gave a talk at TEDx Broadway. Emily holds a BFA from UNCSA where she is the inaugural Kenan Arts Research Fellow. She’s on the Advisory Board of the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation and is on the Board of Directors for Ryder Farm Inc., the entity that owns Ryder Farm. www.spaceonryderfarm.org

Linda Cho -morleyLINDA CHO (Costume Designer)

Among her successes in theater have been the Broadway productions of A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder (Tony Award), The Velocity of Autumn, and the upcoming new musical Anastasia. Off-Broadway: Theatre for a New Audience; Manhattan Theatre Club; Second Stage; The Public; Classic Stage Company; Atlantic Theater Company. Regional: Hartford Stage; Long Wharf; The Old Globe; Berkeley Rep; La Jolla Playhouse; Arena Stage; The Guthrie; The Goodman; Chicago Shakespeare Theater; ACT (San Francisco); Oregon Shakespeare Festival; Williamstown Theatre Festival; Goodspeed. Opera: Los Angeles Opera; Virginia Opera; Opera Theatre of St. Louis. International: The Stratford Shakespeare Festival; The Royal Shakespeare Company; Canadian Stage Company. Member of United Scenic Artists Local 829 and the proud recipient of the Irene Sharaff Young Master Award. She received her MFA from the Yale School of Drama, her undergraduate degree from McGill University, and a Certificate of Fine Arts and Fashion from the Paris American Academy.


LieselLIESL TOMMY (Theatre Director)

Leisl is an award-winning stage director. Her credits include the Broadway and Public Theater productions of Danai Gurira’s Eclipsed, starring Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o (Tony Award Nomination for Best Director), Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s Appropriate at the Signature Theatre, and Tracey Scott Wilson’s The Good Negro at the Public Theater. World premieres also include: Kid Victory, Party People, A Melancholy Play. Other credits: The Good Negro, The Urban Retreat, Les Misérables, Hamlet, A Raisin in the Sun, The Piano Lesson, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Ruined. She has worked at DTC, California Shakespeare Theater, Center Stage, Sundance East Africa, among others. Tommy is ssociate Director at Berkeley Rep and serves as a Program Associate and Artist Trustee at Sundance Institute Theatre Program. She facilitated the inaugural Sundance East Africa Theatre Director’s Lab. Awards: Obie Award, Lucille Lortel Award, Pioneer of the Arts Award, Lillian Hellman Award, Alan Schneider Award, Susan Stroman Award, an NEA/TCG Directors Grant, and NYTW Casting/Directing Fellowship.



March 31, 2017
6:30 pm - 10:00 pm