To honor the memory of member Josephine Abady,
the League of Professional Theatre Women
presents an annual award to an emerging director,
producer, or creative director of a work of cultural
diversity who has worked in the professional theater
for at least five years.
Recent award recipients include:
Stephanie Ybarra, an avid fan of her hometown San Antonio Spurs basketball team, still owns – and often wears – a pair of cowboy boots. With almost 15 years of experience under her belt (which matches her boots), Stephanie is currently putting her producing skills to work as Artistic Associate at The Public Theater. When she is not line producing projects such as the Mobile Shakespeare Unit and Public Forum at The Public, she serves as the Program Director for the Cherry Lane’s Mentor Project (and can’t imagine spending her “spare time” any other way). Prior to The Public, Stephanie spent three years up to one ear in scripts and the other ear in spreadsheets as Producing Director of The Playwrights Realm, where she produced early-career playwrights like Anna Ziegler, Jen Silverman, and Gonzalo Rodriguez Risco. She made her New York producing debut in 2007 with the original production of Tarell McCraney’s The Brothers Size at the Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival (directed by Tea Alagic), for which she received the inaugural Producer’s Chair Award from the Foundry Theater. Since then she has produced at HERE Arts Center, Women’s Project, Ars Nova’s A.N.T Fest, Studio 42, and INTAR.
Stephanie started in her native Texas, working in Marketing and Development for Dallas Theater Center and Dallas Children’s Theater, and then spent time in Boston as the Deputy Director of Operations for Citizen Schools. Roles such as Associate Managing Director of New Play Production at Yale Repertory Theatre, Executive Producer of Summer Cabaret 2007 and Interim General Manager for Two River Theater Company round out her tri-state credits. Stephanie is a member of the LXP Producing Collective, an alumni of the Women’s Project 2010-2012 Producer’s Lab, and serves on the board of the Yale Latino Alumni Association. She holds a BFA from Baylor University, an MFA from Yale School of Drama, and a deep belief in the power of the post-it note.
Nicole A. Watson is a freelance director and educator. A former history teacher, she recently directed the 52nd Street Project Teen Ensemble in a production of Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona, which toured to the University of Calgary and the Banff Performing Arts Center. Nicole received a BA in History from Yale and an MA in interdisciplinary studies from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Favorite accomplishments include designing and teaching an interdisciplinary history and playwriting course for high school students at the Museum of the City of New York, directing Derek Walcott’s Ti-Jean and His Brothers and running the 2010 NYC Marathon.