In April 1999, the League received a bequest from the Lucille Lortel Estate
requesting that a fund be established and maintained by the League to support
The Lucille Lortel Grant with a monetary award given annually to an aspiring
woman in any discipline of theatre who is showing creative promise and deserves
recognition and encouragement. In 2008 an additional award of $1,000 was
awarded as the Lucille Lortel Women’s Visionary Award.
Each year the Lucille Lortel Committee visits theatre productions and makes an
award to an aspiring woman who is showing creative promise and deserving of
recognition and encouragement.
Previous award recipients include:
Katherine Kovner is the artistic director of The Playwrights Realm; an Off Broadway theater dedicated to providing an artistic home for early career playwrights, nurturing them along the journey of playwriting, and helping them build meaningful artistic careers. For The Realm Katherine has directed Crane Story by Jen Silverman, Dov and Ali by Anna Zeigler and Substitution by Anton Dudley. Before founding the Realm in 2007 she was the artistic associate at Classic Stage Company and her directing credits include Elliot: A Soldier’s Fugue by Quiara Alegria Hudes, Iphigenia and Other Daughters by Ellen McLaughlin, Lizardskin by Jen Silverman and Roxy Font by Liza Lentini, which won FringeNYC’s best ensemble award. She has developed work with New York Theater Workshop, Soho Rep, New Dramatists, Classic Stage Company, New Georges and EST. In 2006 Katherine was the directing fellow for The Public Theatre’s Shakespeare Lab, she was a member of the 2008-2009 Soho Rep Writer Director Lab, and she has assisted directors on Broadway, Off-Broadway and in the West-End. A graduate of Brown University, Katherine is a member of the Lincoln Center’s Director Lab and an affiliated artist with New Georges.
Rachel Reiner is the Managing Director of Resonance Ensemble, a theatre company dedicated to producing classic plays and new work inspired by the timelessness and universalism of the classics. Her production company, RachelReiner Productions LLC, has also produced numerous plays off-Broadway. Additionally, she is the Senior Manager of Membership Services and Education Programs at The Broadway League, where she has worked since 1996. Rachelgraduated summa cum laude from the Theatre Department at Brandeis University and is Chair of the New York City Alumni Performing Arts Network. She served a two-year term as co-President of the League of Professional Theatre Women (2009-2011), and has been co-Secretary, co-producer of the New Play Festival, and chair of the Networking Committee.
Jessica Burr is the Artistic Director of Blessed Unrest, an ensemble-based experimental theatre company she co-founded in 1999. For Blessed Unrest she has directed ArtCamp SexyTime FootBall, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Nick (a new translation and adaptation of Chekhov’s Ivanov by Laura Wickens), Doruntine (with Florent Mehmeti of Teatri Oda, Kosovo, in New York and on tour in the Balkans), Measure for Measure and Suzan-Lori Parks’365Days/365Plays. Other directing credits include Pericles, Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, and The Love of Don Perlimplin and Belisa in the Garden. Burr graduated from Bard College in 1996 and became a traveling street performer, living and working on sidewalks from Scotland to Morocco with handmade masks and original pieces Layla and Majnun and Zulieka’s Love. After a year spent teaching in Poland, she returned to New York City and founded Blessed Unrest with Matt Opatrny, her co-producer and partner. Burr lives in Hell’s Kitchen with Matt and their daughter Evelyn.
Blessed Unrest uses the safe structure of training, rehearsal and performance to create an environment where dangerous things can happen. We are a non-profit, experimental theatre company based in New York City and have been generating original work since 1999. Blessed Unrest is the resident company at the Interart Theatre on West 52nd Street in Manhattan. We have also performed at P.S. 122, the Public Theater, NYU’s Loewe Theater, Columbia University, and Manhattan School of Music. Internationally we collaborate with Teatri Oda, an independent company based in Prishtina, Kosova, and have toured together in Kosova, Macedonia and Albania. We received the 2008 New York Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Production of a Play.