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Estelle Parsons, Tina Howe to Be Honored at 2012 Lilly Awards, 6/4

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On June 4, 2012 Julia Jordan, Theresa Rebeck, Marsha Norman, Tim Sanford, Gary Garrison and The Committee for Recognizing Women in Theatre will present the 3rd Annual Lilly Awards at Playwrights Horizons. Named for playwright Lillian Hellman, The Lilly Awards were created to recognize the extraordinary contributions made by women to the American Theater. Producers, playwrights, actors, designers, and directors will be honored for their continued excellence in the theater community.

“This is an opportunity to congratulate and celebrate the contribution made to the American theatre by spectacularly talented women – often not acknowledged by the theatrical community during the end of season awards. Our honorees have worked hard to set the standard high for all theatre artists, and we feel honored and privileged to acknowledge their significant and profound contributions,” said Marsha Norman.

Receiving lifetime achievement awards this year are actress Estelle Parsons and playwright Tina Howe. Ms. Parsons will receive her Lifetime Achievement award from Frances McDormand and Ms. Howe will receive her award from Robyn Goodman who was the producer of her first play Coastal Disturbances in New York. This year’s honorees include Katori Hall, Cristin Milioti, Sarah Benson, Leslye Headland, Heidi Ettinger, Diane Paulus, and Nina Arianda. The winners will be presented with their awards by the likes of Frances McDormand, David Ives, Tonya Pinkins, Lucas Papaelias, Marin Ireland, Trip Cullman, Robyn Goodman, Marsha Norman, Joyce Ketay, Nina Arianda and other surprise guests.

Ms. Parsons has had a lengthy and successful career, having appeared on television, film, and the stage since the early 1950s. Towards the late 1950's Estelle began acting and appeared in her first stage performance in 1956 for the production of Happy Hunting. Since then, Estelle has gone on to either star in or direct over 25 productions. Most notably, she has been nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her performances in The Seven Descents of Myrtle (1968); And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little (1971); and Miss Margarida's Way (1978). Furthermore, she was nominated for the Tony Award for Featured Actress for her work in Mornings at Seven (2002). She triumphantly returned to Broadway in 2008 as the star of August: Osage County, and subsequently toured Canada and the States. She won the Garland Award in Los Angeles for Best Actress. She also starred in Deathtrap in the West End with Simon Russell Beale. In addition to teaching acting at Columbia and Yale, Estelle Parsons served as the Artistic Director of the Actors' Studio between 1996 and 2001. Film credits include Ladybug, Ladybug (1963), Bonnie & Clyde (1967) Rachel, Rachel (1968), Don't Drink the Water (1969), I Walk the Line (1970), I Never Sang for My Father (1970), Watermelon Man(1970), For Pete's Sake (1974), Dick Tracy (1990), Boys on the Side (1995), and Looking for Richard (1996). Television credits include All in the Family, Roseanne, and HBO’s Empire Falls (2005).

Ms. Howe is the author of The Nest, Birth and After Birth,Museum, The Art of Dining, Painting Churches, Coastal Disturbances, Approaching Zanzibar, One Shoe Off and Pride's Crossing. Her awards include an Obie for Distinguished Playwriting, and Outer Critics Circle Award, a Rockefeller Grant, two NEA Fellowships, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature and two honorary degrees. In 1987, she received a Tony nomination for Best Play (Coastal Disturbances). Ms. Howe has been a visiting professor at Hunter College since 1990 and an adjunct professor at NYU since 1983. Her works can be read in numerous anthologies as well as in Coastal Disturbances: Four Plays by Tina Howe and Approaching Zanzibar and Other Plays, published by Theatre Communications Group.

The Lilly Awards and The Committee for Recognizing Women in Theater were founded in 2010 by Julie Crosby, John Eisner, Gary Garrison, Tina Howe, Julia Jordan, Marsha Norman, Theresa Rebeck, Susan Rose, and Tim Sanford. Their mission is “to celebrate the work of outstanding, successful and up-and-coming women playwrights, directors, designers and advocates for the work of women in the theater.”

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