National Theatre Conference To Honor Nottage, Drury, and Oregon Shakespeare Fest at The Players Club, 12/6

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National Theatre Conference To Honor Nottage, Drury, and Oregon Shakespeare Fest at The Players Club, 12/6The National Theatre Conference (NTC), an organization founded in 1925 that meets annually in New York to discuss relevant issues in today's theatre community and to celebrate outstanding achievement in the American theatre, has named the recipients of its 2013 awards. Playwright Lynn Nottage (photo left) has been named Person of the Year; the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, under the artistic direction of Bill Rauch (photo bottom), is the recipient of the Theatre of the Year Award; and playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury (photo below) has been selected as the winner of the Barrie and Bernice Stavis Playwright Award. All three will be honored and presented with their awards and hold discussions with the membership at The Players club during NTC's annual meeting in New York, December 6-8, 2013.

In addition, the weekend will include a celebration of NTC's Women Playwrights Initiative. Created in 2010 by an NTC committee, which included playwright Robert Schenkkan, the Initiative challenged NTC membership to take part in a three-year program in which their theatres would include at least one full production of a play each year by a woman playwright. The success of this challenge will be discussed, as well as the Initiative's next steps, during Friday's session at The Public Theatre. The afternoon will also feature a panel moderated by Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Alison Carey with NTC members, scholar Jill S. Dolan, playwright Caridad Svich, along with playwrights Tanya Barfield, Lisa Kron, and The Public's Literary Manager Elizabeth Frankel. Representatives of the various stage unions and women organizations will also be joining NTC membership audience. In addition, earlier that day at the Players, NTC member Julie Crosby (Artistic Director, Women's Project) will be moderating a discussion with directors Pam McKinnon, Diane Paulus, and Leigh Silverman.

National Theatre Conference To Honor Nottage, Drury, and Oregon Shakespeare Fest at The Players Club, 12/6Winners of the Outstanding Theatre Award and the Stavis Playwright Award each receive an honorarium of $1,000. In addition, the artistic director of the Theatre of the Year is given the opportunity to select an Outstanding Emerging Professional, and Bill Rauch chose director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar. Similarly, the Person of the Year winner picks the annual Paul Green Foundation Award recipient who is also awarded to an emerging talent. Ms. Nottage chose young playwright Chisa Hutchinson. Both of these awards also include a $1,000 honorarium.

National Theatre Conference To Honor Nottage, Drury, and Oregon Shakespeare Fest at The Players Club, 12/6Announcing this year's awards, NTC President Cindy Phaneuf, an Issacson Professor of Theatre at the University of Nebraska/Omaha, said, "These awards recognize excellence at all stages of a professional career in the theatre. We are thrilled to honor the outstanding contributions of these theatre artists and look forward to seeing their future creative work."

The National Theatre Conference is an organization founded in 1925 that meets annually in New York City to celebrate outstanding achievement in the American Theatre. Membership is strictly limited to no more than 150 leaders from the professional and academic theatre that serve as a "think tank" dedicated to the continued development of theatre in this country. In addition to awards recognizing and celebrating excellence in the theatre, the NTC has worked actively to promote positive change in the theatre.

For more information, contact Sherry Eaker at sherry@sherryeaker.com; or call 917-239-5467. For information regarding the National Theatre Conference, go to www.national theatreconference.org.

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Stephen Hanks During more than 30 years as a magazine publisher/editor/writer for a variety of national magazines and websites, Stephen Hanks has written about sports, health and nutrition, parenting, politics, the media, and most recently, musical theater, and cabaret. While by day, Stephen is the Advertising Sales Director for Habitat Magazine (a publication covering life in New York Metro area co-ops and condos), by night he writes reviews and columns about New York City cabaret for BroadwayWorld.com. Stephen also writes feature stories about cabaret for Cabaret Scenes Magazine. From 2010 to mid-2014, he served as the first Board President of Manhattan Musical Theatre Lab, which workshops new musicals in New York City (he is now a member of the MMTL Advisory Board. Stephen is also the founder, producer and director of the Broadway Musical Fantasy Camp, which is a workshop for amateur performers that rehearses and presents staged readings of classic Broadway Musicals. In 2011, Stephen was an Associate Producer for the Off-Broadway show THE FARTISTE. In 2013-14, Stephen staged his debut solo cabaret show, "Beyond American Pie: The Don McLean Songbook" at the Metropolitan Room in New York. Please contact Stephen with your comments and questions at: stephenhanks41@gmail.com