Photo Coverage: LOVE 'N' COURAGE Benefit Honors Elaine Stritch

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The Tony Award-winning actress Elaine Stritch was honored for her "achievements and humanity" at Theater for the New City's 6th annual LOVE 'N' COURAGE benefit for the theater's Emerging Playwrights Program. BroadwayWorld was there to cheer on the beloved icon on her special night.

Co-hosted by playwright and actor Charles Busch and actress Julie Halston, this year's benefit took place at the beautiful National Arts Club (15 Gramercy Park South), on Monday, February 9th, 2009.The evening honoring Ms. Stritch will benefit Theater for the New City's Emerging Playwrights Program, which represents 60 percent of the nearly 40 new plays produced annually by Theater for the New City, giving playwrights a professional forum in which to experiment and develop as theater artists, and introducing fresh ideas and energy into the mainstream of American playwriting.

A legendary performer, Ms. Stitch is best known in recent years for her phenomenally successful Tony Award-winning autobiographical show Elaine Stritch: AT LIBERTY. Her professional stage career spans over six decades, with highlights including Tony-nominated performances in BUS STOP, SAIL AWAY, COMPANY and Edward Albee's A DELICATE BALANCE, as well as in the original Broadway production of WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? Her numerous film and TV appearances include Woody Allen's "September" and "Small Town Crooks," "Monster-in-Law," and the hit series "30 Rock."

Co-host Charles Busch is the writer and star of such plays as the upcoming THE THIRD STORY at MCC, opposite Kathleen Turner, as well as THE LADY IN QUESTION, RED SCARE ON SUNSET, and VAMPIRE LESBIANS OF SODOM, and author of the Tony Award-nominated play THE TALE OF THE ALLERGIST'S WIFE. In addition to co-starring with Mr. Busch in many of his plays, actress/comedienne, Julie Halston's credits include Broadway (HAIRSPRAY, GYPSY, THE WOMEN) and Off-Broadway (THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES, THE MOST FABULOUS STORY EVER TOLD) as well as cabaret, film and TV, including the role of Bitsy Von Muffling on "Sex and the City."

Celebrating its 37th year, Theatre for the New City is a long-running bastion for new theatrical works. Often, talented emerging playwrights find themselves competing for funding with more established writers; Theater for the New City's mission is to offer "love and encouragement" to these struggling artists with its Emerging Playwrights Program, established in 1971. O. Aldon James Jr., head of The National Arts Club, has taken an interest in Theater for the New City's mission, and the organizations are working together to present this year's incarnation of LOVE 'N' COURAGE.

The Emerging Playwrights Program represents 60 percent of the nearly 40 new plays produced annually by Theater for the New City, giving playwrights a professional forum in which to experiment and develop as theater artists, and introducing fresh ideas and energy into the mainstream of American playwriting.

Through the Emerging Playwrights Program, up-and-coming writers meet and have access to experienced designers, directors and performers. The emerging playwright is surrounded by dedicated professionals in an atmosphere of high standards and supportive collaboration. Theater for the New City has an open-door policy towards new work -- considering plays of any style, genre and political thrust -- and reading every script submitted. The company also produces and commissions plays by some of the better-known American playwrights such as Maria Irene Fornes, Rosalyn Drexler, Sam Shepard, Ronald Tavel, Amlin Gray and Harry Kondoleon.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning Theater for the New City is committed to developing and nurturing creative talent in the New York City area. Other programs sponsored by the Theater include the Resident Theater Program, Arts-in-Education Program, Summer Street Theater Tour, and, most recently, the Village Halloween Costume Ball. The Emerging Playwrights Program was founded in 1984 as part of the Resident Theater Program, and seeks to create a space where theater artists have room to develop new visions, free of commercial restraint and pressure. Past productions have included works that include song, dance, music, puppetry, poetry, and epic styles of drama, and have garnered 43 Obie Awards

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Peter James Zielinski As an Equity actor, Peter is photographing the industry from the inside out. He has performed in numerous shows regionally, sung a duet with Richard Chamberlain in the National Tour of "Scrooge," and starred in "The Zoo Project" which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. When not on stage, he can be found photographing headshots and live theatre in NYC, Chicago and LA. As an Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop, he also acts as a retouching artist for photographers city-wide. For more information, please visit: http://www.pjzstudios.com


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