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Audra McDonald to Present Zoe Caldwell with Lifetime Achievement Award at LPTW's 2014 Awards Celebration, 3/10

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On Monday, March 10, 2014, the League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW), a not-for-profit organization committed to promoting visibility and increasing opportunities for women in the professional theatre, is pleased to recognize the talents of six outstanding women: Zoe Caldwell, Judith Dolan, Joanna Sherman, Sondra Gorney, Meiyin Wang and Katherine Kovner. The awards will be presented at the League's 2014 Awards Celebration & Big Mingle Reception to be held at 6:30 pm on Monday, March 10 at The Irene Diamond Stage (The Pershing Square Signature Center, 480 West 42nd Street) featuring emcee Tamara Tunie. Tickets to attend the awards ceremony and reception are $100 for members, $135 for non-members, a VIP ticket which includes premium seating is $250, and are available online at

In connection to the Awards, LPTW is running an online Auction. Tyne Daly is the Auction Celebrity Chair; Pat Addiss and Mari Lyn Henry are the Co-Chairs. The auction runs from February 17 - March 13, 2014 at Special prizes include tickets to the new Broadway production of Terrence McNally's Mothers and Sons starring Tyne Daly, a backstage tour and meeting Ms. Daly after the show. Also, Kinky Boots tickets with a backstage tour, and other Unique experiences.

Four time Tony Award(c)-winner Zoe Caldwell will be presented with The Lifetime Achievement Award by Tony Award(c)-winner Audra McDonald.

The Ruth Morley Design Award was initiated in 1998 in honor of costume designer Ruth Morley, one of the profession's leading designers for theatre and film who also served on the LPTW Board of Directors. It is given annually to an outstanding female theatre designer in the field of costumes, scenery, lighting, or special effects. This year the award will be presented by Gregory Boyd to Judith Dolan, Tony Award(c)-winning costume designer.

A one-time special award will honor actor, author and League member Sondra Gorney for her dedication to the values and the mission of the League of Professional Theatre Women. It will be presented by MaryMiko.

In April 1999, the LPTW received a bequest from the Lucille Lortel estate to establish a fund which would be given annually to "an aspiring woman in any discipline of theatre who is showing great creative promise and deserves recognition and encouragement." This year's award will be given to Katherine Kovner, Artistic Director of The Playwrights Realm.

The Lee Reynolds Award, in memory of producer and League member LeeReynolds, is given annually to a woman or women active in any aspect of theatre whose work through the medium of theatre has helped to illuminate the possibilities for social, cultural or political change. Joanna Sherman, Artistic Director of Bond Street Theatre, will be presented with the award by Cynthia P. Schneider.

The Abady Award is given in memory of Josephine R. Abady, a stage and artistic director, and leader of the nonprofit theatre movement in the United States. The award is given annually to a woman emerging theatre artist who has created work of cultural diversity. This year's recipient is Meiyin Wang, Director of the Devised Theater initiative and Co-Director of the Under the Radar Festival at The Public Theater. She will be presented with the award by Susan Feldman.

An additional award, the Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award, established in 2011 by LPTW, will be given to Patricia Ariza of Colombia who for almost half a century has brought about social change and a greater recognition of the rights of women through her work as a theatre director, playwright, dramaturg and producer. Ms. Ariza will be presented with the award at a special event on October 27, 2014 at the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center/CUNY in NYC.

ZOE CALDWELL began her professional career at the age of nine playing Slightly Soiled in Peter Pan. Since then she has been a member of many of the great companies of the Western World. After establishing herself in her native Australia as a young actress, she was invited to join the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon for three seasons, playing Bianca in the 1959 production of Othello, starring Paul Robeson; the indomitable Helena opposite Dame Edith Evans in All's Well That Ends Well; and Cordelia to Charles Laughton's Lear. In the years that followed she was invited to be a founding member of the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, and she performed extensively at the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario, where, among numerous
other roles, she played Cleopatra to Christopher Plummer's Antony --the cornerstone of her career. From there it was on to New York, where she has spent the majority of her professional life. To her credit are four Tony Awards(c), for Slapstick Tragedy, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Medea, and Master Class; an OBIE; and a book, I Will Be Cleopatra, published by W.W. Norton. In 2003, she doffed her bonnet to Chancellor of the University of Melbourne and was made an honorary Doctor of Laws. She most recently appeared in the feature film Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, directed by Stephen Daldry, and in the one-woman show Elective Affinities, written by David Adjmi.

JUDITH DOLAN, costume designer, has designed internationally for numerous companies, including Dublin's Abbey Theatre, Theatre Clwyd in Wales, The Acting Company, The Shakespeare Theatre, Goodman Theatre, the Irish Theatre Company, London's Menier Chocolate Factory, Houston Grand Opera, New York City Opera, the National Theatre of Romania, and the Old Globe Theatre, among others. At Houston's Alley Theatre, where she is currently Associate Artist, her work includes You Can't Take It with You, The Seafarer, Harvey, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Arsenic and Old Lace, The Glass Menagerie, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Macbeth, As You Like It, and Theresa Rebeck's new play, Fool. Dolan has collaborated with Harold Prince on many productions on and Off-Broadway including Candide (Tony Award), The Petrified Prince (Lucille Lortel Award) and LoveMusik, with music by Kurt Weill, as well as Parade and Hollywood Arms (by Carol Burnett and Carrie Hamilton). Other credits include Lewis and Clark Reach the Euphrates and Travesties, both directed by Gregory Boyd. She has an M.F.A. in Costume Design and a Ph.D. in Directing and Design from Stanford University. Dolan is a Professor in the Department of Theater and Dance at the University of California, San Diego.

SONDRA GORNEY performed on the radio and in theatre as a young actor, singer and dancer, notably in Federal Theatre productions in Chicago and throughout the Midwest. Later, in New York City, she acted in radio dramas and also interviewed celebrities, eventually becoming an editor and writer for PIC Magazine, a national news publication. PIC sent her to Hollywood as Associate Editor, and there she met and married Jay Gorney, a producer, writer and composer. Together they produced several editions of the musical revue Meet the People. They also established the first musical play department at the Dramatic Workshop and the American Theatre Wing Professional Training Program. After a long career as a public relations director for non-profit organizations and corporations, Ms. Gorney returned to the theatre as an actor, appearing in several Off-Broadway productions and on television. She has written a well-received biography of her late husband, Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? - The Life of Composer Jay Gorney, published by Scarecrow Press in 2005 and available on-line at or Sponsored by the late Madeline Lee Gilford and by Betty Corwin, Ms. Gorney became a member of the League of Professional Theatre Women during the 1990s. "Jay had died," she
recalls, "and I was alone and needed something to fill my days." She has been an active member and supporter of the League ever since.

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.

JOANNA SHERMAN is the Artistic Director of Bond Street Theatre. As director, choreographer, musician and actor, she has participated in company performances and projects globally. The company primarily works in post-war and disadvantaged communities, collaborating with local artists, and working for the benefit of women, children and others through theatre. Current focus areas: Afghanistan, Haiti, Myanmar, Lebanon. Ms. Sherman has directed and taught internationally, and is a frequent speaker and advocate for Theatre for Social Development. Under her directorship, the company received a MacArthur Award for its intercultural programming. She has been an advocate and speaker on the role of the arts in peacebuilding at the United Nations, National Council on Women, Association of Performing Arts Presenters, UN Conference on Women in China, universities, and other forums, and featured on CNN, BBC, NPR, Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and published in American Theatre magazine. Ms. Sherman has a BFA from Cooper Union, and an MA in Theatre & International Studies from New York University. Ms. Sherman also plays saxophone with the Shinbone Alley Stilt Band.

MEIYIN WANG is the Director of the Devised Theater initiative and the Co-Director of the Under the Radar Festival at The Public Theater. She has been at The Public since 2006, where she held various positions, including Associate Artistic Producer of Under the Radar, which presents new and cutting-edge theatrical work from the U.S. and abroad. Working alongside Festival Co-Director Mark Russell, she has produced seven international symposiums, overseen the presentation of over one hundred productions from over 15 countries, and supported artists and companies such as Nature Theater of Oklahoma, Reggie Watts, Elevator Repair Service, and Young Jean Lee. She was the lead curator of ArtsEmerson's TNT Festival 2013, and was an associate producer of Radar L.A. 2011. She has served on numerous local and national arts panels including Association of Performing Arts Presenters, National Endowment for the Arts, Jerome Foundation, Yale, NYFA, MAP Fund and Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. She is a recipient of the Theatre Communications Group's Nathan Cummings Foundation Young Leader of Color award and is part of the TCG network of inter generational leaders of color. Born and raised in Singapore, Meiyin served as resident playwright and director with Singapore Repertory Theatre before moving to New York. As a theater-maker she has directed at venues including Singapore Repertory Theater, HERE, ClassicStage, Berkeley Rep, Long Beach Opera, Joe's Pub, and is a MAPFund recipient. She studied Political Science and Theater Studies at Yale, and holds an M.F.A in Directing from Columbia University

The Pershing Square Signature Center, the permanent home of Signature Theatre, is a three-theatre facility on West 42nd Street designed by Frank Gehry Architects to host Signature's three distinct playwrights' residencies and foster a cultural community. The Center is a major contribution to New York City's cultural landscape and provides a venue for cultural organizations that supports and encourages collaboration among artists throughout the space. In addition to itsmthree intimate theatres, the Center features a studio theatre, rehearsal studio, a bookstore, and Signature Café and Bar, open to public from noon-midnight Tuesdays - Sundays. For more information on renting the Center, please visit

The League of Professional Theatre Women is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. It presents numerous events each year as part of its mission to promote visibility and increase opportunities for women in the field. None of its work is possible without generous philanthropic support. The League recently celebrated its thirtieth
anniversary, and boasts a membership of nearly 500 women theatre professionals in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. League members are actors, administrators, agents, arrangers, casting directors, choreographers, company managers, composers, critics, designers, directors, dramaturges, dramatists, educators, general managers, historians, journalists, librettists, lyricists, press agents, playwrights, producers, stage managers, and theatre technicians. To find out more about how you can support its endeavors, please visit the website and click on the"Support Us" tab.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride

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