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BWW TV: Watch Laura Osnes & More Perform at SDCF's Mr. Abbott Awards!

Last night Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation (SDCF), the non-for-profit foundation of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC), hosted the annual "Mr. Abbott" Award gala and celebrated the 60th anniversary of SDC.

The celebration began at the Metropolitan Club where James Lapine (2015 "Mr. Abbott" Award winner) presented Victoria Traube with a Special "Mr. Abbott" Award for her extraordinary passion and commitment to, and profound understanding of, the work of directors and choreographers who bring theatre to life.

The SDC 60th Anniversary festivities continued down the street at the French Institute and the Alliance Française (FIAF) hosted by David Hyde Pierce.

The big question of the evening was - What is in the sealed Agnes De Mille letter? On December 2, 1963 Ms. de Mille sent a letter to the Union for safe-keeping, explaining that it contained the outline for a new theatrical work which she described as follows:

"Under separate cover, I am mailing you a manuscript in a sealed envelope. Please file it unopened, with the date carefully noted. It is the outline for a play, and I have no means of copyrighting except this way. The material is eminently stealable and I'm discussing the matter with people of equal ambitions."

The letter - marked "Please file unopened" and sealed with wax was found by SDC staff when the officed moved on March 25, 2015. SDC Member choreographers were selected through a competitive process to create new works that imagine what Ms. de Mille might have had in mind during that turbulent year, which included Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech and the death of President John F. Kennedy.

Jerry Mitchell (2013 "Mr. Abbott" Award winner) directed the tribute performance in honor of Ms. de Mille, one of SDC's legendary founders, featuring premiere commissioned choreography works by SDC Members Al Blackstone, Raja Feather Kelly, Kitty McNamee, Jenn Rose, and Katie Spelman.

Laura Osnes performed both at the Met Club and FIAF, first singing "I Have Confidence" (The Sound of Music) and then "The Heather on the Hill" (Brigadoon) at FIAF.

The many people on hand to pay tribute to Victoria Traube and celebrate SDC's 60th Anniversary included: Event Chairs Philip J. Smith, Robert E. Wankel, Theodore S. Chapin, and Mark Brokaw, who were joined by Mrs. George Abbott and George Abbott's granddaughter Amy Davidson, SDCF Board of Trustees President Sheldon Epps, Kathleen Marshall (2005 "Mr. Abbott" Award winner), Jack O'Brien (2002 "Mr. Abbott" Award winner), Nicole Fosse, Kathryn Grody, Lynne Meadow (2003 "Mr. Abbott" Award winner), Victoria's family, friends and Concord Music Publishing, North America executives Sean Flahaven, Scott Pascucci, Steve Smith and Jake Wisely, and more.

Proceeds from the gala will benefit Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation (SDCF), whose mentorship programs, community forums, and public events develop and promote the creativity and craft of directors and choreographers and foster a cross-generational, National Theatre community.




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