Christopher Durang & Stephen Sultan to be Honored at Primary Stages' Annual Gala, 11/11

Primary Stages has announced that their annual Gala will take place Monday, November 11, 2013 at The Edison Ballroom (240 W. 47th Street). The event will honor Tony Award-winning playwright Christopher Durang and President of the General Counsel at Dramatists Play Service, Stephen Sultan. The Gala Chairs are Catherine Adler and HBO. The Tony nominated star of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Kristine Nielsen, will offer a tribute to Mr. Durang. Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright John Patrick Shanley will offer a tribute to Mr. Sultan. The evening will feature performances by Rachel deBenedet (Catch Me If You Can, Addams Family), Alan Paul (Grease, Oliver!, Manhattan Transfer), Michele Ragusa (Urinetown, Ragtime, A Class Act, Adrift in Macao), and Alton F. White (The Color Purple, The Lion King, Ragtime).

"Primary Stages created the Commitment to New Plays Award to spotlight individuals who have made it a major focus of their careers to champion new plays and new playwrights," says Casey Childs. "Since its inception, we have honored such luminaries of the American theater as Terrence McNally, Stephen Sondheim, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Wendy Wasserstein, Harvey Fierstein, and A.R. Gurney, among others."

Christopher Durang won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play for his Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. His plays include Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You, Beyond Therapy, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, Betty's Summer Vacation, and Miss Witherspoon. Since 1994, he and Marsha Norman have been co-chairs of the Playwriting Program at the Julliard School.

Stephen Sultan has been President and General Counsel at Dramatists Play Service, Inc. for the past 21 years. During that time, the company has acquired 17 Pulitzer Prize winning and 16 Tony Award winning plays. He has been a great advocate and supporter of emerging playwrights throughout his tenure at DPS.

For more information or to purchase, call Primary Stages at 212-840-9705 or visit Premier Sponsor Tables are $25,000; Platinum Tables are $15,000; Gold Tables are $10,000; Silver Tables are $7,500; Bronze Tickets are $1,000; and Individual tickets are $500.

Primary Stages is an Off-Broadway theater company dedicated to inspiring, supporting, and sharing the art of playwriting. We operate on the strongly held belief that the future of American theater relies on nurturing playwrights and giving them the artistic support needed to create new work. Since our founding in 1984, we have produced more than 100 new plays, including David Ives' All in the Timing (both the original 1993 production and 2013 revival); Kate Fodor's Rx; Charles Busch's Olive and the Bitter Herbs; A.R. Gurney's Black Tie; Horton Foote's Harrison, TX and Dividing the Estate (Two 2009 Tony Award nominations); Brooke Berman's Hunting and Gathering (one of New York Magazine's Top Ten Plays of 2008); Terrence McNally's Dedication or the Stuff of Dreams (starring Nathan Lane and Marian Seldes) and The Stendhal Syndrome (featuring Isabella Rossellini and Richard Thomas); Danai Gurira and Nikkole Salter's In the Continuum (which went on to tour the U.S., Africa, and Scotland); and Conor McPherson's St. Nicholas (which marked the playwright's U.S. debut). In 2008, Primary Stages was honored with the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work, which encompasses much more than the plays we produce for the stage. Primary Stages supports playwrights and develops new works through commissions, workshops, readings, and our education and training programs: The Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group, the Marvin and Anne Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA), and the Fordham/Primary Stages MFA in Playwriting. Through these programs, Primary Stages advocates for our artists, helping them make important-and often transformative-connections within the theater community.

Photo by Walter McBride

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