Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Click Here for More Articles on LOVE NEVER DIES

Crowley, Long Receive TDF/Irene Sharaff Award 3/27

Legendary designers William Ivey Long and Bob Crowley are among the four recipients of 2009 TDF/Irene Sharaff Awards to be presented at a ceremony this Friday, March 27 at 6:30pm, at the Hudson Theatre (145 West 44th Street).

Five-time Tony Award winning costume designer William Ivey Long will receive the 2009 TDF/Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award for theatrical costume design, and, for his achievements as both a costume and scenic designer, Bob Crowley (also a five-time Tony Award winner) will receive the TDF/Irene Sharaff Awards' special Robert L. B. Tobin Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatrical Design.

In addition to Mr. Long's TDF/Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award and Mr. Crowley's Robert L.B. Tobin Award for Lifetime Achievement, costume designer Clint Ramos will receive the TDF/Irene Sharaff Young Master Award, and famed theatre craftsman/designer Sally Ann Parsons will receive the TDF/Irene Sharaff Artisan Award.

In honor of the 15th Anniversary of the awards, there will be a special memorial tribute to legendary designer Irene Sharaff, for whom the awards are named. A 15-minute film, created by designer Suzy Benzinger, on The Life of Irene Sharaff will be screened at the ceremony.

Mr. Ivey's award will be presented to him by director Jerry Zaks, with whom he's collaborated on over 20 productions since 1989 including Smokey Joe's Cafe, Lend Me a Tenor and the revivals of La Cage aux Folles and Little Shop of Horrors. Mr. Crowley's award will be presented to him by director Jack O'Brien, with whom he collaborated on Tom Stoppard's The Coast of Utopia trilogy. Mr. Ramos will have his award presented by legendary actress Roberta Maxwell, and Ms. Parsons will have her award presented by 2-time Tony Award winning costume designer Willa Kim.

Throughout her long and distinguished career, elegance and an attention to detail were the trademarks of costume designer Irene Sharaff. Miss Sharaff was revered as a designer of enormous depth and intelligence, equally secure with both contemporary and period costumes. Her work exemplified the best of costume design. Such excellence is demonstrated by the winners of the 2009 TDF/Irene Sharaff Awards, who were selected by the TDF Costume Collection's Advisory Committee. The TDF/Irene Sharaff Awards are presented through Theatre Development Fund's Costume Collection.

William Ivey Long (TDF/Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award) a native North Carolinian with deep theatrical roots. Both of his parents were theatre educators, and he spent his childhood summers in Manteo, North Carolina, where his family worked at Paul Green's outdoor drama, The Lost Colony. William designed his first costume at the age of 5, which was an Elizabethan Ruff for his dog. This summer will mark his 39th season with the show, where he has served as Production Designer since 1988. Last season he designed and created over one thousand new costumes for the production after the entire costume shop was destroyed by a fire. William earned a BA in history from the College of William and Mary, was a Kress Fellow in Art History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and then earned an MFA in stage design from Yale University School of Drama.

The Broadway production of 9 to 5 will mark William's 58th Broadway show. Currently he has Chicago now its in 12th year on Broadway, and Happiness at Lincoln Center. Other credits include Pal Joey; Young Frankenstein; Curtains; Grey Gardens (Tony Award); Sweet Charity; A Streetcar Named Desire; La Cage aux Follies (Hewes Award); The Frogs; The Boy from Oz; Hairspray (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Awards); The Producers (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Awards); The Music Man; Contact (Hewes Award); Smokey Joe's Café; Crazy for You (Tony, Outer Critics Circle Awards); Six Degrees of Separation; Lend Me a Tenor (Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Awards) and Nine (Tony, Drama Desk, Maharam Awards). Upcoming projects include the national tour of Dreamgirls. His film credits include: The Producers: The Movie Musical; Chop Suey; The Cutting Edge; Curtain Call; and Life with Mickey, as well as a music video for The Pet Shop Boys.

He designed the world premiere of Leonard Bernstein's opera A Quiet Place paired with Trouble in Tahiti and has designed productions at the Vienna State Opera, La Scala, Houston Grand Opera, San Francisco Opera, and the Kennedy Center. In the world of dance, he has designed for Lynne Taylor Corbett, Garth Fagan, Robert LaFosse, Peter Martins, David Parsons, Susan Stroman, Paul Taylor, and Twyla Tharp. He dressed Mick Jagger for the Rolling Stones' Steel Wheels tour, designed the costumes for Siegfried and Roy at the Mirage Hotel, The Pointer Sisters at Caesar's Palace, as well as clothes for Christine Ebersole, Hugh Jackman, Liza Minnelli, Natasha Richardson, and Joan Rivers.

William has received 12 Tony Award nominations for his work, and has won 5 times. He has also received The North Carolina Award for Fine Arts, and holds honorary degrees from The College of William and Mary, The University of North Carolina at Asheville, and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. William is president of the Eastern Seaboard Trust, a 501-C-3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the economic revitalization and historic preservation of his hometown of Seaboard, North Carolina. He was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 2005.

Bob Crowley (Robert L. B. Tobin Award for Lifetime Achievement) has been nominated for 12 Tony Awards and won five times for Best Scenic Designer (Mary Poppins, The Coast of Utopia, The History Boys, Aida and Carousel). Bob Crowley is not only a scenic and costume designer, but also a director. He began his career at The National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company during the 1980s. In England he has designed over 20 productions for The National Theatre and over 25 for the Royal Shakespeare Company as well as noted productions at the Donmar Warehouse and The Almeida Theatre.

In New York, Mr. Crowley has had a long association with the Lincoln Center Theater where his work was seen in: the scenic design for all three parts of The Coast of Utopia, scenic and costume design for Racing Demon, Carousel, scenic design Hapgood, scenic and costume design The Invention of Love, and scenic design for Twelfth Night. His Broadway credits are: scenic and costume design for Les Liaisons Dangereuses, scenic and costume design for The Capeman, scenic and costume design for The Judas Kiss, costume and scenic design for The Iceman Cometh, scenic and costume design for Amy's View, costume and scenic design for Putting it Together, scenic and costume design for Disney's Aida, costume and scenic for Sweet Smell of Success, designer for The History Boys, director and designer of Tarzan, costume and scenic design for Mary Poppins, scenic design for The Year of Magical Thinking, and scenic designer for A Moon for the Misbegotten, as well as Public Theatre's production of The Seagull in the Central Park. He is currently designing a production of Phaedre for London's The National Theatre starring Dame Helen Mirren, the Andrew Lloyd Webber's Love Never Dies as well as a new play by Alan Bennett.

Clint Ramos's (TDF/Irene Sharaff Young Master Award) recent and current design credits include: Women Beware Women for Red Bull Theater, Una Cosa Rara for Opera Theater of St. Louis, The Good Negro for New York Public Theatre and Dallas Theatre Center, Boy's Life for Second Stage and Three Sisters for Williamstown Theatre Festival (both directed by Michael Greif), King Lear for Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Twelfth Night for California Shakespeare Festival. New York designs have been seen at the Public, Second Stage, Vineyard, Ma-Yi, Mint, Red Bull, Women's Project, Here, PS 122, New York Theatre Workshop, NAATCO, Juilliard, and others. Regional credits include designs at The American Repertory Theatre, The Guthrie, Dallas Theater Center, Baltimore Centerstage, Roundhouse, Folger Shakespeare, La Jolla Playhouse, Asolo, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Opera Boston among others. International credits include designs at the Barbican (London), O'Reilly (Dublin), Kanon (St. Petersburg), Rijksteatern (Stockholm), Thalia (Bucharest), Tanghalang Pilipino (Manila). He received the 2007 American Theater Wing Henry Hewes Award for his designs on Madras House at the Mint Theater. Other awards and nominations include Live Design Magazine's 2007 Designer to Watch, NYTW Design Fellowship, Drama Desk, Audelco, Elliot Norton, IRNE,. Upcoming projects include Eurydice (Roundhouse Theater), Endgame (American Repertory Theater) and the premier of Tony Kushner's new work The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures at the Guthrie Theater.

Sally Ann Parsons (TDF/Irene Sharaff Artisan Award.) has owned and operated Parsons-Meares Ltd., a full service costume shop, since 1980. Broadway shows for which costumes have been created include: Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, Sunset Boulevard, Starlight Express, Will Rogers Follies, Guys and Dolls, Wonderful Town, Kiss Me Kate, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Wicked. Film and televison work includes: Fame, Far From Heaven, Bram Stoker's Dracula, The Cotton Club and Captain Eo and the Space Knights with Michael Jackson. Ballet company clients include: The Joffery Ballet, Feld Ballet and Ballet Tech, ABT, Alvin Ailey, Houston Ballet and San Francisco Ballet. Spectacle and circus costumes have been created for Bette Midler's The Showgirl Must Go On, Siegfeid and Roy, Disney Ice Shows, Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus, Walt Disney Theme Parks and Busch Gardens. A member of the United Scenic Artists Guild 829, Sally Ann's design work has included the Joffrey Ballet and much of the downtown dance world.

The awardees were selected by the TDF/Costume Collection's Advisory Committee, which is comprised of leading members of the theatrical costume design community. They are: Gregg Barnes, Suzy Benzinger, Dean Brown, Linda Fisher, Lana Fritz, Rodney Gordon, Desmond Heeley, Allen Lee Hughes, Holly Hynes, Carolyn Kostopoulous, Kitty Leech, Anna Louizos, Mimi Maxmen, David Murin, Sally Ann Parsons, Robert Perdziola, Carrie Robbins, Tony Walton, Patrick Wiley and David Zinn. The chairman is Gregory A. Poplyk.

The TDF/Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award, first presented to the legendary Miss Sharaff in 1993, is bestowed upon a costume designer who, over the course of his or her career, has achieved great distinction and demonstrated a mastery of the art. The award is presented to a designer whose work embodies those qualities of excellence represented in The Life work of Irene Sharaff: a keen sense of color, a feeling for material and texture, an eye for shape and form, and a sure command of the craft. Such a designer's achievement may stem from work for the theatre, opera, dance or film or, as was true of Irene Sharaff, from all of them together.

Previous winners of the TDF/Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award are: Desmond Heeley (1994), MiLes White (1996), Alvin Colt (1996), Patricia Zipprodt (1997), Jane Greenwood (1998), Willa Kim (1999), Ann Roth (2000), Freddy Wittop (2001), Theoni V. Aldredge (2002), Jose Varona (2003), Anthony Powell (2004), Florence Klotz (2005), Lester Polakov (2006), Bob Mackie (2007) and Robert Fletcher (2008).

The Robert L. B. Tobin Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatrical Design not only honors the name of Robert Tobin, but also symbolizes his passion, respect and esteem for the art of theatrical design. The recipient of this award has achieved a career so distinguished in theatrical design, that his or her work becomes an example to all designers of the beauty, feeling and empathy that a designer creates through true mastery of this art. The Robert L.B. Tobin Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatrical Design was first presented in 2004 to acclaimed set and costume designer Tony Walton. The award has since been presented to Robert O'Hearn (2005), Franco Zeffirelli (2006), Santo Loquasto (2007), and John Conklin (2008).

The TDF/Irene Sharaff Young Master Award is presented to a designer whose work, beyond being promising, has come to fruition. The award, honoring a designer of distinction early in his or her career, is given in recognition of Irene Sharaff's wish to see young designers encouraged on their way to fully acknowledged success and excellence in the field. TDF Irene Sharaff Young Master Award has been bestowed upon: Gregg Barnes (1994), Toni-Leslie James (1996), Paul Tazewell (1997), Martin Pakledinaz (1998), Suzy Benzinger (1999), Robert Perdziola (2000), Constance Hoffman (2001), Gregory Gale and Jonathan Bixby (2002), Anita Yavich (2003), Mirena Rada (2004), David Zinn (2005), Emilio Sosa (2006), Murrel Horton (2007) and Fabio Toblini (2008).

The TDF/Irene Sharaff Artisan Award, which was created in 1999, recognizes an individual or company that has made an outstanding supportive contribution in the field of costume technology. Among those who this award honors are: assistant and associate costume designers, costume shops that take sketches and turn them into glorious and breathtaking realities, teachers who dedicate their lives to turning raw talent into professional accomplished designers, and authors who create the texts and trade publications without which designers could not function.

The TDF/Irene Sharaff Memorial Tribute, also created in 1999, recognizes, celebrates and remembers those artists who have pioneered the art of costume design, setting the standard for years to come. TDF believes that in reliving and reviewing the body of work of these artists, a new generation of designers is able to learn and grow, standing on the shoulders of the giants who went before them.

TDF Irene Sharaff Artisan Awards have been previously awarded to: Ray Diffen (1999), Woody Shelp (2000), Barbara Matera (2001), Paul Huntley (2002), Maria Brizzi/Grace Costumes (2003), Nino Novellino (2004), Vincent Zullo (2005), Martin Izquierdo (2006), Kermit Love (2007) and Bessie Nelson (2008); and the Memorial Tribute Award to Raoul Pene DuBois (1999), Lucinda Ballard (2000), Aline Bernstein (2001), Cecil Beaton (2002), Ruth Morley (2003), Lemuel Ayers (2004), Oliver Messel (2005), Lila de Nobili (2006), Rouben Ter-Arutunian (2007) and Tanya Moiseiwitsch (2008).

THE TDF COSTUME COLLECTION maintains an extensive inventory of more than 70,000 costumes and accessories for rental at discounted price by any not-for-profit theatre company, opera company, university, high school, church group, etc. Last year, The Collection served organizations that produced 848 productions in 29 states. The Collection is located in a 14,000 square foot loft at 601 West 26th Street, New York, NY 10001. It stocks all periods and accepts donations from productions, institutions and individuals. These donations are tax-exempt to the degree allowed by law.

THE TOBIN THEATRE ARTS FUND was founded by the late Robert L. B. Tobin, who was heir to one of the largest family fortunes in Texas. Robert Tobin admitted to being a frustrated theatre designer with a need to be creative. All through his academic years and early adulthood, he collected rare theatrical volumes, etchings, engravings and drawings. At the time of his 50th birthday in 1984, The Tobin Wing of the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas, was constructed specifically to provide a museum setting for the theatre arts. As such, the wing houses Robert Tobin's extensive collection of over 20,000 original models, scenic and costume designs, as well as some 8,000 rare and illustrated books. This unprecedented collection of preliminary sketches, final renderings, maquettes, engravings and illustrated texts, provides a visual history of theatre art from the renaissance to the present.

THE TOBIN THEATRE ARTS FUND exists to stimulate public interest in the art of the theatre designer through a far-reaching program of exhibitions, lectures, expansion of the collection at the McNay and to provide broad-based access to this collection. In its continuing effort to promote the art of the designer, The Fund also sponsors programs that offer students an opportunity to exhibit their work. It also funds visiting artists' programs to area colleges and universities, and assists in the publication of monographs on individual designers.

Theatre Development Fund, the largest not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts in the United States, was established in 1968 to foster works of artistic merit by supporting new productions and to broaden the audience for live theatre and dance. For the past 40 years, TDF has played a unique role in strengthening the performing arts in New York City. TDF's programs have filled nearly 72 million theatre seats; provided subsidy support to over 900 plays, including 30 Pulitzer Prize honorees; and returned over 1.6 billion dollars in revenue to thousands of productions.

On October 16, 2008, TDF opened their new TKTS Discount Booth in Father Duffy Square, the centerpiece of the newly designed and expanded plaza, operating under a glowing red glass staircase. They also operate satellite TKTS booths in Downtown Brooklyn and at South Street Seaport.

TDF's membership and voucher programs touch the lives of tens of thousands of New Yorkers who might not otherwise be able to afford the unique experience of theatre. TDF's award-winning education programs, Open Doors, Stage Doors and Residency Arts Project (RAP), involve thousands of New York City public school students each year, most of whom have never attended a live theatre performance. TDF also produces the theatre magazine, Play by Play, which is written by and for high school students. It is available online at

TDF's Accessibility Programs (TAP) make the theatre experience a reality for people with physical disabilities. They also present highly regarded open captioned and sign language interpreted performances for theatregoers with mild to severe hearing loss, and audio described performances for those who are blind or with low vision. Additionally, TDF sponsors comprehensive training courses for future producers, and maintains a 70,000-item Costume Collection which rents professional costumes at low cost to hundreds of not-for-profit organizations across the United States each year. For more information about TDF and its programs, go to

Featured at the Theatre Shop

T-Shirts, Mugs, Phone Cases & More
Branded Broadway Merch

Related Articles

More Hot Stories For You