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FUN HOME's Jeanine Tesori, Lisa Kron Among League of Professional Theatre Women 2016 Award Winners

In 1980, despite the fact that women were instrumental in establishing the regional theatre movement, there were very few artistic directors at the major regional theatres. Nor were many women functioning in non-performing artistic capacities in the Broadway theatre. No woman had ever won a Tony for directing. The idea for the League of Professional Theatre Women was hatched at an American Theatre Association conference in San Diego in 1981 by a group of women aware of this situation and concerned particularly with the dearth of women playwrights and directors in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors.

In 2016, The League of Professional Theatre Women continues to promote visibility and works to increase opportunities for women in professional theatre, through numerous programs and events.

Today the LPTW has announced the winners of its 2016 awards, which will be presented at a ceremony on May 2 at the Pershing Square Signature Center.

Composer/lyricist/bookwriter/performer Micki Grant, whose groundbreaking Broadway revue DON'T BOTHER ME, I CAN'T COPE was revived by the York Theatre earlier this year, will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. A three-time Tony Award nominee, Grant has also been represented on Broadway with YOUR ARMS TOO SHORT TO BOX WITH GOD and IT'S SO NICE TO BE CIVILIZED.

The Lee Reynolds Award for a female artist whose work dealt with social, cultural, or political change will be received by bookwriter/lyricist Lisa Kron and composer Jeanine Tesori, whose Fun Home, based on the graphic memoir by Alison Bechdel, move to Broadway from The Public Theater. Fun Home was awarded the 2015 Tony for Best Musical, with Kron receiving the Best Book Award and Kron and Tesori's score being honored as the season's best.

The Ruth Morley Design Award goes to lighting designer Jane Cox, who has been represented on Broadway this season by THE COLOR PURPLE and NOISES OFF. Her previous work includes PICNIC, ALL THE WAY and MACHINAL.

The LPTW Lucille Lortel Award for an aspiring female theatre artist with creative promise will go to Ari Laura Kreith, artistic director of Theatre 167. Born in a community where 167 different languages are spoken, the New York-based company creates, cultivates, and supports new work by artists of wide-ranging backgrounds, traditions, and beliefs.

The Josephine Abady Award, for a female theatre artist who has created work of cultural diversity, will go to Lear deBessonet, the director of Public Works, a division of the Public Theater that blurs the line between professional artists and community members with grand spectacles at Central Park's Delacorte theatre that gather casts of hundreds from social service agencies around the five boroughs.

Playwright Elsa Rael will receive the LPTW Special Award for her work in helping women artists expand their reach as founder of the Professional Older Women's Theater and Women In Arts & Media Coalition.


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From This Author Michael Dale