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LPTW Announces Nominees for 2017 Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award

The League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW) and its International Committee present nominees of the 2017 LPTW Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award.

The Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award was established in 2011 in honor of Rosamond Gilder and Martha Coigney, two legendary theatre women whose work on the international stage proved that theatre knows no boundaries. Presented every three years, this Award acknowledges the exceptional work of theatre women around the world and aims to make a difference in the life and career of an international woman theatre artist. Odile Gakire Katese from Rwanda was the inaugural recipient of the G/C Award in 2011. Patricia Ariza from Colombia received the award in 2014.

Twenty women have been nominated for the 2017 G/C Award: Abir Aly (Egypt), Lina Attel (Jordan), Jalila Baccar (Tunisia), Sarah Berger (England), Patricia Benecke (Germany), Sabina Berman (Mexico), Kate Cherry (Australia), Mihaela Dragan (Romania), Drenia Frederick (St. Lucia), Elena Gremina (Russia), Brigitte Helbling (Germany), Natalia Kaliada (Belarus), Carmina Narro (Mexico), Julia Pascal (England), Marwa Radwan Mohamed (Egypt), Jesusa Rodriguez (Mexico), Adelheid Roosen (The Netherlands), Nan Van Houte (The Netherlands), Ilire Vinca (Kosovo), Linda Wise (France).

Nominees are evaluated on five criteria. They must have achieved artistic excellence, particularly in the exploration of new forms of theatrical expression; have received recognition of their work at home and abroad; demonstrate a commitment to the support of women through theatrical practice; have a body of work that inspires and educates US theatre practitioners with new ideas from abroad; and be able to leverage greater recognition and opportunity via receipt of the G/C Award. The winner will be announced at the LPTW Awards Celebration & Big Mingle in the March of 2017.

The G/C Award includes a $1000 cash prize and all travel expenses to New York City for the recipient to be honored. A series of special events surround the award ceremony to showcase the winner's work, to provide artistic and professional networking opportunities, and to celebrate all of the nominees. The next Award will be presented on October 23, 2017 at the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center/CUNY.

About the Nominees:

Abir Aly (Egypt) is a director, dramaturge, cultural activist, and researcher in folklore and social history. Through her "El Mesaharaty Laboratory" she uses art and theatre to preserve and champion the popular heritage, while creating and managing a national training and development program for young artists.

Lina Attel (Jordan) is a writer, director, educator, and actress running the Theatre in Education program at the Noor Al-Hussein Foundation since 1987 and since 1989 the National Interactive Theatre Troupe. NITT produces issue-based plays and tours extensively on the national and international level, making theatre a creative, informative experience accessible to all communities.

Jalila Baccar (Tunisia) is a playwright, actress, and co-founder of the first private theatre company in Tunisia, Le Nouveau Theatre, which has been instrumental in modernizing Tunisian theatre and engaging it in contemporary political concerns.. Baccar has performed in over twenty of their plays, including major theatrical productions that have been staged worldwide. She has become "a guardian of liberty and an icon for enlightened Tunisians".

Patricia Benecke (Germany) is a director, writer, translator and producer living in London, working both in Germany and the UK. Her company, Dialogue Productions, encourages cultural dialogue by producing and staging UK premieres of the best of contemporary international work.

Sarah Berger (UK) is an actress, director, producer and founder of The So and So Arts Club to pool the talent and resources of actors, writers, directors, designers, musicians, artists and producers and - through networking and club events - to offer support, open doors, and create possibilities.

Sabina Berman (Mexico) is a playwright focused on the struggle against the tyranny of a patriarchy that imposed on her, on other women, on her male friends, and even on animals, a severely restricted range of possible identities; and the theater, that has allowed her to objectify that struggle and to create other, more vital selves.

Kate Cherry (Australia) is a director, dramaturge and Artistic Director of the Perth company BLACK SWAN. She has helmed over 17 world premieres of Australian plays, many of which have toured the main-stages throughout Australia.

Mihaela Dr?gan (Romania) is a Roma theatre artist working in Romania and Hungary. Her company Giuvlipen ("Womanism/Feminism" in Romani language) focuses on stories of women and girls dealing with the challenges of both a traditional Roma patriarchal culture as well as the discrimination they face from the non-Roma majority.

Drenia Frederick (St. Lucia) is a director and theatre educator who revived a theatre community in her native country which was "locked in benign retrospection". Her work introduces and cross-references previously unexplored genres, motifs and techniques, and she is nurturing young artists to ensure the future of Theatre in St. Lucia.

Elena Gremina (Russia), a playwright and Artistic Director of Theatre.doc, labeled an "opposition theatre" that focuses on "the undisputable documentation of reality", chronicling the lived experiences of the Russian people under an increasingly autocratic and corrupt regime.

Brigitte Helbling (Switzerland) is a writer living in Germany. She works as a playwright for independent theatre and dance projects creating scripts, song texts, innovative program booklets, and conceptual texts. Her company Mass & Fieber - run jointly with her husband Niklaus Helbling - has produced continuously since 1999, and is known for politically impassioned projects and plays.

Natalia Kaliada (Belarus) and Belarus Free Theatre tirelessly create theatre that speaks out about political, social and psychological taboos, at great personal risk. The company is currently in exile from Belarus but has achieved international acclaim for their work.

Carmina Narro (Mexico) is a multiple award-winning dramaturge, director, story teller, playwright and actress, whose work conveys a deep exploration of the female role in Mexican society, and misogyny as a "global public health problem".

Julia Pascal (UK) is a playwright, director, and Artistic Director of Pascal Theatre Company. She focuses on creating spaces for female experience in a radical theatre and her writing reveals epics of war, violence and love as seen through women's eyes. Specifically, she has revealed hidden Shoah stories, which, apart from Anne Frank, have mainly been dramatized as male experience.

Marwa radwan mohamed (Egypt) is a young writer and director both for theatre and TV. She employs the means of comedy, dance and musicals to convey messages empowering to women in a traditional society.

Jesusa Rodriguez (Mexico) is a director, actor, set designer, and playwright. The most important goal of her theater is the struggle for intellectual, material, and spiritual decolonization of Mexico by unearthing its cultural roots to improve understanding and access to an education that will allow it to develop freely.

Adelheid Roosen (The Netherlands) uses a tool she calls "The adoption method", where her actors literally spend several weeks with local residents, creating multidimensional social sculptures, which focus on the human condition, regardless of religious experience, financial muscle or color of skin.

Nan van Houte (The Netherlands) is the Secretary General of International Network of Contemporary Performing Arts (ietm). Art and social responsibility are at the core of her work, especially in regard to helping oppressed artists, disenfranchised communities, and women around the world. She has worked in nearly every capacity while doing this: writer, director, dramaturge, advocate, and activist.

Illire Vinca (Kosovo) is an actress and educator, committed to empowering women artists to create their own work, especially when it comes to unlocking the stories of victims held in the rape camps during the war with Serbia. She has produced, directed and acted in pieces about the war, and seeks to educate people so that the horrors of those camps are not repeated.

Linda Wise (France) is a voice teacher, actress and theatre director passionately concerned with a vision of the voice that engages the widest possible perspective on each person's individuality, She teaches in the National Theatre Schools of Copenhagen, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Scotland and is a visiting teacher at the Limoges and Strasbourg French National Theatre Schools.


The League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW) 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 is celebrating its 31st anniversary and boasts a membership of nearly 500 women representing a diversity of theatre professionals in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. League members are actors, administrators, agents, arrangers, casting directors, choreographers, company managers, composers, critics, designers, directors, dramaturgs, dramatists, educators, general managers, historians, journalists, librettists, lyricists, press agents, playwrights, producers, stage managers, and theatre technicians. Visit www.theatrewomen.org for more.

The International Committee of the LPTW was formed in 2003 to broaden members' awareness of other cultures and promote opportunities for theatre exchange and collaboration between women working in the U.S. and abroad. We recruit and cultivate international affiliates and host and support them when they come to the U.S. We also encourage and provide support for the formation of LPTW chapters in affiliates' home countries and facilitate dialogue and advocacy for women in theatre across borders.

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center at The Graduate Center, CUNY occupies a place unlike any other organization in New York City: in the space between public arts presenter, academic publisher, and research institute. For more than fifteen years, The Segal Center has bridged the academic and professional performing arts communities, fostering dialogue between playwrights, directors, designers, choreographers, filmmakers, critics, and academics from New York and around the world. Go to www.thesegalcenter.org.


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