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Monstah Black Wins 2015 Tommy Award

Dixon Place announces the recipient of the 3rd Annual 2015 Tom Murrin Performance Award, also known as The Tommy. As a transformative career opportunity for an emerging NYC-based artist or company, this year's award is being presented to Monstah Black.

The Tommy is an annual award granted to a NYC-based early career artist or company who embodies Tom Murrin's generous artistic spirit and gift for unearthing big, meaningful ideas by creating resourceful, exuberant, mysterious, enlightening, theatrical, luminous and remarkable performance. The award was created in 2013 to honor Murrin, who passed away in 2012. He was an inspiration, a mentor and a role model for countless young and emerging artists. The award is intended to provide a transformative career opportunity to its recipient, who receives a yearlong residency, followed by a 3-night run at Dixon Place and an honorarium.

Monstah Black is a performing artist known for his multi-dimensional funk drenched musical creations, blurring the lines of genre and gender. Fusing his love for music, movement, fashion and visual art, his aesthetic reflects pop culture of the 70's, 80's and 90's. He has performed internationally from Art Basel, Miami to Brazil, Scotland, Ireland, Germany and the New Media Performance Festival in Moscow. Awards include: Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, American Music Center Live Music for Dance Program, The District of Columbia Commission on The Arts and Humanities, Career Transitions for Dancers, Topaz Arts Center, NYSCA and Franklin Furnace Fund. He holds an MFA from Long Island University New Media Art and Performance Program. He was the 2013 guest mentor for the International Choreographers Residency at Dance Omi in Hudson Valley.

Tom Murrin (February 8, 1939 - March 12, 2012) also known as the Alien Comic and Jack Bump, was a performance pioneer whose life and work inspired both artists and audiences for over 40 years. He was a member of the first generation of La MaMa playwrights. Tom wrote four plays performed through La MaMa and produced by John Vacarro's Playhouse of the Ridiculous, including the offbeat hit, Cockstrong, which toured with Ellen Stewart's La MaMa Troupe to Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels. Under the guidance of famed rock manager Jane Friedman, Tom began to perform under the name Alien Comic, opening for acclaimed punk bands in rock clubs such as CBGBs and Max's Kansas City. He performed in NYC clubs and theaters as the Alien Comic, appearing in such venues as The Pyramid, 8BC, King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, Performance Space 122, Dixon Place, La MaMa, and more. Since the mid 80s, he created, performed, and curated a series of variety nights at Performance Space 122, and later at the Club at La Mama ETC and Dixon Place, called The Full Moon Show. His plays Sportfuckers and Butt Crack Bingo were produced at Theater for the New City and La MaMa and directed by David Levine. Tom was the first performance artist to appear on stage at the original Dixon Place location at 37 East First Street in 1986.
The Panelists for the 2015 Tommy Award are: Noel Allain (Artistic Director, The Bushwick Starr), Michael Cross Burke (Professor, Trinity/La MaMa & Performance Artist), Ellie Covan (Artistic Director, Dixon Place), Alec Duffy (Artistic Director, JACK), Katy Einerson (Program Director, Dixon Place), James Godwin (Performance Artist), Jeff Jones (Curator, Little Theatre), Robert Lyons (Artistic Director, New Ohio Theatre), Kristin Marting (Artistic Director, HERE Arts Center), Salley May (Performance Artist & Avant-Garde-Arama Curator), Nicky Paraiso (Director of Programming, The Club at La MaMa), Brian Rogers (Artistic Director, The Chocolate Factory), Lucy Sexton (Producer, Director, Performer), Patricia Sullivan (Photographer, Tom Murrin's wife), Shanta Thake (Director, Joe's Pub), Marya Warshaw (Founding & Executive Director, Brooklyn Arts Exchange), Martha Wilson (Founding Director, Franklin Furnace), and Lucien Zayan (Director, The Invisible Dog Art Center).

Dixon Place's Tom Murrin Award is supported, in part, by funds provided by the Jerome Foundation.

Dixon Place, an incubator for performing and literary artists since 1986 and non-profit organization is committed to supporting the creative process by presenting original works of dance, theater, music, puppetry, literature, performance and visual art at all stages of development. This local haven inspires and encourages diverse artists of all stripes and callings to take risks and push personal and professional limits. Dixon Place's foremost priorities are to serve as a safety net for artists, and to provide vivid experiences for our audiences.

Dixon Place is located at 161A Chrystie Street, New York City 10002.

Photo Credit: Sylvain Guenot

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