Photo Flash: Go Inside the Dramatists Guild Foundation Gala
Last night the Dramatists Guild Foundation (DGF) hosted its annual DGF Gala to celebrate artists and honor patrons of the American theater community in gratitude of their continued support of emerging writers and creators at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in NYC. Jason Alexander may have said it best: "a world without writers is just mimes and improv."
Hosted by Jason Alexander (Tony Award winning actor), the evening featured appearances and performances by: Jane Lynch (Emmy Award winning actress), Marisa Tomei (Oscar Award winning actress), Betty Buckley (Tony Award winning actress), Liz Callaway (Tony Award nominated actress), Brian Stokes Mitchell (Tony Award winning actor), Michael Arden (Tony Award nominated director and performer), Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Oscar, Grammy and Tony Award winning songwriting duo), Christiane Noll (Tony Award nominated performer), Betsy Wolfe (acclaimed Broadway actress), Charlotte Maltby, Ciara Renée, Kathleen Marshall (Director, DGF Gala), Tom Kitt, Sheldon Harnick, Roe Green, Andrew Lippa (President, DGF), Stephen Schwartz, and more.
The 2019 DGF Gala Alan Jay Lerner Award Honorees included Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Tony-Award Winning Songwriting duo); Brian Fenty and Merritt Baer (TodayTix Co-Founders); and Sean Patrick Flahaven (President Concord Theatricals). DGF's highest honor, these Awards are named after the legendary dramatist who founded DGF in order to create a resource that supports the lives and artistry of writers.
Performance highlights included:
Betty Buckley singing "Memory" from Cats
Benj Pasek and Justin Paul singing "Waving Through a Window" from Dear Evan Hansen
Ciara Renee singing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz
Charlotte Maltby and the PS22 Chorus singing "Do Re Mi" from Sound of Music
Betsy Wolfe singing "Not A Day Goes By" from Merrily We Roll Along
Christiane Noll singing "Back to Before" from Ragtime
Liz Callaway singing "Journey to the Past" from Anastasia
Michael Arden singing "Streets of Dublin" from A Man of No Importance
Brian Stokes Mitchell singing "I Was Here" from The Glorious Ones
Dramatists Guild Foundation (DGF) is a national charity that fuels the future of American theater by supporting the writers who create it. The Dramatists Guild Foundation fosters playwrights, composers, lyricists, and book writers at all stages of their careers. DGF sponsors educational programs; provides awards, grants, and stipends; offers free space to create new works; and gives emergency aid to writers in need. In supporting and nurturing the creators of today, they protect the stories of tomorrow. For more information about DGF, please visit dgf.org.
Although long-lasting songwriting teams have become a rarity, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty have proved the exception. In 1988, they burst onto the New York theater scene with the comic musical, Lucky Stiff, and their partnership in words and music has flourished ever since. For their extensive work in theater, film and music, they have received the highest honors, including Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Broadway's classic musical Ragtime; the 2018 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical for Once On This Island; four Grammy nominations; and nominations for two Academy Awards and two Golden Globes for Twentieth Century Fox's feature film Anastasia, which they also adapted for Broadway. Ahrens and Flaherty have been consistent supporters of the Dramatists Guild Foundation, creating the DGF Fellows program, and donating a Steinway piano to the DGF Music Hall, a free space where writers can work, rehearse, and present their work. They have taken part in the DGF's Traveling Masters Program and Legacy Project, and serve on the Council of the Dramatists Guild of America. In 2014, Ahrens and Flaherty received the Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement and in 2015 they were inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame.
A longtime supporter of DGF and member of The Dramatists Guild for 25 years, Sean Patrick Flahaven is President of Concord Theatricals (CT), the world's most comprehensive theatrical agency. Comprising the catalogues of Rodgers & Hammerstein Theatricals, Tams-Witmark, Samuel French, and The Musical Company, CT represents over 10,000 plays and musicals and over 100 songwriters and recordings. CT also develops, invests, and produces shows for Broadway, West End, and internationally. CT won its first Tony Award as a producer on the 2019 Best Musical, Hadestown. Prior to CT, he was the founding worldwide CEO of The Musical Company, a joint venture between Concord-now the 5th largest music company in the world-and The Really Useful Group, Andrew Lloyd Webber's landmark production company. From 2008-2016, Flahaven was Senior Vice President of Theatre and Catalog Development for Warner/Chappell Music, the global music publishing arm of Warner Music Group, where he represented the greatest songwriters on Broadway as well as the majority of the catalogs in the Great American Songbook. He has had the privilege of working with Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim for 22 years. Flahaven has been a producer on over two dozen albums, 12 of which were nominated for Grammys, including the Grammy-winning, 6x Platinum, chart-topping smash hit, Hamilton. He has produced or managed over 100 shows, concerts, workshops, and readings for landmark companies on and off-Broadway.
Launched in 2013 by lifelong friends and Broadway producers Brian Fenty and Merritt Baer, TodayTix has become a beloved global ticketing platform changing the way audiences consume and connect with culture in 16 cities, and selling more than $350 million in theatrical tickets. Through effortless access to the best shows, insightful guidance to the world of theater, and thoughtful service at each moment along the way, TodayTix enables people to discover the best that their city has to offer. TodayTix is known for its iconic access programs, pioneering digital rush, lottery and pay-what-you-can initiatives for shows including Hamilton, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Shakespeare in the Park and hundreds more. Its access programs have reached more than 250 million people on social media.
The 2019 DGF Gala was supported in part by Concord Theatricals/Sean Patrick Flahaven, TodayTix/Brian Fenty and Merritt Baer, Meg Fofonoff, Elizabeth Dewberry, and Barbara & Emery Olcott.
Photo Credit: Kristina Bumphrey for DGF
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