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Tonya Pinkins to be Honored With 2020 LPTW Rachel Crothers Leadership Award

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The award will be presented on Monday, December 7 from 7:00pm – 9:00pm on Zoom.

Tonya Pinkins to be Honored With 2020 LPTW Rachel Crothers Leadership Award

The League of Professional Theatre Women will bestow the 2020 LPTW Rachel Crothers Leadership Award to multi-award-winning actress, author, and activist, Tonya Pinkins. The award will be presented on Monday, December 7 from 7:00pm - 9:00pm on Zoom. The LPTW Rachel Crothers Leadership Award is given to a theatre woman of high achievement who has distinguished herself in exemplary service and sacrifice for a common cause while simultaneously making significant contributions to the American theatre.

Tickets: LPTW Members $25; Non-Member Artists $35; Non-Member Single Ticket $60 (includes Friend of the League membership); VIP ticket $75 (includes name in program and Friend of the League membership); $140 VIP tickets (includes both names in program and two Friend of the League memberships). Sponsorships are available (which include the aforementioned plus a virtual journal ad). For more information contact RCLA@theatrewomen.org. To purchase tickets please visit www.theatrewomen.org.

Tonya Pinkins is a Tony, Obie, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel Award-winning actor, among other awards and honors. She has appeared in nine Broadway shows, including the original Merrily We Roll Along, Caroline, Or Change (Tony nominee), and Jelly's Last Jam (Tony Award, Best Supporting Actress). In addition to her extensive work in the American theatre, she is a veteran of daytime television, most notably for her role as Livia Frye on All My Children. She has also appeared on a variety of television shows including Gotham, Fear the Walking Dead, Wu Tang-American Saga, and Madam Secretary. Pinkins is also an educator, a motivational speaker and the author of a book, Get Over Yourself: How to Drop the Drama and Claim the Life You Deserve. Her podcast, You Can't Say That, can be heard on the Broadway Podcast Network. Pinkins produced, directed, and co-wrote Truth & Reconciliation: Womyn Working It Out! She is currently writing, producing, directing, and starring in a socio-political horror film, Red Pill.

In the early years of the 20th century, in a male dominated industry and society, Rachel Crothers was the first woman playwright and director to be commercially successful on Broadway. She achieved prominence breaking new ground with her focus on women characters, their lives, their relationships and their development. Crothers was a prodigy on the Broadway scene. For 30 years, from 1906 - 1938, she had one play per season produced on Broadway-many of which she wrote, produced, and directed. The New York Times said, "In the last 200 years, a respectable number of women have left their mark on American theatre but few of them have had as impressive a career as Rachel Crothers."

Driven by her desire to serve her country and community, in 1917 seven visionary theatre women, led by Crothers, came together to organize members of the theatrical community to support the war effort at a time when women could not even vote. Their service to fellow Americans fighting on the front lines in World War I and World War II upheld America's highest ideal-sacrifice for a common cause.

The League of Professional Theatre Women is deeply inspired by the legacy of this monumental theatre woman who not only distinguished herself in the American Theatre, but also distinguished herself in service to the American people. This year's honoree, the multi-award-winning actress, author and educator, Tonya Pinkins, exemplifies the spirit of the LPTW Rachel Crothers Leadership Award.

LPTW Rachel Crothers Leadership Award Co-Chairs Yvette Heyliger and Margot Astrachan agree, "Now in its second year, we are very excited by the opportunity the League has to award a theatre woman on the front lines; one who deploys her gifts and talents to address a national or local issue affecting the quality of life of all Americans." Alongside her professional achievements, Pinkins was selected for the LPTW Rachel Crothers Leadership Award because of her #BlackPerspectivesMatter brand of activism in white theatre spaces. Throughout her career, Pinkins has been outspoken and unapologetic about the ways in which she feels the American theatre mirrors institutionalized racism. There are many paths to righting the wrongs of the epidemic of racism in our country. Due to the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others, Pinkins continues to champion individual action, often at great expense and sacrifice to herself.


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