The James And Deborah Burrows Foundation Establishes $10,000 Abe Burrows Award For Assistant Directors At SDC Foundation

Applications for the unrestricted award are open now and will be accepted through February 26, 2024.

By: Jan. 11, 2024
The James And Deborah Burrows Foundation Establishes $10,000 Abe Burrows Award For Assistant Directors At SDC Foundation
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The James And Deborah Burrows Foundation Establishes $10,000 Abe Burrows Award For Assistant Directors At SDC Foundation

Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation (SDCF), the not-for-profit foundation of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC), announces today the creation of the Abe Burrows Award for Assistant Directors, an unrestricted $10,000 award that will be presented to a director or director/choreographer who is working as an assistant director.

Established by the James and Deborah Burrows Foundation, the award for assistant directors should be used to aid the awardee in whatever way allows them to fully focus on their assisting work. James Burrows, a director and the son of Abe Burrows, stated about the founding of the award, “I learned my craft by assisting my father and others and it is my hope that this award will provide the access and opportunity for other emerging artists to do the same."

The award honors Abe Burrows, a Tony Award-winning director who cared deeply about fostering and supporting the next generation of directors. As a director and writer, Burrows is known for his work on How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, for which he won Tony Awards for Best Director, Best Book, and Best Musical, as well as the Pulitzer Prize with his collaborator Frank Loesser.  His additional Broadway credits include Guys and Dolls and Can-Can.

Says SDCF Director Dani Barlow, “ We are thrilled and honored to have collaborated with the Burrows Foundation to establish this award at SDCF. We look forward to providing this much needed support to directors as they continue to develop and pursue their craft. We are grateful to the Burrows Foundation for recognizing the importance of supporting artists at this stage in their careers.”

To qualify for this award, you must serve as an assistant director at some point between June 2024 and December 2025. The production you assist for must be directed by an SDC Member in good standing. The Abe Burrows Award winner will be chosen by panel of industry professionals and the winner will be announced by May 2024.

For detailed information about the Abe Burrows Award for Assistant Directors including the application, please visit

Born December 18, 1910 in New York City, Abe Burrows graduated New Utrecht High School in Brooklyn and later attended both City College and New York University. His career in radio and television writing began with This is New York (1938), followed by the Rudy Vallee Program (1940), Duffy's Tavern (1940-1945), and the Abe Burrows' Show (1946-1947). Burrows then turned to writing for the stage. Burrows wrote, doctored, or directed such shows as Guys and Dolls (1950); Make a Wish (1951); Two on the Aisle (1951); Three Wishes for Jamie (1952); Can-Can (1953):  Silk Stockings (1955); Say, Darling (1958); How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1961); Cactus Flower (1965); Breakfast at Tiffany's (1966); Forty Carats (1970); Good News (1974 Revival); Four on a Garden (1971): and many others.  With his collaborator Frank Loesser, Burrows won a Pulitzer Prize for How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.  In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, he won four Tony Awards.  Burrows died on May 17, 1985.

Founded in 1965, Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation (SDCF) celebrates, develops, and supports professional stage directors and choreographers throughout every phase of their careers. SDCF works to build a theatrical community that reflects the cultural, racial, and gender diversity of our nation by creating opportunities for artists of all backgrounds to bring their full, authentic selves to their work as creative leaders in the theatre. SDCF's goals are to provide opportunities to practice the crafts of directing and choreography; to gather and disseminate craft and career information; to promote the profession to emerging talent; to provide opportunities for exchange of knowledge among directors and choreographers; to increase the awareness of the value of directors' and choreographers' work; and to convene around issues affecting theatre artists.


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