MCC, Steppenwolf Among SDC's Top Ten 'Standout Moments'

MCC, Steppenwolf Among SDC's Top Ten 'Standout Moments'

Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC), the national theatrical union representing stage directors and choreographers across the United States, announced its annual selection of Top Ten "Standout Moments." The recognition covered the period from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.

The Top Ten "Standout Moments" were established by SDC's Diversity and Inclusion Committee in 2016 to recognize the important contributions directors and choreographers make every day to create a more inclusive and diverse theatre.

Seret Scott, co-chair of SDC's Diversity and Inclusion Committee, commented on the selection, saying, "In only our third year, we're very gratified to see a widening range of nominated and selected work that speaks to all manner of diversity fostered by SDC Members." Liz Diamond, co-chair of the committee observed, "Directors have a unique opportunity and responsibility for insuring the broadest possible representation of the world on stage, and this Top Ten is exemplary of the commitment of SDC members to inclusivity and diversity in the theatre."

The 2017-2018 Top Ten "Standout Moments" honorees are:

  • Indiana Repertory Theatre and Syracuse Stage's Fall 2017 production of Simon Stephens's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, directed by Risa Brainin, for the first professional casting of Mickey Rowe, an actor with autism, in the lead role of Christopher, a character on the autism spectrum.
  • MCC Theater's September 2017 production of Phillip Dawkins' Charm, directed by Will Davis, which was inspired by the true story of Miss Gloria Allen, a black transgender woman who changed the lives of students at Chicago's LGBTQ community center, The Center in Halsted, and featured several transgender cast members.
  • Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre's December 2017 world premiere of Aziza Barnes's BLKS, directed by Nataki Garrett, a play written by an African-American gender non-conforming playwright, directed by a female director of color, and featuring an all African-American ensemble.
  • Sam Gold's gathering of directors and casting directors at New York Theatre Workshop in May 2017 to discuss ways to proactively support and increase the presence of actors with disabilities in the theater.
  • The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, led by Program Director Wendy C. Goldberg, for their entirely female group of fellows for the 2018 National Directors Fellowship.
  • Lisa Portes, Head of Directing at DePaul University and Freelance Director, for producing and hosting the Latinx Theatre Commons Carnaval 2018, a festival of new Latinx work, which this year featured not only six new Latinx plays but 12 Latinx designers, six Latinx directors, six Latinx dramaturgs, and a wealth of Latinx actors as well as shining the spotlight on Chicago's own vibrant Latinx theatres.
  • Eric Ting, Artistic Director at California Shakespeare Theatre, for his consistency over his first two seasons in interrogating the classic canon through the lenses of people of color, trans/gender non-binary folx, and the differently abled community, as well as for his commitment to and track record of equity in hiring.
  • The founding of Parity Productions, led by Artistic Director Ludovica Villar-Hauser, which ensures that at least 50 percent of the creative roles on their productions are filled by women and/or transgender or gender-nonconforming artists and encourages other theatre companies to follow their 50 percent hiring standard.
  • Cleveland Public Theatre's February 2018 production of American Dreams, by Leila Buck, directed and developed by Tamilla Woodard, which used a game-show format to put the immigration debate directly into the hands of the audience, creating an inclusive dialogue about immigration practices.
  • Victory Gardens Theatre, under Artistic Director Chay Yew, for hosting Revolutionary Acts, this year's National Asian-American Theatre Conference and Festival (ConFest), a festival of Asian-American work produced by the Consortium of Asian-American Theatre Artists (CAATA) in association with Victory Gardens, which engaged people in passionate dialogue about social injustice, inequity, and active resistance in American culture.

SDC is the theatrical union that represents 4,000 professional stage Directors and Choreographers throughout the United States. Its mission is to foster a national community of professional stage directors and choreographers by protecting the rights, health, and livelihoods of all its Members.

SDC has jurisdiction over the employment of directors and choreographers working in the following areas: Broadway and National tours, Off-Broadway, ANTC (Association of Non-Profit Theatre Companies, New York City), Resident Theatre (League of Resident Theatres-LORT), Resident summer stock companies (Council of Resident Stock Theatres -CORST/TSS), New England Area Theatre (NEAT), Dinner Theatre (Dinner Theatre Agreement-DTA), Regional Musical Theatre (RMT), and Outdoor musical stock (OMS).

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