43rd Annual Theatre Library Association Book Awards Kick Off 11/4


The Theatre Library Association will present its 43rd annual Book Awards on Friday, November 4, 2011 in the Bruno Walter Auditorium of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, located at Lincoln Center. 

Each year, the Theatre Library Association honors exceptional scholarly publications in two categories. 

The George Freedley Memorial Award was established in 1968 in honor of the first Curator of the New York Public Library's Theatre Collection and first President of the Theatre Library Association. It is presented annually to one English-language book of exceptional scholarship published or distributed in the United States during the previous calendar year that examines some aspect of live theatre or performance.

The Richard Wall Memorial Award, established in 1973, honors one English-language book of exceptional scholarship in the field of recorded performance published or distributed in the United States during the previous calendar year. Formerly known as the TLA Award, the prize was renamed in 2010 to honor the memory of the late Richard Wall, longtime TLA member and Book Awards Chair. 

In addition to the Award winners, the jurors have designated one additional title in each category as a Special Jury Prize winner. A cash award accompanies the selections in both categories. 

For the 2011 Freedley and Wall Awards, 150 academic and commercial publishers were invited to participate, with 350 titles nominated by TLA members and publishers. 

George Freedley Memorial Award

James Shapiro

Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?

(Simon & Schuster)

Underlying the arguments over whether Christopher Marlowe, Francis Bacon, or the Earl of

Oxford wrote Shakespeare's plays are fundamental questions about literary genius, specifically about the relationship of life and art. Are the plays (and poems) of Shakespeare a sort of hidden autobiography? Do Hamlet, Macbeth, and the other great plays somehow reveal who wrote them? James Shapiro is the first Shakespeare scholar to examine the authorship controversy and its history in this way, explaining what it means, why it matters, and how it has persisted despite abundant evidence that William Shakespeare of Stratford wrote the plays attributed to him. 

special jury prize winner

Stephen Sondheim

Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) with Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines and Anecdotes (Knopf) 

Stephen Sondheim has won seven Tony Awards, an Academy Award, seven Grammys, a Pulitzer Prize, and the Kennedy Center Honors. His career has spanned more than half a century, his lyrics have become synonymous with musical theater and popular culture, and in Finishing the Hat- titled after perhaps his most autobiographical song, from Sunday in the Park with George-Sondheim has not only collected his lyrics for the first time, he has given readers a rare personal look into his life as well as his remarkable productions.

Richard Wall Memorial Award

Scott Eyman

Empire of Dreams: The Epic Life of Cecil B. DeMille

(Simon & Schuster)

Best known as the director of such spectacular films as The Ten Commandments and King of Kings, Cecil B. DeMille lived a life as epic as any of his cinematic masterpieces. DeMille was one of the few silent-era directors who made a completely successful transition to sound. In the 1930s and 1940s, DeMille became a household name thanks to the Lux Radio Theater, which he hosted.

But after falling out with the union, he gave up the program, and his politics shifted to the right as he championed loyalty oaths and Sen. Joseph McCarthy's anti-communist witch hunts. Scott Eyman's superbly researched biography draws on a massive cache of DeMille family papers not available to previous biographers. 

special jury prize winner

Yunte Huang

Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History (W.W. Norton & Company)

This provocative first biography of Charlie Chan presents American history in a way that it has never been told before. Yunte Huang ingeniously traces Charlie Chan from his real beginnings as a bullwhip-wielding detective in territorial Hawaii to his reinvention as a literary sleuth and Hollywood film icon. Huang finally resurrects the "honorable detective" from the graveyard of detested postmodern symbols and reclaims him as the embodiment of America's rich cultural diversity 

George Freedley Memorial Award

Dennis Bingham, Whose Lives Are They, Anyway? The Biopic as Contemporary Film Genre (Rutgers University Press) 

Gary Giddins, Warning Shadows: Home Alone with Classic Cinema (W.W. Norton & Company)

Sam Irvin, Kay Thompson: From Funny Face to Eloise (Simon & Schuster)

Amy Lawrence, The Passion of Montgomery Clift (University of California Press)

Tony Pipolo, Robert Bresson: A Passion for Film (Oxford University Press)

Steven Price, The Screenplay: Authorship, Theory and Criticism (Palgrave Macmillan)

Heide Schlüpmann, The Uncanny Gaze: The Drama of Early German Cinema. Translated by

Inga Pollman (University of Illinois Press)

Matthew Solomon, Disappearing Tricks: Silent Film, Houdini and the New Magic of the

Twentieth Century (University of Illinois Press)

Richard Wall Memorial Award

Milly S. Barranger, A Gambler's Instinct: The Story of Broadway Producer Cheryl Crawford (Southern Illinois University Press) 

Andrew Davis, America's Longest Run: A History of the Walnut Street Theatre (Keystone)

Constance Valis Hill, Tap Dancing America (Oxford University Press)

Felicity Nussbaum, Rival Queens: Actresses, Performance and the Eighteenth-Century

British Theater (University of Pennsylvania Press)

David Roberts, Thomas Betterton: The Greatest Actor of the Restoration Stage (Cambridge University Press)

Gillian M. Rodger, Champagne Charlie and Pretty Jemima: Variety Theater in the Nineteenth Century (University of Illinois Press)

Sjeng Scheijen, Diaghilev: A Life (Oxford University Press)

Larry Stempel, Showtime: A History of the Broadway Musical Theater (W.W. Norton & Company)

2011 George Freedley Memorial Award Jurors 2011 Richard Wall Memorial Award Jurors

Charlotte Cubbage, Northwestern University John Calhoun, NYPL for the Performing Arts

Robert Melton, University of California, San Diego Madeline Matz, Library of Congress

Don B. Wilmeth, Brown University Stephen Tropiano, Ithaca College

Brook Stowe (Book Awards Chair)

Cynthia Tobar (Book Awards Co-Chair)

Lisa Lopez (Book Awards Co-Chair) 

TLA's Distinguished Service in Performing Arts Librarianship

Susan Brady

A special Award for Distinguished Achievement in Service and Support of Performing Arts

Libraries will also be featured. The Award, given to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the field, will be presented to Susan Brady.

Susan Brady is an archivist at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, specializing in the processing of performing arts collections. She has held librarian/archivist positions at Yale in the Arts Library, the Yale Center for British Art, and the Department of Manuscripts and Archives, and at the Harvard Theatre Collection. Susan has served as a Board member, Vice President, and President of the Theatre Library Association, and as Co-Chair of the Performing Arts Roundtable of the Society of American Archivists. She edited volume 21 of Performing Arts Resources, After the Dance: Documents of Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn, and co-edited volume 25 of PAR, Documenting: Lighting Design, published in 2007.

Susan has presented papers and planned and chaired programs at annual meetings of the American Society for Theatre Research/Theatre Library Association, the American Library Association, and the Society of American Archivists, and has served on numerous committees focusing on performing arts documentation, cataloging and access. She currently is Co-Chair of the Steering Committee of the American Theatre Archive Project (ATAP), an initiative to preserve the records of theatre companies throughout North America. Susan holds graduate degrees in Theatre History and Criticism and Library Science from the University of Texas at Austin.

2011 Book Awards Ceremony

Friday, November 4th at Lincoln Center
The presentation will take place promptly at 6:00 PM following the annual TLA Business

meeting at 5:30 PM in the Bruno Walter Auditorium of the New York Public Library for

the Performing Arts (enter at Amsterdam and 65th Street). A champagne reception will follow.

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