Creatives Behind Off-Broadway's 'GEORGIA MCBRIDE' and RED EYE OF LOVE Top SDCF's 2015 Callaway Awards

By: Nov. 03, 2015
On November 2, the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation (SDCF) celebrated the 2014-2015 season's Joe A. Callaway Award winners for Direction and Choreography.

This year's awards were presented to Mike Donahue for his direction of THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE at MCC Theater and Lainie Sakakura and Alex Sanchez for their choreography of RED EYE OF LOVE at Amas Musical Theatre.

Presenters were William Cantler, Co-Artistic Director at MCC Theater and director/choreographer Graciela Daniele. The event was held at the Laurie BeechmanTheatre.

The Callaway Award Selection Committee, comprised of current longstanding SDC Members, also selected finalists. For Direction: Jesse Berger, Trip Cullman, Ken Rus Schmoll and Rebecca Taichman. For Choreography: Joshua Bergasse, Mimi Lieber and Peter Pucci.

The 2014-2015 Joe A. Callaway Award recognizes excellence in the crafts of direction and choreography during the New York City theatre season from September 1, 2014 through August 31, 2015 and is the only award given by professional directors and choreographers to their peers for work on a specific production.

2014-2015 Callaway Committee Members were Sue Lawless, Chair; William G. Martin Jr., Vice-Chair; Barry McNabb, Vice-Chair; Leslie (Hoban) Blake, Press Liaison; Linda Burson; Jonathan Cerullo; Edie Cowan; John Going; Richard Hamburger; Bruce Heath; Michael Montel; DJ Salisbury; Amy Saltz; and Clinton Turner Davis

The Callaway Award was first presented in 1989. Previous winners are Gloria Muzio, Frank Galati, Susan Stroman, George C. Wolfe, Hope Clarke, Harold Prince, Gerald Gutierrez, Joe Mantello, Scott Elliott, Julie Taymor, Moises Kaufman, Frank Galati, Graciela Daniele, Trevor Nunn, Gabriel Barre, Mark Dendy, Jack O'Brien, Bartlett Sher, Devanand Janki, Daniel Sullivan, Doug Hughes, Christopher Gattelli, Peter DuBois, Bill T. Jones, Thomas Kail, Andy Blankenbuehler, Giovanna Sardelli, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Garry Hynes, Martha Clarke, Ciaran O'Reilly, Byron Easley, Carolyn Cantor, Larry Keigwin, John Tiffany, Steven Hoggett, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Marlo Hunter, and John Rando.

This award is given annually and serves as a complement to the Zelda Fichandler Award, which recognizes a regional director changing the landscape of their community, and the "Mr. Abbott" Award, presented in recognition of lifetime achievement in theatre.

Joe A. Callaway dedicated more than 50 years to the theatre as an actor, director, lecturer and critic. He was a founding member and director of San Diego's Old Globe Theatre, the first recipient of a Master's degree from the Goodman School of Theatre, an associate professor at Michigan State University, a noted radio and television reviewer, and an actor Off-Broadway and in regional theatre. Since his death in 1991, his legacy lives on in awards he endowed for direction and choreography (through SDCF), for acting (through Actors' Equity Association), for playwriting (through Young Playwrights Inc.) and for theatre scholarships (through NYU).

For 50 years, Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation has developed and promoted the creativity and craft of directors and choreographers. SDCF's mission is to create access to the field, to connect artists, and to honor the theatrical legacy of these artists. The centrality of the director's role in theater and the impact that they have on other artists' careers -- from playwrights to designers to actors -- makes SDCF's services essential to the theater industry's health and continued vitality.

Through mentorship programs, community forums and public events, SDCF constructs paths for early-career directors and choreographers from all backgrounds to interact with established artists around the country; puts mid-career artists in the room together to debate and solve issues they face in the business; and reaches beyond the theater industry to tell the story of what directors and choreographers contribute to the art form. In a discipline that can often feel isolating, SDCF serves the needs of artists at all stages, building a cross-generational theater community. For more information, visit

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