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Jack O'Brien and Joshua Bergasse to Host SDC Foundation's 27th Annual Joe A. Callaway Awards

On October 24, the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation (SDC Foundation) will celebrate the 27th Annual Joe A. Callaway Award winners for Direction and Choreography at the Laurie Beechman Theatre. The evening will be hosted by former Callaway Award-winning Jack O'Brien and Callaway Award finalist Joshua Bergasse.

The Joe A. Callaway Award recognizes excellence in the crafts of direction and choreography during the Off-Broadway theatre season from September 1 through August 31, and is the only award given by professional directors and choreographers to their peers for work on a specific production. The Callaway Award was first presented in 1989, and past winners include Andy Blankenbuehler, Thomas Kail, Moisés Kaufman, Joe Mantello, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Giovanna Sardelli, and Julie Taymor. 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.

The 2015-2016 Callaway Committee Members were Sue Lawless (Chair), Jonathan Cerullo (Vice-Chair), William G. Martin Jr., Barry McNabb, Edie Cowan, John Going, Richard Hamburger, DJ Salisbury, Amy Saltz, and Clinton Turner Davis.

At this year's ceremony, SDC Foundation will also announce the establishment of a new "Breakout Award." The Breakout Award will be presented annually to an SDC Member for a production or selection of work that signals a shift in a career, the beginning of critical recognition in the Off-Broadway arena.

SDC Foundation Chair Sheldon Epps states, "With the addition of the Breakout Award, we are thrilled to now be in a position to recognize the 'rising star' moment of a director or choreographer Off-Broadway. It is hoped that this award will elevate the profile of the recipient artist in the greater community."

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 SDC Foundation), for acting (through Actors' Equity Association), for playwriting (through Young Playwrights Inc.) and for theatre scholarships (through NYU).

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

For 50 years, Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation has developed and promoted the creativity and craft of directors and choreographers. SDC Foundation'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 SDC Foundation's services essential to the theatre industry's health and continued vitality.

Through mentorship programs, community forums and public events, SDC Foundation 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 theatre industry to tell the story of what directors and choreographers contribute to the art form. In a discipline that can often feel isolating, SDC Foundation serves the needs of artists at all stages, building a cross-generational theatre community. For more information, visit www.SDCFoundation.org.

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