Honorary Off-Off-Broadway Awards to be Presented in IT Awards Ceremony, 9/22

The New York Innovative Theatre Awards, the organization dedicated to celebrating Off-Off-Broadway, has announced 2014 recipients of the 2014 Honorary Awards.

The Honorary Awards will be presented as part of the 10th Annual IT Awards Ceremony held on Monday, September 22, 2014 at 7 pm at Mason Hall at Baruch Performing Arts Center (23rd Street at Lexington Avenue). The show will include celebrity presenters from the theater community at large, coupled with past recipients of the awards. Tickets are $25 and are available at www.nyitawards.com/shop. Please plan on joining us, journalists are granted two tickets, RSVP to pr@nyitawards.com. If you are unable to attend, you can join the OOB theatre community's biggest night of the year online at www.nyitawards.com/live.

The 2014 Artistic Achievement Award, presented to an individual who has made a significant artistic contribution to the Off-Off-Broadway community.

Dan Bianchi: Some actors, directors, writers, composers, designers regard Off-Off-Broadway theatre as merely a stepping stone to working in the commercial theatre, film, and TV arenas...however, this end of theatre is a legitimate workplace, where low-budget, yet, unique artistry can survive and thrive without compromise and commercial theatre constraints. It is extremely tough to do so, especially in NYC, but, if one is truly an artist, he or she will find a way to create their art.

Dan Bianchi has spent over 40 years in theater and film as an Independent Theatre artist, which includes writing, directing, producing, set and lighting design, music and sound design, graphics, and PR. He's been founder/Artistic Director of 4 international theater companies, written and directed over 90 produced plays and musicals, worked as screenwriter in Hollywood, directed 7 motion pictures with members of the Royal Shakespeare Co., won three-times Best Director Off Broadway, twice The Beckett Prize, the ASCAP Musical Theater Award, Billy Rose Theater Award, the National Writers Guild Screenwriting Award, a MacDowell Fellowship, and a National Humanities Grant. He founded RADIOTHEATRE (RT) in 2004 and has since produced/written/directed 80 live stage productions and over 500 performances at various NYC and tour venues. In 2010, Dan was nominated for a Drama Desk Award? Sound Design. RT has won 2 NY Innovative Theater awards, 13 nominations, 5 years Best Performance Art. In 2003, he created VIDEOTHEATRE, NYC's first year round DV-dedicated indie theater. He is also a visual artist whose works have been shown in galleries and museums around the world, including Museum of Modern Art, NYC, MOMA Australia, Brazil, Germany, Museum of Non -Conformism, Russia, etc. As author, he?s penned 13 books on Theatre, the latest, MANHATTAN MACABRE: 200 Years of Strange Tales From The Lights Out Club. He was born and raised in NYC and lives there with his wife and daughter.

The 2014 Ellen Stewart Award, presented to an individual or organization demonstrating a significant contribution to the Off-Off-Broadway community through service, support and leadership.

Woodie King Jr. (New Federal Theater): Ellen Stewart was a long time associate. To receive NY Innovative Theatre Award named after Ellen is really special. Ellen pioneered in this "jungle" called Off-Off-Broadway theatre. So I accept the award in the spirit of Off-Off Broadway artists and theatres in the African tradition of honoring the past, the present, and future artist that work so hard in keeping New York City the cultural capitol of the world."

Woodie King, Jr is a renowned director and producer as well as the Founding Director of the New Federal Theater, which has presented over 150 productions in its? 30 year history. Mr. King has produced and directed Off-Off-Broadway, Off-Broadway, on Broadway in Regional Theatres, and in Universities across the United States. He co-produced For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf, What the Wine Sellers Buy, Reggae and The Taking of Miss Janie (Drama Critic Circle Award). His directional credits are extensive and include work in film as well as theater. He directed productions at the Cleveland Playhouse, Stage West, Virginia Museum Theatre, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse, North light Theatre, New Federal Theatre, The Ensemble Studio, Arena Stage, GeVa Theatre, American Place Theatre, Jomandi Theatre, Center Stage of Baltimore, Indiana Repertory Company, Studio Arena In Buffalo, New York Shakespeare Festival, and Cross-roads Theatre Company. In 1985, he was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for Appear and Shoe Cause and in the 1987/88 season he won an NAACP Image Award for directing Checkmates at Inner City Cultural Center (Los Angeles). In 1988, he directed Checkmates on Broadway; in 1987, he directed Charles Dutton in Splendid Mummer at American Place Theatre; in 1990, God's Trombones at the Ford's Theatre, and Joe Turner's Come and Gone at Detroit Rep. In 1991, he directed A Raisin in the Sun and in 1992, he directed The Member of the Wedding, both at GeVa. In 1993, he directed Robert Johnson, Trick The Devil for which he won Audelco Awards as Best Director and Best Play of the Year. He is a true steward of the community and has influenced and mentored a generation of artists. He has dedicated his career to presenting new and emerging work and has worked tirelessly to bring the work of African Americans and women into the mainstream. He was inducted into the Theater All of Fame in 2011.

The 2014 Caffé Cino Fellowship Award, presented to an Off-Off-Broadway theatre company that consistently produces outstanding work. This award also includes a grant to be used toward an Off-Off-Broadway production.

Blessed Unrest: Creating and building this ensemble has been our focus for the last fifteen years. We are fueled by the incredible members of our ensemble, and by our international partners with whom we collaborate. We are thrilled to be a part of the off-off-Broadway community. Receiving this award in recognition of our body of work is an enormous honor, especially as it comes from a grassroots organization of our peers says Jessica Burr (Artistic Director) and Matt Opatrny (Managing Director).

Blessed Unrest uses the safe structure of training, workshops, rehearsal and performance to create an environment where dangerous things can happen. They produce dynamic, disciplined, and exuberant new works for the stage in NYC and abroad by building original pieces and reconstructing established texts with their diverse ensemble of artists. They are a non-profit, ensemble-based, experimental theatre company generating original work since 1999, including 24 full productions (14 world premieres) and many workshops and readings. They are in residence at the Interart Theatre on West 52nd Street in Manhattan and have performed at P.S. 122, the Public Theater, NYU?s Loewe Theater, Columbia University, Manhattan School of Music, San Francisco?s Exit Theatre, and the Emelin Theatre in Westchester. They pursue international exchange and partnerships, including with Teatri Oda of Kosovo with whom they create original bilingual plays and have twice toured internationally through the Balkans.

Blessed Unrest received NY Innovative Theatre Awards for Outstanding Production (2008), Outstanding Stage Manager (2010), and Outstanding Choreography/Movement (2013). Artistic Director Jessica Burr received the 2011 Lucille Lortel Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women, for her work as a director and the body of work Blessed Unrest has created under her leadership.

The fellowship funds will be used to support Blessed Unrest's upcoming production of Lying, performing at the Interart Theatre from October 9 to November 3, 2014. www.blessedunrest.org.

THE INNOVATIVE THEATRE FOUNDATION is a not-for-profit organization, which recognizes the great work of New York's Off-Off-Broadway honoring its artistic heritage and providing an alliance for this extensive and richly varied community. As advocates for Off-Off-Broadway, they recognize its unique and essential role contributing to global culture.
Each season, The Innovative Theatre Foundation publicly recognizes excellence in Off-Off-Broadway, with a high-profile awards ceremony. The New York Innovative Theatre Awards celebrate the community and honor some of the previous year?s greatest achievements. The IT Awards heighten audience awareness and foster greater appreciation of the New York theatre experience.

New York Innovative Theatre Awards: www.nyitawards.com

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