John Kelly, Jennifer Kidwell and Sheila Touse Announced as Mabou Mines 2020 RUTHIE Award Recipients

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John Kelly, Jennifer Kidwell and Sheila Touse Announced as Mabou Mines 2020 RUTHIE Award Recipients

Mabou Mines has announced the expansion of the funding allowing the company to honor three artists with the 2020 Ruth Maleczech AWARD. The awardees are John Kelly, Jennifer Kidwell AND Sheila Tousey.

The Ruth Maleczech Award is a no-strings-attached cash award granted by Mabou Mines together with Ruth's family, Clove Galilee and Lute Breuer. The awardee is selected through a nomination process and is given to a performer who embodies Ruth's daring and raw, naked, fearlessness in every performance. The "RUTHIE" was created to honor Ruth Maleczech, the beloved artist/performer/director and co-founder of Mabou Mines. She was an inspiration, a mentor, and a role model for countless artists.

About John Kelly

John Kelly's character-based performance works focus on the struggles encountered by artists and social outsiders. As writer, director and performer, he has embodied subjects ranging from the expressionist artist Egon Schiele, the cross-dressing aerialist Barbette, Orpheus, and Joni Mitchell. Other works have explored the AIDS pandemic, the Berlin Wall, and the Troubadours. Over the course of a career that has spanned 35 years he has received multiple awards and fellowships. His most recent dance theatre work Underneath The Skin, is based on the life of gay novelist and tattoo artist Samuel Steward, premiered at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in October of 2019, and will receive a 3-week run at La MaMa sometime in 2021. Also a visual artist, he recently completed his first graphic novel 'A Friend Gave Me A Book.'

About Jennifer Kidwell

Jennifer Kidwell is a performing artist. Recent projects - Underground Railroad Game (2017 Obie Award for Best New American Theatre Work; 2018 Edinburgh Fringe First Award; Lucille Lortel, Helen Hayes nominations), Adrienne Truscott's Still Asking for It (Joe's Pub), Home (Geoff Sobelle, Bessie Award for Outstanding Production), Demolishing Everything with Amazing Speed (Dan Hurlin), I Understand Everything Better (David Neumann/advanced beginner group, Bessie Award for Outstanding Production), Antigone (The Wilma Theater), A Hard Time, Superterranean, Fire Burns Hot: Little Reno!, I Promised Myself to Live Faster and 99 Break-Ups (Pig Iron Theatre Company), Dick's Last Stand (Whitney Biennial 2014, as Donelle Woolford), Zinnias: the Life of Clementine Hunter (Robert Wilson/Toshi Reagon/Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon). Company member PITC and Lightning Rod Special, Wilma Theater Associated Artist, co-founder of JACK. Her writing has been published in movement research Performance Journal #45 and at hyperallergic.com. 2013 TCG/Fox Resident Actor Fellowship (with PITC), 2015 Leeway Foundation Art & Change Grant, 2016 Pew Fellow, 2017 Independence Fellowship.

About Sheila Tousey

Sheila Tousey is a writer, actress, director with numerous film, television and theater credits to her name including appearances in Signature Theater and Magic Theater's LATE HENRY MOSS by Sam Shepard; Marie in JoAnne Akalaitis' WOYZCEK at The Public Theater and at the Guthrie Theater in Marsha Norman's adaptation of Louise Erdrich's MASTER BUTCHERS SINGING CLUB. She was a Drama Desk Nominee for acting and has had several residencies and fellowships throughout her career including Yale, The Public and the Sundance Theater Lab. She is a company member at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and in March, before the production was suspended because of the global health crisis, had just opened BRING DOWN THE HOUSE Parts 1 and 2 (Shakespeare's Henry VI Trilogy) with an all-female and non-binary cast, adapted by Rosa Joshi and Kate Wisniewski and directed by Rosa Joshi.

Mabou Mines

Mabou Mines celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2020. The company was founded in 1970 as an artist-driven experimental theater collective generating original works and re-imagined adaptations of classics. Work is created through multi-disciplinary, technologically inventive collaborations among its members and a wide world of contemporary filmmakers, composers, writers, musicians, choreographers, puppeteers and visual artists. Mabou Mines fosters the next generation of artists through mentorship and residencies. Current members include Karen Kandel, Co-Artistic Director;Sharon Fogarty Producing, Artistic Director; together with Lee Breuer (Emeritus) and Terry O'Reilly. Associate Artists include Maude Mitchell, Clove Galilee, David Neumann and Carl Hancock Rux.

Previous RUTHIE award recipients are Mary Shultz (2015), April Matthis (2016), Black-Eyed Susan (2017) David Greenspan (2018) and Julie Atlas Muz (2019).


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