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"Wonderland: Alice's Rock & Roll Adventure" by Rachel Rockwell and Michael Mahler at Childsplay. (Photo by Tim Trumble Photography, Inc.)

SDCF Announces Recipients of the Joe A. Callaway Awards

David Cromer wins the award for outstanding direction and Rachel Rockwell wins for best choreography.

NEW YORK CITY: Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation has announced the winners and the finalists for this year’s 29th annual Joe A. Callaway Awards. David Cromer received the award for outstanding direction for his production of The Band’s Visit at the Atlantic Theatre Company, and Rachel Rockwell was selected as the winner for outstanding choreography for her production of Ride the Cyclone at MCC Theater.

David Cromer has previously worked on Man from Nebraska (Second Stage), The Effect (Barrow Street Theatre), Come Back, Little Sheba (Huntington Theatre), Angels in America (Kansas City Rep), and Our Town at the Almeida Theatre in London, which he also directed in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and Kansas City. For his work he has received a Drama Desk, three Obies, three Lortels, four Jeff Awards and in 2010 was made a McArthur Foundation Fellow.

In addition to Ride the Cyclone (Lortel and Drama League nominated), Rachel Rockwell recently choregraphed October Sky at the Old Globe, which won the Craig Noel Award for Best Musical, the world premiere of Something Wicked This Way Comes at Delaware Theatre Company, and the world premiere of Diary of A Wimpy Kid for the Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis. Rachel was named Chicagoan of Year in Theatre by the Chicago Tribune in 2012, and Best Director by Chicago magazine in 2011. In 2017 she was awarded the Guy Adkins Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre.

The finalists for the directing honor were Jesse Berger for The Government Inspector at Red Bull Theater Co. and Rebecca Taichman for How to Transcend a Happy Marriage at Lincoln Center Theater. The finalist for choreography was Gerry McIntyre for Spamilton at the Triad Stage 72.

“We on the Callaway Committee have the privilege and good fortune of attending over a hundred productions a season, experiencing SDC members’ work in numerous venues around the city,” said Pamela Berlin, chair of the 2016-17 Callaway Committee, in a statement. “This year’s eligible productions were exciting and diverse, and the finalists and winners of the Callaway Award represent the extraordinary talent and vision that our fellow SDC artists bring to the craft of directing and choreography.”

Previous winners include George C. Wolfe, Joe Mantello, Julie Taymor, Peter DuBois, Marlo Hunter, Martha Clarke, Bill T. Jones, Frank Galati, and James Walski.

The awards will be presented at the first annual SDC Foundation Awards: A Celebration of Excellence in Directing and Choreography. SDCF’s Zelda Fichlander Award and Breakout Award will also be presented. The event will take place on Monday, October 30, 2017 at the Green Room 42.

Stage Directors and Choreographers foundation supports the creative lives of directors and choreographers and honors dedicated artists in these roles.

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