NEW YORK CITY: Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation (SDCF), the not-for-profit foundation affiliated with Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, has announced the honorees of this year’s Zelda Fichandler Award, Joe A. Callaway Awards, and Breakout Award. The awards will be presented at an invitation-only event on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018 in Manhattan.
The 2018 Fichandler Award will be presented to Loretta Greco, artistic director of Magic Theatre in San Francisco since 2008, where she has championed and premiered new work from the likes of Taylor Mac, Mfoniso Udofia, Jessica Hagedorn, Han Ong, Barbara Hammond, Luis Alfaro, John Kolvenbach, Linda McLean, Lloyd Suh, Theresa Rebeck, Sharr White, Polly Penn, Victor Lodato, Anna Ziegler, Richard Montoya, Penelope Skinner, and Octavio Solis. Her directing credits include The Story, Lackawanna Blues, and Two Sisters and a Piano at the Public Theater in New York, and Sweat and Blackbird for ACT in San Francisco. The Fichandler Award recognizes directors and choreographers who are in the center of their creative lives, demonstrate great accomplishment to date, and promise for the future, and who have made prominent achievements in the field with singular creativity and artistry and deep investment in a particular community or region. The award is given annually within rotating regions of the U.S. This year’s finalists Michael John Garcés of Cornerstone Theater Company (Los Angeles), Ron May of Stray Cat Theatre (Phoenix), and Art Rotch of Perseverance Theatre (Douglas, Alaska) will also be recognized for their contributions to the field. The Fichandler Award was first presented in 2009.
The 2018 Joe A. Callaway Awards will be awarded to Anne Kauffman for excellence in directing for Mary Jane (New York Theatre Workshop) and Susan Stroman for excellence in choreography for The Beast in the Jungle (Vineyard Theatre). Kauffman’s directing credits include The Lucky Ones, Hundred Days, Marvin’s Room, Marjorie Prime, Belleville, Detroit, The Nether,and God’s Ear. Stroman’s directing and choreography credits include Contact, The Producers, Crazy for You, and The Scottsboro Boys and her choreography credits include Oklahoma!, Show Boat, and And The World Goes Round. The Callaway Awards are peer-given awards recognizing excellence in the arts of stage direction and choreography in a given New York City Off-Broadway season. Callaway finalists for excellence in direction are Leigh Silverman for Harry Clarke (Vineyard Theatre) and Taibi Magar for The Great Leap (Atlantic Theater Company). The finalist for excellence in choreography is Josh Bergasse for Smokey Joe’s Café (The Baruch-Viertel-Routh-Frankel Group). The Callaway Award was first presented in 1989.
The 2018 Breakout Award winner is choreographer Raja Feather Kelly. Notable works to date include Funnyhouse of a Negro and The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole World, both produced by Signature Theatre Company, The House That Will Not Stand produced by New York Theatre Workshop, Fairview produced by Soho Rep, and upcoming work on A Strange Loop at Playwrights Horizons later this season. The Breakout Award, now in its third year, is given by the SDCF board of trustees to an SDC member for a production or selection of work that signals a shift in a career and the beginning of critical recognition—a “rising star” moment in the Off-Broadway arena.
SDCF board president Sheldon Epps said in a statement, “This celebratory evening aims to highlight the important work of the foundation, which is to serve directors and choreographers at every stage of career while celebrating the craft, artistry, and dedication of these outstanding winners and finalists. On behalf of the SDCF Board, I thank our colleagues on the Fichandler, Callaway, and Breakout Committees for their service. I join them in congratulating Loretta, Anne, Susan, Raja, as well as the distinguished finalists. I look forward to celebrating with the honorees this November.”
Founded in 1965, Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation (SDCF) is the independent not-for-profit foundation affiliated with Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. SDCF exists to foster, promote, and develop the creativity and craft of stage directors and choreographers at every level of career through its dynamic programming.