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Estelle Parsons. (Photo by Nathan Johnson)

League of Professional Theatre Women Announce 2021 Awards

Headlining this year’s awards gala will be Estelle Parsons, who will receive a lifetime achievement award.

NEW YORK CITY: The League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW) have announced that award-winning actor and director Estelle Parsons will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the organization’s virtual gala on June 7. Additional honorees for the event include Stephanie Berry, Taylor Reynolds, Meghan Finn, Cookie Jordan, Sheilah Rae, and Mei Ann Teo.

Parsons was last seen on Broadway in The Velocity of Autumn, for which she received her fifth Tony nomination. Her professional career has spanned stage, film, and television, with notable projects including her Oscar-winning performance in Bonnie and Clyde and her recurring role as Beverly on Roseanne. Parsons’s stage work includes Tracy Letts’s August, Osage CountyGood People by David Lindsay-Abaire, and her most recent New York City appearance, in Michael Friedman’s Unknown Soldier, which was interrupted by the pandemic. Parsons is credited with creating the New York Shakespeare Festival Players for Joseph Papp in the 1980s, and she is a lifetime member of the Actors Studio. Parsons was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2004.

Actor Stephanie Berry will receive the Lee Reynolds Award, which goes to a woman stage actor whose work has helped illuminate possibilities for social, cultural, or political change. New York credits include Sugar in Our Wounds by Donja R. Love, and Gloria: A Life by Emily Mann.

The Lucille Lortel Award, reserved for a woman with “creative promise deserving recognition,” will go to Taylor Reynolds. Reynolds is a New York-based director from Chicago and one of the producing artistic leaders of the Obie-winning Movement Theatre Company.

The Tank artistic director Meghan Finn will receive the Lucille Lortel Visionary Award, which goes to a woman artist showing great creative promise. Finn has directed nationally and internationally, and her work includes premieres by playwrights Mac Wellman, Caitlyn Saylor Stephens, Julia May Jonas, and a film by Peggy Stafford.

The Ruth Morley Design Award, given to women theatre designers of all genres, will be presented to Cookie Jordan. Jordan is a hair, wig, and makeup designer whose Broadway work includes Slave Play, The Cher Show, and Once on This Island, among others.

Sheilah Rae will receive a LPTW Special Award for her work in the industry as a lyricist and librettist, as well as her service to the League as a former president. Rae is a former Broadway performer and has written a number of musicals with Michele Brourman and Debra Barsha. She is a five-time Heideman Award finalist and is working on a musical that she hopes to launch as a TV series.

LPTW will award the Josephine Abady Award to director, devisor, and dramaturg Mei Ann Teo, a queer imigrant from Singapore who creates theatre across genres, including musical theatre, intermediate participatory work, reimagining classics, and documentary theatre. The award goes to a woman theatre artist who has created work of cultural diversity.

For more information, or to secure tickets to the June 7 Zoom gala, head here.

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