WASHINGTON, D.C.: Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater has honored May Adrales, the Lark’s artistic director, with the Andrew R. Ammerman Directing Award. The Ammerman award celebrates distinguished female directors.
“May Adrales is a wonderful artist and so deserving of this award,” said artistic director Molly Smith in a statement. “There are very few awards for women directors in the American theatre. With the support of board member Andrew Ammerman, we have embarked on creating a new award for a woman in the middle of her career as a dynamic director. May is on the tipping point of an exploding career. She is inventive and creative and brave. I feel it is critical to support women directors and especially so at a moment in their careers that help push them to their fullest potential in the prime of life.”
Adrales was chosen by team of panelists including Arena Stage artistic director Molly Smith, director Timothy Douglas, and Woolly Mammoth Theatre company artistic director Maria Manuela Goyanes. Besides the award recognition, Adrales will receive $15,000.
“I am deeply grateful and humbled to receive the Ammerman Award,” said Adrales in a statement. “The recognition from my esteemed colleagues and the meaningful financial support offers encouragement for me to be bold and brave and to continue to tell the stories I want to tell—stories that question, interrogate, and reflect our epoch. Arena Stage continues to be a pioneer in the field as it offers an important and visible platform for women directors.”
Adrales moved into her role as artistic director at the Lark in New York City earlier this year. She previously worked as associate artistic director and director of new-play development at Milwaukee Rep.
The Ammerman award is possible thanks to Andrew R. Ammerman, a longtime member of Arena Stage’s board of trustees. The Ammerman supports many aspects of Arena Stage, including partnership programs with Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania and Georgetown University. These programs have helped develop new works, mentored new artists and administrators, and opened the dialogue surrounding important issues in theatre.
Adrales is a director, artistic leader, and teacher. Her work has graced the Second Stage, Manhattan Theater Club, Signature Theater, LCT3, The Public Theater, WP, New York Theater Workshop, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Seattle Rep, Milwaukee Rep, South Coast Rep and Baltimore Center Stage. She won the 2018 Theater Communications Group Alan Schneider Award for freelance directors, and has been a Drama League directing fellow, a Van Lier directing fellow at 2nd Stage, Women’s Project Lab director, SoHo Rep Writers/Directors Lab, and New York Theater Workshop directing fellow, TCG New Generations grantee, SDC Denham Fellowship recipient and Paul Green Directing Award winner. She serves on the board of Theater Communications Group. May has directed and taught at Juilliard, Harvard/ART, ACT, Fordham, NYU and Bard College, and served as faculty at the Yale School of Drama and Brown/Trinity MFA program.
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