NEW YORK CITY: The New York Innovative Theatre Awards have announced the recipients of their 2020-21 Honorary Awards.
The Caffe Cino Award, named in honor of the legendary Caffe Cino, is presented to an Off-Off-Broadway theatre company producing outstanding work. This year’s recipient, the Parsnip Ship, is a podcast play company performing both through live events and audio podcasts. Launched in spring 2015, the Parsnip Ship updates the concept of the radio play by focusing on stories that differ in form, content, and plot by underproduced playwrights. During this crisis, the Parsnip Ship held many weekend sessions known as the “Parsnip Pop-up,” often co-hosted with other theatre companies.
The Ellen Stewart Award, named in honor of LaMaMa’s Ellen Stewart, goes to an individual or organization contributing to the Off-Off-Broadway community. This year’s award recognizes Indie Theatre Fund/IndieSpace, an organization born from a deep connection to indie theatre and a frustration with inequities keeping the community from thriving. They provide equity-focused funding, real estate programs, professional development, and advocacy to individual artists, theatre companies, and indie venues.
The Artistic Achievement Award is presented to artists who have made a significant artistic contribution to the Off-Off-Broadway community. This year’s awardees are Penny Arcade and Steve Zehentner, who have created experimental theatre and long-form performance art examining the borders between theatre and performance.
The Outstanding Stage Manager Award honors the link between artistic conception/inspiration and the practical implementation of stage managers, and this year goes to Rachel April.
The Doric Wilson Emerging Playwright Award, named in honor of playwright and activist Doric Wilson, is presented to a playwright whose work has been produced Off-Off-Broadway. This year’s recipient, Chris Weikel, creates work that consists of theatricality, magical realism, and a decidedly queer sensibility.
And the first recipients of the new Indie Theatre Champion Awards are Randi Berry, an indie theatremaker, actor, writer, and producer producer and executive director of the IndieSpace Fund and Independent Theatre Fund; Episcopal Actors Guild (EAG), a resource for emergency aid and support for professional performers of all faiths; Ximena Garnica, who created the Cultural Solidarity Fund (CSF) to provide emergency grants to artists and cultural workers left behind by other forms of COVID-19 relief; JACKNY, a Brooklyn-based, Obie-winning performance-meets-civic space; Latinx Playwright Circle, which aims to build a network of Latinx playwrights nationwide, and Aimee Todoroff, who works with the League of Independent Theatre to advocate politically for independent theatre artists.
Each year, the New York Innovative Theatre Awards gathers to recognize some of the best and brightest from the independent theatrical community, as individuals, companies and productions. NYIT Awards will honor these recipients in person and via live-stream on Nov. 14 from the Kraine Theatre.
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