Entertainment :: Celebrities

New Dramatists Honor Susan Stroman

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Wednesday May 21, 2014
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The New Dramatists honor Susan Stroman
The New Dramatists honor Susan Stroman  (Source:newdramatists.org)

On Thursday, May 22, the New Dramatists will honor five-time Tony Award winning director/choreographer Susan Stroman with their 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award at its 65th Annual Spring Luncheon tribute at the New York Marriott Marquis.

"At New Dramatists we live in a world of urgent stories told in wildly divergent ways, because the original and distinctive telling of stories is the heart of what playwrights do," said Todd London, Artistic Director, New Dramatists. "Susan Stroman is a master storyteller. As a director, choreographer and creative artist, she uses bodies, voices, music, scenery-everything at hand-to theatricalize the tales she tells. It’s always a thrill and a joy to encounter her work, two feelings that perfectly describe how it feels to be honoring her achievement."

Among the Stroman collaborators offering tributes will be Tony Award winner Boyd Gaines and New York City Ballet’s Tiler Peck performing a selection from "Little Dancer," Taylor Mac performing a selection from "The Last Two People on Earth," Tony nominee Marin Mazzie performing from "Bullets Over Broadway;" and Contact collaborator John Weidman, and cast members from "The Scottsboro Boys." The event co-chairs are Letty Aronson, Roy Furman, and Julian Schlossberg.

Each year, New Dramatists salutes an individual who has made an outstanding artistic contribution to the theatre community. Stroman directed and choreographed "The Producers," winner of a record-making 12 Tony Awards, including Best Direction and Best Choreography. She directed and choreographed "The Scottsboro Boys" on Broadway, where it received 12 Tony Award nominations. The show has continued to garner acclaim with her recent productions at San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre, American Conservatory Theater, the Ahmanson Theatre, and the Young Vic in London.

She co-created, directed and choreographed the groundbreaking musical "Contact" for Lincoln Center Theater, winning the 2000 Tony Award for Best Choreography, as well as Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel Awards and a 2003 Emmy Award for "Live from Lincoln Center." Other Broadway credits include "Big Fish," "Oklahoma!" (Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Olivier Awards), "Young Frankenstein," "Thou Shalt Not," "The Music Man" (Outer Critics Circle Award), "The Frogs", "Steel Pier" , "Big" , "Show Boat" (Tony, Outer Critics Circle Awards), "Picnic" and "Crazy for You" (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Olivier Awards).

Off-Broadway credits include "The Scottsboro Boys" (Lucille Lortel Award), "Happiness," "And the World Goes ’Round" (Outer Critics Circle Award), and "Flora, the Red Menace." For ten years she choreographed Madison Square Garden’s annual spectacular, "A Christmas Carol" (Outer Critics Circle Award). For New York City Opera she choreographed "A Little Night Music," "110 in the Shade," and "Don Giovanni." For New York City Ballet she created "Double Feature," a full-length ballet featuring the music of Irving Berlin and Walter Donaldson, and "For the Love of Duke," featuring the music of Duke Ellington.

She created the ballets "But Not For Me" for the Martha Graham Company and "Take Five...More or Less" for Pacific Northwest Ballet. Her choreography received an Emmy nomination for the HBO presentation "Liza Minnelli Live From Radio City Music Hall." Other TV credits include co-conceiver and choreographer for PBS’s "Sondheim: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall" and "Evening at Pops: A Tribute to the Theater Music of Leonard Bernstein." She received the American Choreography Award for her work in the Columbia Pictures feature film "Center Stage." She directed and choreographed "The Producers: The Movie Musical," nominated for 4 Golden Globes. She is the winner of a record five Astaire Awards and a recipient of the George Abbott Award for Lifetime Achievement in the American Theater.

Past luncheon honorees have included Bernadette Peters, Roger Berlind, Julie Taymor, Horton Foote, Edward Albee, Harvey Fierstein, Chita Rivera, Meryl Streep, Angela Lansbury, Julie Andrews, Glenn Close, Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Miller, Neil Simon, Jerry Herman, Terrence McNally, Barbara Cook, John Kander & Fred Ebb, August Wilson, and Gwen Verdon.

The luncheon will be held at 11:15 a.m. on Thursday, May 22 at the New York Marriott Marquis, 1535 Broadway. Tickets are $300; visit newdramatists.org/luncheon or call 212-757-6960 ext. 5468.

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women’s news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she writes about local restaurants in her food blog, http://brooklyniscookin.blogspot.com/

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