The League of Professional Theatre Women Honors Betty Corwin, Founder of Theatre Archives at Lincoln Center Library of Performing Arts

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Betty Corwin, Paula Vogel, Linda Winer
Photo by Kacey Anisa Stamats

THE LEAGUE OF PROFESSIONAL THEATRE WOMEN HONORS BETTY CORWIN
Founder of the theatre archives at Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts

New York, New York – October 23, 2017: On Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at 12:00 pm, THE LEAGUE OF PROFESSIONAL THEATRE WOMEN (LPTW), dedicated to championing women in theatre since its inception and an authority at the forefront of the conversation about gender parity in American theatre for 35 years, is proud to celebrate the legacy of Betty Corwin with a Special Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the American theatre.

The event will take place at at Sardi’s (234 W 44th St #3, New York, NY 10036) and feature industry luminaries honoring the legacy of this founding member of the LPTW and theatre history pioneer, who founded the theatre on film archives at Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts, which have preserved generations of live theatre, and thus the work of some of the greatest artists in the American theatre. Betty Corwin, founder and former director of the Theatre on Film and Tape Archive (TOFT), proposed the idea of preserving visual records of live theatre performances to The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center in 1969.  Tickets are $95-$125 and available at http://theatrewomen.org/event/betty-corwin.

According to journalist Peter Filichia, who included Ms. Corwin in his book Broadway MVPs: 1960-2010 – The Most Valuable Players of the Past 50 Seasons for the 1986-1987 season, “Anyone in the Broadway community who has ever been to Library of Performing Arts and watched a show owes a debt of gratitude to Ms. Corwin.”

Betty Corwin’s background as production assistant and script reader for theatrical producers prepared her to create the Archive, the foremost collection of videotapes of live theatre performances in the world. Ms Corwin, who received a 2001 TONY Award for founding TOFT, has spoken about the Archive to groups across the country, in London and in Warsaw. Articles about her and about TOFT have appeared in several publications; she has appeared on a number of radio and television programs and, with TOFT a role model for similar archives, has served as a consultant to various organizations.

On Nov 6th at  6PM at the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center, Daryl Roth will be interviewed by Linda Winer for Oral History which will be archived for Library of Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. All of the League of Professional Theatre Women Oral History interviews have been preserved for posterity in TOFT.

TICKETS: $95 LPTW Members, $125 Non LPTW Members, $1,750 VIP table of 10 (includes a one half page journal ad in the “Bettybill”). All tickets include a champagne toast.

WEBSITE: http://www.TheatreWomen.org

The LPTW acknowledges with great appreciation our major funders and sponsors: NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, and with funds from the NYS Council on the Arts, a state agency, with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.

Betty Corwin, founder and former director of the Theatre on Film and Tape Archive (TOFT), proposed the idea of preserving visual records of live theatre performances to The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center in 1969.

She is the recipient of  an Outer Critics Special Award (1996), a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Broadway Theatre Institute (1996), a Certificate of  Appreciation from the City of New York (1993), an Obie Award (1993), awards from the Drama Desk (1988), Women in Communications  (1984), the Villager (1982) and a Westport, Connecticut Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement (2001).

Ms Corwin has been a juror for the Pulitzer Prizes for Drama, was a member of the Tony Awards Nominating Committee, a judge for the Clarence Derwent Award, the St,Clair Bayfield Award, The Joseph A Callaway Award, the Richard Seff Award, was on the advisory board of Theatre Talk Productions, and on the Artistic Advisory Council to the Westport Country Playhouse.  Articles by Ms Corwin have been published in Performing Arts Resources, Variety and League Line.

At present Ms Corwin is the Director of Special Projects for TOFT for which she coordinated a  joint project between the Library and the American Theatre Wing, videotaping a series of “How to” interviews with 32 notable theatre personalities describing the preparation for their careers and the roles they play in creating a theatrical production.  She was co-producer of the League of Professional Theatre Women’s WOMEN IN THEATRE television series, dialogues with notable women in theatre broadcast  on CUNY-TV and currently produces the interviews at Lincoln Center with outstanding women in American theatre.  All of these interviews have been preserved for posterity in the Theatre On Film and Tape Archive.

ABOUT THE LEAGUE OF PROFESSIONAL THEATRE WOMEN:

The League of Professional Theatre Women is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization which exists to champion women in theatre. For over 35 years, LPTW has been leading the gender parity conversation in professional theatre, offering programming, events, and advocacy initiatives which provide visibility and opportunities for women. Since its founding, the League’s membership has grown to 500+ members of theatre artists and practitioners of all backgrounds, across multiple disciplines, working in the commercial and non-profit sectors. To promote visibility and increase opportunities for female-identifying people in the field, LPTW spearheads events, public programming, advocacy projects, and media and publications that celebrate industry luminaries, preserve the legacy of historic visionaries, raise awareness of the importance of nurturing women’s voices, and shine a spotlight on the importance of striving for gender parity and of fostering a diversity of expression, both in the theatre world and world at large. In 2015, the LPTW issued its Women Count Report, a study of the hiring of women Off-Broadway over the course of five seasons. The findings in this widely-acclaimed study led to the LPTW Seal of Approval initiative, which awards theatres in the off-Broadway community that have achieved 50/50 gender parity or better in their seasons. None of the LPTW’s work is possible without generous philanthropic support to find out more, please visit the website http://www.theatrewomen.org and click on the “Support Us” tab.

And Another One:Midtown International Theatre Festival Ends After 18 Seasons

Of course, I am flooded with emotions. Of course, I understand. To my indie artists, dig deep, find a way, continue to create.

Midtown International Theatre Festival Ends After 18 Season

NY, NY – Broadway World News Desk – Creator and executive producer of the Midtown International Theatre Festival, John Chatterton, announced today that he will be retiring the MITF until further notice. In a statement to the press, Chatterton said:

“On looking back over 18 seasons of the MITF, I have many memories, most of them good, some not so much, and some hilarious. But I’ve had some reverses in recent years that have forced me to hang up the gloves. Hence, this retirement memo.

When you get to be 71, you accumulate a few dings on your person — with some people, more dings than others, some dings going deeper than others. When you start to feel like my first car, a ’65 Dodge Dart (this was in ’79), you know it’s time to re-evaluate your priorities.

The financial situation has also grown more parlous. When I started the MITF (in 2000), I was making $65 an hour as a tech writer on Wall Street. Now I’m on Social Security. I can no longer underwrite the Festival budget out of my own pocket.

(A few years ago I moved back to Massachusetts, for personal reasons, and the strains of commuting to NYC also take their toll.)

The last straw was recent lawsuit. It was one of those cases where you’re damned if you win and damned if you lose, because either way you have to pay legal costs.

I have lots of energy and ideas left. Also an increasing urge to travel the world, starting with a farewell tour (in a much better car) down the East Coast to Florida. So, as the Governator said, ‘I’ll be b-a-a-a-c-k!’

Thank you, New York, for giving my life meaning for 24 years. Thank you for the opportunity to serve that occasionally fickle muse, the Theatre, in all the roles I’ve experienced. Good luck and God bless. We’ll be in touch!”

In the summer of 2000, in midtown Manhattan, the Midtown International Theatre Festival (MITF) began celebrating the diversity of theatre.

MITF emphasizes imaginative, low-tech staging. In addition to offering a safe environment to develop innovative theatre, the MITF is devoted to keeping costs for participants down. This means there are now no participation fees for any of our festivals!

The MITF welcomes submission of any kind of stage play, musical or otherwise, new or revived, mainstream or focused on an ethnic or cultural niche.

The Festival is the brainchild of John Chatterton, creator of OOBR (“the off-off-broadway review”), which for many years was the only publication exclusively devoted to covering the Off-Off-Broadway scene. Mr. Chatterton started the MITF as a way to present the finest Off-Off-Broadway talent in convenience, comfort, and safety. He also produces the Short Play Lab and the Midwinter Madness Short Play Festival.

Review: Synching Ink

Dancing and Spitting Rhymes to Find Your Voice

By Irene Hernandez

Before entering The Sam Theater, to see the play Synching Ink at The Flea Theater, I, along with the other audience members, had to pay the bouncer (Elisha Lawson) with participation – responding to his calls to clap, stomp and complete his chants with enthusiasm. Once the bouncer was greased, he allowed us inside with a warning: we are about to enter a party. Once I entered the theater, I realized the guy wasn’t kidding: the stage in the round was a club lit dance floor, vibrating from the remixed 90s hip hop/R&B hits expertly spinned by DJ Reborn. As I sat down, I felt like the lame chick sitting out from dancing in a club. If I wasn’t writing notes for this review, I would have been out on that stage, dancing shamelessly.

This world of visceral rhythm was created by director (and Artistic Director of The Flea Theater) Niegel Smith to illuminate the mouthwatering hip hop poetry of Nsangou Njikam’s Synching Ink.

The play opens with old school hip hop dancing from the street clad ensemble of impressive nimble actor/dancers, each representing a color and an earthly element. These talented and versatile artists dance at several important moments in the play to help tell the story of Gordon (Njikam), an insecure young man we first meet in high school, where he first aspires to be a hip hop wordsmith, as good as his classmates and to win the affection of class siren Mona Lisa (McKenzie Frye). As Gordon breaks the 4th wall to tell his story (based on Njikam himself) and confide in the audience, Njikam deftly suggests each stage of his hip hop creative journey as he ages, subtly using his physicality, vast vocal range, wardrobe, and spacial distance from everyone else on stage. Not only is Njikam a strong, original playwright, he is a genuinely talented actor as well.

In Gordon’s world, he is helped by various classmates and teachers along the way, as well as his father, to help him find his artistic voice. The ensemble (Lawson, Frye, Adesola Osakalumi, Kara Young, Nuri Hazzard) is absolutely adept with spoken word dexterity, wonderfully surprising versatility in the various characters they played, fantastic range in their dancing, fluent in every language of rap and worked phenomenally off of one another. Though the entire cast is fantastic in their artistry in their own right, the standout is Adesola Osakalumi, who played an English teacher with elegant physicality, a hilariously dubbed martial artist expert, Gordon’s aging father, a black power college professor, the MC of the final hip hop battle and a hip hop dancer. Having seen him only have moments and a costume piece to switch characters is even more impressive.

Smith’s direction is seamless, from spoken word scenes to dance scenes, while finding the arc of Gordon’s journey to search deep inside himself to find his voice, and doing so with humor, dance and original devices, such as rewinding a brief scene, using sound effects and the talents of his actors. A special mention to the lighting designer, Kevin Rigdon, for finding interesting variety and original choices in telling this story, as well as the choreographer, Gabriel “Kwikstep” Dionisio, for his incredible work in creating different dances to create the story arc and the work he did with the cast, sound designer Justin Ellington for his surprising and fun choices with the production sound and costume designer Claudia Brown for her subtle work in creating the story arch for Gordon and the color choices and pieces for the ensemble.

I cannot express enough how impressed I am with Nsangou Njikam’s writing with Synching Ink. Creating each spoken word/hip hop pieces for each character, the overall arc of the play for several characters and the original, interesting and funny characters he created while telling truths about his experience, makes Synching Ink an experience you have to see for yourself. I honestly hope you do.

Irene Hernandez is an actor, playwright/screenwriter, director, producer, singer, song writer, teaching artist, designing artisan, fine artist, art model and the artistic director of Dancing Frog Theater Company.

Where: The Flea complex (20 Thomas Street in Tribeca, between Church and Broadway, three blocks north of Chambers).

When: Performances run through October 29th

Tickets are available at Ovationtix.

BroadwayCon Announces Initial Programming for Industry Day

Anthony Rapp is one of the creators of BroadwayCon, which just announced an initial slate of panels for its Industry Day.

Anthony Rapp is one of the creators of BroadwayCon, which just announced an initial slate of panels for its Industry Day.
(© David Gordon)

BroadwayCon announced initial programming for BroadwayCon Industry Day. Curated by the digital marketing firm Situation, BroadwayCon Industry Day will bring together industry leaders and professionals with a wide array of expertise to discuss new and inventive ways to foster the Broadway fan experience.

Three panels are scheduled so far: one facilitated by Broadway producer and Mashable chief operating officer Mike Kriak, another led by Broadway producer and sports entrepreneur Brisa Trinchero, and yet another facilitated by Broadway producer and technology entrepreneur Tim Kashani. For more details about the panels, click here.

Additional panels, curators, and keynotes will be announced later. The daylong forum for industry professionals will take place on Thursday, January 25, 2018, at the Crowne Plaza Times Square Manhattan.

Previously announced special guests include co-creator Anthony Rapp, as well as Christy Altomare, Alessandra Baldacchino, Nicholas Barasch, Laura Benanti, William Berloni, Griffin Birney, Heidi Blickenstaff, Stephanie J. Block, Sierra Boggess, Alex Brightman, Andrea Burns, Liz Callaway, Ben Cameron, Carolee Carmello, Donna Lynne Champlin, Adam Chanler-Berat, Andrew Chappelle, Jenn Colella, Lilli Cooper, Veanne Cox, Janet Dacal, Ariana DeBose, Ben Fankhauser, Drew Gasparini, Gideon Glick, Annie Golden, Randy Graff, Molly Hager, Lennon Nate Hammond, Ann Harada, Rodney Hicks, Patrick Hinds, Noah Hinsdale, Emma Hunton, Georgi James, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Maggie Keenan-Bolger, Chad Kimball, Derek Klena, Michael John LaChiusa, Raymond J. Lee, Sydney Lucas, Rick Lyon, Lesli Margherita, Chris McCarrell, Ruthie Ann Miles, Zell Steele Morrow, Donna Murphy, Kelli O’Hara, Laura Osnes, Bryce Pinkham, Gabriella Pizzolo, Anthony Rosenthal, Pierson Salvador, Kyle Scatliffe, Alexandra Silber, Leigh Silverman, James Snyder, Oscar Williams, and Doug Wright. Additional special guests will be announced at a later date.

BroadwayCon, taking place at the Jacob Javits Center January 26-28, 2018, will feature panels, performances, interviews, workshops, sing-alongs, and more, all packed into a three-day weekend. Past panels have included previews from upcoming Broadway shows, conversations with the casts and creatives of this season’s hits, and discussions featuring the industry’s top producers and designers. BroadwayCon is produced by Mischief Management.

For tickets and more information on BroadwayCon, click here.

Meet Zoe Lau

Name: Zoe Lau

What’s next for you?

I’ll be hosting a new webisode called ‘Broadway 101’ with a Non-Profit theatre organization, Lotus Lee Foundation who is partnered with Lotus Lee Drama Studios, a pioneer of theatre in China. ‘Broadway 101’ is a video series that introduces Broadway and New York working artists to the Chinese audience. I will be having an exclusive episode with them following my day in New York as an actress.

https://www.lotus-lee.foundation/broadway101/

What is the name of the last show you saw?

Cloud 9

Any advice for your peers?

Perseverance is key, keep driving towards where you want to be! Everything we encounter is an experience that makes us stronger.

Want More?

Website: http://www.zoelau.weebly.com
Twitter: @thezoelau
Instagram: @zlau
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/zozolau

A New York based actress, Zoe was born in Hong Kong. Even though she was mainly raised there, she was blessed to also have educated in Singapore and U.K., where she has achieved an Acting Diploma from the notable Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, as well as completing a 2 Year Conservatory at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York.

Since moving to New York, Zoe has played a wide range of roles in theatre. She played a part in the World Premiere Off-Broadway Musical: Comfort Women which topics around incidents that happened in Asia during World War II. Another Off-Broadway experience for her was a reading of White Pearl, which was one of the winners of the second annual Columbia x Roundabout New Play Reading Series.

Regionally, Zoe played the lead of Kaguya in The Tale of Princess Kaguya with Theater at Monmouth that toured round Maine.

In films, Zoe plays a supporting role in Fishbone which was selected and screened in a number of festivals, amongst which was awarded the Best Undergraduate Film & Cinematography at the Fusion Film Festival and the Special Merit Award at the Seattle Shorts Film Festival. Her lead and supporting roles in the following films are set to be entering the film festival circuit soon: Shell Collector, Of Dionysus, Dawn

To name a few, Zoe appears in GoToMeeting, Optimum and Strongbow commercially. She also stars in Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute’s promotional video, Stratus Telehealth Video and you can spot her dancing in Brazillian Singer Anitta’s Paradinha Music Video!

Meet Patrick Johnnie & This Sinking Island

 

Name: Patrick Johnnie

What is your current project? This Sinking Island

Where are you performing your show and why is it a good fit for your production?

I believe it’s a good fit for the production because it is proven to be a safe space for artist to cultivate their creative talents.

What’s next for you?

I will be traveling to San diego to perform in a immersive theatre piece for the ViiV Healthcare Annual Conference, the play AS MUCH AS I CAN created from the narratives of the black gay men of Jackson,MS and Baltimore, MD who are currently living with with HIV.

What is the name of the last show you saw?
RADIUM GIRLS

Any advice for your peers?

At present, spread love and support in any form, they are some the best things you can  out into the world and it’s free.

Want More?

Instagram:  @feedmeactors
You Tube: PATRICK JOHNNIE

P.J. Johnnie is an actor from Louisiana and graduate of the The New School for Drama MFA program and has been working both in Film and on Stage since moving to New York. Currently appearing in the award nominated web series LOOKING THROUGH WINDOWS & THE SAME COIN and working as a collaborator with the Anthropologist. PJ is also a teaching artist at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts and a member of the Callaloo Children’s Theatre ensemble.


Show Information

DATE: October 20th (7:30pm) and October 21st (10:30am/7:30pm)

WHERE: University Settlement at Speyer Hall at University Settlement
184 Eldridge St., NY, NY 10002

TICKETS: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3067167

Meet Dominique Rider & This Sinking Island

Name: Dominique Rider

What is your current project? This Sinking Island

Where are you performing your show and why is it a good fit for your production?

University Settlement. Small spaces are good for telling intimate stories and can utilized in a lot of ways that huge ones can’t. You have the audience in the palm of your hand and can pull them in a lot easier.

What’s next for you?

Not sure! Hoping to continue building up credits as an Assistant Director.

What is the name of the last show you saw?

A festival of plays about black life in South Dallas.

Any advice for your peers?

Artist of color are often times forced to fight for a seat a table that doesn’t seem interested in what we have to say. Remember, that eventually, that table will belong to us.

Want More?

Facebook: Dominique Rider
Twitter: @DominiqueRider
Instagram: @domriders

Dominique Rider is a director and writer. He studied theatre at Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA) in Nacogdoches, Texas and has worked at many non-front Black theaters throughout Dallas. His most recent directing credits include Intimate Apparel (SFA), By the Bog of Cats(SFA), and Sunset Baby (SFA). He is excited to be working with The Anthropologists because of its strong focus on community engagement and hopes that This Sinking Island will bring about “more thoughtful conversation about climate change”.


Show Information

DATE: October 20th (7:30pm) and October 21st (10:30am/7:30pm)

WHERE: University Settlement at Speyer Hall at University Settlement
184 Eldridge St., NY, NY 10002

TICKETS: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3067167