Estelle Parsons is set to receive a major honor at the League of Professional Theatre Women’s (LPTW) Theatre Women Awards virtual gala. The Oscar winner and five-time Tony Award-nominated actress and stage director will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award, a press release announced.
Last seen on Broadway in “The Velocity of Autumn,” for which she received a Tony nod, Parson’s other stage credits include “August, Osage County,” “Morning’s at Seven,” and “And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little.” “As a director, she created the New York Shakespeare Festival Players for Joseph Papp in the 1980s,” the source details.
A two-time Oscar nominee, Parsons received nods for “Rachel, Rachel” and “Bonnie and Clyde” and won for the latter. She can currently be seen in ABC sitcom “The Conners.”
The League of Professional Theatre Women is also honoring Artistic Director Meghan Finn (Lucille Lortel Visionary Award), hair, wig, and makeup designer Cookie Jordan (Ruth Morley Design Award), lyricist and librettist Sheilah Rae (LPTW Special Award for service), director Taylor Reynolds (Lucille Lortel Award), actress Stephanie Berry (Lee Reynolds Award), and director and dramaturg Mei Ann Teo (Josephine Abady Award).
The Theatre Women Awards will take place via Zoom on Monday, June 7 at 7 p.m. Head over to LPTW’s website for more information and to purchase tickets. Check out bios of the winners below, courtesy of LPTW.
Estelle Parsons was last seen on Broadway in THE VELOCITY OF AUTUMN for which she received her fifth Tony Award nomination. Although she has spent most of her professional life in the theater, she is most widely known for her Academy Award-winning performance in BONNIE AND CLYDE, and her decade-long, recurring role of Beverly, mother of the title character in the hit sitcom ROSEANNE. In the theater, she has appeared in plays by the great writers of our time, including Edward Albee, Tennessee Williams, Dario Fo, and Horton Foote. She appeared in Roberto Athayde’s classic MISS MARGARIDA’S WAY on Broadway, all over the United States and in London, Dublin, Turkey and Australia. She starred in AUGUST, OSAGE COUNTY by Tracy Letts on Broadway for a year and on the road for a year. Recently she played in GOOD PEOPLE by David Lindsay-Abair and the Gershwin musical, NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT with Matthew Broderick. Her latest New York City appearance was at Playwrights Horizon in Michael Friedman’s musical UNKNOWN SOLDIER which was interrupted by the pandemic. In the fall she played Die Alte in Tony Kushner’s A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY at the Public Theater directed by Oskar Eustis. She appeared in the second and third seasons of Netflix’ GRACE AND FRANKIE with Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda. As a director, she created the New York Shakespeare Festival Players for Joseph Papp in the 1980s. For two seasons they performed SHAKESPEARE ON BROADWAY for New York City school students and their families in an effort to develop a multicultural audience for New York City. She also directed Al Pacino in Oscar Wilde’s SALOME; THE READING on Broadway and on tour. Last season she presented the Actors Studio developed THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT by Stephen Adly Guirgis at La Mama Experimental Theater in the East Village. Estelle Parsons is a member of the Actors Studio and was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2004. She has received four lifetime achievement awards: a Lilly , an Obie, a LaMama award and the Cherry Lane award.
The Ruth Morley Design Award given to women theatre designers of all genres, is being presented to hair, wig, and makeup designer Cookie Jordan. Her work on Broadway includes Slave Play, The Cher Show, Once on This Island, among others. Cookie Jordan (Ruth Morley Award) has designed 15 Broadway shows, including : Fela, Slave Play, Choir Boy, The Cher Show, Once On This Island, Sunday in the Park with George, In Transit, Eclipsed, Side Show, After Midnight, Fela, A View From the Bridge and South Pacific. Off-Broadway: All the Natalie Portmans, Girls, Fefu and Her Friends, Aint No Mo, Fairview, Toni Stone, If Pretty Hurts, The Secret Life of Bees, Boseman and Lena, Fabulation, Our Lady of 121st Street, In the Blood, Daddy, Hercules in the Park. Television: Make up for The Wiz Live. Cookie has been nominated for three Drama Desk Awards, one Emmy award, received two Obie Awards and The Henry Hewes Design Award.
Sheilah Rae is receiving a LPTW Special Award for her service to the industry as a lyricist and librettist, as well as her service to the League as a former President. A former Broadway performer, she has written a number of musicals with Michele Brourman and Debra Barsha, is a five-time Heideman Award finalist, and is currently working on a musical that she’s hoping to launch as a TV series. Sheilah Rae is the lyricist/co-librettist for Funny, You Don’t Look Like A Grandmother pub. Sam French and for I Married Wyatt Earp (59E59 Theatre, 2011) now called The Belle of Tombstone. 5 time Heideman Award Finalist for Lovelines, What Goes Around, The Waiter, On the Page, Single and Active all with composer Michele Brourman. For Prospect Theatre Co, Portraits, Snapshots, Who Knew?, Destination Everywhere. With Debra Barsha, Cooper Union at Prospect and Metropolitan Playhouse, Every Other Thursday (published Smith and Kraus) NJ Rep, Our Very Best People, NAMT grant recipient for The Helena Project, and currently From This Moment, a short musical hoping to launch as a TV series. Former Bway performer (Fiddler, Applause and many more). Many jingles/recordings as writer/producer. Recipient 2019 Lifetime Achievement from NYTB. Past President, League of Professional Theatre Women. Past Council, Songwriters Guild of America. Founding President Emeritus, NYTheatre Barn. BMus/University of Michigan, RAM and Guildhall School, London. Member Dramatist Guild, Maestra, SGA, LPTW, AEA, SGA, AFTRA, Local 802. Board of the Bret Adams/Paul Reisch Fndtn. www.belleoftombstone.com, www.SheilahRae.net
The Lucille Lortel Award is being bestowed on Taylor Reynolds, a New York-based director from Chicago and one of the producing artistic leaders of the OBIE-winning The Movement Theatre Company. The award is reserved for a theatre woman with creative promise deserving recognition. Taylor Reynolds has worked as a director and collaborator with companies including Clubbed Thumb, Page 73, Baltimore Center Stage, Signature Theatre Company, MCC, Ars Nova, and The 24 Hour Plays. Selected directing credits: Tambo & Bones by Dave Harris (upcoming, Playwrights Horizons/CTG), Vote! (the black album) by Regina Taylor (Here We Are,Theatre for One) Richard & Jane & Dick & Sally by Noah Diaz (Baltimore Center Stage/Playwrights Realm), Plano by Will Arbery (Drama Desk nom for Best Director, Clubbed Thumb), Songs About Trains (Radical Evolution), Allond(r)a by Gina Femia (New Georges Audrey Residency), Think Before You Holla (creator/deviser, Ally Theatre Company). She is a New Georges Affiliated Artist, 2017-2018 Clubbed Thumb Directing Fellow, Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab alum, and member of SDC. BFA, Carnegie Mellon University.
Actor Stephanie Berry is the recipient of the Lee Reynolds Award, an award given to a woman stage actor whose work has helped illuminate possibilities for social, cultural, or political change. Among Ms. Berry’s New York stage credits are Donja Love’s Sugar in Our Wounds and Emily Mann’s Gloria: A Life. Stephanie Berry Stephanie’s recent stage credits include: FRANKENSTEIN at the Classic Stage Company, for all the women who thought they were Mad at Soho Repertory Theatre and GLORIA: A LIFE at the Daryl Roth Theatre. Last season, she was nominated for a 2019 Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Award for Best Featured Actress for her role in Suga In Our Wounds at Manhattan Theatre Club and a Helen Hayes Award for Best Lead Actress for her role in Gem of the Ocean at the Round House Theater. Film and TV credits include: Before You Know It, O.G., Delivery Man, Invasion, No Reservations and Finding Forrester, Luke Cage, The Last OG, Bull, Blue Bloods, Blacklist, and all the Law-and-Order Shows. Stephanie is the recipient of an OBIE and an AUDELCO Award for her one-woman show, THE SHANEEQUA CHRONICLES. She is a recipient of the TCG/Fox Foundation Fellowship and a founding member of Blackberry Productions, a documentary theater company. See website: stephanieberryactor.com
Mei Ann Teo
As a director/devisor/dramaturg, Mei Ann Teo, a queer immigrant from Singapore, creates theatre across genres, including musical theatre, intermediate participatory work, reimagining classics, and documentary theatre, and is receiving the Josephine Abady Award as a woman theatre artist who has created work of cultural diversity. Mei Ann Teo (Josephine Abady Award) (they/she). As a director/devisor/dramaturg, they create across genres, including music theatre, intermedial participatory work, reimagining classics, and documentary theatre. Teo’s international work includes Belgium’s Festival de Liege (Lyrics From Lockdown, “Truly polished, meaningful and entertaining” -New York Times), Edinburgh International Fringe (MiddleFlight, “Stunning” -Scotsman), Beijing International Festival (Labyrinth – Top 8 in Beijing News). Dim Sum Warriors the Musical by Colin Goh and Yen Yen Woo, composed by Pulitzer Prize winner Du Yun for national China twenty-five city tour, Jillian Walker’s world premiere SKiNFoLK: An American Show at the Bushwick Starr (NYTimes Critics Pick, NYMag’s matrix “Highbrow and Brilliant”), Madeline Sayet’s Where We Belong at Shakespeare’s Globe. Teo is the Visiting Professor of Directing at Carnegie Mellon University and the Artistic Director of Musical Theatre Factory.
Meghan Finn, artistic director of New York based The Tank, has directed both nationally and internationally, and is being awarded with the Lucille Lortel Visionary Award, for a woman artist showing great creative promise. Finn’s work includes premieres by playwrights Mac Wellman, Caitlyn Saylor Stephens, Julia May Jonas, and a film by Peggy Stafford. Her directorial work has been seen at The Tank, the V&A, Serpentine Galleries, The Wexner Center, SCAD, The Logan Center for the Arts, Museo Jumex Mexico City, The Power Plant, Canadian Stage, Carnegie Mellon, Brooklyn College, MIT, NYU, 3LD and others. Directing Credits include: three premieres by Mac Wellman The Invention of Tragedy (2019), The Offending Gesture (2016) and 3,2’s; OR AFAR (2011), I Am Nobody a new musical by Greg Kotis, The Nine Dreams: Blake & the Apocalypse by Nick Flynn (film), 16 Words or Less by Peggy Stafford (film), DOOMOCRACY (2016) and Manufacturing Mischief (2017), by Pedro Reyes, American Power by Mitch Epstein & Erik Friedlander and celebrated premieres by Caitlyn Saylor Stephens, Julia May Jonas, Erin Courtney, Gary Winter, Peggy Stafford, Ben Gassman, Alexandra Collier, Carl Holder, Eliza Bent and Cori Copp. BA in Theater from USC, MFA in Directing from Brooklyn College.