Vivienne Benesch Awarded the 2017 Zelda Fichandler Award

by Michael Eddy

Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation (SDCF) announces that Vivienne Benesch, of PlayMakers Repertory Theater (Chapel Hill, NC), is the recipient of the 2017 Zelda Fichandler Award. The award recognizes directors and choreographers who are in the center of their creative lives, demonstrate great accomplishment to-date and promise for the future, and who have made prominent achievements in the field with singular creativity and artistry, and deep investment in a particular community or region. The award is given annually within rotating regions of the U.S. It carries an unrestricted grant of $5,000 to the individual recipient.

Vivienne Benesch talks about the PlayMakers Rep 2017/18 'Season On the Edge'

A committee selected Benesch from nominees living and working in the Eastern region of the United States. The Committee also selected two finalists: Curt Columbus, of Trinity Repertory Company (Providence, RI), and Wendy C. Goldberg, of Eugene O'Neill Theater Center (Waterford, CT). This year’s Fichandler selection Committee was chaired by Warner Shook and included Linda Hartzell and Lisa Peterson. "Vivienne Benesch epitomizes the ideal choice for The Zelda Fichandler Award,” says Shook. “She is a mid-career artist working at the peak of her powers, as she has so readily demonstrated in both upstate New York and now in North Carolina with her insightful, thrilling work. The dynamic finalists Wendy C. Goldberg and Curt Columbus complete The Fichandler Class of 2017. I'm very proud to have played a part in choosing this top-notch trio. I think Zelda would be beaming."

Benesch said of her selection “I am so deeply honored by this recognition from my peers and SDCF. Zelda was a titan in our industry and I was also lucky enough to call her my teacher and a mentor. Receiving this award in her name is that much more meaningful and a call to continue working in the spirit of her global curiosity, commitment to regional excellence and belief in personal transformation through the arts—all of which have been career-long inspirations to me.”

The Fichandler Award will be presented to Ms. Benesch on Monday, October 30th, 2017 in Manhattan. More information on the presentation ceremony to be announced.

Further information from the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation: