C.J. Bathiany, Rachel Gordon Fischoff (on piano) and Nathanial Washington,

Two Students Win Musical Theatre Prize at SIU

Jacob Coakley

Nathaniel Washington and C.J. Bathiany were each awarded the Stuart Fischoff Excellence in Musical Theater Award for spring 2016. Established in 2013 by Stuart Fischoff and Rachel Gordon Fischoff the award supports students at the Southern Illinois University (SIU) Department of Theater and School of Music who show outstanding excellence and exhibit great potential for success in their career. The award comes with a cash scholarship for each of $1,000.

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The winners of the 2016 Vilcek Prizes in arts and sciences

Vilcek Foundation Awards $250k in Prizes to Immigrant Theatre Artists

Jacob Coakley

The Vilcek Foundation honors immigrant contributions to the American arts and sciences. This year’s prize drew from the realms of theatre and the biosciences. For theatre, Blanka Zizka receive the $100,000 Vilcek Prize in Theatre, honoring her “record of major achievement.” Three $50,000 Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Theatre were awarded to Sarah Benson, Desdemona Chiang and Yi Zhao.

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Westport Country Playhouse Launches New Works Initiative

Jacob Coakley

The New Works initiative at Westport Country Playhouse will develop new plays and musicals through workshop and reading opportunities. First up is Out of the Mouths of Babes by Israel Horovitz, in partnership with New York’s Cherry Lane Theatre, and The Rivals, with book and lyrics by Peter Kellogg, music by Stephen Weiner, based on the 1775 play by Richard Brinsley Sheridan.

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Steppenwolf Announces New Café, Bar and Black Box Theatre

Jacob Coakley

Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre will open a new café, bar and 80-seat black box theatre in the spring. The new space connects directly to their main lobby. Boka Restaurant Group will run the café, and the new theatre will present a diverse array of programming, including Steppenwolf ensemble-based projects, comedy, music, solo performance, dance, visiting theater companies and more beginning in Spring 2016. The name and programming will be announced at a later date.

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Shakespeare Theatre Association Holds Conference at Notre Dame

Jacob Coakley

Shakespeare Theatre Association kicked off their year-long quadricentenntial celebration of Shakespeare at Notre Dame with a conference titled: Shakespeare in Prisons: In Practice. The conference brings together Shakespeare scholars and theatre practitioners together for three days of plenaries, panel discussions, and active workshop training by some of the most noted figures in the field of Shakespeare and social justice.

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Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Funds Second Round of Commissioning and Production Initiative

Jacob Coakley

Five theatres received $125,000 from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation as part of their Commissioning and Production Initiative. Children’s Theatre Company, Goodman Theatre, Lincoln Center Theater, Roundabout Theatre Company and Victory Gardens Theater will receive grants to produce a new, large-scale work by an American playwright.

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PICT Classic Theatre Names Steven Alschuler President of the Board

Jacob Coakley

After weathering a rocky 2015, PICT Classic Theatre in Pittsburgh looks to right the ship in 2016. To help them, they’ve named Steven Alschuler as president of the board. Alschuler, president of Pittsburgh-based public relations firm Alschuler Communications, is a native New Yorker, who moved to Pittsburgh in 2012 after selling the New York-based public relations firm he founded and led for 20 years.

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