Goodman Theatre Names 2014-2015 Playwrights Unit Members

Jacob Coakley

The Goodman Theatre named Scott T. Barsotti, Mia Mccullough, Bonnie Metzgar and Carlos Murillo to their 2014-2015 Playwrights Unit. As members, the Chicago-based writers will meet twice per month with members of the Goodman’s artistic team to discuss their plays-in-progress and provide feedback for one another. The program culminates in summer 2015 with staged readings of their completed works at the Goodman.

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Center Theatre Group Announces 2015 Richard E. Sherwood Award Finalists

Jacob Coakley

Center Theatre Group has named the three finalists for the 2015 Richard E. Sherwood Award, which is designed to “nurture innovative, adventurous theatre artists of promise” with a $10,000 cash grant. The finalists are: Zakiyyah Alexander, a playwright; Sean Cawelti, founding artistic director of Rogue Artists Ensemble, a Los Angeles-based theatre company; and Jenny Foldenauer, a costume designer. The Sherwood Award will be presented at the Ovation Awards ceremony produced by LA Stage Alliance on November 2 at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse.

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In Memoriam: Marian Seldes

Jacob Coakley

Marian Seldes, a Tony Award winner actor and Broadway icon, died Monday, Oct. 6 after an extended illness. Seldes’ career spanned more than 60 years. She won a Tony for her work in A Delicate Balance and in 2010 she was honored with a Tony Award for lifetime achievement. Her last appearance on Broadway was in 2007 in Terrence McNally’s Deuce. She taught for many years at The Juilliard School and later as an adjunct professor at Fordham University. 

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In Memoriam: Sherman Carl Ward, Jr. (1921-2014)

Jacob Coakley

Sherman C. Ward, Jr., respected local artist and community theatre leader, died at the age of 92 on October 1, 2014 after having been in failing health for several months. Sherman was working on his latest artwork and a family history at his home in Alexandria Bay, NY, when he passed. Born in Lorain, Ohio, on November 14, 1921, the son of the late Dr. S. Carl Ward and Ruby Kathleen Warner Ward, he graduated from Oglethorpe University in 1946 and received his Master of Science degree from Syracuse University in 1948. He is survived by the former Ann Laura Bodie, whom he married in 1949. Sherman had been a leader in community theatre for more than 50 years, during which time he founded The Musicrafters of Camden County and was well known as a skillful and creative director. With the Musicrafters, he directed, his wife stage managed, his three children all acted in the shows, and everyone built the sets. Community theatre for Sherman was an adventure for the whole family. He also served as president of the New Jersey Theatre League as well as several community theatre groups. He was a member of the Board of the American Association of Community Theatres (AACT), a Regional Representative of AACT Region II, Treasurer of the Eastern States Theatre Association (Region II), and a roving adjudicator for the Theatre Association of New York (TANYS). One of the plays he directed was a finalist in AACT’s national competition and went on to represent the United States at the International Community Theatre Festival in Nova Scotia. In 2004, he was Playwright in Residence at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, and in 2005, he was honored by AACT with the Robert E. Gard Superior Volunteer Award and in 2011, he was inducted as an AACT Fellow. In 2008, TANYS established an annual award in his name to honor a volunteer over the age of 65 who has participated in community theatre for over 25 years.

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Joseph Haj Wins Zelda Fichandler Award

Jacob Coakley

Joseph Haj, producing artistic director at Playmakers Rep in Chapel Hill, N.C. won the 2014 Zelda Fichandler Award from the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. The Zelda Fichandler Award honors “an outstanding director or choreographer who is transforming the regional arts landscape through imaginative, brave work in theatre” and comes with a $5,000 prize. The SDC chose Haj thanks to his “exemplary artistry, diverse and exciting programming choices, and deep commitment to the arts in North Carolina.”

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United Performing Arts Fund Allocates $9 Million

Jacob Coakley

The United Performing Arts Fund will distribute $9,075,300 to its member organizations and affiliates. The $9 million is a nine percent increase over 2013 and the most in UPAF history. The record-setting 2014 UPAF Campaign was co-chaired by Bob Arzbaecher, chairman of Actuant Corporation; Therese Burkhart, community volunteer; and Glen Hackmann, vice chairman of Robert W. Baird and Co. The allocation numbers are determined by an independent committee, which was expanded this year to increase representation of UPAF's largest corporate donors. The UPAF Allocation Committee utilized the allocation process that was established in 2013 to ensure transparency and objectivity while maintaining prudent stewardship of donor dollars.

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