IT Awards Staff

We would like to acknowledge and thank our friends throughout the New York Theatre community who helped make the dream of these awards a reality.

The Honorary Awards Committee is responsible for the selection of the recipients of the Honorary Awards. Its members also act as advisors in the development of the awards process and as arbitrators in the case of production awards disputes.

Founding Directors

Jason Bowcutt - Upon graduating from the University of Utah's Actors Training Program, Jason received the Kenneth Washington Scholarship to move to Washington DC and work with the Shakespeare Theatre.  Jason's acting carrer eventually brought him to New York where he received a Drama Desk nomination, Helen Hayes Award nomination and recognition from the Drama League for his role as Nathan Leopold in the Outer Critics Circle Award winning play "Never the Sinner".  Jason continued to act in New York as well as many Regional Theatres including Signature Theatre, McCarter Theatre, Guthrie Theatre, Rep Theatre of St. Louis and Cincinnati Playhouse.  Jason's varied work activities have had him working in theatrical casting agencies as well as non-theatrical businesses throughout New York.  Artistically Jason began directing and producing Off-Off-Broadway leading to his co-founding of the IT Awards.  Since that time Jason has produced and event managed with many organizations including serving as Conference Planner for the Utah Arts Council's 2007 'Mountain West Conference on the Arts'.

Shay Gines graduated from the Actors Training Program at the University of Utah with a dual degree in theatre and marketing. She then made the smartest decision of her life and (despite her father’s wishes) choose to pursue a career in theatre. Since then she has done everything from spackling walls at the Pasadena Playhouse and running follow-spot for the Pioneer Theatre Company to serving as the Artist in Residence for Touchstone Theatre. She has performed in theatres of all sizes from 30 seats to 1,000 across the country, from L.A. to NYC. She is an award winning producer whose Off and Off-Off-Broadway shows include: Home Again Home Again Jiggity Jig, What the F**k?!, Hamlet and Muse of Fire. Shay was a Founding Member and the Producing Director for Esperance Theatre Company. She is currently one half of the producing team for Theatrical Fair, an active member of TOSOS II and of Emerging Artists Theatre Company where she also serves as an Associate Director.

Nick Micozzi is originally from northeast Ohio, where he founded Prodigal Theatre Group. In New York, he has been a member of Esperance Theatre Company, Pure Pop Rep, and The Splinter Group.  He trained and worked with Jim Slowiak (Grotowski’s Objective Drama) and Shakespeare & Co. in Lenox, MA.  Acting credits include FringeNYC, The Chekhov Vaudevilles Festival, The Pure Pop 2000 Festival, Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, Lucio in Measure for Measure, Bernard in Death of a Salesman, Sam in Pervy Verse, Luka in The Bear, and Iago in Othello.  Recently, Nick played "Tom" in Patrice Johnson's film King's County, which screened at the Urban World Film Festival in New York, and the festival circuit in the US and Europe. Nick's producer credits include Off-Off-Broadway: The Pure Pop Theatre Festival, The Chekhov Vaudevilles Festival, and Trojan Productions' The Illiad; Off-Broadway: Flags and Belfast Blues.  He was the founder of the free Off-Off-Broadway listings site,, and directs the Official Liveblog of Times Square New Years Eve.


Akia (Company Manager) is an active member of the flourishing Off-Off & Off Broadway theatre communities having produced, directed, and performed with numerous NYC companies since 1997. She is the Company Manager for the international sensation, Blue Man Group at the Astor Place Theater. Akia is also the Founding Artistic Director of the Rising Sun Performance Company, now in entering its 10th season, and has been involved on all levels with each of its 35+ productions. A Board Member of The Paul Butterfield Fund & Society, and serves on the NY It Awards honorary awards committee and as an At-Large Judge. Past notable credits include working on staff at Horse Trade Theatre Group, serving as General Manager for FRIGID New York’s inaugural year, returning as Volunteer Coordinator in 2009; and as Production Coordinator for nationally acclaimed Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre, overseeing the playwrights unit and INSIGHT 13 production series. Akia has also received critical acclaim for her direction of “Hellcab”, “Goodnight Lovin’ Trail” & the NYC Premiere of “The Last Supper”. She is a proud recipient of the New York Innovative Theatre Awards “Founders Award” for her contributions to the organization.

Hillary Cohen (Judge Coordinator) saw her first Off-Off-Broadway play as a second grader in 1988 and has been hooked ever since. Her non-profit management work represents experience with the operation of varied community service organizations including Philadelphia's Mayor's Commission on Technology, Vox Populi co-operative art gallery, Manhattan Theatre Club, Film Forum, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the JEHT Foundation, Visiting Nurse Service of New York, the Innocence Project, the Pearl Theatre Company, New York Theatre Workshop, and Baruch College/CUNY. Hillary was as a stage management intern for 2002 O'Neill Playwright's Conference. Her New York stage management credits include Cantata (Playwrights Theatre of New York), Danny and the Deep Blue Sea and Causin' A Scene (Big Step Productions), Chopin's Preludes (HERE American Living Room series), and several great Emerging Artists Theatre Company shows. She has served as a resident stage manager for Emerging Artists and was the company's Production Manager for their 2004-05 season. Hillary is a graduate of Drexel University with a degree in Corporate Communication and a Theatre Production minor. She attended the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University for her Master of Public Administration degree with a concentration in Non-Profit Management.

Tzipora Kaplan (Producer, Graphic Designer) works in a multitude of threatre disciplines as a Producer/Production Manager/Director/Stage Manager, and moonlights as a Graphic Designer for Music Theatre International. She's also house managed and hung lights, programmed a board (terribly), and wardrobed her way through the annals of the off-off-Broadway community. She is most proud not of her accomplishments, but of the friends she's made and the legions of successful working theatre artists who started their careers working one of her shows. She enjoys the continuous and humbling experience of learning to play the piano as an adult, giving orders to tech dudes, a great cup of coffee, Musicals, and things that Sparkle. She sincerely hopes that one day she will have the guts to be irreverent in her bio.