Meet the 2012 Honorary IT Award Recipients 

By Doug Strassler 

At the Eighth Annual IT Awards Ceremony, three very deserving contributors to the world of Off-Off-Broadway will be recognized with honorary awards.

Artistic Achievement Award

5LBThe 2012 Artistic Achievement Award, presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the Off-Off community, goes to the 5 Lesbian Brothers this year. Comprised of Maureen Angelos, Babs Davy, Dominique Dibbell, Peg Healey, and Lisa Kron, 5LB has been together for nearly twenty-five years, promoting their own ach brand of feminist performance. Their plays, which include Brave Smiles, Brides of the Moon, Oedipus at Palm Springs, The Secretaries, and Voyage to Lesbos, have been performed by theaters such as New York Theatre Workshop, The Public Theatre, the WOW Cafe Theatre, Downtown Art Company, Performance Space 122, Dixon Place, La Mama, the Kitchen and the Whitney Museum of American Art at Phillip Morris. The Brothers have toured their work to London, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Houston, Columbus, Seattle, Philadelphia, Boston woods of Michigan. They have received Obie, Bessie, and Lambda Literary Awards, and their plays are taught in theater and queer/feminist studies courses in colleges and universities throughout the country. 

“Nothing excites the spirit like a 99-seat house filled with 105 adventurous strangers, ever so slightly woozy from the scent of paint still drying on the set, but filled with anticipation as the hum of coffee-can lights controlled by a homemade dimmer board alerts them that the play you haven't quite finished writing is about to begin,” says the Brothers. “The Brothers are proud to be a part of the Off-Off-Broadway tradition, humbled to be included in the distinguished company of the former recipients and deeply honored to be receiving this Artistic Achievement Award.”


Ellen Stewart Award

tdfLOGOTheatre Development Fund (TDF) receives the 2012 Ellen Stewart Award, presented to an individual or organization demonstrating a significant contribution to the Off-Off-Broadway community through service, support and leadership. Founded in 1968, TDF is dedicated to developing diverse audiences for live theatre and dance and strengthening the performing arts community in New York City. It has become the largest nonprofit performing arts service organization in the United States, returning over $130 million to hundreds of productions annually through a variety of programs. TDF’s programs have provided over 80 million people with access to performances at affordable prices. Best known for its TKTS Discount Booths, TDF’s membership, outreach, access and education programs — as well as its Costume Collection — help to make the unique experience of theatre available to everyone. TDF recently received a 2011 Mayor’s Award for Arts and Culture and a 2012 Tony Honor for Excellence for its Open Doors Program.

“We are very honored to be recognized with this prestigious award," said Michael Naumann, TDF's Managing Director.  "We have been thrilled by the response to our Off-Off@$9 program for our members and are looking forward to opening the program up to the general public in the next few weeks, allowing adventurous theatregoers to discover the riches of Off-Off Broadway.”

Caffé Cino Fellowship Award

APAC2The 2012 Caffé Cino Fellowship Award, presented to an Off-Off-Broadway theatre company that consistently produces outstanding work (and which includes a grant to be used toward an Off-Off-Broadway production, goes to the Astoria Performing Arts Center, Inc. (APAC). APAC, a not-for-profit organization, was founded in 2001with a mission to bring high quality theater to Astoria, Queens and to support local youth and senior citizens.

In its 12 years, APAC has received 21 New York Innovative Theatre Award nominations and 4 wins (Children of Eden & Ragtime), as well as an Off-Off Broadway Theatre Review Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical (Is There Life After High School?).

APAC also offers free annual community programs, including a summer performance camp for children ages 8-13, after school playwriting classes for middle school students, and a performance program for Queens residents over the age of 60.  These programs deepen ties with the community, and develop new audiences for theater. APAC’s diverse programming and consistent quality of work has attracted a loyal and growing audience that reflects the diversity of Western Queens, but also draws people from the other boroughs and beyond.

“We're thrilled to be recognized by our peers in the indie theater community,” said Taryn Sacramone, Executive Director of APAC. “We've been proud to bring Off-Off-Broadway to Astoria for the past 12 years. A lot of our friends in the Queens community will take some hometown pride in APAC getting this award.”

The IT Awards and the Off-Off community congratulate all of this year’s honorary award recipients.


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