Haute Event: The Theatre Museum Awards for Excellence at The Players Club

Helen Guditis, President of The Theatre Museum, five time Tony winner Stewart F. Lane, Chairman of the Board of The Theatre Museum and 2011 Honoree for Distinguished Service to the Theatre, Bonnie Comley hosted a celebration to honor excellence in the theatre on April 30 at The Players Club.

Founded in 2003, The Theatre Museum is New York’s first and only chartered, non-profit museum dedicated to the history of theatre. Its primary mission is to preserve, protect and perpetuate the legacy of theatre through innovative programming. Currently a museum-at-large — it presents exhibitions on a myriad of subjects in collaboration with other cultural institutions. The Museum’s community outreach includes teaching children how to write, direct and stage live theatre, as well as the presentation of the Theatre Museum Awards for Excellence at its annual Gala.

Honorees at Monday’s Gala included the prestigious Theatre Arts Education Award given to Stagedoor Manor and presented by Broadway director, producer, writer and lyricist Richard Maltby. The Theatre Museum honored Frederick O. Olsson with its distinguished Career Achievement Award presented by IATSE Local One president James J. Claffey, Jr.. Don B. Wilmeth, Emeritus Professor of Theatre and of English at Brown University, received the 2012 Theatre History Preservation Award presented by Laurence Maslon, Associate Chair/Associate Arts Professor at the NYU Graduate School of Acting. And the Award for Distinguished Service to the Theatre was awarded to the Theatre Communications Group (TCG) presented by two time Pulitzer Prize finalist and distinguished playwright Tina Howe.

Some of the Stagedoor Manor’s best and brightest alumni paid tribute at the gala including: Marni Raab, Jeff Blumenkranz, Noah Silverman, Katherine Doherty, Nick Christopher, Ashley LaLonde, Derek Speedy, Julia Murney, and Etai BenShlomo. Stagedoor Manor’s Lawrence Lesher directed the evening’s gala. Broadway’s Jon Bolton was the master of ceremonies and Kimberly Grigsby was the musical director.

On hand to celebrate was Oscar, Emmy & Tony award winner Tony Walton with wife Gen Walton, Joe Benincasa, William Walters, Jim Heinze, Alyssa Renzi, Bobbie Horowitz, many friends of Frederick O. Olsson from the Shubert Organization and lots of Stagedoor Manor alumni and friends.

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Photos by R.Cole for Rob Rich