The WP Theater Gala honoring game-changing women with the Women of Achievement Awards was held at The Edison Ballroom on April 15th. This years honorees were: three-time Tony Award-Winning Producer & Founder of BroadwayHD Bonnie Comley, Award-Winning actress, activist, and singer-songwriter Amanda Seyfried, and Grammy Award-winning songwriter, Emily Warren. WP Board Members Jessica R, Jenen, Aaron H. Pierce, Esq., Laura Beinner, and Margie Weingarten chaired the event.
Each year WP honors truly outstanding women who have taken risks, pushed limits, and broken ground in a wide variety of fields, celebrating their unique accomplishments at the Women of Achievement Awards. Since its inception, WP Theater’s Women of Achievement Awards has paid homage to luminaries such as Gloria Steinem, Whoopi Goldberg, Debra Messing, Audra McDonald, Eve Ensler, Dame Judi Dench, Kerry Washington, Vanessa Redgrave, and Chita Rivera, Charlotte St. Martin, to name just a few.
Called “an important, risk-taking organization” by New York Magazine, WP Theater is the nation’s oldest and largest theater company dedicated to developing, producing and promoting the work of women in theater at every stage in their careers. WP Theater supports female-identified theater artists of all kinds and the world-class, groundbreaking work they create. The WP Theater is helmed by Lisa McNulty, Producing Artistic Director; Michael Sag, Managing Director and is the nation’s oldest and largest theater company dedicated to developing, producing and promoting the work of women in theater.
For more information see: www.wptheater.org
Amy Fine Collins and Joanna Fisher hosted a luncheon for 50 at Fisher’s Manhattan residence celebrating the upcoming premiere of Inside Our Skins by Tabula Rasa Dance Theater; an evening addressing the injustices of mass incarceration and the legal practice of forced labor, permitted under the 13th Amendment’s exception, which allows for slavery “as a punishment for crime.” Agnes Gund, through her Art For Justice Fund, is a major production donor.
In a crowded living room half a dozen dancers, the women in chains and the male dancers in gas masks, performed a brief passage to live music provided by MusicTalks Baroque Ensemble lead by Elad Kabilio on cello accompanied by violin and theorbo.
Inside Our Skins opens at New York Live Arts May 15 through 18. This dance piece evokes both historical and present-day experiences of the incarcerated. Tickets are priced at ¢63, the average hourly pay for incarcerated workers in New York State. Said the irrepressible Mrs. Fisher, “I know the price, but I’m not sure about making change. You may have to give full dollars. It’s worth it. I hope you’ll all make contributions because the work is so important.”
Tabula Rasa Dance Theater is concerned with the pressing social and cultural problems of our times, and with the historical precedents for them. Tabula Rasa Dance Theater’s minimalistic, explosive, and provocative work is performed by a diverse company of 12 dancers, from 9 different countries. Founded by Felipe Escalante, his choreography incorporates elements from a variety of dance techniques and embraces the human body, in all its pain, beauty, poetry, and ugliness. Escalante believes choreography must elicit powerful and sometimes difficult emotional responses and transcend time and place.
To purchase tickets, click here.
French Heritage Society bestowed its third annual Book Award upon Caroline Weber, author of Proust’s Duchess: How Three Celebrated Women Captured the Imagination of Fin-de-Siècle Paris. Gathering at a private club on the Upper East Side last week, the evening began with cocktails before moving into a larger salon for the award presentation and program. “It is our goal to foster Franco-American friendship, amité, and understanding,” said Elizabeth F. Stribling, Chairman of the Board of Directors of French Heritage Society. “What better means to learn about France than through books!”
In presenting the award, Jennifer Herlein, executive director of French Heritage, spoke on behalf of Christian Draz, French Heritage Society Book Award Co-Chair and Board Member: “Whatever offense her three society divas may have taken at being used as creative fodder for Proust’s satirical fiction, they would surely be highly flattered by the extraordinary lengths to which Caroline went to document the truth of their real and often difficult lives.” Said Ms. Weber, “I was excited when the French Heritage Society asked me a few years ago to moderate the discussion with their Book Award winner, Luc Sante. I did not imagine I would be in the other seat – ever. Thank you for this honor.”
In a staged conversation with Cheryl Hurley, former president of the Library of America, Weber illuminated Proust’s milieu with insights culled from her extensive research.
Guests at the diner that followed included Barbara de Portago, Bénédicte de Montlaur (Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy in the United States), Anne-Claire Legendre (Consul General of France in New York), Geoffrey Bradfield, Cece and Lee Black, Odile de Schietere-Lonchampt, Patricia Forelle, Sana Sabbagh, Steven M.L. Aronson, Veronique Bich, Victoria Wyman, and Yann Coatanlem.
The French Heritage Book Award recognizes and honors a nonfiction work of literary, scholarly or aesthetic distinction that illuminates for the general public either an important element of French cultural or historical patrimony or the considerable and noteworthy influence France, its citizens and its culture have had in shaping American history, thought and culture.
The evening was made possible by Co-Chairs Elizabeth Stribling and Christian Draz; the Book Award Steering Committee, Yann Coatanlem, Janet Desforges, Patricia Forelle, and Clydette de Groot; and the New York Chapter Co-Chairmen, Guy Robinson and Odile de Schiétère-Longchampt. A jury comprised of Anne Poulet, Bruno Racine, and Elaine Sciolino chose Proust’s Duchess unanimously from a shortlist of four non-fiction titles that illuminate elements of French cultural or historical patrimony in interesting ways.
On Friday, April 12th, the Fritz Gallery in Palm Beach hosted a VIP opening of an exhibition of contemporary furniture pieces by Roric Tobin Designs in conjunction with large scale paintings by J. Steven Manolis and stone sculptures by Miles Slater. Guests enjoyed cocktails with Monkey in Paradise Vodka, while experiencing how exquisite works in three mediums can complement each other to create the perfect setting.
New York based interior designer Tobin [one half of Bradfield & Tobin Global] launched his eponymous, made-to-order furniture line last year, featuring rich wood grains, striking natural stones, and innovative upholstery with jewel-like metal accents.
The Fritz Gallery is also new this Season, taking over an expansive and chic studio on Royal Poinciana Way, representing some of the most dynamic and respected contemporary artists. To learn more visit www.rorictobindesigns.com / www.fritzgallery.com
Photos by Annie Watt (WP Theater, French Heritage); Mike Jachles/AnnieWatt.com (Roric Tobin)