Actors' Equity has awarded Chicago's Victory Gardens Theater the Rosetta Lenoire Award for 1999. Victory Gardens Artistic Director Dennis Zacek and Managing Director Marcelle McVay received the honor at Equity's Chicago office, April 9.
The performers' union created the Rosetta Lenoire Award in 1988 to recognize theaters and producers who seek to hire and promote ethnic minorities and female actors through multi-racial and/or non-traditional casting. Past award winners have included Leland Ball of Sacramento Light Opera in 1998, Walter J. Turnbull of the Boys Choir of Harlem in 1997 and Joseph Papp and the New York Shakespeare Festival in 1992.
Founded in 1974, Victory Gardens has been dedicated to producing new plays, including the works of Steve Carter, Charles Smith, Lonnie Carter and Gloria Bond Clunie. Now in their 25th season, they have their own multi-ethnic 12 person ensemble, a refurbished theatre, and the Victory Gardens Access Project, a new program which uses technology to make theater more accessible to persons with disabilities. Access Project is currently presenting the play, The History of Bowling by Mike Ervin, a Chicago playwright, journalist and disability rights activist.
For more information on Victory Gardens's season, call (773) 871-3000. Victory Gardens is on the web at www.victorygardens.org.
-- By Christine Ehren