Tony-winning actress, singer and dancer Chita Rivera will be honored by the Drama League at the Pierre Hotel in New York City on Feb. 5. The Rivera salute will benefit Drama League’s 17-year-old Directors Project.
Actors from Broadway, film and television will be attending and/or participating in the event, according to production notes. Debbie Bancroft, Rochelle Ohrstrom and Sheila Stephenson serve as the benefit event co chairs.
The Directors Project was founded in 1984 by Julia Hansen, Drama League’s president. The project serves as the “premier apprenticeship for young stage directors.” Each year, two teams of four directors—one fall, one summer—are selected from a pool of 250 applicants who must “demonstrate early achievement as directors.” Theatre professionals conduct the review process and final interviews. In the end, the fall program participants work with creative professionals during a four-day retreat at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center. This group then does 12 weeks worth of assistant directing at an Off-Broadway or regional theatre before directing an Equity one-act in New York City. The summer program participants start with a New York City orientation followed by a residency at Ithaca’s Hangar Theatre. There they assist on a main stage production and direct both a children's production as well as two plays of their choice at the Wedge Theatre.
Directors Project alums include Christopher Ashley (Voices in the Dark, The Country Club, The Rocky Horror Show), Mark Brokaw (Tartuffe), Michael John Garces (King Without a Castle), Loretta Greco (Gum, Two Sisters and a Piano), Michael Mayer (Uncle Vanya), Diane Paulus (The Donkey Show) and John Rando (An Empty Place at the Cafe du Boeuf, Naked).
Tickets for the Drama League Chita Rivera salute run $400-$875. The Pierre Hotel is located at 2 E. 61 Street. For tickets call (212) 302 2100. —By Murdoch McBride