The Theatre Development Fund's (TDF) Costume Collection will honor Ann Roth, Robert Perdziola, Woody Shelp and Lucinda Ballard with award presentations at the 2000 TDF Irene Sharaff Awards for excellence in costume design. All four will be feted at a special reception on March 31 at 6 PM at the New York Marriott Marquis.
The four award recipients, well known in theatre, will receive the following awards: the Lifetime Achievement In Costume Design Award to Ann Roth; the Young Master Award to Robert Perdziola; the Artisan Award to Woody Shelp; and the Posthumous Award To Lucinda Ballard, who won the first Tony Award for costume design in 1947.
A three-time Tony award and Oscar nominee, Ann Roth is currently up for an Oscar for "The Talented Mr. Ripley." Roth won the Oscar for "The English Patient." Her award, the Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award, is presented to a designer whose work "embodies those qualities of excellence represented in the life work of Irene Sharaff: a keen sense of color, a feeling for material and texture, an eye for shape and form and a sure command of the craft."
Irene Sharaff Young Master Award winner Robert Perdziola's award is presented to a designer who is on the way to "fully acknowledged success and excellence in the field."
One of Broadway's major milliners, Woody Shelp will receive the Irene Sharaff Artisan Award, which recognizes an individual or company for making an outstanding supportive contribution in the field of costume technology. Previous winners of the TDF Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award are Desmond Heeley (1994), Miles White (1996), Alvin Colt (1996), Patricia Zipprodt (1997), Jane Greenwood (1998) and Willa Kim (1999). TDF Irene Sharaff Young Master Awards have been bestowed upon Gregg Barnes (1994), Toni-Leslie James (1996), Paul Tazewell (1997), Martin Pakledinaz (1998), and Suzy Benzinger (1999).
The 2000 Irene Sharaff Awardee advisory committee who selected this year's recipients are: Gregg Barnes, Suzy Benzinger, Lana Fritz, Jane Greenwood, Rodney Gordon, Willa Kim, Gary Jones, Kitty Leech, Carol Luiken, Martin Pakledinaz, Patrick Wiley, Sally Ann Parsons, Gregory Poplyk, Philip Rinaldi, Carrie Robbins, and Scott Traugott.
Ann Roth: A stage and film designer for nearly forty years, Roth apprenticed with Irene Sharaff and Miles White. She designed costumes for nearly 80 Broadway shows including The Odd Couple, Purlie, Play It Again, Sam, They're Playing Our Song, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and The Real Thing.
Robert Perdziola: Having recently designed costumes for "Carmen" at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Robert Perdziola also worked for the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C. Where he designed costumes for The Country Wife, King John and A Woman of No Importance. His costumes and scenery have also been featured at the San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Skylight Opera Theatre, Glimmerglass Opera, and the Manhattan School of Music.
Woody Shelp: Known as Broadway's major milliner with over 150 Broadway shows, numerous movies, television, opera and dance productions to his credit, Woody Shelp worked on the original Broadway productions of such shows as Funny Girl, Cabaret, Follies, 42nd Street, La Cage Aux Folles, Sunday in the Park With George and Sunset Boulevard. Among other numerous credits, he is represented on Broadway with Jekyll and Hyde, Swing, and the upcoming revival of The Music Man.
Lucinda Ballard: The late Lucinda Ballard was the first-ever Tony Award winner for costume design in 1947. That season alone, she worked on Happy Birthday, Another Part of the Forest, Street Scene, John Loves Mary and The Chocolate Soldier. The winner of a second Tony in 1962 for The Gay Life, Ballard was nominated for an Academy Award for her work on the film, "A Streetcar Named Desire. " An energetic champion of the costume designer's importance to a production, Ballard historical influence was once described by Jeanne T. Newlin, the curator of the Harvard Theater Collection of the Harvard College Library. Newlin wrote that, "The costume designer waited far too long for full professional appreciation. No one in the modern American Theatre has done more to resist this omission and force open the eyes of the producer, the director, and best of all, the playwright than Lucinda Ballard."
-- By Murdoch McBride