Raja Feather Kelly (Fireflies at Atlantic Theater Company), Kitty McNamee (Sense and Sensibility at South Coast Rep), Al Blackstone (Freddie Falls in Love at Pershing Square Signature Theater), Jenn Rose (Honk! at Two River Theatre), and Katie Spelman (Indecent at Victory Gardens) are the recipients of commissions from the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation (SDCF) honoring famed choreographer Agnes de Mille. Each will create an original dance piece inspired by a sealed envelope containing an unknown idea by de Mille (held in SDC’s custody for more than a half-century).
The original works will debut at SDCF's annual Mr. Abbott Award Gala, to be held March 25, 2019, in New York. The evening, which will honor Victoria Traube, will be directed by Jerry Mitchell.
“I am thrilled to work with these five outstanding choreographers to honor Agnes de Mille’s legacy, and Victoria Traube’s contributions to directors and choreographers at the ‘Mr. Abbott’ Awards ceremony,” says Mitchell. “As the 2013 recipient of this award, as well as making my Broadway Debut in Brigadoon for Miss de Mille in 1980, I am particularly honored to direct this tribute.”
Following a national call for submissions, the commission recipients were chosen by a committee consisting of Helene Alexopoulos, Karen Azenberg, Joshua Bergasse, Donald Byrd, Theodore S. Chapin, Graciela Daniele, Maija García, JoAnn Hunter, Sam Pinkleton, and Susan Stroman.