The Bret Adams and Paul Reisch Foundation celebrated the 2019 Idea Awards for Theatre at New Dramatists September 23.
Tony nominee Tina Howe (Coastal Disturbances) and three-time Obie winner Adrienne Kennedy (Funnyhouse of a Negro) both received the inaugural Tooth of Time Distinguished Career Award. Dave Harris (Everybody Black) was also honored with this year’s Ollie New Play Award, while Kit Yan and Melissa Li (co-writers of the musical Interstate) received the 2019 Vivace Musical Theatre Award, presented to support the creation of a new work.
In addition to the hand-carved marble statuette, all five artists also received a monetary prize.
"The Bret Adams and Paul Reisch Foundation has created the 'Idea Awards for Theatre' to encourage expansive, idea-driven artworks with inherently theatrical ways of illuminating big ideas and concepts," said Bruce Ostler, V.P. and Board Member, in a statement.
"With our financial awards, we are encouraging artists to grapple with and dramatize the big ideas that the world is engaged with. This money will give them needed time and space to explore and write. To that end, we have created three Idea Awards for Theatre, to celebrate pioneering theatrical artists of all stripes: the Ollie Award for the most ambitious big idea play, the Vivace Award for a big-idea musical that makes you want to get up and dance, and the Tooth of Time Award to encourage accomplished artists to continue their personal evolution in examining big ideas. We are giving these awards to dare these writers to theatricalize something wild and brave."
Flip through photos of the ceremony below: