Joe A. Callaway Awards Will Feature New “Breakout Award”

News   Joe A. Callaway Awards Will Feature New “Breakout Award”
Jack O'Brien will co-host the October 24 ceremony honoring Off-Broadway directors and choreographers.
Jack O'Brien HR
Jack O'Brien Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The 27th Annual Joe A. Callaway Awards for direction and choreography will be presented October 24 by the Stage Directors and Choreographers (SDC) Foundation at the Laurie Beechman Theatre in New York. The evening will be hosted by former Callaway Award winner Jack O’Brien and Callaway Award finalist Joshua Bergasse.

The Joe A. Callaway Award recognizes excellence during the Off-Broadway theatre season from September 1, 2015-August 31, 2016, and is the only award given by professional directors and choreographers to their peers for work on a specific production.

At this year’s ceremony, SDC Foundation will also announce the establishment of a new “Breakout Award.” The Breakout Award will be presented annually to an SDC Member for a production or selection of work that signals a shift in a career, the beginning of critical recognition in the Off-Broadway arena.

SDC Foundation Chair Sheldon Epps states, “With the addition of the Breakout Award, we are thrilled to now be in a position to recognize the ‘rising star’ moment of a director or choreographer Off-Broadway. It is hoped that this award will elevate the profile of the recipient artist in the greater community.”

The Callaway Award was first presented in 1989, and past winners include Andy Blankenbuehler, Thomas Kail, Moisés Kaufman, Joe Mantello, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Giovanna Sardelli and Julie Taymor. This award is given annually and serves as a complement to the Zelda Fichandler Award, which recognizes a regional director changing the landscape of their community, and the “Mr. Abbott” Award, presented in recognition of lifetime achievement in theatre.

The 2015-2016 Callaway Committee Members were Sue Lawless (Chair), Jonathan Cerullo (Vice-Chair), William G. Martin Jr., Barry McNabb, Edie Cowan, John Going, Richard Hamburger, DJ Salisbury, Amy Saltz and Clinton Turner Davis.

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