Legendary costume designer Anthony Powell will be presented with the TDF/Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award at a reception at the Hudson Theatre on Friday, March 26. Additionally, Avenue Q's Mirena Rada will receive the TDF/Irene Sharaff Young Master Award, sculptor Nino Novellino will receive the TDF/Irene Sharaff Artisan Award and designer and producer Lemuel Ayers will be named the winner of the TDF/Irene Sharaff Posthumous Award.
Also this year, TDF has announced the formation of a new award, The Robert L. B. Tobin Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatrical Design. Named for philanthropist Robert L.B. Tobin, the recipient of the new award will be an artist whose mastery of their craft as exemplified through their body of work, in one or more disciplines of theatrical design (costume, settings, lighting, sound), has become an inspiration to all designers. The first Tobin Award will be presented to set and costume designer Tony Walton.
Walton's Broadway productions include the recent revivals of Our Town starring Paul Newman, I'm Not Rappaport, the Roundabout Theatre's The Man Who Came to Dinner, and Uncle Vanya. Other recent Broadway work includes Annie Get Your Gun, Ashes to Ashes, and 1776. His 19 films include work with directors Bob Fosse, Sidney Lumet, Paul Newman, Mike Nichols, Ken Russell, and Francois Truffaut. His designs for opera have been seen at London's Theatre Royal Covent Garden, The Sadler's Wells Opera Company and throughout Europe and America. His many ballet designs include Peter and the Wolf for American Ballet Theatre at the Metropolitan Opera House and the recent St. Louis Woman for Dance Theatre of Harlem at Lincoln Center's State Theatre. He has designed and directed The Importance of Being Earnest and Major Barbara for the Irish Repertory Theatre and directed Noel Coward's Song of Twilight for the Bay Street Theatre Festival. Most recently he designed Julie Andrews' Bay Street Theatre revival of The Boy Friend. Awards include the Oscar, the Emmy and three Tonys.
The TDF/Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award, first presented to Sharaff herself in 1993, is bestowed upon a costume designer who over the course of his or her career has achieved great distinction and demonstrated a mastery of the art. Anthony Powell, this year's recipient, has designed internationally for theatre, opera, film, industry, menswear and architectural projects including the renovation of Paul Getty's 16th century mansion Sutton Place. His awards include three Tony Award nominations, and a Tony win for his costume designs for Sir John Gielgud's School for Scandal; six Academy Award nominations and Oscar wins for Travels With My Aunt,Death on the Nile, and Tess. Powell was the recipient of the Royal Designer for Industry (Britain's highest design accolade) in 1999, Career Achievement Award by the Hollywood Costume Designers Guild in 2000, and was named "Honorary Doctor of Design" by Greenwich University in 2003. On Broadway he also designed costumes for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Sunset Boulevard, Lettice and Lovage and Private Lives. He recently designed the hit West End revival of Anything Goes, Roman Polanski's production of Hedda Gabler in Paris, and Richard Strauss' Capriccio for The Paris Opera. His other film work: two of Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones films and the creation of Glenn Close's Cruella de Vil in 101 Dalmations and 102 Dalmations. You can read a highly entertaining interview with Powell in the March issue of Entertainment Design.
The TDF/Irene Sharaff Young Master Award is presented to a designer whose work, beyond being promising, has come to fruition. This year's recipient, Mirena Rada, designed the costumes for the hit Broadway musical, Avenue Q, as well as several Big Apple Circus' productions, including Dreams of a City, Big-Top-Doo-Wop, and the current Carnevale. Other credits include Collected Stories with Uta Hagen, Pera Palas (Connecticut Critics Award, Costume Design), Ballet Tech's Lincoln Portrait, and Cris Angel's Mindfreak. Mirena currently teaches at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, where she received her MFA. Rada's sketches for Carneval can be seen in the February issue of ED.
The TDF/Irene Sharaff Artisan Award, which was created in 1999, recognizes an individual or company that has made an outstanding supportive contribution in the field of costume technology. Among those who this award honors are: assistant and associate costume designers, costume shops that take sketches and turn them into glorious and breathtaking realities, teachers. This year's recipient, Nino Novellino, of Costume Armour, is a sculptor whose designs have appeared in scores of Broadway shows. For many Broadway seasons his fantastical junkyard was the centerpiece of long-running production of Cats; most recently on Broadway, his scenic work can be seen in the revival of Gypsy. Other scenic credits include Les Miserables, The Sound of Music, Sunset Boulevard, The Phantom of the Opera, and Sweeney Todd; costume credits include Pippin, Man of La Mancha, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Once Upon A Mattress. Costume Armour Inc, his shop in Cornwall, NY, is a wonderland of bits and pieces from familiar shows.
The TDF/Irene Sharaff Posthumous Award, also created in 1999 recognizes those artists who have pioneered the art of costume design, setting the standard for years to come. This year's recipient, Lemuel Ayers, was the original set and costume designer of such Broadway classics as Kiss Me, Kate, Kismet and The Pajama Game. Ayers, a native New Yorker, was chosen by Leonard Sillman to design the sets for the 1939 revivals of Journey's End and They Knew What They Wanted. Major recognition came with his costume designs for the Maurice Evans/Judith Anderson production of Macbeth in 1941. His designs were subsequently seen in, among others: Angel Street, The Pirate, Harriet, Oklahoma!, and Out of This World. He received two Tony Awards for Kiss Me, Kate--as costume designer and as the producer of the production. He died at age 40 in 1955.
The awardees were selected by the TDF/Costume Collection Advisory Committee, which is comprised of leading members of the theatrical costume design community. They are: Gregg Barnes, Suzy Benzinger, Alvin Colt, Lana Fritz, Rodney Gordon, Desmond Heeley, Constance Hoffman, Willa Kim, Gary Jones, Kitty Leech, Sally Ann Parsons, Robert Perdziola, Gregory Poplyk, Carrie Robbins, Ann Roth, Woody Shelp, Eduardo Sicangco, Scott Traugott, and Patrick Wiley.
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), Willa Kim (1999), Ann Roth (2000), Freddy Wittop (2001), Theoni V. Aldredge (2002) and Jose Varona (2003).
TDF Irene Sharaff Young Master Awards have been bestowed upon Gregg Barnes (1994), Toni-Leslie James (1996), Paul Tazewell (1997), Martin Pakledinaz (1998), Suzy Benzinger (1999), Robert Perdziola (2000), Constance Hoffman (2001), Gregory Gale and Jonathan Bixby (2002), and Anita Yavich (2003).
TDF Irene Sharaff Artisan Awards have been previously awarded to: Ray Diffen (1999), Woody Shelp (2000), Barbara Matera (2001), Paul Huntley (2002) and Maria Brizzi/Grace Costumes (2003); and The Posthumous Award to Raoul Pene DuBois (1999), Lucinda Ballard (2000), Aline Bernstein (2001), Cecil Beaton (2002) and Ruth Morley (2003).