The Theatre Development Fund Costume Collections’ Advisory Committee has selected the winners of the 2003 TDF Irene Sharaff Awards. International costume and set designer Jose Varona is being honored with the Lifetime Acheivement Award, Anita Yavich will receive the Young Master Award, Maria Brizzi will receive the Artisan Award, and the late Ruth Morley will be honored with the Posthumous Award. The awards will be presented at a reception at the Marriott Marquis Hotel on Friday, March 28.
Varona made his professional debut at age 22 in 1953 with a flamenco spectacle for Carmen Amaya in Buenos Aires. Since then, he has designed countless operas and ballets on four continents. He made his American debut in 1967 with New York City Opera, designing Julius Caesar. Among the ballet and opera companies for which Varona has designed are: New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Berlin Opera Ballet, New York City Opera, Paris Opera, Washington Opera Society, Dallas Civic Opera, Netherlands Opera, Australian Opera Company and American Opera Center. Varona's work will be featured in the ED April Designer Sketchbook.
Yavich, who designed the costumes for Disney's Aladdin-A Musical Spectacular (also in the April issue of ED), has also designed for the New York Shakespeare Festival (The Winter's Tale, Pericles, Civil Sex); Manhattan Theatre Club (Red); and Primary Stages (Mere Mortals and Others). She has also designed extensively at The McCarter Theatre Center, The Long Wharf Theatre, Center Stage, The Goodspeed Opera House and The Dallas Theatre Center.
Brizzi founded Grace Costumes in 1961 with her sister, the late Grace Miceli. For over 40 years, Grace Costumes has been renowned for exquisitely crafted costumes for theatre, opera, ballet, film and television. For the Broadway stage, they built the costumes for the original productions of Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, She Loves Me, Lorelei, The Wiz and Beauty and the Beast.
Morley was the famed theatre, film and television costume designer who launched an international fashion trend with her designs for Annie Hall. She designed the costumes for 35 Broadway shows including: The Miracle Worker (1959), Toys in the Attic (1960), Death of a Salesman (revival-1984) and Spoils of War (1988). She won an Academy Award nomination for her designs for The Miracle Worker (1962). Other film credits include: The Hustler, Taxi Driver, Annie Hall, Ghost and The Prince of Tides (1991). She passed away on February 12, 1991.
The TDF Costume Collection Advisory Committee 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.