Three legendary designers, a Tony-nominated Broadway director, impresarios from both the Midwest and downtown NYC, and a concert touring veteran make up the list of presenters for this years EDDY Awards, to be held Wednesday, June 22 at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, at the Borough of Manhattan Community College in New York City. The theme of this year’s EDDYs is "Bridging the Gap," as each honoree represents a link, be it between disciplines, artists, technology, or generations.
Director Jack O’Brien, nominated for best director of a musical for his work on Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, will present scenic designer David Rockwell with an EDDY for blurring the line of environmental design. O’Brien, who won the Tony for his work on Hairspray, has staged both plays and musicals on Broadway and at his home base at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. Recent credits include Henry IV at Lincoln Center, The Full Monty, Damn Yankees, Two Trains Running, and The Piano Lesson. This EDDY is being sponsored by I. Weiss.
Presenting the EDDY to legendary sound designer Andrew Bruce for lifetime achievement in that discipline will be another legendary sound designer, Abe Jacob. No stranger to the EDDY Awards, having both won an EDDY himself and presented one to Acme Sound Partners, Jacob is considered by many to be the "godfather" of contemporary sound design. He designed the sound for such seminal Broadway shows as Jesus Christ Superstar, A Chorus Line, Pippin, Chicago, Cats, and Evita, virtually creating the position of sound designer in the process. He has served as the creative consultant for the Broadway Sound Master Classes since its inception. This EDDY is being sponsored by DiGiCo.
Another Master Classes creative consultant, projection designer Wendall K. Harrington, will present an EDDY to projection programmer Paul Vershbow for bridging the gap between the designer and the technology. Harrington received the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and American Theatre Wing awards for her design of The Who's Tommy. Her Broadway credits include Drowning Crow, The Capeman, Ragtime, and The Will Rogers Follies. In the concert circuit, she designed projection for the Talking Heads (Stop Making Sense), and Simon and Garfunkel (Old Friends). She recently designed and directed Arjuna's Dilemma, a new opera based on the Bhagavad Gita.
Scenic designer Ming Cho Lee will present the EDDY to Jennifer Tipton for lifetime achievement in lighting design. Ming is widely recognized as one of the world's leading scenic designers. His contributions to the theatre have been awarded numerous times over the years including a Tony Award for K-2. Mr. Lee has designed for Broadway, off-Broadway, The Metropolitan Opera, and nearly every major theatre and opera company in the USA, as well as the Stratford, Ontario Shakespeare Festival, in Europe, and his native China. For the past 25 years, he has served as master teacher of design at the Yale School of Drama.
Concert touring veteran Nick Jackson, senior vice president of PRG’s Entertainment Services Group, will present the EDDY to the lighting design firm Artfag ("Spike" Brant, JUSTIn Collie) for taking concert lighting and projection to the next level. The founder of the seminal production company Light & Sound Design Ltd (LSD), Jackson joined PRG when it purchased LSD back in 1998 and currently oversees the company's worldwide support for concert tours, sporting events, and special events. He’s been involved in most of the major touring acts over the years, including The Rolling Stones, Tina Turner, U2, Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Diana Ross, and Janet Jackson.
Downtown impresario Kristin Marting, executive director of HERE and co-artistic director of the Target Margin Theatre company, will present the EDDY to digital media artists/dance troupe Troika Ranch for bridging the gap between the artist and the technology. Together with three partners, Marting conceived and built HERE, which has become New York's premiere space for emerging and mid-career artists. Over the last fifteen years, Marting has constructed 20 works for the stage, including seven original dance theatre pieces, seven adaptations of novels and short stories, and four classic plays.
Charles MacKay, general director of the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, will present the EDDY to the organization’s technical director, Steve Ryan. Currently in his 20th year as general director, MacKay oversaw last year’s production of Nixon in China; he was also responsible for the first major revival of Samuel Barber’s Vanessa in 1988, and the world premiere of The Tale of Genji in 2000. MacKay pioneered the development of Music!Words!Opera!, the high school Artists-in-Training program, and operas for young people like Dream of the Pacific, commissioned for the Lewis & Clark bicentennial.
You can read more about all the winners in the June issue of Entertainment Design.
The EDDY Awards will be held on Wednesday, June 22 at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, 199 Chambers Street. This year’s ceremony will begin with a cocktail reception at 7pm, followed by the awards presentation beginning at 8pm. The 2004 EDDY Awards are presented in conjunction with the 11th annual Broadway Lighting Master Classes, the third annual Broadway Sound Master Classes, and the inaugural Projection Master Classes, a two-part professional training program that runs from June 20-24.
Celebrating their 13th anniversary this year, the prestigious EDDYs pay tribute to those whose work has made an impact in our industry. The editors of Entertainment Design select the winners with an eye toward true excellence in technical and design-related fields. Since 1991, over innumerable individuals, design/production teams, consultants, tech crews, shops, and companies have been so honored. In recent years, the EDDY Awards have celebrated the spirit of collaboration, backstage heroes, and remarkable individual achievement, as well as technical advancement with a series of product awards in professional audio, lighting, staging, and projection categories.