A legendary set and costume designer, a Tony-winning director who also acts, the artistic director of one of New York’s top off-Broadway theatre companies, an up-and-coming set designer, and two of Broadway's top lighting designers have agreed to present this year’s EDDY Awards, billed as a salute to New York Theatre. The ceremony will be held Friday, June 27 at the John Jay Auditorium in New York.

Tony-Award winning director Walter Bobbie will present the award to John Lee Beatty for sustained achievement in set design. The two worked together on the Broadway productions of Chicago and Footloose, as well as numerous productions for the City Center Encores! series, for which Bobbie was artistic director. The director is also an accomplished actor, appearing on Broadway in such shows as Guys and Dolls, Café Crown, and the original production of Grease, and off Broadway in Assassins and Driving Miss Daisy. He’s also appeared in such films as The First Wives Club and Two Weeks’ Notice and on TV’s Hill Street Blues, LA Law, and Law & Order. His most recent acting gig was in David Ives’ Polish Joke at the Manhattan Theatre Club.

Lighting designer Howell Binkley will present Broadway electrician Mike LoBue with his EDDY Award for keeping the lights bright on Broadway. Binkley was nominated for a Tony Award for his work on Kiss Of The Spider Woman, the first show on which he and LoBue worked. His additional Broadway credits include Hollywood Arms, The Full Monty (Drama Desk nomination), Gore Vidal's The Best Man; Minnelli on Minnelli; Parade; Taking Sides; High Society; How to Succeed in Business and Grease. He recently designed the lighting for Radiant Baby at The Public Theatre, and has worked at numerous regional theatres including A.R.T., McCarter Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, The Goodman, Old Globe and The Guthrie.

Lighting designer Natasha Katz will present to her husband, Dan Moses Schreier, for sustained achievement in sound design. Katz won a 2000 Tony Award for her work on Aida, and received Tony nominations for Beauty and the Beast, Twelfth Night, and Sweet Smell of Success. Other Broadway credits include The Scarlet Pimpernel, Barrymore, Gypsy, and Pack of Lies. She designed Die Soldatan at New York City Opera, Don Quixote for American Ballet Theatre, along with concert acts for Shirley MacLaine, Ann-Margret and Tommy Tune, as well as extensive productions Off-Broadway and for American regional theatres. She also designed the lighting for EFX! at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, and lighting installations at Niketown New York and London.

Set designer Lauren Helpern, who will present her good friend Elaine McCarthy with the EDDY Award for the next generation of projection design, is herself an 2000 EDDY winner for her work on the Las Vegas production of Blue Man Group. She made her Broadway debut on the thriller Voices in the Dark and has designed numerous off Broadway shows, including Isn’t It Romantic, Four, Underneath the Lintel, and Aliens in America. She is also a principal in the design firm The Luce Group.

Designer/director Tony Walton will present the EDDY Award to Theatre Projects Consultants in honor of the firm’s 45 years of design excellence. Walton, who has known Theatre Projects founder Richard Pilbrow since their days on the West End in the 70s, has done it all, from Broadway (Pippin, Chicago, The House of Blue Leaves, The Will Rogers Follies, Annie Get Your Gun, The Man Who Came to Dinner) to film (Mary Poppins, Murder on the Orient Express, The Wiz, Regarding Henry), to a wide range of dance projects. An Oscar, Tony, and Emmy winner, he has also donned the director’s cap, staging well-received productions of The Importance of Being Earnest and Major Barbara at the Irish Rep. His most recent project is designing the Dance Theatre Harlem premiere of St. Louis Woman at the Lincoln Center Festival.

Carole Rothman, artistic director of Second Stage, will present the EDDY Award to the main design team of director Mary Zimmerman—set designer Dan Ostling, costume designer Mara Blumenfeld, and lighting designer TJ Gerckens—for exemplifying the art of collaboration. Rothman’s Second Stage first brought Zimmerman’s electrifying Metamorphoses to New York, before it moved to its successful Broadway run. Recent productions under Rothman's guidance at Second Stage include August Wilson’s Jitney, Jar The Floor, Saturday Night, This Is Our Youth, Spoils of War, Crowns, and Little Fish. Second Stage’s next production is, appropriately enough, Zimmerman’s The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci.

The EDDY Awards will be held on Friday, June 27, 2003, at John Jay College Theatre, 899 10th Avenue (between 58th and 59th Streets) in New York City. This year’s ceremony will begin at 6pm with a special panel discussion titled The Sound Designer and the Critic; more details on this provocative event will be announced soon. The cocktail reception will begin at 7:30pm, followed by the awards presentation beginning at 8:30pm.

The 2003 EDDY Awards are presented in conjunction with the Broadway Lighting Master Classes and the inaugural Broadway Sound Master Classes , a two-part professional training program that runs from June 25 through June 29, 2003. There is still time to register for both classes.

Celebrating their 11th anniversary this year, the prestigious EDDY’s 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 35 individuals, eight design or production teams, one union, one creature shop, one concert construction company, one full-service scenic shop, and one theatrical production department have been so honored. In recent years, the EDDY Awards have celebrated both the spirit of collaboration, and remarkable individual achievement, as well as technical advancement with a series of product awards in professional audio and lighting categories.