Announcing the Winners of the 2016 Callaway, Bowden, The Frederick Loewe and The Lippmann Family New Frontier Awards

May 16, 2016

At the 67th Anniversary Spring Luncheon, held on May 12, 2016, New Dramatists, an artistic home and developmental laboratory for professional playwrights, announced several awards recognizing excellence and service in the field of new play development.

The Distinguished Achievement Award was presented to Audra McDonald. Recipient of a record-breaking six Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards, and an Emmy Award, Ms. McDonald was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2015. Aside from her Tony-winning performances in Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, she has appeared on Broadway in The Secret Garden, Marie Christine (Tony nomination), Henry IV, and 110 in the Shade (Tony nomination). She returns in the 2015-16 season in Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed.

Upon accepting the award, Ms. McDonald remarked, “We have to continue to replenish the art that is theatre, otherwise we [actors] have nothing to do. We can’t survive on just revivals, and I think the New Dramatists mission of really giving a playwright time to develop ... a whole seven years ... is so necessary … so that they can create the art and get the art out so then we have manna with which to work.”

A Certificate of Honor recognizing decades of contribution to the musical theatre cannon was presented to distinguished alumnus, Joe Masteroff, book writer of Cabaret, whose award winning musical, She Loves Me, is currently on Broadway.

The Joe A. Callaway Award is awarded each year to an “outgoing” writer for service to the New Dramatists community during his or her seven-year residency. This year, it was awarded to playwright Andrea Thome. Ms. Thome’s play, Pinkolandia, received the Lark’s Launching New Plays fellowship and a rolling premiere in 2013-14 at INTAR Theater in New York, Austin's Salvage Vanguard Theater, Two River Theater in Red Bank, NJ, and Chicago's 16th Street Theater. Other plays include Undone (Whitman Award for best unproduced play; Kilroys list 2014) and Worm Girl (Cherry Red Productions, Washington DC). She spent the past year working with the Public Theater, creating a play with Public Works community members that was performed in June, 2016.

The Charles Bowden Actor Awards recognize four actors each season who have contributed substantially to the creation of new works by New Dramatists writers. The 2016 recipients were Andrew Garman, Robbie Collier Sublett, Jon Norman Schneider, and Amelia Workman.

Andrew Garman has been passionately involved in the development of new plays for many years, originating roles in work by Lucas Hnath (The Christians), Sam Hunter (A Bright New Boise), Lucy Thurber (Ashville), Erik Ehn (Burnt Umber), Adam Rapp (Trueblinka), and others. He is proud to be a member of the New Dramatists extended family of artists.

Robbie Collier Sublett most recently appeared in Greg Pierce's Her Requiem at LCT3 (dir. Kate Whoriskey). He's been in numerous films and TV shows, recurring on "The Good Wife" and the upcoming Nickelodeon series "Welcome to the Wayne". The Civilians: Associate Artist. BFA: NYU.

Jon Norman Schneider is a New York based actor who is currently rehearsing Kimber Lee's tokyo fish story at The Old Globe in San Diego. Next up is Mike Lew's Tiger Style! at Huntington Theatre Company this fall.

Amelia Workman has developed and performed new work in over a dozen countries, and by many New Dramatists writers, including By the Way, Meet Vera Stark by Lynn Nottage, A World Apart by Susan Mosakowski, and The Shipment by Young Jean Lee. For more information please visit

The Frederick Loewe Award is an annual award in music-theatre given to a New Dramatists playwright and his/her composer partner for the development of a new music-theatre work. This year, the award went to writer, Sibyl Kempson, and composer, Graham Reynolds, for their new musical, The Securely Conferred, Vouchsafed Keepsakes of Maery S.

Sibyl Kempson’s recent projects include Let Us Now Praise Susan Sontag with her new theater company, 7 Daughters of Eve (Abrons Arts Center); Big Dance Theater’s production of her play, Ich KürbisGeist (New York Live Arts; the Chocolate Factory; Red Eye Theater in Minneapolis); Fondly, Collette Richland, a commission in collaboration with Elevator Repair Service (New York Theatre Workshop); and a New Dramatists/Full Stage USA commission with Austin, TX groups Rude Mechs and Salvage Vanguard called From the Pig Pile: The Requisite Gesture(s) of Narrow Approach (Fusebox Festival).

Austin-based composer/bandleader Graham Reynolds creates, performs, and records with collaborators ranging from Richard Linklater to DJ Spooky to Ballet Austin. Called “the quintessential modern composer” by the London Independent, Mr. Reynolds recently scored the film, Bernie, featuring Jack Black and the TV series Up To Speed. He is a sound designer and composer with Rude Mechanicals and Salvage Vanguard Theater, and he is a recipient of the 2016 Creative Capital Award for his upcoming chamber opera Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance.

The Lippmann Family “New Frontier” Award seeks to assist playwrights in opening up new frontiers of the imagination, through travel and adventure. This year, the award was given to Sibyl Kempson to visit the Syr Darya River in Kazakhstan, research for a commission from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston to write the libretto for an opera based on five Renaissance-era tapestries of scenes from the life of Persian King Cyrus II (576-530 BC


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