The Vilcek Foundation will be honored at the Theatre Communications Group’s annual fall gala, for its efforts in promoting immigrant theatre-makers over the last year. Executive Director Rick Kinsel will accept the award on behalf of the foundation. “I have had the pleasure of presenting the Vilcek Prizes to some of America’s most highly regarded artists and scientists, but I never expected to be the one receiving an award,” said Rick. “The work done by the Theatre Communications Group to promote diverse voices on the American stage is extremely admirable, and to have our efforts acknowledged by such an important organization means a great deal to me personally, and to everyone at the foundation.”
In 2016 the Vilcek Foundation presented the annual Vilcek Prize and Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in the Arts to immigrants who have had a significant impact on American theatre. Blanka Zizka, the renowned Czechoslovakian-born artistic director of The Wilma Theater, received the Vilcek Prize. British-born director Sarah Benson, Taiwanese-born director Desdemona Chiang, and Chinese-born lighting designer Yi Zhao were each awarded a Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise. In TCG’s press release, Executive Director Teresa Eyring praised the foundation’s selection of prizewinners as “…immigrants whose work will undoubtedly become part of the American canon.”
This year’s TCG gala will also honor three of the minds behind the acclaimed Broadway play Eclipsed, including playwright Danai Gurira (who is also known for her portrayal of Michonne in the AMC television series The Walking Dead), and producers Stephen C. Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey. “By bringing the voices of women from Liberia’s civil war to the Broadway stage through their acclaimed production of Eclipsed, they’ve reaffirmed theatre’s power to humanize and connect us across borders,” said Teresa in a recent statement.
The gala will be held on November 14 in New York City’s Edison Ballroom. More information on the winners can be found in TCG’s official publication, American Theater, and information on gala tickets and sponsor ads can be found on TCG’s website.