"Collaborate! Communicate! Celebrate!"

Sherry Eaker of 'Backstage' and leslie Shreve of SAG and AFTRA Women's Committees Hosted the First Collaboration Awards Event, September 18, 2006
August 14, 2006
Jennifer Maisel
Jennifer Maisel
Playwright Jennifer Maisel and Director Wendy McClellan will receive the first Collaboration Award presented by The New York Coalition of Professional Women in the Arts & Media. The Award recognizes new works or works-in-progress by women working with women. 
The winners will be honored at a special event on Monday, September 18, 2006 at 7 p.m. at The Cherry Lane Theatre in NYC (38 Commerce Street). The evening will include a reception, performances from the winners, a panel, and trademark networking. Tickets are $10.00 in advance and $15.00 at the door. 
Wendy McClellan
Wendy McClellan
Four other collaborative teams are being honored with an award certificate. They come from disciplines in dance, theater, musice theater, varrying backgrounds, and a variety of styles.
Other HONOREES for the award include Deepa Purohit (AEA, SAG) and Nandita Shenoy (SSDC, AEA, AFTRA) for Sahana, (previously called Exiled), a play with music and dance exploring the multicultural experiences of three generations of a family of South Asian women; Janet Gari (DG) and Sharon Talbot (AEA, AFTRA, SAG) for First Born, a musical inspired by the life of Ms. Gari’s sister, Margie, the first born of show business icon Eddie Cantor’s five daughters; Jane Comfort (SSDC) and Joan LaBarbara (AEA, SAG, AFTRA), for Fleeting Thoughts, a dance program with a vocal score, and Pamela Dunlap (AEA, SAG, AFTRA) and Sharon Sharth (DG) for Grace, a comic play about a woman “hurtling toward 40 and desperately single.” 

American Theatre Magazine, Sept. 2006
American Theater Magazine, September 2006
The jam-packed awards event, "Collaborate! Communicate! Celebrate!" on Sept. 18 will be hosted by Sherry Eaker, editor of Backstage, who will collaborate as moderator with leslie Shreve, National Co-Chair of the Women's Committees of SAG and AFTRA, an Emmy Award winning activist and a producer at NYC WildFlower Productions. Tips on collaborating ups-and-downs will be elicited from winners in a quick Q&A conducted by director Aixa Kendrickand playwright Cindy Cooper, and signature networking (see Blatant Self-Interest Networking Events Past Events) will help attendees identify their own future collaborators. A reception will follow.
Teams from ten states and the United Kingdom submitted applications for the Award, which carries a prize of $500. The winning entry is a full length play entitled Birds that merges reality and fantasy in modern day New York City. Against a backdrop of 9/11, a woman tries to break free from her past through a series of clandestine encounters. “I see the unfolding of the play as one of a caged bird tearing itself free,” says playwright Jennifer Maisel. Director Wendy McClellan says she sees the play as a “noir-esque” video game, the characters as iconic images moving through the play as through a video game. This is the third collaboration for Maisel and McClellan.
Maisel, a member of the Dramatists Guild, has an MFA in dramatic writing from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and has had plays produced at the Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Theatre J in Washington, DC and Center Theatre in Chicago, among others. She has received grants from the Fund for New American Plays, has twice been a finalist for the Heideman Award from the Actors Theatre of Louisville, and has written for television and films. She lives in Los Angeles.
McClellan, a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, has directed productions at The Kennedy Center, the Players Theatre in New York, Actors Theatre of Louisville, P.S. 122 in New York and Oasis Theatre in Los Angeles, among others. She is the director of the Apprentice/Intern Company at the Actors Theatre of Louisville.
The Coalition of Professional Women in the Arts & Media was organized in 1990 to work for the advancement of women in the performing arts and media industries. Members and Affiliates include: Actors’ Equity Association (AEA); American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA); Dramatists Guild (DG); The Fund for Women Artists; League of Professional Theatre Women/NY; New York Women in Film & Television; Screen Actors Guild (SG); Society of Stage Directors & Choreographers (SSDC); Women Make Movies, and Writers Guild of America, East.

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