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2015 TDF/Irene Sharaff Awardees announced: Jess Goldstein, Douglas W. Schmidt, Brian Hemesath, Gino Bifulco - T.O. Dey Shoes and the late Raoul Pene Du Bois receive honors

Date: Mar 03, 2015


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Tony Award-winning costume designer, JESS GOLDSTEIN (currently represented on Broadway with Jersey Boys and On the Town), and scenic designer DOUGLAS W. SCHMIDT are among the 2015 TDF/Irene Sharaff Awards recipients. The awards will be presented at a ceremony on Friday, May 1, at 6:30pm, at the Hudson Theatre (145 West 44th Street).  Mr. Goldstein was selected to receive the 2015 TDF/Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award for Costume Design and Mr. Schmidt will receive the Robert L.B. Tobin Award for Sustained Excellence in Theatrical Design.
Additionally, costume designer BRIAN HEMESATH (currently represented on Broadway with Honeymoon in Vegas) will receive the TDF/Irene Sharaff Young Master Award, and custom shoe designer GINO BIFULCO – T.O. DEY SHOES will receive the TDF/Irene Sharaff Artisan Award.  

During the ceremony, as a special memorial tribute to legendary costume and scenic designer RAOUL PÈNE DU BOIS, there will be a screening of an original 15-minute film on his life, created by designer SUZY BENZINGER.

TDF/Irene Sharaff Award honorees are selected by the TDF Costume Collection's Advisory Committee and are presented through the Theatre Development Fund's Costume Collection.

Throughout her long and distinguished career, elegance and an attention to detail were the trademarks of costume designer IRENE SHARAFF. Miss Sharaff was revered as a designer of enormous depth and intelligence, equally secure with both contemporary and period costumes. Her work exemplified the best of costume design. Such excellence is demonstrated by the winners of the 2015 TDF/Irene Sharaff awardees.

JESS GOLDSTEIN (TDF/Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award) has designed costumes for more than 39 Broadway productions including the current revival of On the Town. In 2005, he received the Tony Award for Best Costume Design of a Play for The Rivals.

Jess’s Broadway credits as costume designer also include Mothers and Sons (2014), Orphans (2013), Glengarry Glen Ross (2012), The Columnist (2012), Newsies The Musical (2012), High (2011), The Merchant of Venice (2010), Next Fall (2010), The Homecoming (2007), Cymbeline (2007), Jersey Boys (2005), Brooklyn Boy (2005), Henry IV (2003), Golda's Balcony (2003), Enchanted April (2003), Judgment at Nuremberg (2001), Proof (2000), The Rainmaker (1999), Tartuffe (1996), Inherit the Wind (1996), The Play's the Thing (1995), Love! Valour! Compassion! (1995), White Liars & Black Comedy (1993), Candida (1993), A Streetcar Named Desire (1992), and many others.

He has done extensive work Off Broadway for Manhattan Theatre Club, Playwrights Horizons, The Public Theater, Lincoln Center’s Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater and more. His work has been seen regionally at Arena Stage, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage Company, Long Wharf Theatre, the Goodman Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, Center Stage, Mark Taper Forum, La Jolla Playhouse, The Old Globe Theatre, McCarter Theatre, the Williamstown Theatre Festival and the Guthrie Theater.

Jess has also designed costumes for opera and film. He received his B.F.A. from Boston University and M.F.A. from Yale School of Drama. He has taught design at Yale since 1990.

DOUGLAS W. SCHMIDT (Robert L. B. Tobin Award for Sustained Excellence in Theatrical Design) came to Broadway as a scenic designer in 1969. Since then, he has worked on more than 50 Broadway productions. He is a two-time Tony Award nominee for revivals of Into the Woods (2002) and 42nd Street (2001), and a three-time Drama Desk Award winner for Into the Woods (2002), Over Here! (1974) and Veronica’s Room (1974).

Doug’s extensive Broadway credits also include Sight Unseen (2004), The Civil War (1999), Damn Yankees (1994), Smile (1986), Porgy and Bess (1983), Romantic Comedy (1979), The Most Happy Fella (1979), They're Playing Our Song (1979), Runaways (1978), The Robber Bridegroom (1975 and 1976), The Threepenny Opera (1976), The Three Sisters (1973), Veronica's Room (1973), A Streetcar Named Desire (1973), Twelfth Night (1972), Grease (1972), and more.

Off Broadway and around the world, Doug’s scenic designs for theatre and opera have been on the stages of The Public Theater, the Metropolitan Opera, Cherry Lane Theatre, Delacorte Theater, Lincoln Center’s Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, the Theatre at St. Clement's Church, La Jolla Playhouse, San Francisco Opera, Forrest Theatre, Center Stage, the Tanglewood Festival, Theatre of the Living Arts, the Guthrie Theatre, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and The Old Globe Theatre.

Doug’s earliest scenic design works were seen at the Theater at Monmouth Theatre and the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park in the 1960s.

BRIAN C. HEMESATH (TDF/Irene Sharaff Young Master Award) made his Broadway debut in 2014 as the costume designer for Honeymoon in Vegas. For television, Brian is the Emmy Award-winning costume designer for PBS’s Sesame Street and he has worked on select episodes of The Today Show, The Caroline Rhea Show and Saturday Night Live.

Brian previously served as the assistant costume designer to Catherine Zuber for the 2009 Broadway revival of The Royal Family, and his Off Broadway costume design credits include Unbroken Circle (2013) and Disaster! A 70’s Disaster Movie Musical (2012). Brian designed costumes and assisted with productions at Paper Mill Playhouse, the Skylight Opera Theatre, Madison Repertory Theatre, the Judith Anderson Theatre, the Rockwell Theater, Galvin Fine Arts Center, Zachary Scott Theatre, the Human Race Theatre, the Bronx Opera and the Kresge Theatre.

Brian was operations manager for Dodger Costumes Inc. where, under his direction, the shop built costumes for the Broadway revivals of 42nd Street, Into the Woods and more. Brian was also an assistant costumer for the national tour of Titanic.

Brian graduated from St. Ambrose University with a major in theatre and a minor in art, and earned his master's degree at Carnegie Mellon in 1997 before moving to New York City.

GINO BIFULCO – T.O. DEY SHOES (TDF/Irene Sharaff Artisan Award) is a third-generation shoemaker at T.O. Dey Shoes, the company he owns with his brother Thomas. Gino is best known on Broadway for the many productions his shoes have appeared in, including; Aladdin (2014), Kinky Boots (2013), Wicked (2003), Hairspray (2002), Chicago (1996), Rent (1996), Victor/Victoria (1995), Beauty and the Beast (1994), Damn Yankees (1994), The Phantom of the Opera (1988) and many more.

Gino has built custom shoes for Laurence Olivier, Johnny Carson, Billy Idol, Sylvester Stallone, Cher, Liza Minnelli, John Travolta, Mariah Carey and Prince.

Shoes made by Gino cannot be bought off the rack. A customer must be properly measured: first, Gino makes an imprint of the feet to get exact measurement; next, he makes a sand cast to ensure proper balance; finally, he makes a plaster mold and wooden form of both feet.

Gino continues to work the small storefront of T.O. Dey, constructing, repairing and dyeing shoes and boots by hand.

RAOUL PÈNE DU BOIS (Memorial Tribute) began his career designing showgirl costumes for the Ziegfeld Follies when he was 14. He went on to design costumes and scenery for 48 Broadway shows. Raoul won the 1971 Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for Best Costume Design for No, No, Nanette and the 1953 Tony Award for Scenic Design for Wonderful Town.

Raoul’s theatre credits include DuBarry Was a Lady (1939), Panama Hattie (1940), Lend an Ear (1948), Alive and Kicking (1950), Call Me Madam (1950), Leonard Sillman’s New Faces of 1952, Wonderful Town (1953), Plain and Fancy (1955), Bells Are Ringing (1956), No, No, Nanette (1971) and Irene (1973).

Beyond Broadway, he has designed costumes for ice shows, the Rockettes, Billy Rose’s nightclub performers and large-scale spectacle performers. He has also designed sets and costumes for films, and was nominated for an Academy Award in Art Direction for both Lady in the Dark and Louisiana Purchase.

He was born on Staten Island, New York in 1914. He died in 1985 at the age of 72. In 1999, Mr. Du Bois was the first ever recipient of the TDF/Irene Sharaff Posthumous Award, now called the Memorial Tribute. Since then, the Sharaff Awards have grown in prestige and reach, and the awards’ voting committee decided to re-honor and re-recognize Mr. Du Bois as the 2015 Memorial Tribute honoree.

The awardees were selected by the TDF/Costume Collection's Advisory Committee, which is comprised of leading members of the theatrical costume design community. They are: Kitty Leech, Chair; Gregg Barnes, Suzy Benzinger, Dean Brown, Stephen Cabral, Traci DiGesu, Linda Fisher, Lana Fritz, Rodney Gordon, Desmond Heeley, Allen Lee Hughes, Holly Hynes, Carolyn Kostopoulos, Anna Louizos, Mimi Maxmen, David Murin, Sally Ann Parsons, Robert Perdziola, Gregory Poplyk, Carrie Robbins, Tony Walton, Patrick Wiley and David Zinn.

The TDF/Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award, first presented to the legendary Miss Sharaff in 1993, is bestowed upon a costume designer who, over the course of his or her career, has achieved great distinction and demonstrated a mastery of the art. The award is presented to a designer whose work embodies those qualities of excellence represented in the life work of Irene Sharaff: a keen sense of color, a feeling for material and texture, an eye for shape and form, and a sure command of the craft.  Such a designer's achievement may stem from work for the theatre, opera, dance or film or, as was true of Irene Sharaff, from all of them together.
Previous winners of the TDF/Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award are: Desmond Heeley (1994), Miles White (1996), Alvin Colt (1996), Patricia Zipprodt (1997), Jane Greenwood (1998), Willa Kim (1999), Ann Roth (2000), Freddy Wittop (2001), Theoni V. Aldredge (2002), Jose Varona (2003), Anthony Powell (2004), Florence Klotz (2005),  Lester Polakov (2006), Bob Mackie (2007), Robert Fletcher (2008), William Ivey Long (2009), Albert Wolsky (2010), Lewis Brown (2011), Carrie Robbins (2012), David Toser (2013) and Deborah M. Dryden (2014).
The Robert L. B. Tobin Award for Sustained Excellence in Theatrical Design not only honors the name of Robert Tobin, but also symbolizes his passion, respect and esteem for the art of theatrical design. The recipient of this award has achieved a career so distinguished in theatrical design that his or her work becomes an example to all designers of the beauty, feeling and empathy that a designer creates through true mastery of this art. The Robert L.B. Tobin Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatrical Design was first presented in 2004 to acclaimed set and costume designer Tony Walton. The award has since been presented to Robert O'Hearn (2005), Franco Zeffirelli (2006), Santo Loquasto (2007), John Conklin (2008), Bob Crowley (2009), Ming Cho Lee (2010), Robin Wagner (2011), Lloyd Burlingame (2012), Desmond Heeley (2013) and Marjorie Bradley Kellogg (2014).
The TDF/Irene Sharaff Young Master Award is presented to a designer whose work, beyond being promising, has come to fruition. The award, honoring a designer of distinction early in his or her career, is given in recognition of Irene Sharaff's wish to see young designers encouraged on their way to fully acknowledged success and excellence in the field. TDF Irene Sharaff Young Master Award has been bestowed upon: Gregg Barnes (1994), Toni-Leslie James  (1996), Paul Tazewell (1997), Martin Pakledinaz (1998), Suzy Benzinger (1999), Robert Perdziola (2000), Constance Hoffman (2001), Gregory Gale and Jonathan Bixby (2002), Anita Yavich (2003), Mirena Rada (2004), David Zinn (2005), Emilio Sosa (2006), Murrel Horton (2007), Fabio Toblini (2008), Clint  Ramos (2009), Alejo Vietti (2010), Olivera Gajic (2011), Mathew J. LeFebvre (2012), Daniel Lawson (2013) and Linda Cho (2014).
The TDF/Irene Sharaff Artisan Award recognizes an individual or company that has made an outstanding supportive contribution in the field of costume technology. Among those whom this award honors are assistant and associate costume designers, costume shops that take sketches and turn them into glorious and breathtaking realities, teachers who dedicate their lives to turning raw talent into professional accomplished designers, and authors who create the texts and trade publications without which a designer could not function.
The TDF/Irene Sharaff Memorial Tribute was created to recognize, celebrate and remember those artists who have pioneered the art of costume design, setting the standard for years to come. TDF believes that in reliving and reviewing the body of work of these artists, a new generation of designers is able to learn and grow, standing on the shoulders of the giants who went before them.
TDF/Irene Sharaff Artisan Awards have been previously awarded to: Ray Diffen (1999), Woody Shelp (2000), Barbara Matera (2001), Paul Huntley (2002), Maria Brizzi/Grace Costumes (2003), Nino Novellino (2004), Vincent Zullo (2005), Martin Izquierdo (2006), Kermit Love (2007), Bessie Nelson (2008), Sally Ann Parsons (2009), John David Ridge (2010), Michael-Jon Costumes (2011), Lynn Pectal (2012), Lawrence Vrba (2013) and Marjorie Krostyne (2014);  and the TDF/Irene Sharaff Memorial Tribute Award to Raoul Pene DuBois (1999), Lucinda Ballard (2000), Aline Bernstein (2001), Cecil Beaton (2002), Ruth Morley (2003), Lemuel Ayers (2004), Oliver Messel (2005), Lila De Nobili (2006), Rouben Ter-Arutunian (2007),Tanya Moiseiwitsch (2008), Irene Sharaff (2009), Randy Barcelo (2010), Charles LeMaire (2011), William and Jean Eckart (2012), Martin Pakledinaz (2013), and Sam Kirkpatrick (2014).
THE TDF COSTUME COLLECTION maintains an extensive inventory of more than 80,000 costumes and accessories for rental at discounted price by any not-for-profit theatre company, opera company, university, high school, religious group, etc.  The Collection resides in a 16,000 square foot home at the Kaufman Astoria Studios. This past year, The Collection served organizations that produced over 1,100 productions in 30 states. It stocks all periods and accepts donations from productions, institutions and individuals. These donations are tax-exempt to the degree allowed by law.
THE TOBIN THEATRE ARTS FUND (formerly The Tobin Foundation for Theatre Arts) was founded by the late Robert L. B. Tobin, who was heir to one of the largest family fortunes in Texas.  Robert Tobin admitted to being a frustrated theatre designer with a need to be creative.  All through his academic years and early adulthood, he collected rare theatrical volumes, etchings, engravings and drawings. At the time of his 50th birthday in 1984, The Tobin Wing of the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas, was constructed specifically to provide a museum setting for the theatre arts. As such, the wing houses Robert Tobin's extensive collection of over 20,000 original models, scenic and costume designs, as well as some 8,000 rare and illustrated books.  This unprecedented collection of preliminary sketches, final renderings, maquettes, engravings and illustrated texts, provides a visual history of theatre art from the renaissance to the present. The Tobin Theatre Arts Fund has underwritten the publication of the book, Making the Scene: A History of Stage Design and Technology in Europe and the United States, co-authored by Dr. Oscar Brockett, Margaret Mitchell and Linda Hardberger. This work is a lively, beautifully illustrated history of theatrical stage design from ancient Greek times to the present.
THE TOBIN THEATRE ARTS FUND exists to stimulate public interest in the art of the theatre designer through a far-reaching program of exhibitions, lectures, expansion of the collection at the McNay and to provide broad-based access to this collection.

THEATRE DEVELOPMENT FUND, a not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts, was created in the conviction that the live theatrical arts afford a unique expression of the human condition that must be sustained and nurtured. It is dedicated to developing diverse audiences for live theatre and dance, and strengthening the performing arts community in New York City. Since 1968, TDF’s programs have provided over 87 million people with access to performances at affordable prices and have returned over $2.4 billion to thousands of productions. Best known for its TKTS Discount Booths, TDF’s membership, outreach, access (including its Autism Theatre Initiative) and education programs — as well as its Costume Collection — have introduced thousands of people to the theatre and helped make the unique experience of theatre available to everyone, including students and people with disabilities. Recent TDF honors include a 2011 Mayor’s Award for Arts and Culture, a 2012 Tony Honor for Excellence for its Open Doors Arts Education Program, a 2012 New York Innovative Theatre Award for its support of the off-Off Broadway community and a 2013 Lucille Lortel honor for “Outstanding Body of Work” in support of the Off Broadway community. For more information, go to:

This year's TDF/Irene Sharaff Awards Ceremony is being generously underwritten by The Tobin Theatre Arts Fund.