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TDF celebrates 50 years of service to audiences and the performing arts community at its annual gala on Monday, June 18 at Gotham Hall

Date: Apr 03, 2018


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TDF, the not-for-profit organization dedicated to bringing the power of the performing arts to everyone, which is celebrating 50 years of service to audiences and the performing arts community in 2018, has announced it will be honoring Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning playwright TONY KUSHNER at its 50th Anniversary Gala on Monday, June 18 at Manhattan’s historic Gotham Hall (1356 Broadway @ 36th Street, NYC). Mr. Kushner’s masterwork, Angels in America, is currently receiving its first Broadway revival with the National Theatre production at the Neil Simon Theatre.

Additionally, JAMES LAPINE, also a Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning playwright and director will be presented the inaugural TDF Founders Award. The TDF Founders Award is being created to honor individuals and organizations who have demonstrated a deep commitment to TDF and its mission, and who embody TDF’s vision of a world where the transformative experience of attending live theatre and dance is essential, relevant, accessible and inspirational.

 “We are doubly blessed to have such giants of the American theatre with us at our 50th Anniversary Gala” said TDF’s Executive Director, VICTORIA BAILEY. “TONY KUSHNER is an extraordinary playwright whose body of work embodies everything the theatre can and should be. He has deeply touched audiences around the world, proven once again by the current Broadway production of his seminal work, Angels in America. JAMES LAPINE, has a long history with TDF as an Open Doors mentor for the past 17 years, having been recruited to the program by its founder, WENDY WASSERSTEIN, in 2001. As an artist his work not only entertains, but it illuminates and enriches the human spirit. As a mentor he does the same for the students to whom he commits his time and passion each year.”
The funds raised at TDF’s 50th Anniversary Gala will provide vital support for TDF’s wide range of programs serving theatregoers and theatre-makers. Guests will be treated to a special program produced by SCOTT MAURO ENTERTAINMENT, Inc. hosted by the hilarious JULIE HALSTON.  The show’s line-up will be announced shortly. The chair for the event is TDF Trustee BETSY MILLER. Tables begin at $10,000 and individual tickets are available for $1,500 and $1,000. To purchase tickets, journal ads, and for more information, contact: or call 212.912.9770 ext. *384.

The TDF 50th Anniversary Gala Honorary Committee: Jane Alexander, Lucie Arnaz, Laura Benanti, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Alex Brightman, Danny Burstein and Rebecca Luker, Geneva Carr, Kristin Chenoweth, Victoria Clark, Sandy Duncan, Melissa Errico, Joanna Gleason, Joel Grey, Jonathan Groff, Jeffrey and Paula Gural, Julie Halston, Ruth Hendel, Judith Ivey, Cherry Jones, Jane Krakowski, Linda Lavin, Andrew Lippa, William Ivey Long, S. Epatha Merkerson, Jerry Mitchell, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Rita Moreno, Leslie Odom Jr., Kelli O’Hara, Laura Osnes, Bernadette Peters, Chita Rivera, Stephen Sondheim, Jimmy Smits and Susan Stroman. 

TONY KUSHNER’s plays include A Bright Room Called Day; Angels in America, Parts One and Two; Slavs!; Homebody/Kabul; the musical Caroline, or Change and the opera, A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck, both with composer Jeanine Tesori; and The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the  Scriptures. He has adapted and translated Pierre Corneille's The Illusion, S.Y. Ansky's The Dybbuk, Bertolt Brecht's The Good Person of Szechwan and Mother Courage and Her Children; and the English-language libretto for the opera Brundibár by Hans Krasa.  He wrote the screenplays for Mike Nichols' film of Angels in America, and for Steven Spielberg's Munich and Lincoln. His books include Brundibar, with illustrations by Maurice Sendak; The Art of Maurice Sendak, 1980 to the Present; and Wrestling with Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict, co-edited with Alisa Solomon. Kushner is the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize, two Tony Awards, three Obie Awards, two Evening Standard Awards, an Olivier Award, an Emmy Award, two Oscar nominations, and the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, among other honors. In 2012, he was awarded a National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama. He lives in Manhattan with his husband, Mark Harris.

JAMES LAPINE collaborated with Stephen Sondheim as both librettist and director of the Broadway productions of Passion, Into the Woods and Sunday in the Park with George.  With William Finn, Off Broadway shows March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland, later together on Broadway as Falsettos, A New Brain, Little Miss Sunshine, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.  He also wrote and directed the plays Act One, Fran’s Bed, The Moment When, Twelve Dreams, Table Settings, Luck, Pluck & Virtue and Mrs. Miller Does Her Thing. On Broadway he directed Claudia Shear’s Dirty Blonde, the revivals of Annie, The Diary of Anne Frank, and David Henry Hwang’s Golden Child and created and directed the revue Sondheim on Sondheim. He directed the films Impromptu, Life with Mikey, Earthly Possessions, Custody and the Peabody Award winning documentary Six by Sondheim. He has received twelve Tony Award nominations winning on three occasions. He has also received five Drama Desk Awards, an Obie Award, SDC’s George Abbott Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, and the Pulitzer Prize.

TDF is a not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts, dedicated to bringing the power of the performing arts to everyone. Founded in 1968, TDF’s mission is to sustain live theatre and dance by engaging and cultivating a broad and diverse audience and eliminating barriers to attendance. TDF fulfills its mission with a variety of programs that expand access, cultivate communities and support the makers of the performing arts. Best known for its theatre- going programs (including the TKTS by TDF Discount Booths and TDF Membership Programs), TDF’s accessibility (including open captioned, audio described and Autism Friendly performances), school (serving over 10,000 New York City students annually), community engagement and information programs — as well as the TDF Costume Collection Rental and Research Programs — have introduced millions of people to the theatre and helped make the unique experience of theatre available to everyone. To learn more about TDF, go to: