Photo: Cheryl Lynn Bruce in the 1989 film “Music Box” (IMDB)
The League of Chicago Theatres has announced the slate of honorees for their 2017 gala, set to take placeMonday, May 22, at the Four Seasons Hotel, 120 E. Delaware Place. League members will honor Route 66 Theatre Company as the recipient of the Broadway In Chicago Emerging Theatre Award, Michael and Mona Heath with the Tribute Award, Cheryl Lynn Bruce with the Lifetime Achievement Award, and Lookingglass Theatre Company Ensemble with the Artistic Achievement Award.
Nominated by a committee of industry professionals, educators and League of Chicago Theatres board members, five finalists for the Emerging Theatre Award are selected each year, and from those, a vote from the League membership determines the winner. Broadway In Chicago provides sponsors the award, and will provide Route 66 with a $5,000 cash prize and marketing support, including a substantial advertising package. Sideshow Theatre Company, Jackalope Theatre Company, Oracle Productions, The House Theatre of Chicago, Silk Road Theatre Project (now Silk Road Rising), the side project, Steep Theatre, The New Colony, Theatre Seven of Chicago and 16th Street Theater are previous recipients of the award.
“We are incredibly grateful to be selected by the League of Chicago Theatres and Broadway In Chicago. It is truly an honor, especially when you consider the other nominees this year. This award is a testament to the true ensemble nature of Chicago theater: its diversity, collaboration, and support for one another. Route 66 is proud to be a part of this community for almost a decade and we hope our new home at The Den Theatre helps solidify us as a leading, Equity storefront theater company for years to come,” said Stef Tovar, Route 66 Founder and Artistic Director.
Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Cheryl Lynn Bruce is an actor, writer, and director who has appeared on stages around the world. Including Steppenwolf, Goodman, Lookingglass, and Victory Gardens in Chicago. She has directed for Congo Square and Teatro Vista, where she is a company member.
Tribute Award recipients Michael and Mona Heath provide financial support for theater companies through their donor advised fund at the Chicago Community Trust. Their most visible projects to date include financing the development of the Heath Main Stage at the Den Theatre and funding the Accessible Equipment Loan Program with the Chicago Cultural Accessibility Consortium. They have seen over 3000 productions together.
The Tony Award-winning Lookingglass Theatre Company Ensemble, recipient of the Artistic Achievement Award, was founded in 1988 by graduates of Northwestern University and is home to a multi-disciplined collective of artists. Lookingglass has emerged as a national leader in the creation and presentation of original, cutting-edge theatrical work, having developed and produced more than 65 world-premieres, many of which have toured to U.S. The Ensemble is comprised of Kareem Bandealy, Mara Blumenfeld, J. Nicole Brooks, David Catlin, Thomas J. Cox, Lawrence E. DiStasi, Christine Mary Dunford, Kevin Douglas, Laura Eason, Anthony Fleming III, Raymond Fox, Joy Gregory, Douglas Hara, David Kersnar, Louise Lamson, Daniel Ostling, David Schwimmer, Joey Slotnick, Philip R. Smith, Heidi Stillman, Tracy Walsh, Temple Williams III, Andrew White, and Mary Zimmerman.
The Gala Co-Chairs are Erica Daniels, Managing Director of Victory Gardens Theater and Tyrone Phillips, Artistic Director of Definition Theatre Company. Tickets are available for $350 per person, and all proceeds benefit the League of Chicago Theatres. To purchase tickets, visit www.chicagoplays.com or call 312-554-9800.