The 24TH Annual Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival (LAWTF) will honor six women for their exceptional career and life achievements in the Opening Night Champagne Gala and Awards Ceremony on March 23, 2017 at Barnsdall Gallery Theatre in Barnsdall Arts Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028. The deserving honorees who have made laudable contributions to the world of theatre are listed here:
Barbara Morrison will be bestowed with the Eternity Award, given to an artist or individual whose lifetime achievements have made a lasting contribution to the world of theatre. A Grammy® nominated jazz and blues vocalist, her musical career spans four decades, performing with the Count Basie Orchestra, the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra, Doc Severinsen’s Big Band, and with artists ranging from Ray Charles and Dizzy Gillespie to Tony Bennett and Keb Mo. Treasured in Los Angeles, her career has taken her all over the world. She has co-created and stars in a musical theatre biography of the life and times of Dinah Washington, I Wanna Be Loved. Also an educator, her Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center in Leimert Park serves as a training ground for a new generation of actors, musicians and dancers from an underserved community. Her future projects include the California Jazz and Blues Museum.
Megan Cavallari will be the recipient of the Integrity Award, presented to an artist or individual who has brought credibility and dignity to her work. Megan Cavallari has worked on more than 50 film scores as performer, arranger, conductor or composer. She has composed for the L.A. Kings; has worked on 25 television shows; 16 stage musicals; and written hundreds of songs, jingles, and assorted musical offerings. She launched The Talk Foundation Project, where she records the thoughts and observations of children with life-threatening and chronic diseases. In a world dominated by men, Ms. Cavallari’s critically acclaimed musicals have played at such theatres as The Mark Taper Forum, The York (NYC), Barrington Stage, 5th Avenue Playhouse (Seattle), The Ordway (St. Paul), The Under the Stars (Houston) and Living Arts Centre (Toronto, Canada).Ms. Cavallari has won three ASCAP Awards, BMI Award, two IRNE Awards, two Cynopsis Media Award, two Telly Awards, FAHF Humanitarian Award, Yip Harburg Award, Founders Day Award, Vollenberg Grant and has two platinum albums.
Paulina Sahagun will receive the Maverick Award, presented to an artist or individual whose work has set a high standard of individuality and self-styled creativity. Ms. Sahagun has performed on both sides of the Mexico/U.S. Border. She began her theatrical career as a member of the Los Mascarones and was a founding member of Grupo Cultural Zero. With these companies, she toured extensively throughout Mexico and the U.S. performing original theatrical works. Her credits with El Teatro Campesino and Luis Valdez include the play La Pastorela and the PBS Special El Popol Vuh. Sahagun’s co-authored play in the style of clowning, 4 Clowns in Search of a Circus was produced by the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center in San Antonio, Texas. She collaborated and performed with Guillermo Gomez-Pena in Borderama. Her solo performance piece Nahuatl-Now What?has been seen in Los Angeles and Chicago. She toured her children’s show Two Channels with the Music Center on Tour. Sahagun’s work, Local Loca was performed at UCLA and the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival and at Highways Performance Space.
Estelle Campbell will receive the Rainbow Award, bestowed on an artist or individual for her diverse contributions in fostering non-traditional and multicultural theatre works. An early passion for theatre led her to become a producer. As a Board member, then Board President, and now subsequently as Managing Director of Sierra Madre Playhouse, Ms. Campbell has produced over 20 Equity signatory productions in the Los Angeles area. Shows she has produced include major roles for women and artists of color including Anna in the Tropics, Arcadia, Our Town, To Kill a Mockingbird, On the Twentieth Century, Woman in Mind (L.A. Times Critics Choice), Driving Miss Daisy, God’s Man in Texas, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (L.A. Weekly Pick of the Week), An Ideal Husband, 4000 Miles, Deathtrap (Ovation Award), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Ovation Award), A Walk in the Woods (Ovation nomination), Always…Patsy Cline (Ovation nomination), The Glass Menagerie(Ovation nomination), Battledrum, Einstein Is a Dummy, Charlotte’s Web and A Wrinkle in Time.
Also receiving the Rainbow Award is arts educator and activist Leslie K. Johnson. She is Director of Social Strategy, Innovation and Impact for Center Theatre Group; and Chairman of the Board of Directors for 24th St. Theatre. Previous positions include Director of School Programs for the Music Center; Associate Director of Arts Incorporated; Chairman of the Board of Directors for California Alliance for Arts Education; Arts Professional Advisor Link Mentor for Emerging Arts Leaders/Los Angeles; and functions for Impact Creativity Task Force; Americans for the Arts; The Broadway League; and Theatre Communications Group. Publications she has authored include Theatre Basics: A Starting Place for Introducing Children to the World of Live Theatre (for Center Theatre Group); Arts Education Advisory Tool Kit (for The John F. Kennedy Center); Education Centerpiece: On Turning 50 (on Theatre Communications Group’s 50th anniversary).
Doris Roberts is this year’s recipient of the Infinity Award, memorializing exceptional achievements of a theatre artist. Ms. Roberts appeared in eleven Broadway shows, including Cheaters, Bad Habits, The Secret Affairs of Mildred Wild, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, The Natural Look, Under the Weather, The Office, Malcolm, Marathon ’33, The Desk Set and The Time of Your Life. She appeared in Unusual Acts of Devotion at La Jolla Playhouse. She also portrayed characters in 39 feature films, but her national renown perhaps came most from her work in television. She was a series regular on Angie, Remington Steele, andEverybody Loves Raymond, winning four Emmy® Awards for her work on the latter show. She won a fifth Emmy for a guest appearance on St. Elsewhere. She was an activist, testifying before Congress regarding prevalent age discrimination in Hollywood. Also involved in charitable endeavors, she was chairperson for the Children With AIDS Foundation, worked with the group Puppies Behind Bars, and was an animal rights advocate. She passed away in April, 2016.
The Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival was founded by Executive Producer Adilah Barnes and Miriam Reed. The Festival is the oldest solo festival for women in Los Angeles and is an annual event unique among American cultural institutions and should not be missed.
The Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival is a non-profit organization. The Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival organization is made possible this year in part by the City of West Hollywood, Department of Cultural Affairs of Los Angeles, City National Bank, City of Culver City, KPFK 90.7 and Adilah Barnes Productions.
Admission to the Gala on March 23, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. is $50 or two tickets for $90 (includes light fare and champagne). For the other programs, ticket prices this year include general admission single show tickets at $20.00 in advance or $25 at the door. Students, seniors and groups of ten or more, $18. Children 12 and under, $10.
Reservations: (818) 760-0408. Online reservations will be available at http://www.lawtf.org . To join and follow LAWTF on Facebook and Twitter, click on their links at http://www.lawtf.org