Awards announcements from the Ziegfeld Club and NYIT

As the 2020 awards season continues, two organizations – the Ziegfeld Club, Inc. and New York Innovative Theatre Awards (NYIT) – have announced updates this week on their annual honors.

Founded by Billie Burke in 1936, in commemoration of her late husband Florenz Ziegfeld (musical-theater impresario and producer of the legendary Ziegfeld Follies), the Ziegfeld Club, Inc. – one of New York City’s first performing arts charities to benefit women – has named Thailand-born NYC-based Tidtaya Sinutoke (ฑิตยา สินุธก) as the recipient of the sixth annual Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award. Recognizing emerging female and female-identifying musical-theater composers and composer/lyricists, the prestigious award, which includes a $10,000 grant and one year of mentorship from a prominent Broadway composer or producer, will be presented in a virtual ceremony on Monday, November 9. For the first time this year, the presentation will be in partnership with New York Stage and Film – a non-profit company dedicated, since 1985, to both emerging and established artists in the development of new works for theater, film, and television.

Tidtaya Sinutoke. Photo courtesy of the artist.

A graduate of Berklee College of Music (with a BM degree) and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts (MFA in Musical Theatre Writing), Sinutoke is a member of ASCAP, the Dramatists Guild, Maestra, and the Thai Theatre Foundation. In addition to the present Ziegfeld award, she has been honored with a 2017 Jonathan Larson Grant, the 2020 Weston-Ghostlight New Musical Award, and other professional recognitions and residencies (from Composer-Librettists Studio at New Dramatists, Johnny Mercer Songwriter Projects, NYFA IAM Mentoring Program, Robert Rauschenberg Residency, EtM Con Edison Composer-in-Residence, Musical Theatre Factory MAKERS Cohort, and Rhinebeck Writers Retreat).

Among the notable past recipients of the Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award are Masi Asare, Julianne Wick Davis, Anna K. Jacobs, Rona Sidiqqui, and Shaina Taub. The illustrious roster of previous mentors includes Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage, Tony Award-winning composer Jeanine Tesori, Tony Award-winning producer Daryl Roth, composer Kristen Anderson-Lopez, and producer Barbara Whitman.

The status of the NYIT Awards for the Off-Off-Broadway and Indie theater community has also been updated this week by the organization’s leaders. In a joint statement from Shay Gines and Nick Micozzi, they acknowledged that, due to the pandemic, the incomplete transitioning of leadership, and serious technical difficulties with the NYIT website (which has affected access to the judging system), the announcement of the 2020 nominees and awards ceremony would have to be postponed indefinitely, until the issues can be resolved.

While emphasizing “the importance of honoring and highlighting the beautiful artistry and work that occurred before the pandemic, even if this had to be done virtually,” Gines and Micozzi expressed their determination to ensure that ballots and the judging process would effectively and equitably determine the nominees and winners. “While we know that it is disappointing and frustrating that we are not able to conduct an awards ceremony at this time,” they said, “we are hopeful that we will work through the issues and will be able to celebrate the 2019-2020 season in the future.”

We will continue to provide the latest information as it becomes available.

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Deb Miller
Deb Miller (PhD, Art History) is the Senior Correspondent and Editor for New York City, where she grew up seeing every show on Broadway. She is an active member of the Outer Critics Circle and served for more than a decade as a Voter, Nominator, and Judge for the Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre. Outside of her home base in NYC, she has written and lectured extensively on the arts and theater throughout the world (including her many years in Amsterdam, London, and Venice, and her extensive work and personal connections with Andy Warhol and his circle) and previously served as a lead writer for Stage Magazine, Phindie, and Central Voice.


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