Riccardo Hernandez, Anita Yavitch, and Jane Cox nominated for Drama Desk Awards; John Doyle nominated for Drama Desk and Tony Awards; Jane Cox wins award from League of Professional Theatre Women; Anne Washburn wins Herb Alpert Award

Five current faculty members in the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Theater have recently been nominated for or received major awards. Jane Cox received the Ruth Morley Design Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lighting Design for a Musical for The Color Purple. Riccardo Hernandez was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design for a Play for Red Speedo at New York Theatre Workshop. Anita Yavich was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design for a Play for The Legend of Georgia McBride. John Doyle was nominated for both a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical and a Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical for The Color Purple. Anne Washburn received the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts.

jane cox

Jane Cox, Lewis Center for the Arts theater faculty member, nominated for a Drama Desk Award for lighting design of the revival of The Color Purple on Broadway and recipient of the Ruth Morley Design Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women. Photo courtesy of Jane Cox

The Drama Desk Awards honor outstanding achievement by professional theater artists on Broadway, off-Broadway, and off-off Broadway and are nominated by theater critics, journalists, editors, and publishers. Tony Awards are given for Broadway productions and performances and are selected by a committee made up of select members of the American Theatre Wing, The Broadway League, the Dramatists Guild, Actors’ Equity Association, United Scenic Artists, and the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. Administered by the California Institute of the Arts, The Herb Alpert Award in the Arts is a prize of $75,000 given annually to five mid-career artists working in the fields of dance, film/video, music, theatre and the visual arts and recognizes experimenters who are making something that matters within and beyond their field. The Ruth Morley Design Award is given by the League of Professional Theatre Women in memory of the Broadway and Academy Award-nominated costume designer who may be best known for her creation of the Annie Hall look for Woody Allen’s iconic film, which started a worldwide fashion trend.

Jane Cox has been a lecturer in Princeton’s Program in Theatre since 2007. Her recent projects include Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch in London, directed by Lyndsey Turner and the new musical of Amelie, directed by Pam MacKinnon. Cox was nominated for the Tony and Drama Desk awards in 2014 for her work on Machinal at the Roundabout Theater. She was also the most nominated designer in any discipline for the Henry Hewes Design Awards, being nominated for her designs for Machinal; All the Way at the Neil Simon (Tony Award for Best Play); and Dinner with Friends. Originally hailing from Dublin, Ireland, Cox has taught courses at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts graduate program in theater design; Vassar College; Sarah Lawrence College; University of Massachusetts Amherst; and workshops at universities all over the country and at the Kennedy Center. She is represented in the book Curtain Call: Celebrating a Century of Women Designing for Live Performance.

On May 3 Cox was presented with the Ruth Morley Design Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women by her Princeton colleague and Broadway collaborator John Doyle. The award annually recognizes leading female designers working in theater and film.

john doyle

John Doyle, Lewis Center for the Arts theater faculty member, nominated for both a Drama Desk Award and a Tony Award for 2016 for his direction of the revival of The Color Purple. Photo by Catherine Ashmore

John Doyle has been a visiting lecturer with the rank of professor at Princeton since 2014 and is a director of musicals, plays, and operas. As a faculty member in the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Theatre, Doyle has taught “The Nature of Theatrical Reinvention” and “Development of the Multi-Skilled Performer,” as well as a Princeton Atelier course this past spring. He has directed more than 200 productions internationally and has been nominated for six Drama Desk Awards and two Tony Awards. In 2006, he won both a Drama Desk Award and a Tony Award for his direction of the Broadway revival of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. Doyle has been integral in the popularization of a musical theatre style called actor/musicianship in which actors produce their own instrumental accompaniment from onstage. Doyle directed the Encores! production of A Bed and A Chair in 2013, a staged concert wherein classic Sondheim songs, musically reimagined by jazz orchestrator Wynton Marsalis, were performed by Broadway stars including Bernadette Peters and Jeremy Jordan.

Riccardo Hernandez is an assistant professor of theater design at SUNY Purchase and a lecturer in theater at Princeton. He earned his M.F.A. in 1992 from the Yale School of Drama. He has designed over 250 productions at leading regional theaters and opera companies across the U.S. and internationally. Recent Broadway credits include The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (2012 Tony Award Best Musical Revival), Tony Kushner’s Caroline, or Change (2007 Olivier Award for Best New Musical/2006 London’s Evening Standard Award for Best Musical), TopDog/UnderDog (2002 Pulitzer Award Best Play), and Parade (Tony and Drama Desk Nominations). Hernandez has also done considerable design work with the New York Shakespeare Festival and the Public Theater including The America Play, One Flea Spare, Stuff Happens, Blade to the Heat (Audelco Award), TopDog/UnderDog, Noise/Funk, and Mother Courage. Hernandez received a Drama Desk Award in 2003 for his set design for Radiant Baby and in 2015 received the Henry Hewes Design Award for his work on The Invisible Hand. Princeton alumna Lileana Blain-Cruz directed the production of Red Speedo, for which he is nominated.

Anne Washburn is a playwright and lecturer in theater at Princeton. Her plays include 10 out of 12, Mr. Burns, The Internationalist, A Devil At Noon, Apparition, The Communist Dracula Pageant, I Have Loved Strangers, The Ladies, The Small and transadaptations of Euripides’ Orestes & Iphigenia in Aulis. Her work has been produced by 13P, Actors Theater of Louisville, The Almeida, American Repertory Theatre, Cherry Lane Theatre, Classic Stage Company, Clubbed Thumb, The Civilians, Dixon Place, Ensemble Studio Theater, The Folger, The Gate, The Guthrie, Playwrights Horizons, Red Eye, Soho Rep, Studio Theater, Two River Theater Company, Vineyard Theater and Woolly Mammoth. Washburn’s awards include a Whiting, a Guggenheim, a PEN/Laura Pels award, a NYFA Fellowship, a Time Warner Fellowship, Susan Smith Blackburn finalist, as well as residencies at MacDowell and Yaddo. She is an associated artist with The Civilians, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, Chochiqq, and is an alumna of New Dramatists and 13P. Her most recent play, Antlia Pneumatica, premiered at Playwrights Horizons in March and was named a Critic’s Pick by Time Out New York.

Anita Yavich, a lecturer in theater at Princeton, has designed costumes for Chinglish, Venus in Fur and Anna in the Tropics on Broadway. Her off-Broadway credits include The Explorer’s Club and Tales from Red Vienna at Manhattan Theater’s Club; Orlando, New Jerusalem and Texts for Nothing at Classic Stage Company; Kung Fu, Golden Child, and Iphigenia 2.0 at Signature Theatre Company; All in the Timing at Primary Stages; The Submission, Coraline and The Wooden Breeks at MCC Theater; Henry V at The New Victory Theater; Measure for Pleasure, Kit Marlowe, The Winter’s Tale, Civil Sex and Pericles at the New York Shakespeare Festival; and Macbeth, Coriolanus and Svejk at Theatre for a New Audience. Yavich also has considerable experience costuming for opera and was the costume and puppet designer for The Sound of Music at the Salzburger Marionetten theater and international tour. She was the recipient of the 2006 Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Costume Design.

The 61st annual Drama Desk Awards will be presented on June 5 at New York’s Town Hall. The 70th annual Tony Awards will be broadcast on CBS, live from the Beacon Theatre in New York City, on June 12.

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