Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Writers’ Theatre, Michael Halberstam, has been awarded the 2010 Zelda Fichandler Award by the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation (SDCF).
The Fichandler award recognizes an outstanding director or choreographer who is transforming the regional arts land scape through singular creativity and artistry in theatre. It also heralds accomplishment to date and promise for the future, artistic vision, and deep commitment to a region outside of New York. The award is given regionally on a rotating basis and is one of only three awards given to theatre directors and choreographers by their peers.
“I am more than humbled, completely and thrillingly surprised, and utterly grateful to SDCF. Theatre is, of course, a completely collaborative art form and my work has only ever been as successful as the many actors, designers, artisans, technicians, staff members, volunteers and donors who have come together to support a particular vision. Midwest regional theatre is simply bursting with enthusiasm for the art, significant talent and the entrepreneurial spirit. But we owe our foundations to the visionary leadership of pioneers like Zelda Fichandler. I am thoroughly in awe her legacy and I am honored to be chosen as representational of the kind of work she inspired,” Michael shared.
Zelda Fichandler was one of the founders of the American regional theatre movement. She founded Washington D.C.’s Arena Stage in 1950 and in 1968 produced THE GREAT WHITE HOPE, the first production to transfer from a regional theatre to Broadway. When she retired in 1990, she had achieved the longest tenure of any non-commercial producer in the annals of the American theater.
David Cromer, the lauded director of last season’s triumphant A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, will present the award to Michael at an event on Monday, October 18th at 6pm at Steppenwolf Theatre. The evening will also feature a panel of Chicago directors (including Seth Bockley, Timothy Douglas, Gary Griffin, Kimberly Senior and Dennis Zacek, moderated by Sheldon Patinkin) discussing the Chicago stage directing aesthetic and where it’s headed in the 21st century.