NCTF Gala to Honor Chris Campbell, Gordon Davidson and John Lithgow April 4
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by BWW News Desk
National Corporate Theatre Fund (NCTF) is pleased to announce its Annual Chairman's Awards Gala set to take place on Monday, April 4th at New York's Essex House. This year, NCTF Chairman James E. Buckley (KPMG) will honor Chris Campbell (Palace Production Center), Gordon Davidson (Founder & Artistic Director of Los Angeles' Center Theatre Group Ahmanson, Mark Taper Forum & Kirk Douglas Theatres) and John Lithgow, currently starring in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels on Broadway.
Jane Curtin will act as Master of Ceremonies for this black tie event. Rosalyn & Irwin Engelman, David Hyde Pierce, and Anna Deavere Smith will present the awards to the evening's honorees. Cocktails begin at 6:30 PM followed by dinner at 7:30 PM. The gala will feature a silent auction filled with exciting prize packages, a special musical presentation directed and choreographed by Dirty Rotten Scoundrels associate choreographer Denis Jones, and a tribute performance by Kelli O'Hara (The Light in the Piazza).
John Lithgow will be honored with this year's Theatre Artist Award. For more than thirty years John Lithgow has been a widely respected artist in film, television, theater, song and children's writing. He has starred in 18 Broadway shows and can currently be seen on the Great White Way in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. His Broadway performances have been honored with two Tony Awards, most recently for his portrayal of J.J. Hunsecker in Sweet Smell of Success, and four Drama Desk Awards. Other standout performances include his roles in The Retreat From Moscow, The Changing Room and M. Butterfly. Lithgow won critical acclaim, as well as four Emmy Awards, one Golden Globe Award, an American Comedy Award and two Screen Actors Guild Awards for his role on NBC's series 3rd Rock from the Sun and has been recognized for his work in films such as The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, Kinsey, Shrek, The Pelican Brief, Terms of Endearment (Academy Award Nomination), Cliffhanger, Ricochet, Memphis Belle, The World According to Garp (Academy Award Nomination), 2010 and Footloose. He has authored four children's books that have landed on The New York Times bestseller list (I'm A Manatee, Micawber, Marsupial Sue and The Remarkable Farkle McBride). His fifth and latest children's book, Carnival Of The Animals was published in 2004. Its recording won him a Grammy nomination for Best Spoken Word Album for Children. Lithgow made his stage debut at age six in Henry VI, Part 3 with Ellis Raab. A Harvard graduate, Lithgow won a Fulbright Scholarship and used it to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. While in England, he "interned" with both the Royal Shakespeare Company and The Royal Court Theatre.
Gordon Davidson will be honored with this year's NCTF Leadership Award. As artistic director / producer of Center Theatre Group, he has helmed award-winning theatre at both the Mark Taper Forum and the Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center, and the Kirk Douglas Theatre, all in Los Angeles. His work and direction of Taper plays have garnered critical acclaim and honors in both L.A. & New York and earned many awards including a Tony Award in theatrical excellence for the Taper. In one season, Davidson won a Tony Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award for his direction of The Shadow Box, as well as an Outer Critics Circle and an Obie Award for his direction of Savages at the Hudson Guild Theatre. His direction of Children of a Lesser God (two Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards) later brought him nominations for both a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award. He staged The Phoenix Theatre productions of Murderous Angels and The Trial of the Catonsville Nine (Tony & Obie Award nominations) and was honored with a Drama Desk Award for In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer at Lincoln Center. Credits at the Taper include: The Devils, Mass, Terra Nova, The Lady and the Clarinet, Chekhov in Yalta, Tales From Hollywood, The Hands of its Enemy, The Real Thing, Ghetto, Unfinished Stories, Nine Armenians and QED, among others. Among his honors are: a Special Award for outstanding contributions to American Playwrights; three Distinguished Direction Awards from the L.A. Drama Critics Circle; a Margo Jones Award for encouraging new plays and playwrights; The Governor's Award for the Arts in 1990 for contributions to the performing arts in CA. The Founders League of the Music Center of Los Angeles County recognized him for 30 years of artistic leadership in 1997 and he was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in New York in 1999. Davidson has served as president of TCG and the League of Resident Theaters. He is currently on TCG's board of directors and has been a board member of various arts organizations. He serves on panels for the NEA and is an artistic advisor for the Fund for New American Plays. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was appointed to the National Council on the Arts by President Clinton.
Chris Campbell, recipient of this year's Corporate Leadership Award, is an award-winning film and television writer and director, as well as a successful business entrepreneur with a life-long involvement with the theater. His ongoing affair with the theater began with some early acting experiences of his own and blossomed into countless contributions behind the scenes. Chris has been a member of the NCTF Board since 1993. For the past two decades, his companies have been active contributors to NCTF and have produced many promotional and fund-raising materials. Early in his career, Chris adapted and directed stage productions for public television, including one nationally broadcast production for PBS, which earned the Corporation for Public Broadcasting award for Best Drama. Chris produced and directed for PBS while serving as program director and station manager for Connecticut Public Television. In 1979, he founded his own company, Palace Production Center, Inc., where he is now Chairman and CEO. Palace owns and operates Connecticut-based Palace Digital Studios and Praxis Media, Inc., and Palace Digital Studios NYC and RS Digital, both in midtown Manhattan. He also is a managing partner of Rabbit Ears Entertainment, LLC, a children's and family publishing company and Docere Palace Studios, a non-fiction television Production Company. In addition to his work as an organizational communications consultant to many Fortune 500 companies over the past 25 years, Chris has taught at several universities and various professional institutes. The winner of numerous awards, Campbell's honors include numerous Emmy nominations and more than 100 other industry citations and film competition awards, including the New York Film Festival, Tellys, and ITVA.
Corporate co-chairs of this year's Annual Chairman's Awards Gala are Altria Group, Inc., Charles Dillingham, Ernst & Young and KPMG.
NCTF is an association of eleven of America's finest not-for-profit theatres dedicated to increasing the participation of corporations and their employees in the support of theatre across the country and in New York. NCTF member theatres include: Actors Theatre of Louisville, American Conservatory Theater, American Repertory Theatre, Center Theatre Group, The Cleveland Play House, The Goodman Theatre, Guthrie Theater, Long Wharf Theatre, The Old Globe, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Trinity Repertory Company.
For reservations and information please call (212) 750-6895. Individual tickets are $1,000 - $2,500 and reserved tables are $10,000 - $25,000.