2005 TDF/Irene Sharaff Awards Announced


The 2005 recipients of the TDF/Irene Sharaff awards are: Florence Klotz, Lifetime Achievement Award; David Zinn, Young Master Award; Vincent Zullo, Young Artisan Award; Oliver Messel, Posthumous Award; and Robert O'Hearn, The Robert L.B. Tobin Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatrical Design.

The winners of the 2005 TDF/Irene Sharaff Awards, who were selected by the TDF Costume Collection's Advisory Committee, will be presented their awards in an April 8 ceremony at the Hudson Theatre. The TDF/Irene Sharaff Awards are presented through Theatre Development Fund's Costume Collection which rents professional theatrical costumes at low cost to not-for-profit organizations across the country.

Florence Klotz began her career as a costume designer assisting Irene Sharaff on The King and I. She then worked with Sharaff on A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Of Thee I Sing, Do Re Mi, Flower Drum Song, and Juno. She also assisted Lucinda Ballard, Alvin Colt, Raoul Pene DuBois and Miles White. During the next 30 years, she worked with Hal Prince and won six Tony Awards designing costumes for the Prince-directed shows: Follies, A Little Night Music, Pacific Overtures, Grind, Kiss of the Spider Woman, and Show Boat. Her motion pictures include Something for Everyone starring Angela Lansbury and A Little Night Music starring Elizabeth Taylor, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award. A profile of Klotz will be featured in the April issue of Entertainment Design.

Robert O'Hearn is world-renowned for his career of more than 50 years as a costume, scenic, and lighting designer. Although known primarily for his opera design, he is equally at home designing for the theatre and ballet. Early in his career, O'Hearn worked on Broadway alongside some of the most respected names in theatrical design. He was the assistant to Lemuel Ayers on Kismet and The Pajama Game, the assistant to Oliver Messel on House of Flowers and The Dark is Light Enough and he assisted Oliver Smith a total of eight times, including My Fair Lady, A Visit to a Small Planet, and West Side Story. He went on to design 12 productions for the Metropolitan Opera and has designed for major opera and ballet companies in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Miami, Santa Fe, Vienna, and Hamburg. He joined the faculty of Indiana University in 1989 where he became the chair of the design department. He is currently professor emeritus. His designs may still be seen in opera houses around the world.

David Zinn has recently designed the sets and costumes for Handel's Flavio at New York City Opera, Orlando at Glimerglass Theatre Company, and Tamerlano at the Spoleto Festival, USA. He also designed the costumes for the Off Broadway production of Jonathan Larson's tick, tick...BOOM!, The Dead Eye Boy, and Trudy Blue (Manhattan Class Company). Zinn is an original company member of Target Margin Theatre in NYC, has designed many of their productions and won an Obie Award for his designs for Mamba's Daughters.

Vincent Zullo was known by many of Broadway's most famous costume designers as "the" tailor. He is an exceptional tailor whose work has been seen in countless Broadway shows for many years. But unlike other theatrical artisans, his work is not always obvious to the untrained eye. Some of his early credits at Vincent Costumes were Frankenstein, designed by Carrie Robbins and Sophisticated Ladies, designed by Willa Kim. For almost 15 years, Vincent was indispensable to New York City costume designers in their need for his talents. Before Vincent closed his shop in 1996, just about every designer in New York came through the doors of Vincent Costumes, many of whom will tell you that "no one can build a suit like Vincent used to!"

Oliver Messel was Britain's most celebrated theatrical designer throughout the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. The creator of lavish costumes and sets for theatre, opera, ballet, and film, he became the world's most sought-after and highly paid scenery and costume designer, rivaling only Cecil Beaton. He first worked in New York in 1932, but it was his scenic design for The Country Wife in 1936 that established Messel in the US. During the 30s, he designed numerous productions in London's West End, worked at several opera companies in Europe and began his career in British film, later working in Hollywood as well. His film credits include The Private Life of Don Juan, George Cukor's Romeo and Juliet, Alexander Korda's The Thief of Bagdad, Gabriel Pascal's Caesar and Cleopatra and Carnival, and as the production designer for Suddenly, Last Summer, which garnered him an Academy Award nomination. His Broadway credits include: scenic design for The Play's the Thing; costumes and sets for Romeo and Juliet; costumes and sets for Rashomon; costume design for Gigi, for which he received a Tony nomination; and scenic and costume design for House of Flowers, for which he received the 1955 Tony Award for Best Scenic Design. Messel died on July 13, 1978.

The awardees were selected by the TDF/Costume Collection's Advisory Committee, which is comprised of leading members of the theatrical costume design community. They are: Gregg Barnes, Suzy Benzinger, Lana Fritz, Rodney Gordon, Desmond Heeley, Willa Kim, Kitty Leech, Sally Ann Parsons, Robert Perdziola, Gregory Poplyk, Carrie Robbins, Eduardo Sicangco, Scott Traugott, Jose Varona, and Patrick Wiley.

The TDF Costume Collection maintains an extensive inventory of more than 65,000 costumes and accessories for rental at discounted cost by any not-for-profit theatre company, opera company, university, high school, church group, etc. The Collection currently serves organizations that produce over 500 productions per year in 32 states across the country. The Collection is located in a 14,000 sq.ft. loft at 601 West 26th Street, New York, NY 10001. It stocks all periods and accepts donations from productions, institutions, and individuals. These donations are tax-exempt to the degree allowed by law. For more information on TDF's costume collection, go to: www.tdf.org/costume.

This year's TDF/Irene Sharaff Awards Ceremony is being generously underwritten by The Tobin Foundation for Theatre Arts.

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