Collaboration Award Gala History

The Collaboration Award: Women Working With Women is designed to encourage professional women in the arts and media to work collaboratively with women from other arts and media specializations on the creation of new work. The award honors successful collaborations among women from different specializations in the arts and media.






The Women in the Arts & Media Coalition announced today that the keynote speakers at their annual Collaboration Awards Gala will be Sirius XM Stars THE MOMS, Denise Albert and Melissa Gerstein.  The Collaboration Awards recognize women in the arts and media who successfully collaborate across disciplines to create new and influential work. This, the fifth annual Collaboration Awards Gala, will be held Sunday, October 25, 2015.

The 2015 Collaboration Award winners are playwright T.D. Mitchell and director Sheryl Kaller for the project QUEENS FOR A YEAR. The award will be presented by Casey McLain and Amy Rose Marsh of Samuel French, Co-Artistic Directors of the Samuel French OOB Festival. Hosts of the event are current and past Co-Presidents of the Women in the Arts & Media Coalition, Shellen Lubin, Leslie Shreve, and Avis Boone.

Collaboration Award winner T.D. Mitchell is an award winning writer based in Brooklyn. Her work as a playwright (Beyond the 17th Parallel), writer-producer for television (Army Wives), speechwriter (for International NGOs), short story writer (Verbal Supply Company) and currently, author of a nonfiction book (a biography, in progress) proves her passion for storytelling crosses forms and formats.

Sheryl Kaller just directed WHILE I YET LIVE by Billy Porter at Primary Stages and Terence McNally’s Tony nominated Broadway play, MOTHERS AND SONS, starring Tyne Daly. Ms. Kaller received a Tony Nomination for Best Director for the Broadway production of NEXT FALL by Geoffrey Nauffts. She has directed at many major theatres.

QUEENS FOR A YEAR, Mitchell and Kaller’s 2015 Collaboration Award winning play, addresses critical questions about women in the military through a beautiful study of four generations of a family: does a woman have to sacrifice what is female and assume a male attitude to succeed in a male-dominated warrior culture? Is there any “good” place for women trained in combat, in violence, in war, within our society? Is it moral to put women into a career where the greatest danger is from her fellow (male) coworkers, rather than “the enemy”? At what price do we put women into a subculture whose language denigrates anything female? 

And what about women’s unsung role as the clean-up crew for men harmed in war? New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand commended QUEENS FOR A YEAR for "telling this difficult story and shedding a light on women in the military." She added to all the collaborators being honored, "It is my hope that your collaborations continue to tell stories that must be told and inspire change in our communities."

The Collaboration Awards encourage professional women in the arts and media from different specializations to work collaboratively on the creation of new work. The award recognizes the best of these collaborations. Awarded every second year, the Collaboration Award goes to one winning project (and its two creators). This year there are also three Honored Finalist projects and teams, and four additional Finalist projects and creator teams. 2015 marks the fifth time these awards have been given. The Collaborative Awards Gala is a celebration of the awards and an evening to enable the public to meet and hear from the award-winning teams, learn about their collaborations, and hear from industry-leading women about important contributions women are making in the many disciplines of the performing arts.

“The time is right for the voices and visions of women—women of different disciplines and diverse backgrounds—to be given greater exposure and acclaim,” says Shellen Lubin, Co-President of the Women in the Arts & Media Coalition, “and this award has always honored some of the most beautiful, profound, and challenging work that professional women are creating together.”

 “There were so many wonderful works to consider for this years’ award,” says Leslie Shreve, Co-President of the Coalition. “It’s always difficult to choose a single outstanding piece, but that’s a great problem to have—and we’re always excited to see the powerful and thought-provoking pieces that are submitted every award cycle.”

The Honored Finalists are:

·        EVERY FOLD MATTERS (playwright Lizzie Olesker and performance artist Lynne Sachs)

·        SOUTH STREET ANNIE (director Elyse S. Singer and playwright Carson Kreitzer)

·        YELLOW CARD RED CARD (playwright Melisa Tien and director Tamilla Woodard)

The Finalists are:

·        ART TAKES SEOUL (artist Mira Gandy and playwright/actress Ahrum Claiborne)

·        THE LONELIEST WHALE (filmmaker Lillian Mehrel and actress Gabriele Schafer)

·        ST. JOAN (playwright Julia Pascal and director Katrin Hilbe)

·        STILL WILL BE HEARD (songwriter/singer Liz Queler and director Mindy Cooper)


These artists represent many of the Coalition’s member organizations and affiliate organizations:  AEA, 802 AFM, DG, ICWP, LPTW, SAG-AFTRA, SDC, WBW, WGAE, WIM, WMC, and WMM.*                  

The Collaboration Awards Gala will be held on Sunday, October 25, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. at the SVA Beatrice Theater, 333 West 23rd Street, New York City. For tickets, please visit



About Women in the Arts & Media Coalition 

Women in the Arts & Media Coalition, a non-profit organization, represents more than 100,000 women and men in the performing arts and media through its member organizations and affiliates. The Coalition focuses the power of its member organizations and their memberships together and uses the combined strength to address issues of concern through advocacy, networking and educational events.

*Member organizations are:  Actors' Equity Association (AEA), Associated Musicians of Greater N.Y. Local 802 AFM (802 AFM), Dramatists Guild (DG), League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW), SAG-AFTRA, Stage Directors and Choreographers (SDC), N.Y. Women in Communications (NYWICI), N.Y. Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT), and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE). Affiliates are: WomenArts (WA), Women in Music (WIM), Women Make Movies (WMM), Works by Women (WBW), Women's Media Center (WMC), Dancers Over Forty (DO40), Drama Desk (DD), International Centre for Women Playwrights (ICWP), The Lambs, L.A. Female Playwrights Initiative (LA FPI), National Theatre Conference (NTC), Professional Women Singers Association (PWSA), the Rehearsal Club (RC), and 365 Women a Year (365).

For more information on Women in the Arts & Media Coalition, visit   


Aimee Kessler Evans



2013 Collaboration Awards

Jane Edith Wilson & Grace Lee

Stephanie Satie & Anita Khanzadian

Fengar Gael & Lorca Peress

October 24, 2013
at Engelman Recital Hall of Baruch Performing Arts Center
Keynote Speaker:
(co-creator of THE DAILY SHOW, Emmy and Peabody Award winner)

Honored Guests
Pat Addiss, Producer (BUYER & CELLAR, BECOMING DR. RUTH, and more)Rebecca Damon, SAG-AFTRA New York Vice President
Sherry Eaker, Producer (past Editor of Backstage)
Mari Lyn Henry (past Casting Director at ABC/NY, author of "How To Be a Working Actor")
Adriana Shaw, HerFlix
Michelle Sokolowski, SDC Membership Coordinator

Awards Sponsors
Alice Christy
Yvonne Curry
Sherry Eaker
Elsa Rael

Raffle Sponsors
Pat Addiss, producer of BECOMING DR. RUTH (tickets)
Mario BadescuFarrow & Ball
Forever Flawless
Arlene GeigerAndrea Giardino
Pamela's Potions Eve Pearl Cosmetics
M. Kilburg Reedy, producer of PETER AND THE STARCATCHER (tickets)
Robin Rice Designs
Stepping Out Studios 

2011 Collaboration Awards

Women in the Arts & Media Coalition is proud to announce the winners of its internationally recognized Collaboration Award. The award honors successful collaborations among women from different specializations in the arts and media. The winners are Stefanie Zadravec (playwright - Dramatists Guild) and Daniella Topol (director - Stage Directors and Choreographers) for their collaboration on The Electric Baby. The awards were presented at the Gershwin Hotel (7 E. 27th Street) on Monday, March 21st at 6pm.

The Electric Baby was chosen from the work of more than one hundred artists from across the nation and abroad to receive the $1000 award. Topol and Zadravec began their collaboration last May and developed it further at Theater of the First Amendment in Washington, D.C. They will continue to work together on a staged reading at The Playwrights Realm's INK'd series set for June 13th. The Electric Baby is a current semi-finalist for the Eugene O'Neill Center's National Playwrights conference, a finalist for Play Penn's New Play Development Conference in Philadelphia, and is slated for a full production in 2012 at the Quantum Theater in Pittsburgh.

Two additional projects have been designated as "Honored Finalists," which will receive a $100 award: Slashes of Light, collaborators Judy Tate and Melissa Maxwell, and Thirst, collaborators Anita Chandwaney and MEH Lewis.

Projects which have earned "Honorable Mention" are: Appetite, collaborators Arden Kass and Lorca Peress; Communicate Sober, collaborators Jan Buttram and Bara Swain; Seven, collaborators Anna Deavere Smith, Carol Mack, Catherine Filoux, Gail Kriegel, Paula Cizmar, Ruth Margraff and Susan Yankowitz; Orange Chicken, a screenplay from collaborators Nina Braddock and Katy Frame; and Sila, collaborators Chantal Bilodeau and Seema Sueko.

Marcy and Zina are the first women ever honored as recipients of the Fred Ebb Award for Musical Theatre Songwriting. They have also been nominated for 2009 Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Lyrics and Music for Dear Edwina and have earned Lucille Lortel Award nominations for their Junie B.Jones.

Honored GuestsAndrew Frank, Associate Producer, Lombardi
Cyrena Esposito, Associate Producer, Memphis
Paul J. Michael, Executive Director, The Network
Lawrence Feeney, Producer, theAtrainplays

We would like to thank the following individuals and organizations for making this event possible:

Screen Actors Guild
Sherry Eaker
The Rehearsal Club & Gale Patron
Yvonne Curry

Raffle Sponsors
Andrea Giardino Catering
Andrew Frank
Eve Pearl Cosmetics
Farrow & Ball
Hong S. M. Liquor
Jewish Community Fitness Center
Lee Kelley Acting Coach
Mario Badescu
Pamela Allen
Paul J. Michael
Primary Stages
Stepping Out Studios
The Actors Fund
York Theatre


2008 Collaboration Awards


The New York Coalition of Professional Women in the Arts & Media presented its biennial Collaboration Award at a champagne reception at the Gershwin Hotel at 7 East 27th Street, on March 2, 2009. The awards were underwritten by Special Advisor to the Coalition, Sherry Eaker, and Past President, Elsa Rael. The event was hosted by the Coalition Board and its Honorary Artistic Advisors and Colleagues including composer, Nancy Ford, and playwright and performer, Leslie Ayvazian. The event also honored Women's History Month and SWAN Day (Support Women Artists Now, a campaign initiated by the Fund for Women Artists).



Winners of the $1000 prize were Jennifer Gibbs, author of the play, The Stranger, and director, Kristin Marting. Gibbs based her play on Henrik Ibsen's The Lady From the Sea. Marting and Gibbs plan a multi-media production including film and music.

Runners-up for the award were Elyse Singer and Ruth Margraff for their opera, Wellsprings; Carol Todd and Catherine Eaton for their screenplay, Showers of Happiness; cabaret performers, Melanie Adelman and Ellie Dvorkin for their cabaret musical, Mel and ElThis Show Rhymes; and Shirley Lauro and Alexis Greene for their anthology of plays by women: Front Lines: Political Plays by American Women. 


Letter from the Screen Actors Guild

"To our great friends and colleagues of the New York Coalition of Women in the Arts and Media, it is a great pleasure to congratulate the recipients of this year’s Collaboration Awards. Screen Actors Guild has a long-standing practice of fighting discrimination and increasing employment opportunities for women of all ages and look forward to a continued collaborative effort with the Coalition to aggressively advocate diverse hiring practices by producers and their agents. We are proud to be a part of this Coalition as a founding member organization and, on behalf of the Board of Directors and the dedicated staff of Screen Actors Guild, Congratulations to the Coalition Board and it Honorary Artistic Advisors on an extraordinary event and Brava! to all of tonight’s honorees." 


Letter from New York Women in Film and Television

Message from Terry Lawler, Executive Director, New York Women in Film & Television I am very sorry I was not able to attend this very special event celebrating collaboration. Since the art forms we work in are so dependent upon collaboration, and since women make such good collaborators, the Collaboration Awards is a perfect way to celebrate women artists. Congratulations to Jennifer Gibbs and Kristen Marting on your award. Congratulations also to Melanie Adelman & Elie Dvorkin, Shirley Lauro & Alexis Green, Carol Todd & Catherine Eaton, Ruth Margraff & Elyse Singer. And Congratulations to the New York Coalition of Women in the Arts & Media and thank you for the important work you do. 




2006 Collaboration Awards


The New York Coalition of Professional Women in the Arts and Media held "Collaborate! Communicate! Celebrate!" -- the First Collaboration Award Event on September 18, 2006, at the Cherry Lane Theatre, 38 Commerce Street, in Greenwich Village. The event was designed to honor the winners of the Coalition's first Collaboration Award, Women Working With Women. Sherry Eaker, Editor-at-Large of Backstage Magazine, and leslie Shreve, National Co-Chair of the Women's Committees of SAG and AFTRA, collaborated as moderators. The evening feature performances, awards, interviews, networking and a reception.



The winners of the Collaboration Award were playwright Jennifer Maisel and director Wendy McClellan for the play, Birds. Four other collaborative teams were honored: Jane Comfort and Joan LaBarbara for Fleeting Thoughts; Deepa Purohit & Nandita Shenoy, along with Gita Reddy, for Sahana, (previously called Exile); Sharon Talbot and Janet Gari for First Born, and Sharon Sharth and Pamela Dunlap for Grace.