New York Stage and Film Honors Christopher Plummer, Angelina Fiordellisi and Matt Williams Dec. 4th
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, PLEASE
NEW YORK STAGE AND FILM
ANGELINA FIORDELLISI AND MATT WILLIAMS
AT ANNUAL WINTER GALA
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2011
THE PLAZA HOTEL
New York, NY – New York Stage and Film (Johanna Pfaelzer, Artistic Director; Mark Linn-Baker, Max Mayer, Leslie Urdang, Producing Directors) has announced that its Annual Winter Gala, to be held on Sunday, December 4, 2011 at The Plaza Hotel (770 Fifth Avenue, New York City), will honor Academy Award nominee and winner of multiple Tony and Emmy Awards, actor Christopher Plummer; Artistic Director of the Cherry Lane Theatre, Angelina Fiordellisi and producer/writer/director Matt Williams (Principal, Wind Dancer Films).
“We are honored and delighted to have the opportunity to pay tribute to Christopher Plummer, Angelina Fiordellisi and Matt Williams,” said Artistic Director Johanna Pfaelzer. “Christopher is, of course, one of the truly great actors of our time, whose commitment to storytelling in all forms is unparalleled. We have been fortunate to have Angelina and Matt participate in New York Stage and Film’s programming a number of times throughout the years. Together and separately they have done so much to further the creation of new stories for theater, film and television, and been deeply committed to mentoring new generations of artists.”
New York Stage and Film is the not-for-profit company dedicated to both emerging and established artists in the development of new works for theater and film. Since 1985 New York Stage and Film has played a significant role in the development of new plays, provided a home for a diverse group of artists free from critical and commercial pressures and established itself as a vital cultural institution for residents of the Hudson Valley and the New York metropolitan region. The company recently completed the 27th Powerhouse Summer season, its annual collaboration with Vassar College, within which NYSAF has developed and premiered numerous plays including the Tony Award winning Tru, Sideman, and the Tony and Pulitzer award-winning Doubt. For more information, visit www.newyorkstageandfilm.org/.
All proceeds from the evening will benefit New York Stage and Film’s support of artists from around the country in the development and production of original work for theater and film.
Christopher Plummer has enjoyed almost 60 years as one of the theatre’s most respected actors and as a veteran of over 100 motion pictures. Raised in Montreal, he began his professional career on stage and radio in both French and English. After Eva Le Gallienne gave him his New York debut (1954) he went on to star in many celebrated productions on Broadway and London’s West End winning accolades on both sides of the Atlantic. He has won two Tony Awards for the musical Cyrano and for Barrymore plus seven Tony nominations, his latest for his King Lear (2004) and for his Clarence Darrow in Inherit the Wind (2007); also three Drama Desk Awards and the National Arts Club Medal. A former leading member of the Royal National Theatre under Sir Laurence Olivier and the Royal Shakespeare Company under Sir Peter Hall, where he won London’s Evening Standard Award for Best Actor in Becket; he has also led Canada’s Stratford Festival in its formative years under Sir Tyrone Guthrie and Michael Langham. He is widely recognized as one of the finest classical actors of his time. Since Sidney Lumet introduced him to the screen in “Stage Struck” (1958), his range of notable films include “the Man Who Would Be King,” “Battle of Britain,” “Waterloo,” “Fall of The Roman Empire,” “Star Trek VI,” “Twelve Monkeys,” and the 1965 Oscar winning “The Sound of Music;” more recently, Oscar nominated “The Insider” (as Mike Wallace, he won the National Film Critics Award), the Oscar winning “A Beautiful Mind,” “Man in the Chair,” “Must Love Dogs,” “National Treasure,” “Syriana,” and “Inside Man.” His TV appearances which number close to 100 include the Emmy winning BBC “Hamlet at Elsinore” playing the title role; the Emmy winning productions “The Thornbirds,” “Nuremberg,” “Little Moon of Alban” and many others. He has himself won two Emmys plus 7 Emmy nominations. Mr. Plummer has also written for the stage, television and concert-hall. Apart from honors in the UK, USA, Austria and Canada, he was the first performer to receive the Jason Robards Award in memory of his great friend, the Edwin Booth Award and the Sir John Gielgud Quill Award. In 1968, sanctioned by Elizabeth II, he was invested as a Companion of the Order of Canada (an honorary knighthood). An Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts at Julliard, he also received the Governor General’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. In 1986 he was inducted into the Theatre’s Hall of Fame and in 2000 Canada’s Walk of Fame. His recent self-written memoir, “In Spite of Myself” (Alfred A. Knopf Publishers) is being much lauded by critics and public alike. Plummer’s latest projects include the highly praised animated films Up, 9, and My Dog Tulip, as well as the title role in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, directed by Terry Gilliam. He played the great novelist Tolstoy opposite Helen Mirren in The Last Station for Sony Classics where he received his first Academy Award® nomination in 2010. His current film, “Beginners” from writer/director Mike Mills, has been critically acclaimed throughout the world and he will be seen this December in David Fincher’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
Angelina Fiordellisi (Founder, Artistic Director, Cherry Lane Theatre). Off-Broadway Productions: The American Dream and The Sandbox written and directed by Edward Albee, starring Judith Ivey (filmed by The American Masters, PBS and Lincoln Center Library), Dutchman by Amiri Baraka, directed by Bill Duke, starring Dule Hill (filmed by Lincoln Center), Happy Days by Samuel Beckett, directed by Joseph Chaikin (filmed by Lincoln Center), Saint Lucy’s Eyes by Bridgette Wimberly, directed by Billie Allen, starring Ruby Dee (3 Audelco Awards, filmed by Lincoln Center) Women on Fire by Irene O’Garden, starring Judith Ivey, directed by Mary Robinson (Dramatist Guild Award, Lucille Lortel and Drama Desk Award Nominations) Havana Is Waiting by Eduardo Machado, directed by Michael John Garces (Humana Festival finalist, filmed by Lincoln Center) Bhutan by Daisy Foote, directed by Evan Yionoulis (Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Playwriting Award Nomination), Black Humor: the comedy of Lewis Black written and performed by Lewis Black, directed by Mark Linn-Baker (Drama Desk Nomination), Hoodoo Love by Katori Hall, directed by Lucie Tiberghien (Audelco Award winner, three nominations), Jailbait by Deirdre O'Connor, directed by Suzanne Agins (filmed by Lincoln Center) Open Heart written by and starring Robby Benson, directed by Matt Williams, slag heap by Anton Dudley, starring Vincent Kartheiser, directed by Michael Morris, Huck and Holden by Rajiv Joseph, directed by Giovanna Sardelli. Lady With All the Answers by David Rambo, starring Judith Ivey, 25th Anniversary production of Nunsense written and directed by Danny Goggin. Co-Productions: Lascivious Something, Bhutan, The Ladies, Gun Club, The View From Here, The Gravity of Honey at Dublin Theater Festival, 15 Minutes at Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Off-Off-Broadway: developed and produced the work of over 50 dramatists including Pulitzer winners Suzan-Lori Parks, Ward Just, and Margo Jefferson, as well as David Adjmi, Sheila Callaghan, Julia Cho, Bathsheba Doran, Sam Forman, Katori Hall, Rajiv Joseph, Eliam Kraiem, Deborah Zoe Laufer, Rogelio Martinez, Winter Miller, Christopher Shinn, and Anne Washburn. Commissioned Plays: One Night…by Charles Fuller, One-woman play about Edna Ferber by Adriana Trigiani, The Cook by Eduardo Machado, String of Pearls by Michelle Lowe, an untitled play by Daisy Foote, a new musical by Anton Dudley. New Play Development: 1998 created and launched the OBIE-Award winning Cherry Lane Mentor Project with Edward Albee, Charles Fuller, A. R. Gurney, Tony Kushner, Wendy Wasserstein and Michael Weller; 2000 created Master Class Series inaugurated by Edward Albee, Celebrating Black Playwrights Program and Tongues: a reading series; 2001 created Celebrating Women Playwrights Program; 2002 created Cherry Lane’s Heritage Series, 2005 created Cherry Pit: Late-Nite Series; 2009 created Solo Fest at the Pit; 8 seasons as participating artist and Advisory Board member of The New Harmony Project, 3 seasons as participating artist in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays, four seasons with New York Stage and Film at Vassar (Ghost Stories, String of Pearls, Bhutan and Substitution), one season with Labyrinth Theater Company at Bard. Professional Affiliations: Founded not-for-profit Cherry Lane Alternative in 1997, Off-Broadway League of Theater Owners and Producers 1999, League of Professional Theater Women 2003, National Organization of Italian-American Women (recipient of Three Wise Women award 2009) member of Actor's Equity Association 1981, Screen Actor's Guild 1985, American Federation of Television and Radio Actors 1988. Education: BFA Acting University of Detroit, Jesuit College; MFA Acting Scholarship Asolo Conservatory of Theater; Most Valued Credits: Wife by Matt Williams and Mother by Matisse Elizabeth and Fredrick Emerson Stefan Williams.
Matt Williams Matt Williams is best known as the creator and executive producer of the hit series “Roseanne,” and the co-creator and executive producer of “Home Improvement,” one of the most successful programs in television history. Williams started his television career when he joined “The Cosby Show” during its premiere season and worked as a writer/producer on the show for three subsequent seasons, during which time his work was honored with Emmy and Humanitas nominations, as well as sharing a Peabody Award for outstanding achievement in television writing. He also served as co-creator of the Cosby spin-off, “A Different World.” In 1989, Williams formed the bi-coastal production company Wind Dancer with principals Carmen Finestra and David McFadzean. Under the Wind Dancer banner, in addition to “Home Improvement;” Williams co-created and executive produced “Carol & Company,” starring Carol Burnette; “Buddies” with Dave Chappelle; “Thunder Alley;” “Soul Man;” and “Costello.” Once again, his work received Emmy and Humanitas nominations and won numerous People's Choice Awards. In film, Williams co-wrote and produced Disney's award-winning “Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken.” He also served as executive producer for the critically acclaimed drama “Firelight” with Sophie Marceau; produced and directed “Where The Heart Is,” starring Natalie Portman and Ashley Judd; produced Nancy Meyer's romantic comedy “What Women Want,” with Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt; and co-wrote, produced and directed “Walker Payne” starring Jason Patric and Sam Shepard. Most recently, Williams and Wind Dancer Films along with Mandalay Vision, produced the feature film “Bernie,” directed by Richard Linklater and starring Jack Black and Matthew McConaughey. Wind Dancer Films and Identity Films are currently producing “As Cool As I Am,” directed by Max Mayer and starring Sarah Bolger, Claire Danes, and James Marsden. Currently, he is writing a half-hour program based on the stand-up comedy of Leanne Morgan for TvLand, and his company is also actively developing television projects ranging from an hour-long drama for Showtime with “Dexter” creator James Manos, to animated children’s programming for PBS. Moving to New York in 1976, Williams immersed himself in every aspect of theatre, from building sets, hanging lights, acting, and, ultimately, directing a series of one-act plays at the former Wonder Horse Theatre in the East Village. Matt has directed over 20 productions in educational, regional, and Off-Broadway theatres, presenting everything from Neil Simon comedies to Lanford Wilson dramas. As a playwright, Williams began his career with a collection of one-act plays entitled, “Bruce Lee Is Dead And I’m Not Feeling Too Good Either.” His one-act play, “Jason And The Nun,” won the Double Image Festival of Short Plays Award and, subsequently, was published by Samuel French. Williams’ first full-length play, “Between Daylight and Boonville,” premiered in New York to critical acclaim in 1980, and was subsequently performed at the Kennedy Center as part of the American College Theater Festival. Williams, along with his partners at Wind Dancer and Daryl Roth Productions, co-produced the stage production of “Camping With Henry And Tom.” In June, 2000, he and Wind Dancer co-produced the “The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin” at Playwrights Horizons. Williams also directed Robby Benson’s musical “Open Heart” at the Cherry Lane Theatre. He serves on the board of The University of Evansville, where he received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts. He received a Masters of Fine Arts in theatre at the University of New Orleans. Williams is a founding board member of The New Harmony Project, a writers’ retreat dedicated to nurturing new plays, as well as a founding board member at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Matt lives in New York with his wife, actress Angelina Fiordellisi, who is the owner and artistic director of the Cherry Lane Theatre. He and Angelina are the proud parents of Matisse and Fredrick.