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Princess Grace Foundation-USA Announces 2015 Awards Winners In Theater, Dance & Film

by Rachel Biermann
August 5, 2015
The Princess Grace Foundation-USA (PGF-USA) has announced the winners of the 2015 Princess Grace Awards. In total, the Foundation is awarding over $1 million to artists in theater, dance performance, choreography and film. The 33rd Annual Awards will continue the legacy of Princess Grace (Kelly) of Monaco, who helped emerging artists pursue their artistic goals during Her lifetime. Held in the presence of Their Serene Highnesses The Prince and The Princess of Monaco, this year's Princess Grace Statue Award winner Cary Fukunaga and Prince Rainier lll Award recipients Robert Redford and Sibylle Szaggars Redford will be presented with their Awards at the Princely Palace of Monaco on September 5, 2015. Major Gala supporters include: Christian Dior Couture, as Presenting Sponsor; and Mrs. Lily Safra and Sir Philip and Lady Tina Green as Platinum Sponsors.

The 2015 Princess Grace Awards Ceremony will be held in New York City at 583 Park Avenue on September 25, 2015. Toby Boshak, Executive Director of the Princess Grace Foundation-USA shares, "It is with great pride that we welcome the 2015 Awards winners into our Princess Grace Foundation-USA family. Yet again, we are amazed and inspired by the extraordinary talent from all across the country. We look forward to working with these deserving artists throughout their careers and supporting their unique artistic endeavors."

For the seventh year in a row, celebrated artist Alex Soldier, known for his mastery of precious miniatures, has created an objet d'art to symbolize the Princess Grace Awards. The Award symbolically combines the three art forms lauded by the Foundation: theater, dance, and film by using precious metals and Swarovski crystal accents. Presented as a distinctive sculpture to the Prince Rainier III honoree, this creation is transformed for each recipient to wear as a pin, a special reminder of their Award for the world to see.

Past winners of the Awards for theater, dance and film who distinguish themselves in their artistic disciplines since receiving their initial Princess Grace Awards are eligible to win the Foundation's Princess Grace Statue Award. This year, filmmaker and writer Cary Fukunaga, who received a 2014 Emmy ® for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series (HBO's True Detective) and will premiere his latest film, Netflix's, Beasts of No Nation, in October 2015 will receive the Princess Grace Statue Award. In addition to a $25,000 unrestricted cash gift, Cary will be presented with a bronze statue of Princess Grace created by the Dutch artist Kees Verkade. To date, sixty-two artists have received this Award.

This year's Princess Grace Awards winners are:

For Theater and Playwriting:

Bernard Gilbert/DePaul University (Theater Scholarship, Gant Gaither Theater Award), Stevie Walker-Webb/The New School for Drama (Theater Scholarship, Robert and Gloria Hausman Theater Award), Shaunette Wilson/Yale School of Drama (Theater Scholarship, Grace LeVine Theater Award), Joshua K. Brody/La Jolla Playhouse (Theater Apprentice, Faberge Theater Award), Adam Rigg/Westport Country Playhouse (Theater Fellowship, Pierre-Cardin Award), Megan-Sandberg-Zakian/Merrimack Repertory Theatre (Theater Fellowship), Jonathan Payne (Playwriting Fellowship).

For Dance and Choreography: Lani Dickinson/Dominican University of California (Dance Scholarship), Courtney Spears/Fordham University/Alvin Ailey (Dance Scholarship), Babatunji Johnson/Alonzo King's LINES Ballet (Dance Fellowship, Chris Hellman Dance Award), Emilie Leriche/Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (Dance Fellowship), Harper Watters/Houston Ballet (Dance Fellowship), Ching Ching Wong/Northwest Dance Project (Dance Fellowship), James Gregg/W'him W'him (Choreography Fellowship), Joshua Manculich/The Big Muddy Dance Company (Choreography Fellowship).

For Film: Jeny Amaya/University of California, Santa Cruz (Film Undergraduate Scholarship, Cary Grant Film Award), Gabriele Urbonaite/Emerson College (Film Undergraduate Scholarship, Charles Evans Film Award), Jon Goff/Duke University (Graduate Film Scholarship, John H. Johnson Film Award), Skye Hopinka/University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Graduate Film Scholarship), Elizabeth Nichols/New York University (Graduate Film Scholarship, HBO Film Award), Metrah Pashaee/University of Iowa (Undergraduate Film Scholarship).

Honoraria: Ashley James/Double Edge Theatre (Theater Apprenticeship), Cassaandra Trenary/American Ballet Theater (Dance Fellowship), Suzanne Andrews/Columbia University (Graduate Film Scholarship), Lindsay Cordero/Hunter College (Graduate Film Scholarship), Cecilia Sweet-Coll/University of Southern California (Undergraduate Film Scholarship).

Special Project, Works in Progress Residencies at the Baryshnikov Arts Center and the Choreography Mentorship Co-Commission (CMCC) Awards are grants available to past Princess Grace Awards winners and Honoraria recipients for uniquely significant projects that advance their artistic development. This year's winners are:

Special Project Awards: Kyle Abraham, Kimberly Bautista, Michael Haverty, Kerry A. Laitala,Andrea Miller, Geoffrey A. Rhodes, David Romberg.

Works in Progress Residencies: Kristen Robinson, Eric Simonson, Lily Whitsitt.

Choreography Mentorship Co-Commission (CMCC) Award: Robyn Mineko Williams.


The Princess Grace Foundation-USA is a non-profit, publicly-supported foundation, headquartered in New York City and founded 33 years ago by Prince Rainier III of Monaco to honor his wife, Princess Grace's [Kelly] legacy. The Foundation's mission is dedicated to identifying and assisting emerging talent in theater, dance, and film by awarding grants in the form of scholarships, apprenticeships, and fellowships. Since the Foundation's inception, more than 750 recipients have been awarded, totaling over $12 million. Some notable Princess Grace Awards recipients in Film include: Emmy winner Cary Fukunaga, director of "True Detective", Jane Eyre and Beasts of No Nation; Jon M. Chu director of Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, G.I. Joe and upcoming Jem and The Holograms; Stephen Hillenburg, creator of SpongeBob SquarePants. Theater recipients include: Tony Award winner for Best Direction of a Play, Anna D. Shapiro; Pulitzer and Tony Award winning playwright Tony Kushner; Golden Globe nominee Oscar Isaac; and Academy Award winner Eric Simonson. Dance/Choreography recipients include: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Artistic Director Robert Battle; American Ballet Theatre's Gillian Murphy and Isabella Boylston and New York City Ballet's Tiler Peck and Maria Kowroski; as well as choreographers Kyle Abraham and Camille A. Brown.

For more information about the Princess Grace Awards program, please visit www.pgfusa.org
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