Susan Hilferty, costume designer for the Broadway musicals Spring Awakening and Wicked, among many other theatrical productions, will discuss her career at the Bruno Walter Auditorium in The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, at 40 Lincoln Center Plaza, on Monday, January 12, at 6 p.m. Hilferty’s appearance, presented in conjunction with the League of Professional Theatre Women, is free to the public on a first come, first served basis, and kicks off a series of programs and panel discussions held in connection with the exhibition, Curtain Call: Celebrating a Century of Women Designing for Live Performance, currently on view until May 2, 2009.
In addition, on Thursday, February 19, at 6:00 p.m., The New York Public Library for Performing Arts will present Designing Women Set the Stage: Conversations with Heidi Ettinger, Christine Jones, Adrienne Lobel, and Anna Louizos, a panel discussion focusing on the work of women set designers.
On Monday, March 16, at 6:00 p.m., Goddess of Light: Focus on Women Lighting Designers will gather Beverly Emmons, Natasha Katz, and other expected guests for a panel discussion moderated by Thomas Schumacher.
Also scheduled is a series of movies featuring costumes and scenery designed by some of the over 140 women featured in Curtain Call.
“Curtain Call” Cinema Series
The film series runs every Tuesday, at 2:30 p.m., from March 3 through April 28, and includes:
March 3: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (16mm film, 10 minutes) – directed by Otis Turner in 1910, with costumes from Caroline Siedle. The short film will be followed by The Whirl of Life (16mm film, 75 minutes) – directed by Oliver Bailey and featuring costumes by Lucile, Ltd. (Lady Duff Gordon).
March 10: Irene (35mm film, 90 minutes) – directed by Alfred E. Green in 1926, and featuring costumes by Cora MacGeachy. The film will be followed by a DVD of Camille (54 minutes) – directed by Fred Niblo in 1927, with costumes by Alice O’Neil.
March 17: She (DVD, 101 minutes) – directed by Lansing C. Holden in 1935, with costumes by Aline Bernstein.
March 24: Billy Rose’s Diamond Horeshoe (DVD, 104 minutes) – directed by George Seaton in 1945, with costumes by Bonnie Cashin.
March 31: A Streetcar Named Desire (16mm, 122 minutes) – directed by Elia Kazan in 1951 and featuring costumes by Lucinda Ballard.
April 7: The Killing (DVD, 85 minutes) – directed by Stanley Kubrick in 1951, with art direction by Ruth Sobotka.
April 14: Murder by Death (DVD, 94 minutes) – directed by Robert Moore in 1976, with costumes by Ann Roth.
April 21: The Great Gatsby (DVD, 144 minutes) – directed by Jack Clayton in 1974, and featuring costumes by Theoni V. Aldredge.
April 28:The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me (DVD, 81 minutes) – directed by Tim Kirkman in 2000, with scenery by Anna Louizos.
Curtain Call is co-curated by Barbara Cohen-Stratyner, the Judy R. and Alfred A. Rosenberg Curator of Exhibitions for the Performing Arts Library, and award-winning costume designer Carrie Robbins, whose designs for the recent Broadway production of Irving Berlin’sWhite Christmas are included in the show. The exhibit, which showcases the strong presence and progress of women within a field still dominated by men, features work from as far back as Caroline Siedle’s costume illustrations for The Belle of New York in 1897 to Anna Louizos’ 2008 Tony-nominated set design for In the Heights.
Among the hundreds of items on display, visitors will recognize such iconic objects as Glinda’s blue Dior-inspired number from Wicked; or the wings from Angels in America. Amazing constructions of skill and imagination become Beauty and the Beast’s Lumiere on stage, and a Passion Play Queen Elizabeth so elaborate it comes with a multi-page instruction guide. There are intricate set models from such shows as Spring Awakening and Avenue Q, as well as innovations in lighting, including Jean Rosenthal’s legendary lighting plot for Billy the Kid.
Curtain Call: Celebrating a Century of Women Designing for Live Performance is on view through May 2, 2009 at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center, Donald and Mary Oenslager Gallery, 40 Lincoln Plaza. Exhibition hours are: Monday and Thursday from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; closed Sundays and holidays. Admission is free. For exhibition information, call 212. 870. 1630 or visit the Library’s website at www.nypl.org.
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts gratefully acknowledges the leadership support of Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman. Additional support for exhibitions has been provided by Judy R. and Alfred A. Rosenberg and the Miriam and Harold Steinberg Foundation.
About The League of Professional Theatre Women
The League of Professional Theatre Women, established in 1980, is an international not-for-profit advocacy organization based in New York City and dedicated to promoting the visibility and advancement of women in the performing arts. Through its seminars, educational programs, festivals, and awards the League links professional theatre women around the world and provides an on-going forum for ideas, methods and issues of concern to the theatrical community and its audiences.
About The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts houses the world’s most extensive combination of circulating, reference, and rare archival collections in its field. Its divisions are the Circulating Collections, Jerome Robbins Dance Division, Music Division, Billy Rose Theatre Division, and the Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound. The materials in its collections are available free of charge, as are a wide range of special programs, including exhibitions, seminars, and performances. An essential resource for everyone with an interest in the arts – whether professional or amateur – the Library is known particularly for its prodigious collections of non-book materials such as historic recordings, videotapes, autograph manuscripts, correspondence, sheet music, stage designs, press clippings, programs, posters, and photographs.
About The New York Public Library
The New York Public Library was created in 1895 with the consolidation of the private libraries of John Jacob Astor and James Lenox with Samuel Jones Tilden Trust. The Library provides free open access to its physical and electronic collections and information, as well as to its services. It comprises four research centers – the Humanities and Social Science Library; The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; and the Science, Industry and Business Library – and 87 Branch Libraries in Manhattan, Staten Island, and the Bronx. Research and circulating collections combined total more than 50 million items, including materials for the visually impaired. In addition, each year the Library presents thousands of exhibitions and public programs, which include classes in technology, literacy, and English as a second language. The Library serves some 16 million patrons who come through its doors annually and another 25 million users internationally, who access collections and services through the NYPL website, www.nypl.org.
Contact: Jon Minners | 212-592-7714 | Jon_Minners@nypl.org