Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dan Gordon, Project Dance Receive 'Lights are Bright on Broadway' Awards


Dan Gordon, author of Broadway’s Irena’s Vow and Radio City Rockette Cheryl Cutlip, founder of Project Dance, will receive 2009 “The Lights are Bright on Broadway” awards presented by Masterwork Productions, Inc. to individuals and organizations making a difference in the Broadway community through faith.

Irena’s Vow (http://irenasvow.com/) is a play based on real life Irena Gut Opdyke, a Polish Catholic who singlehandedly saved 12 Jews from death in the Nazi camps during World War II. Irena’s vow to God not to stand by and helplessly watch as Jews are slaughtered and the faith on which she relies drive Mr. Gordon’s story.

“I am deeply honored by this award,” Mr. Gordon said. “In honoring the play of course you are honoring Irena Gut Opdyke's courage, moral rectitude and unshakable faith in her Creator, her rock and her salvation. Absent that faith she said many times she would never have been able to do all that she did. In the last conversation we had the day before she died her sole concern was "Who will tell the children when I'm gone?" My answer was "you will." That was the reason the play was written and it is my fervent hope that it will continue to tell Irena's story of faith and courage to ever wider audiences. On behalf of her family, the producers, the director, the cast and entire company of Irena's Vow thank you.”

Mr. Gordon’s award will be presented to him and the company at the conclusion of the Broadway performance this Saturday, June 27 at the Walter Kerr Theatre by Masterworks Executive Director and Broadway reviewer Lauren Yarger. (Read the review of Irena's Vow here.

Thomas Ryan as ‘Major Rugemer,’ Tovah Feldshuh as ‘Irena Gut Opdyke,’
and John Stanisci ‘Sturmbannfuhrer Rokita’ in Irena’s Vow.Review: Irena’s Vow(Photo by CAROL ROSEGG)

Cheryl Cutlip, following a call to “make a difference in the artistic fiber of our nation,” founded Project Dance (http://www.projectdance.com/), which has produced performance events in Times Square, Los Angeles', Hollywood and Australia's. Dance Spirit magazine has named the New York event as one of the top ten dance events in New York City. The Project Dance Studio located in Times Square trains dancers in excellence and integrity.

“Project Dance is thrilled and honored to receive this unique award,” Ms. Cutlip said. “I never imagined a day when the work of believing artists in the NYC community would be recognized in the public square. Our only hope has been to encourage dancers toward their highest potential and offer performance and training opportunities worldwide where dancers are able to express their faith in God through the gift of dance. Whether it's been a Bible study in the rehearsal halls at Radio City or a circle of prayer before a Broadway Underground show, Project Dance desires to honor God will every success within the performing arts community. Thank you for acknowledging such work and encouraging this vision and mission of Project Dance.”

Project Dance’s award will be presented at an upcoming New York event to be announced.
Masterwork Productions, Inc. is a Christian, non-profit organization which helps Christians and churches reach out through the performing arts by producing shows and events, booking artists, providing Broadway and theater reviews and training at workshops and conferences. For more information, visit http://www.masterworkproductions.org/.

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The Blind Side

Read about the real life mom from "The Blind Side."

Lifeway: http://www.lifeway.com/article/?id=169816

Guideposts: http://www.guideposts.com/story/sandra-bullock-blind-side-football?page=0,1

Read Matt Mungle's review of the movie at http://www.buddyhollywood.com/.

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Lauren Yarger, Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

In 2008 she was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater with a Christian perspective for Reflections in the Light (http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/) and is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection. She also is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com

She also reviews books for Publisher's Weekly and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She formerly was Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp, a national theater web site bsed in New York and a reviewer for American Theater Web.

She also served as Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. and worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

She is a freelance writer and member of the Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association, The League of Professional Theatre Women and The CT Critics Circle.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger lives with her husband in West Granby, CT and has two adult children.

Copyright Notice

All contents copyright © Lauren Yarger 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, contact masterworkproductions@yahoo.com.

Scripture from THE MESSAGE Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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