William Ivey Long, the costume designer every female stage star longs to be dressed by, and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage (Ruined) will be honored May 7 at this year’s Lucille Lortel Awards, presented by the Off-Broadway League. Also honored will be Harold Wolper, one of the industry’s most admired and longest-running off-stage execs.
Adam Hess, President of the League, also announced the addition to the awards of Outstanding Projection Design, a new category. “Off-Broadway continues to be the home for innovative and ground-breaking theater,” Hess said in the announcement. “The League is proud to continue to honor the designers that play such a vital role in off-Broadway’s success.”
Long, the boyishly bespectacled custodian of six Tony Awards (from 15 nominations) and multiple Lortels, will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Nottage, who won the Pulitzer for Ruined and whose Sweat is reopening on Broadway following a run earlier this season at the Public Theater, will be honored with a place on the Playwrights’ Sidewalk outside the Lucille Lortel Theatre in Greenwich Village. Wolpert will receive the Edith Oliver Service to Off-Broadway Award, named for the late New Yorker magazine off-Broadway critic.
Wolpert, who exited his post as managing director of the Roundabout Theatre Company after more than a dedcade, previously held exec positions at the Manhattan Theatre Club and Houston’s Nina Vance Alley Theatre.
Nominations for the voted awards will be announced April 4, with winners presented May 7 at New York University’s Skirball Center for Performing Arts. The Lortels were founded in 1985 by the League of Off-Broadway Theaters and Producers as an alternative to the longer-lived Obies, which are sponsored by the Village Voice. Representatives of the League, Actors’ Equity Association, Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, the Lucille Lortel Foundation, in addition to theater journalists, academics and other Off-Broadway professionals, serve on the voting committee.