By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL
Assistant to the Editor
Court Theatre Artistic Director Charles Newell won the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society Foundation’s (SDCF) Zelda Finchandler Award last week.
The prestigious distinction, which comes with an unrestricted $5,000 grant, is awarded by the New York City-based foundation to “an oustanding director or choreographer making an exceptional contribution to the national arts landscape through theatre work in a region.”
Award recipients rotate regionally, with 2013’s distinction for an achievement in the northern and southern Midwest.
Newell, a Hyde Parker since 1993, became the Court Theatre’s artistic director the next year, after working as a resident director in Minneapolis and a freelance director in New York City.
He has directed more than 30 plays at the Court Theatre, including “Proof,” the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning story of a University of Chicago mathematician.
“It’s just such a gift,” Newell said. “It’s all happened so quickly, I have no real sense yet of what I might do with it.”
“I may just frame the check for a while, before I do anything with it,” Newell added, laughing.
“Charlie is an exceptional artist,” said Laura Penn, executive director of SDCF. “There’s clearly a dedication to the court theater and the community within which they make their work.”
Newell will receive the award at a Cincinnati reception next Monday, Nov. 4.