The RUTHIE Award

SHEILA TOUSEY, JOHN KELLY, AND JENNIFER KIDWELL
Sheila Tousey pc Rachel Crowl; John Kelly pc Steven Menendez; Jennifer Kidwell pc Ryan Collerd, courtesy of The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage

WITH GENEROUS EXPANDED FUNDING

THREE PERFORMING ARTISTS, JOHN KELLY, JENNIFER KIDWELL AND SHEILA TOUSEY AWARDED MABOU MINES 2020 RUTH MALEZCECH AWARD.

About John Kelly

John Kelly’s character-based performance works focus on the struggles encountered by artists and social outsiders. As writer, director and performer, he has embodied subjects ranging from the expressionist artist Egon Schiele, the cross-dressing aerialist Barbette, Orpheus, and Joni Mitchell. Other works have explored the AIDS pandemic, the Berlin Wall, and the Troubadours. Over the course of a career that has spanned 35 years he has received multiple awards and fellowships. His most recent dance theatre work Underneath The Skin, is based on the life of gay novelist and tattoo artist Samuel Steward, premiered at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in October of 2019, and will receive a 3-week run at La MaMa sometime in 2021. Also a visual artist, he recently completed his first graphic novel ‘A Friend Gave Me A Book.’

 

About Jennifer Kidwell

Jennifer Kidwell is a performing artist. Recent projects – Underground Railroad Game (2017 Obie Award for Best New American Theatre Work; 2018 Edinburgh Fringe First Award; Lucille Lortel, Helen Hayes nominations), Adrienne Truscott’s Still Asking for It (Joe’s Pub), Home (Geoff Sobelle, Bessie Award for Outstanding Production), Demolishing Everything with Amazing Speed (Dan Hurlin), I Understand Everything Better (David Neumann/advanced beginner group, Bessie Award for Outstanding Production), Antigone (The Wilma Theater), A Hard Time, Superterranean, Fire Burns Hot: Little Reno!, I Promised Myself to Live Faster and 99 Break-Ups (Pig Iron Theatre Company), Dick’s Last Stand (Whitney Biennial 2014, as Donelle Woolford), Zinnias: the Life of Clementine Hunter (Robert Wilson/Toshi Reagon/Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon). Company member PITC and Lightning Rod Special, Wilma Theater Associated Artist, co-founder of JACK. Her writing has been published in movement research Performance Journal #45 and at hyperallergic.com. 2013 TCG/Fox Resident Actor Fellowship (with PITC), 2015 Leeway Foundation Art & Change Grant, 2016 Pew Fellow, 2017 Independence Fellowship.

 

About Sheila Tousey

Sheila Tousey is a writer, actress, director with numerous film, television and theater credits to her name including appearances in Signature Theater and Magic Theater’s LATE HENRY MOSS by Sam Shepard; Marie in Joanne Akalaitis’ WOYZCEK at the Public Theater and at the Guthrie Theater in Marsha Norman’s adaptation of Louise Erdrich’s MASTER BUTCHERS SINGING CLUB.  She was a Drama Desk Nominee for acting and has had several residencies and fellowships throughout her career including Yale, The Public and the Sundance Theater Lab. She is a company member at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and in March, before the production was suspended because of the global health crisis, had just opened BRING DOWN THE HOUSE Parts 1 and 2 (Shakespeare’s Henry VI Trilogy) with an all-female and non-binary cast, adapted by Rosa Joshi and Kate Wisniewski and directed by Rosa Joshi.

Ruth Maleczech
c Sylvia Plachy

ABOUT THE RUTHIE

The Ruth Maleczech Award is a no-strings-attached cash award granted by Mabou Mines together with Ruth’s family, Clove Galilee and Lute Breuer. The awardee is selected through a nomination process and is given to a performer who embodies Ruth’s daring and raw, naked, fearlessness in every performance. The “Ruthie” was created to honor Ruth Maleczech, the beloved artist/performer/director and co-founder of Mabou Mines. She was an inspiration, a mentor and a role model for countless artists.

Special Thanks to the W Trust with the New Horizons Foundation and many generous individuals for making this award possible.

Past RUTHIE recipients
Mary Shultz (2015), April Matthis (2016), Black-Eyed Susan (2017) David Greenspan (2018) and Julie Atlas Muz (2019)