119 West 57th Street
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The Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence in the Theatre

Presented at August Wilson Theatre

The Dorothy Loudon Collection at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

"This exhibition, funded by a generous grant from the Dorothy Loudon Foundation, presents a digital preview of just a small portion of the many treasures preserved in the Dorothy Loudon Papers at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts." NYPL

Dorothy Loudon

DOROTHY LOUDON was born in Boston on September 17, 1925 (most sources incorrectly cite her birth year as 1933) and grew up in Claremont, New Hampshire. She was the daughter of Dorothy Shaw and James Loudon...

Executive Director

LIONEL LARNER was born in Southhampton, England and grew up in London and Wiltshire. He attended the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, Britain's oldest theatre arts training school, where Noel Coward first met Gertrude Lawrence.

Past Award Recipients

Susan Louise O'Connor - 2009

Bobby Steggert - 2010

Seth Numrich - 2011

Susan Pourfar - 2012

Jonny Orsini - 2013

Celia Keenan-Bolger - 2014

2015 Award Winner Leeann Cope. with Dame Diana Rigg & Lionel Larner

The Foundation was founded in 2004 as directed by her Will in which she named her long-time agent and friend Lionel Larner, Trustee. The mission of the Foundation is two-fold: to support charities and causes about which Dorothy felt strongly - which include not-for profit theater, young artists, health, literacy, religion, education, and prevention of cruelty to children or animals and - to perpetuate her legacy in an industry that embraced her so warmly.

At the inception of the Foundation, Mr. Larner successfully campaigned to have Dorothy inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame, which had been overlooked in her lifetime. Over the past decade:

Over half a million dollars in grants have been awarded to many not-for- profit theater companies including the following:

Ars Nova
Barrington Stage Company
Classic Stage Company
East End Young Arts Initiative
HB Playwrights Foundation
Irish Repertory Theatre
Keen Company
Manhattan Theatre Club
Musicals Tonight!
NY Theater Workshop
NYCity Center
OYL Theater Co.
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Playwrights Horizons
Playwrights Realm
Primary Stages
Red Bull Theater
Roundabout Theatre
Second Stage
Signature Theater
TADA! Youth Theater
The Actors Company Theatre
The Atlantic Theater
The Barrow Group Theatre Company
The Director's Company
The Flea Theater
The New Group
The Transport Theatre Group
The Vineyard Theatre
Urban Stages

In addition support has been given to Doctors Without Borders, International Rescue Committee, The Pasteur Foundation, The Mayor's Fund to Advance NYC, Phoenix House, AIDS Action International, The Animal Rescue Fund, City Harvest, Hospital for Special Surgery, Miracle House, Literacy Partners, The Retreat (for abused women and children), Central Park Conservancy, Elsa's Ark, The Ten Chimneys Foundation, Mabel Mercer Foundation, East Hampton Library, Georgia O'Keefe Museum, God's Love We Deliver, Treatment Action Group, Cap 21, FOCUS, Coalition Against Breast Cancer, East End Hospice.

Mr. Larner personally reviews and studies every grant request thoroughly before bringing them to the other Board Members at their bi annual Trustee Meetings which take place in the Spring and Fall of each year. Since many of the grant requests come from not-for-profit theatres, Mr. Larner spends most of his evening hours each week, auditing the productions of the companies requesting funding. As a result, the Dorothy Loudon Foundation has achieved a reputation of distinction and quality in the not-for-profit theatre community which has increased the volume of requests received on a day-to-day basis.

Jennifer Sheehan receiving the Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence in Cabaret from Executive Director Lionel Larner at the 2011 New York Cabaret Convention.