D E B R A   A N N   B Y R D  -   F O U N D E R   &   P R O D U C I N G   A R T I S T I C   D I R E C T O R.

LPTW Annual Holiday Party

and Awards Celebration



Monday, December 7th, 2009

6:00PM – 9:00PM




15 Gramercy Park South

New York, NY  10025



$35 by November 15th

After November 15th -- $45

Add $5 for Non-LPTW Guests




Purchase Tickets Online





By check --  Mail to: League of Professional Theatre Women  

Post Office Box 2292,

New York, NY 10108




Contact: Penny Landau | 212.366.4345

              Maya Public Relations, Inc.


Debra Ann Byrd, Producing Artistic Director of Take Wing And Soar Productions to Receive Lortel Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women at the National Arts Club

December 7th - 2009


[New York, NY – November 9, 2009]  Take Wing And Soar Productions is proud to announce its Founder and Producing Artistic Director Debra Ann Byrd, has been named the recipient of the Lucille Lortel Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women.  Ms. Byrd will receive the honor, which will be presented to her by award-winning Broadway and film actress, Jane White, at an awards celebration scheduled for Monday, December 7, 2009 at The National Arts Club.  


The Lucille Lortel Award, established with an endowment given by Lucille Lortel, carries a monetary award presented to an aspiring woman in any discipline of theatre who shows great creative promise and deserves recognition and encouragement for her efforts. The work of Take Wing And Soar Productions and its Founder and Producing Artistic Director Debra Ann Byrd captured the attention of the Lucille Lortel Committee of the League.  


Debra Ann Byrd is the Founder of Take Wing And Soar Productions, Inc., where she currently serves as Chief Executive and Producing Artistic Director.  She has guided this company's growth from its birth as the passionate dream of one determined woman into a viable support organization serving classical artists of color and theater arts groups throughout New York.  


As an actor, producer, arts manager, and business leader she has received more than 20 awards and citations and was recently selected for inclusion in the 2009 Editions of Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who of American Women and is the 2006 Josephine Abady Award recipient for “Excellence in Producing Works that Foster Diversity.”  This award winning theater arts professional received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Acting from Marymount Manhattan College, and additional advanced studies from The Public Theater’s Shakespeare Lab Program.   Ms. Byrd recently completed producer training at the Commercial Theatre Institute, a special project of The Broadway League and the Theatre Development Fund.  She received additional training from the Arts Leadership Institute, a unique Leadership Training Program for Arts Managers at Teacher’s College/Columbia University.  Ms Byrd is currently on the Producing Team at The National Black Theatre, Inc. and an Associate Producer for 6-10 Productions, Inc.
















Past recipients of the Lucille Lortel Award include: Liz Jones, Co-Executive Director, Page 73 Productions, Inc. (2008); Jean Wagner, Artistic Director, Voice & Vision (2008 Lucille Lortel Women's Visionary Award); Melissa Silverman, Executive Director, 3Graces Theater Co. (2007); Justine Lambert, Artistic Director, Looking Glass Theatre; Mandy Hackett, Founder, The Underwood Theater; Cara Reichel, Founder, Prospect Theatre Company; and Melanie Joseph, Founder, Foundry Theatre.  


Take Wing And Soar Productions, Inc. founded in 1999 by classically trained actress Debra Ann Byrd, is women-led New York State, 501(c) 3 Professional Theatre Arts Corporation, dedicated to supporting women, youth and especially classically trained actors of color.  Take Wing And Soar Productions exists primarily to help classical actors of color to realize their full potential.  Take Wing And Soar Productions is a Member Organization of the Alliance of New York State Arts Organizations, Alliance of Resident Theatres New York, the Harlem Arts Alliance, and the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce.


The League of Professional Theatre Women is a not-for-profit advocacy organization promoting visibility and increasing opportunities for women in the professional theatre. The League provides a number of programs and services for its members as well as the theatre community. The League links professional theatre women nationally and internationally, providing an ongoing forum for ideas and issues of concern to the theatrical community and its audiences. The League is also a member of the New York Women's Agenda and the New York Coalition of Professional Women in the Arts and Media.


Lucille Lortel (December 16, 1900 – April 4, 1999) was an American actress and theater producer who is remembered as the namesake of an off-Broadway playhouse and theatrical award. Born Lucille Wadler in New York City, Lucille Lortel was originally an actress during the 1920s . She went on to become an off-Broadway theater producer and impresario with the help of a wealthy husband, industrialist Louis Schweitzer, whom she married in 1931. Lortel founded The White Barn Theatre at her estate in Norwalk, Connecticut in 1947. The Lucille Lortel Theatre, on Christopher Street, in Greenwich Village, New York City, which hosts the Lucille Lortel Awards for achievement in off-Broadway productions, and the Lortel Archives, which provides the Internet Off-Broadway Database, are named in her honor and supported by her foundation. She died of natural causes in New York at the age of 98 and is interred at the Westchester Hills Cemetery in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.




Debra Ann Byrd

Founder and Producing Artistic Director

Take Wing And Soar Productions, Inc.



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Jane White won the Obie award for her performances in the New York Shakespeare Festival as the Princess of France in Love's Labor's Lost and Volumnia in Coriolanus, and the Los Angeles Critics Circle Award for the Mother in Lorca's Blood Wedding. She filled roles of imposing, strong-willed women in a gamut of productions: comedies and musicals including the Broadway run of Once Upon A Mattress, the musical comedy that  served as a launching vehicle for Carol Burnett., A Little Night Music and Follies, and such classical and dramatic works as Ghosts, Pygmalion, and Brecht's Caucasian Chalk Circle. She has been honored by the NAACP for her range of work, and has counted among her fans such notables as Bobby Short, playwright Moss Hart, maestro James Levine and theatre impresario/actor Jean-Louis Barrault.

Jane White

Award-Winning Broadway

and Film Actress