---Raptive Ads---

Playwright Lynn Nottage Receives The 22nd Annual Monte Cristo Award In NYC

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: A view of the program for Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: A view of the program for Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater) Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill

“Sometimes, art is there to soothe us, sometimes it’s there to entertain us, sometimes it’s there to enlighten us, but sometimes art really is a lifeline. It’s there because it’s the only way that we can comfort, process, and shine light on injustice.” - Lynn Nottage

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Lynn Nottage speaks onstage during the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater )
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Lynn Nottage speaks onstage during the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater )Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill

Honoring talented playwright Lynn Nottage at the luxe Capitale NYC brought the theatre industry’s brightest and most inspired minds together for an evening of celebration, performance, and thought-provoking discussion on what exactly makes art such a true necessity in a society where those without a voice can be amplified by those in the creative realm to combat injustice.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: A view of atmosphere as Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: A view of atmosphere as Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater)Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill

Each year, the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center chooses one exemplary face in the theatre industry to receive the prestigious Monte Cristo Award. At this year’s 22nd Annual Monte Cristo Awards ceremony and fundraising dinner on November 6, 2023, the O’Neill institution honored esteemed playwright Lynn Nottage for her meaningful and groundbreaking work around working-class people, especially those who are Black or underrepresented.

Lynn Nottage gives a voice to those who cannot speak or act for themselves, which inspired her receipt of this distinction. In her acceptance speech, the playwright told the story of a man in Chad, seeking justice for his daughter through an unexpected introduction to the performing arts through his own (less-than-perfect) performance she had witnessed. Lynn told, “he continued to seek justice every way he could, and every step he took, he was turned away.” He told Lynn that he was performing in her play so that he could support his daughter, as the only way he could truly stand in solidarity with his actress daughter against the way rape was being used as a tool of manipulation and silencing women in Chad.

She noted that his inspiring story and willingness to share his voice and experience in any which way he could was a defining emotional moment for her. She asked, “Really, what is the necessity of art?” In this way combining personal support and overarching politics, she realized there is a bigger picture involved in the performing arts, which brought her to tears at the time. To her, the award is a recognition for all of these voices that inspired Lynn, her work, and others along the way in order to share and amplify smaller voices into a larger crowd through theatre.

Famous faces and luxe fashion looks flocked to Capitale NYC for the evening of celebration, gracing the red carpet with well-known names and various titles such as a rare appearance from actor and producer Michael Douglass, actor Laila Robins, and producer Tom Viertel. Live performances were a true treat for the audience – there was a musical accompaniment provided from signer and traditional cultural drummer Justin Hicks that elicited utter silence bursting into applause from attendees, alongside multiple lively theatrical stage performances of some of Lynn’s shorter works by various actors.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Justin Hicks and Kenita Miller attend the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Justin Hicks and Kenita Miller attend the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater)Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: (L-R) Preston Whiteway, Scott Gilmore, Ruth Hendel and guest attend the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater )
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: (L-R) Preston Whiteway, Scott Gilmore, Ruth Hendel and guest attend the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater )Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Krystal Joy Brown attends the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater )
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Krystal Joy Brown attends the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater )Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Michael Douglas and Tiffani Gavin attend the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater )
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Michael Douglas and Tiffani Gavin attend the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater )Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Laila Robins and Robert Cuccioli attend the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater )
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Laila Robins and Robert Cuccioli attend the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater )Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Karlee Fomalont attends the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater )
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Karlee Fomalont attends the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater )Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Jason Tam attends the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater )
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Jason Tam attends the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater )Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Tom Kitt attends the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater )
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Tom Kitt attends the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater )Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Lily Fan attends the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater )
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Lily Fan attends the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater )Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Pam Arciero and Jean Marie Keevins attend the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater )
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Pam Arciero and Jean Marie Keevins attend the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater )Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill
	NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Sarah Leah Whitson and Ruby Gerber attend the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater )
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Sarah Leah Whitson and Ruby Gerber attend the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater )Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Stacey Sargent and Kenita Miller attend the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Stacey Sargent and Kenita Miller attend the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater)Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Lynn Nottage and Michael Douglas attend the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Lynn Nottage and Michael Douglas attend the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater)Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Jasmin Richardson and Jevares Myrick attend the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Jasmin Richardson and Jevares Myrick attend the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater)Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Nezzy De Jesus and Terence Archie attends the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Nezzy De Jesus and Terence Archie attends the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater)Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: (L-R) Max Chambers, Bre Jackson and Ilario Grant attend the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: (L-R) Max Chambers, Bre Jackson and Ilario Grant attend the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater)Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: (L-R) Guest, Stacey Sargent, Lynn Nottage, Tonya Pinkins and Lisa Arrindell attend the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater )
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: (L-R) Guest, Stacey Sargent, Lynn Nottage, Tonya Pinkins and Lisa Arrindell attend the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater )Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill

The first of these live showcases was Nottage’s Poof! (a witty banter on death and its resulting circumstances for the living,) brought comedically to life by duo Quincy Tyler Bernstine and Tonya Pinkins  onstage. Each subsequent talented performance of Nottage’s brief plays Ruined, Intimate Apparel, Crumbs from the Table of Joy, and MJ: The Musical also garnered thunderous rounds of applause and pulled a range of emotions out of everyone in the room – it is a truely rare and ingenious talent like Nottage’s that holds the capacity to elicit both deeper, meaningful thoughts and hearty uproarious laughter within the span of a few lines of writing in performance.

As guests followed the journey of emotional ups and downs from the playwright’s legacy works, they dined upon luxe catering provided by Capitale NYC, an esteemed venue for upscale dining and beverages within the city. Culturally-inspired cuisine with flavor pairings such as tahini on artichoke, sake on striped bass, and rasperry on Valhrona chocolate brought a level of depth to guests’ dining, appropriate for the meaningful depths within the theatrical work of this evening’s Monte Cristo Award honoree.

Live fundraising presented by auctioneer also served to elevate the mood of the event and provided guests a way to contribute kindly to their industry and its up-and-coming artists through support for the hosting Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. The evening raised substantial necessary funds for the institution to allow it to further foster growth and development for deserving artists such as Lynn Nottage, who herself also spent dedicated working time there at the organization’s space while developing her writing and projects. 

As Nottage stated in her acceptance speech, “They (the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center) gave me the space to write. I had an over-stuffed life and it’s really hard to push out all this noise. I really needed a space where I could sit and conjure a play that I knew was going to be difficult and painful. And in that room in Connecticut…by making space for me, I knew I’d be making space for that man in Chad, who desperately needed a forum to tell his story. Or even for the four female directors who I worked with in Cambodia who had survived the Khmer Rouge, who co-directed my play because it was too painful for them to do it alone.”

The night’s event brought together some of the best and brightest minds in the performing arts, alongside those with a mission and a goal to create meaningful performance works as a social platform for change and voice. Lynn serves to inspire us with her commentary on social issues, justice, and fairness, brought to light with a comedic tone and lighthearted quip interspersed with thought-provoking stories through her writing. Guests at the 22nd Annual Monte a Cristo Awards ceremony in New York City left the awards event feeling uplifted, grateful, inspired, and excited to see what new works and calls for change we can expect to see from playwright and advocate Lynn Nottage in the coming future of the world of theatre and performing arts.

Credits:

Writer: Laur Weeks @laur.weeks

Images: Courtesy of Slate PR 

Honoree: Lynn Nottage @lynnnottage

Organization: The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center

PR: Slate PR @slatepr

Venue & Catering: Capitale NYC @capitalenyc

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: A view of the program for Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Hosts The 22nd Monte Cristo Award Honoring Lynn Nottage at Capitale on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Eugene O'Neill Theater)
Academy Award Winner Ariana DeBose Helps NYC Non-Profit Raise Over $900,000 to End Food Insecurity

Become an Insider!  Step into the world of luxury with RESIDENT Magazine. Click here to subscribe to our exclusive newsletter and gain unparalleled access to the latest in luxury lifestyle, high-end real estate, travel exclusives, and so much more.

Are you interested in advertising with Resident? Email us at advertising@resident.com to learn more.

Related Stories

No stories found.
logo
Resident Magazine
resident.com