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Chicago director/educator Lisa Portes to receive Fichandler Award


Chicago-based director Lisa Portes is the 2016 recipient of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation’s Zelda Fichandler Award, “which recognizes an outstanding director or choreographer who is transforming the regional arts landscape through singular creativity and artistry in the theatre.” The award carries an unrestricted grant of $5,000.

Steppenwolf artistic director Anna D. Shapiro will present the award to Portes on October 30 at Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted.

In announcing the award today, SDCF Chair Sheldon Epps said via official statement: “For the first time, the selection committee chose to honor a freelance director to receive this prestigious award. Lisa Portes, in her work as a director, educator and advocate, is breaking new ground and expanding the narrative of what American Theater can be, just as Zelda did in her long career.”

Portes heads the MFA Directing Program at The Theatre School at DePaul University, serves as artistic director of the school’s Chicago Playworks for Families and Young Audiences, is a co-founder of the Latina/o Theatre Commons, and has had her work presented at numerous local and regional theaters including Steppenwolf Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, American Blues Theatre, Silk Road Rising, Teatro Vista, the Cincinnati Playhouse, Guthrie Theatre, South Coast Rep, and the Kennedy Center and the Public Theatre, among others.