The Dramatists Guild Foundation has announced the supporters and creators of American theater who will be honored at their annual gala on October 24, 2022 at the Ziegfeld Ballroom.
Fashion designer Jeffrey Banks and DGF board member Barbara Olcott will receive Patron of the Arts honors for their work in elevating and supporting the theater community. Playwright Paula Vogel’s decades-long career will be celebrated as this year’s playwright honor.
Jeffrey Banks is an acclaimed men’s fashion designer whose American design style has had a significant impact on the entire fashion world. The Jeffrey Banks Signature menswear collection was launched in 1977 and consists of bespoke clothing, clothing furniture and activewear. It set a new benchmark for stylish men. The American art of casual dress was reinvented when Banks took over as design director of Merona Sport in the 1980s. He introduced never-before-seen colors and fabrications paired with soft styling and a loose fit for men, women and children. He won two Coty Awards for Outstanding Men’s Clothing and Furs. He received the Cutty Sark US Menswear Designer of the Year Award for Outstanding Contribution to Menswear, an Earnie Award for Boyswear, and the Pratt Award for Design Excellence. Currently, Banks is partnering with Alixandre Furs to design and relaunch the Jeffrey Banks collection of fur coats and jackets for a group of exclusive retailers. Jeffrey Banks is a longtime board member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). He is Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Hetrick-Martin Institute and was a Senior Board Member of the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).
A professional photographer for many years, Barbara Olcott is a founding member and board chair of the Great Waters Music Festival in New Hampshire. She served as Chair of the Board of the Ocean Reef Cultural Center and also served as Program Chair for 13 years. He has previously served on the board of the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, the Hartford Stage Company, the Bald Peak Colony Club and the Ocean Reef Club. She co-chaired the Loomis Chaffee School fundraising campaign, which raised over $130 million, and worked on numerous other campaigns for nonprofit organizations. Barbara is actively involved as a producer and investor in films and shows both on and off Broadway. She and her husband Emery raised five children.
Paula Vogel is a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright whose plays include How I Learned to Drive (Tony Award nomination for Best Revival of a Play, Pulitzer Prize in Drama, Lortel Prize, OBIE Award, two Drama Desk Awards , Outer Critics Circle and New York Drama Critics Awards for Best Play), Indecent (Tony Award Nomination for Best Play), The Long Christmas Ride Home, The Mineola Twins, The Baltimore Waltz, Hot’n’Throbbing, Desdemona, And Baby Makes Seven, The Oldest Profession and A Civil War Christmas. His digital theater series Bard at the Gate, produced in collaboration with the McCarter Theater Center, is now entering its third season. Upcoming projects include The Mother Play; a brief; and a book on playwriting. Awards include a Pulitzer Prize, Tony nomination, American Theater Hall of Fame Award, two Obies, Lily Award, NY Drama Critics Circle Award, Guggenheim Award and Pew Charitable Trust Award. She founded and directed the MFA playwriting program at Brown University and served as the O’Neill Professor of Playwriting at the Yale School of Drama. She is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild and is honored with awards given in her name by the American College Theater Festival and Vineyard Theater.
The winners will be celebrated at the DGF’s 60th Anniversary Gala, celebrating six decades of supporting American theater’s playwrights, composers, lyricists and librettists through financial resources, education-focused programming and free rehearsal spaces all throughout their career. Tables, individual tickets and sponsorship opportunities are now available by visiting www.dgf.org/gala or calling (212) 391-8384, ext. 3.