Wednesday, February 3, 2016

GSP to honor The Actors Fund and its President & CEO Joseph P. Benincasa

The Actors Fund and its President & CEO Joseph P. Benincasa to Receive Thomas H. Kean Arts Advocacy Award at George Street Playhouse Annual Gala Benefit on May 22

Black-Tie Fundraiser to Feature Performances from Stars of Stage and Screen

Joseph P. Benincasa
Joseph P. Benincasa
(Courtesy The Actors Fund)
New Brunswick, NJ--New Brunswick’s George Street Playhouse celebrates the end of another successful season on Sunday, May 22, with its Annual Gala Benefit. As part of the celebration, the Thomas H. Kean Arts Advocacy Award will be conferred upon The Actors Fund and its President and Chief Executive Officer, Joseph P. Benincasa, by the former Governor himself. The inaugural award was given to Governor Kean in 1990 and was named in his honor to pay tribute to an individual, corporation or foundation whose dedication to the arts enhances the cultural life of the citizens of New Jersey. 

“This year, we are elated to honor The Actors Fund and its President and CEO, Joseph Benincasa, with the Thomas H. Kean Arts Advocacy Award,” said George Street Playhouse Artistic Director David Saint. “He is a long-time friend and supporter of the Playhouse with strong ties to New Brunswick, and The Actors Fund has been invaluable to so many of those who work in the performing arts and entertainment industry.”

The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that helps everyone — performers and those behind the scenes — who works in performing arts and entertainment.  Serving professionals in film, theatre, television, music, opera, radio and dance, The Fund’s programs include social services and emergency financial assistance, health care and insurance counseling, housing, and employment and training services.  The Actors Fund has been — for 134 years — a safety net for those in need, crisis or transition.

Mr. Benincasa, who joined The Actors Fund in 1989, oversees innovative programs, including comprehensive social services, health care services, employment and training, and affordable, supportive and senior housing. He is also President of the Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation which builds affordable, supportive and senior care residences for artists in major urban centers.

He serves on the boards of directors of several organizations, including Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Learning Ally, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, among others. He has been recognized with several honors, including The Actors Fund Medal of Honor, Tony Honors Award, New Jersey Legislature Excellence in Arts Award and inaugural Made in New York Award. 

Kenneth M. Fisher, Jr. of Hillsborough serves as Benefit Chair. Commemorative Journal Chairpersons are Jocelyn Schwartzman of East Brunswick and Lora Tremayne of Somerset. James Heston of Metuchen and Penelope Lattimer of New Brunswick serve as co-chairs of the Sponsorship Committee, and Janice Stolar of East Brunswick is Tables Chair.

Janice Haggerty of Bedminster and Gabrielle Vajtay of Somerset serve as Auction Co-Chairpersons. The silent auction is one of the highlights of the Playhouse’s Annual Gala, and offers luxury vacation trips, home furnishings, tickets to hard-to-get Broadway shows, fine dining experiences, top sports venues and much more.  

Patrons attending GSP’s Gala have come to expect stellar performances during the evening’s Cabaret and this year should prove no exception. Past performers have included Constantine Maroulis, David Hyde Pierce, Rita Moreno, Bernadette Peters, Tyne Daly, Sandy Duncan, Kelly Bishop, Brian d’Arcy James, Alison Fraser, Penny Fuller, Anne Jackson, Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller, Lauren Bacall and Chita Rivera, among others. This year’s performers will be announced at a later date.

The Black Tie affair at The Heldrich (located on Livingston Avenue directly across the street from George Street Playhouse) begins at 5 pm with a cocktail reception and silent auction. Dinner follows at 6:30 pm with the Cabaret performance commencing at 7:30.  Sponsorship opportunities, tables of 10, and individual tickets are available. For further information contact Jacqueline Brendel at (732) 846-2895, ext. 141.

About George Street Playhouse
In the 42 years since its founding, George Street Playhouse has become a nationally recognized theatre, presenting an acclaimed mainstage season while providing an artistic home for established and emerging theatre artists. Its leadership consists of Artistic Director David Saint, Resident Artistic Director Michael Mastro and Managing Director Kelly Ryman. Founded in 1974, the Playhouse has been well represented by numerous productions both on and off-Broadway – recent productions include the Outer Critics’ Circle Best Musical Award-winner The Toxic Avenger; the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Drama League nominated production of The Spitfire Grill; and the recent Broadway hit and Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning play Proof by David Auburn, which was developed at GSP during the 1999 Next Stage Series of new plays. In 2015, George Street Playhouse has been represented by two productions in New York: the recent Broadway production of It Shoulda Been You, and Joe DiPietro’s Clever Little Lies, which opened off-Broadway in October. Both shows received their premieres at the Playhouse. In addition to its mainstage season, GSP’s Touring Educational Theatre features three issue-oriented productions that are seen by more than 40,000 students annually. George Street Playhouse programming is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

No comments: