Given on occasion to a woman who has demonstrated extraordinary service to the LPTW Community or theatre community, generally.


  • Mari Lynn Henry has guided thousands of actors to successful careers in film, TV and theatre for over 45 years. Upon leaving her position as Director of Casting, East Coast for ABC/NY, which she held for over thirteen years, she launched an image and career coaching business. Her book, How to Be a Working Actor, (co-written by Lynne Rogers) is currently in its 5th Edition and continues to be the “Bible of the Biz.” Her workshops on on-camera audition techniques, sight-reading, script analysis, and impression management have been well-received in cities and universities throughout the U.S. as well as Toronto, London, Oxford, and Sydney. As a guest faculty member at the Circle in the Square Theatre School, she advises the second-year students about career preparation and monologue auditions. She is the Dean of Students for the Tom Todoroff Conservatory in New York City, where she teaches the business of acting. For several years she also has been the industry showcase consultant for the New World School of the Arts in Miami. She has been a  board member and V.P. of Programs for the League of Professional Theatre Women and is head of their heritage program. In 2013 she founded the Society for the Preservation of
    Theatrical History which produces a program about famous actresses of the past entitled Stage-Struck Sampler. She earned her BA in Speech and Drama at San Jose State University and a master’s degree in theatre from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

  • Joanne Pottlitzer is a writer, theatre director, and translator who has produced many Latin American plays in New York and is the winner of two Obie Awards, two Senior Fulbright Awards, two NEA translation grants, and multiple producing and writing awards. She has directed plays in New York, Los Angeles, Tucson, and Santiago de Chile. Her English translations of Latin American plays and screenplays have been produced, published, and distributed in New York and throughout the U.S. Among them are José Triana’s Common Words; Mario Vargas Llosa’s La Chunga, The Young Lady from Tacna, Kathie and the Hippopotamus; Daedalus in the Belly of the Beast by Marco Antonio de la Parra; Nelson 2 Rodrigues by Antunes Filho; Striptease and Saying Yes by Griselda Gámbaro; The Toothbrush by Jorge Díaz; and Mythweavers by Arturo Uslar Pietri. She also translated the dubbed version of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s film The Holy Mountain.

  • Linda Winer was chief theatre critic of Newsday from 1978-2017. She has taught critical writing at Columbia University’s School of the Arts since 1992 and hosted the “Women in Theatre” series on CUNY-TV from 2002 through 2007. She was chief theatre and dance critic of the Chicago Tribune from 1969-1980, a critic for the New York Daily News from 1980-1982 and USA Today from 1982-1987. Her criticism has won two first prizes from the American Society of Features Editors, two New York Newswomen’s Club Front Page Awards, the New York Newspaper Guild’s Page One Award. She teaches frequently at the Eugene O’Neill Center, has judged the Pulitzer Prize for drama nine times, five times as panel chair. She received the Distinguished Alumna Award from Northeastern Illinois University in 2013.

  • Elsa Rael has received a NY State CAPS Grant for Playwriting, First Prize in the
    Atlanta Theatre Guild Playwriting Competition, has nine produced and published plays, most recently by Pan Asian Rep. In 2014, the Women in the & Media Coalition (which Rael co-founded and served as Past President), named their VintAge Award for Advocacy for Women Aging in the Arts and Media for her. In 2016 she received an award from LPTW for her service to the organization, including being on the board, Awards Committee, Sunshine Committee, and more.

  • Sondra Gorney began her acting career in Chicago in theatre, radio and the Federal Theatre; then in New York and Hollywood. She was also an editor for Pic, a national news magazine and covered Hollywood where she married Jay Gorney, a film and stage composer. They co-produced several musical revues including “Meet the People.” In New York, they established the first musical play department at the New School and the American Theatre Wing professional training program. Then she had a career as a Public Relations Executive for non-profit organizations, as well as top corporations. Her return to theatre was via the Off-Broadway route before performing in Equity productions, as well as films and TV.  Her most recent performance was as Mrs. Hobson in Stuart Vaughan’s  “The Scarlet Letter” at the Gene Frankel Theatre.  Other credits include  “Mind Tricks”  (Vital Theatre), “Aunt Vanya”  (78th St. Theatre Lab),  and “Grandma Sylvia’s Funeral” ( Soho Playhouse) for a four-year run.  Earlier various productions were at the Vineyard Theatre, Westside Repertory, Duality and Ubu Theatres; seven feature films including “The Producers”; and in TV’s “Law and Order.” Sondra was the author of two books: “After Forty, How Women Can Achieve Fulfillment,”  and “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? The Life of Composer Jay Gorney.”