Michael M. Kaiser is best known as an arts manager with a reputation for saving arts organizations from financial and management disasters. He has served the State Ballet of Missouri, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and American Ballet Theatre. Through his efforts, the Royal Opera House at London's Covent Garden was saved. This February, he took over as president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
Susan Stroman is one of the best-known choreographers and directors working in theatre today. Her credits are so vast that it would be impossible to list her accomplishments here. Her current project is the Broadway musical, The Producers, based on Mel Brooks' cult film success, which opened last night at the St. James Theatre. Her award will be presented to her by three members of the cast of Contact: Stephanie Michels, Karen Ziemba, and Deborah Yates.
Damian Woetzel is widely regarded as one of the leading dancers in New York City today. He has appeared in ballets by Jerome Robbins, George Balanchine, Eliot Feld, and Twyla Tharp. I have always regarded Woetzel as one of the most versatile artists on the ballet scene. Eliot Feld will present him with the award.
The presentation takes place at the Merkin Concert Hall on Monday, April 23. Attendance is by invitation only.