Playwrights' Center Announces McKnight Theater Artists

Star TribuneBy Graydon Royce June 12, 2014

The Playwrights’ Center has named Sally Wingert, Austene Van and Mathew LeFebvre as McKnight Theater Artists. The award comes with $25,000 and also provides $7,000 to develop new theatrical work.

Wingert has worked on Twin Cities stages for more than 30 years. In 2013, she was selected the Star Tribune’s Artist of the Year. She’s most often seen at the Guthrie Theater but has made significant contributions such as her performance in Theater Latte Da’s “Cabaret” in January and a leading role in Dark and Stormy’s small production of “The Receptionist” in December.

Van has worked as an actor, director and choreographer. She found her footing at Penumbra under Lou Bellamy and was seen there in “Spunk” last year. Van performed the title role in Latte Da’s “Aida” in 2013 and was Blanche Dubois in Ten Thousand Things’ staging of “A Street Car Named Desire.” She’s directed at Park Square, History Theatre and Theatre in the Round.

LeFebvre has designed costumes for more than 20 productions at the Guthrie and 15 at Penumbra – in addition to many other Twin Cities companies. His credits include shows at Signature Theatre in New York, Milwaukee Rep, the Geffen Playhouse, Minnesota Opera and Arizona Theatre Company. LeFebvre teaches and directs at the University of Minnesota. Jeremy Cohen, producing artistic director at the Playwrights’ Center, said LeFebvre is the first costume designed honored with the McKnight Award since 1997.

Last year’s winners – Sun Mee Chomet, Denise Prosek and Stephen Yoakam – will showcase their works in progress Monday at the Southern Theater.