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ICT’s caryn desai honored with ‘Eternity Award’ by Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival

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International City Theatres caryn desai honored with
Eternity Award by Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival


LONG BEACH, Calif. (March 6, 2024) – International City Theatre producing artistic director caryn desai [sic] has been named the recipient of the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival’s 2024 Eternity Award, presented to an artist whose lifetime achievements have made a lasting contribution to the world of theater. The honor will be bestowed on opening night of the 31st annual Festival, with a champagne gala and awards ceremony set to take place at the Lankershim Arts Center in North Hollywood on March 28 at 8 p.m.

The theme of this year’s Festival is “Telling Our Truths,” and the awards ceremony theme is “In Honor Of.” In addition to desai, Maria G. Martinez, Naomi Grossman, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Lisa Sanaye Dring, Carolyn Ratteray, Jessica Lynn Johnson and the late Shirley Jo Finney will be awarded for their exceptional careers and life achievements. The evening’s co-hosts will be Hattie Winston (Becker) and Ted Lange (The Love Boat).

desai is an award-winning director with awards and nominations from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, LA Weekly, Drama-Logue, Robby, Ovation and NAACP for her productions. A member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, desai’s recent directing credits include Exit Wounds, Under the Skin, Valley Song, Art, Daisy, Beast on the Moon, Cardboard Piano, Uncanny Valley and Doubt. She has an MFA in directing from UC Irvine, a BA from CSU Long Beach in acting and directing, an AA from Long Beach City College, and a certificate from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. In addition, she has certificates in arts administration, marketing and fundraising, completed an executive program at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business as one of 50 arts leaders in the nation selected for the inaugural program, and completed an executive coaching program through the Hudson Institute in Santa Barbara. She has served on grant panels for both Los Angeles County and the City of Long Beach, and as a speaker/panelist for the SRO Theatre Conference on best practices at USC; the Technical Theatre Conference about the role of a director; and more. She represented ICT as a national participant for the Listening Post Project with Johns Hopkins University. She was named “Enterprising Woman in the Arts” in Long Beach, was honored with the “We Can Do It” award from the Long Beach Rosie the Riveter Foundation, and was nominated as an “Amazing Woman in the Arts.” As an educator, she taught college for more than 25 years. She is the recipient of Distinguished Alumna awards from Long Beach City College and the College of the Arts at CSU Long Beach. In 2016, she was the keynote 7 speaker at the Disneyland Hotel for INTIX. That same year, she accepted the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for “Outstanding Season” and was recognized as a “Community Hero” by the African American History & Culture Foundation. She is honored to be included in the Long Beach City College Hall of Fame and to be the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Long Beach NAACP. Most recently, she was named an “LA 2023 Inspirational Woman” by the Los Angeles Times and had the privilege to serve as Mace Marshall for UC Irvine’s graduates from the School of Arts, School of Education and School of Physical Sciences.

The Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival was founded in 1993 as a non-profit arts organization by Adilah Barnes and Miriam Reed to provide a venue for multicultural and multi-disciplined solo artists and original works. They have presented close to 700 artists from around the globe including those from Europe, Africa, South America, Australia and the Middle East

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