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Fred Voelpel, Eugene Lee & More to Receive 2022 TDF/Irene Sharaff Awards

The awards ceremony will be presented through the TDF Costume Collection on Friday, October 7 at 6:30 p.m. at The Edison Ballroom.

Fred Voelpel, Eugene Lee & More to Receive 2022 TDF/Irene Sharaff Awards

TDF has announced that celebrated costume designer Fred Voelpel and legendary scenic designer Eugene Lee are among the 2022 TDF/Irene Sharaff Award recipients. Although Mr. Voelpel passed away in June, he will be honored posthumously with the TDF/Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award for costume design while Mr. Lee will receive The Robert L. B. Tobin Award for Sustained Excellence in Theatrical Design. The awards ceremony will be presented through the TDF Costume Collection on Friday, October 7 at 6:30 p.m. at The Edison Ballroom (240 West 47th Street). A pre-awards cocktail reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. For ticket information, please call 212-989-5855 ext. 219 or email

Additionally, costume designer Dede Ayite will receive the TDF/Kitty Leech Young Master Award and visual artist Michael Curry will receive the TDF/Irene Sharaff Artisan Award.

"These wonderful awardees were originally chosen by the committee for the 2020 awards ceremony. Sadly, the pandemic put that and last year's ceremony on hold, but we're thrilled to finally celebrate these incredible artists" said Stephen Cabral, Director of the TDF Costume Collection. "We were very upset to lose Fred Voelpel this past June. I had been in contact with Fred and he was happy to have been chosen for the award and had been looking forward to attending. He will be sorely missed."

For this year's TDF/Irene Sharaff Memorial Tribute, iconic costume designer Caroline F. Siedle will be remembered with an original 15-minute film created by designer Suzy Benzinger.


The awardees were selected by the TDF/Irene Sharaff Awards Voting Committee, which consists of leading members of the theatrical costume design community. They are Stephen Cabral, Chair; Gregg Barnes, Suzy Benzinger, Dean Brown, Traci DiGesu, Linda Fisher, Lana Fritz, Jess Goldstein, Rodney Gordon, Allen Lee Hughes, Holly Hynes, Daniel Lawson, Anna Louizos, Katherine Marshall, Mimi Maxmen, David Murin, Sally Ann Parsons, Scott D. Pask, Robert Perdziola, Gregory Poplyk, Carrie Robbins, Alejo Vietti, Patrick Wiley and David Zinn.

Throughout her long and distinguished career, costume designer Irene Sharaff was known for her elegance and attention to detail. Ms. Sharaff was revered as a designer of enormous depth and intelligence, equally secure with both contemporary and period costumes. Her work exemplified the best of costume design. Such excellence is demonstrated by the winners of this year's TDF/Irene Sharaff Awards.

THE TDF COSTUME COLLECTION consists of the TDF Costume Collection Rental Program and the TDF Costume Collection Research Program. The Rental Program maintains an extensive inventory of more than 80,000 costumes and accessories for rent at discount prices by any not-for-profit theatre company, opera company, university, high school, religious group, etc. The Collection resides in a 16,000-square-foot home at Kaufman Astoria Studios. This past year, the Collection served organizations that produced more than 500 productions and mail orders in 21 states. It stocks all periods and accepts donations from productions, institutions and individuals. These donations are tax deductible to the degree allowed by law. The Research Program provides resources for those looking to study the art of theatrical costume design.

THE TOBIN THEATRE ARTS FUND (formerly The Tobin Foundation for Theatre Arts) was founded by the late Robert L. B. Tobin, who was heir to one of the largest family fortunes in Texas. Robert Tobin admitted to being a frustrated theatre designer with a need to be creative. All through his academic years and early adulthood, he collected rare theatrical volumes, etchings, engravings and drawings. At the time of his 50th birthday in 1984, The Tobin Wing of the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas, was constructed specifically to provide a museum setting for the theatre arts. As such, the wing houses Robert Tobin's extensive collection of over 20,000 original models, scenic and costume designs, as well as some 8,000 rare and illustrated books. This unprecedented collection of preliminary sketches, final renderings, maquettes, engravings and illustrated texts, provides a visual history of theatre art from the renaissance to the present. The Tobin Theatre Arts Fund has underwritten the publication of the book Making the Scene: A History of Stage Design and Technology in Europe and the United States, co-authored by Dr. Oscar Brockett, Margaret Mitchell and Linda Hardberger. This work is a lively, beautifully illustrated history of theatrical stage design from ancient Greek times to the present.

The Tobin Theatre Arts Fund exists to stimulate public interest in the art of the theatre designer through a far-reaching program of exhibitions, lectures, expansion of the collection at the McNay and to provide broad-based access to this collection.


Founded in 1968, TDF (formerly known as Theatre Development Fund) is a not-for-profit service organization dedicated to bringing the power of the performing arts to everyone. TDF's mission is to sustain live theatre and dance by engaging a broad and diverse audience and eliminating barriers to attendance. We fulfill our mission with a variety of programs that expand access, cultivate communities and support the makers of the performing arts.

We are known for our theatregoing programs, including the TKTS by TDF Discount Booths and TDF Membership program; Accessibility programs (including open captioned, audio described and Autism Friendly Performances), Education & Community Engagement programs (serving more than 12,000 New York City students annually and thousands of underserved individuals and veterans), as well as the TDF Costume Collection Rental and Research Programs. During the COVID-19 theatre shutdown, we continued to serve our constituents by creating virtual adaptations of our programs via Zoom and other streaming platforms. TDF envisions a world where the transformative experience of attending live theatre and dance is essential, relevant, accessible and inspirational. To learn more about TDF, go to Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @tdfnyc.

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