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Friday, 14 October 2011 12:44

Tartaglia, Irwin, Arias, Big Bird and More to Honor Henson at New 42nd Street Gala Oct 17










{module ad_left_body}The New 42nd Street Gala on Monday, October 17, 2011, will honor Cheryl Henson, President of The Jim Henson Foundation with the second annual New Victory Arts Award.  The annual event, which this year celebrates The New Victory® Education Program, will begin with a 7:00 p.m. performance honoring Henson at The New Victory Theater, 209 West 42nd Street. Tony Award nominee John Tartaglia (Avenue Q) will host the evening featuring Joey Arias in a performance directed by Basil Twist; from “Sesame Street” Big Bird and Telly Monster; cast members from Cummins and Scoullar’s The Little PrinceHeather Henson and IBEX Puppetry; Tony Award winner Bill IrwinRalph Lee’s Mettawee River Theatre Company; dancer/choreographer David Neumann; On the Lam Street Band; and the Reduced Shakespeare Company.
Co-Chairs for the event are Sarah Long Solomon and David Solomon, Isaac Mizrahi, and Fiona and Eric Rudin.  Vice-Chairs are Emily Blavatnik, Robert Couturier and Bill Irwin. The Gala Committee includes Carlo Bronzini Vender and Tanya Traykovski; Edwin A. Finn, Jr.; Ann Gottlieb; Heather Henson; Jane Henson; Lisa Henson; Nathalie Kaplan; Gillian and Sylvester Miniter; Clifford Ross; Mara and Ricky Sandler; and Andrew Solomon and John Habich Solomon.  For the second year in a row, Thomson Reuters is the Gala Corporate Sponsor.
Cora Cahan, President of The New 42nd Street, has said, “The New 42nd Street is honored that Cheryl Henson has agreed to accept the second annual New Victory Arts Award in recognition of her leadership, support and graceful advocacy of the works of puppeteers and their artistry.”
Since the New Vic opened in 1995, the nationally recognized, award-winning New Victory Education Program has partnered with 465 schools and after-school programs and served 355,000 students and teachers.  The comprehensive program provides pre-K-12th grade students access to exemplary live theatergoing experiences and correlating model arts education activities in the classroom that deepen students’ theater-going experiences.  The high-quality, compelling arts curriculum aligns with the New York City Department of Education’s Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in the Arts.  During the 2011-12 season, the New Victory Education Program will provide 36,500 tickets to students and teachers for week-day school-time and after-school shows at just $2 per ticket.  Throughout the year, The New Victory will conduct 1,070 free pre- and post-performance in-classroom workshops led by New Vic Teaching Artists. 
TICKET INFORMATION:  Individual Gala tickets start at $1,000. Gala tables start at $10,000.  For more information and tickets, visit or call 646-223-3082.


Cheryl Henson is the President of The Jim Henson Foundation and a member of the Board of Directors of The Jim Henson Company.  As the President of The Jim Henson Foundation, which promotes the art of puppetry in the United States through grants to artists and theater presenters, Cheryl is an ardent advocate of contemporary puppetry. Since 1982, the Foundation has awarded over 600 grants to more than 270 American puppet artists for the creation and development of innovative new works.  Cheryl was the executive producer of the award winning biennial Henson International Festival of Puppet Theater from 1992 to 2000.  These five festivals presented over 100 different productions from 31 countries in 14 theaters throughout New York City. The Festival won both the Drama Desk and the OBIE Award, received coverage from prestigious sources including The Wall Street JournalThe New York TimesVanity FairCBS Sunday Morning and National Public Radio, and is widely acknowledged as having changed the perception of puppet theater today.  Cheryl was a Vice President of The Jim Henson Company from 1992 until 2000, when it was sold.  During this time she was the liaison between The Jim Henson Company and Children's Television Workshop, the producer of Sesame Street, working closely with CTW’s production team on Sesame Street productions here and abroad.  Having re-purchased the company in 2003 with her siblings, Cheryl is excited to be back working with the New York branch of The Jim Henson Company, where the renowned Sesame Street Muppets continue to be designed and built.  In 1994, Cheryl and the Muppet Workshop created a book to help children explore their imaginations by making puppets out of everyday objects. The Muppets Make Puppets, published by Workman Press, sold more than 100,000 copies. In 2005, Cheryl worked with The Jim Henson Company archives to collect and edit quotes to create a book, It's Not Easy Being Green, and Other Things to Consider, published by Hyperion, which won a prestigious Quills award. Cheryl built puppets while in high school for The Muppet Show (1976-1979) and before college on The Dark Crystal (1982).  After graduating from Yale (1984) with a degree in History, Cheryl continued to work on films and television specials as a puppet and mask maker.  Her work is seen in the film Labyrinth (Tri-Star, 1986) and The Tale of the Bunny Picnic (HBO, 1986). In 1987, Cheryl earned a degree in textile design from the Fashion Institute of Technology and returned to the Henson Creature Shop in London, where she worked on The Storyteller (NBC) and Mother Goose Stories (The Disney Channel).  Later, she worked as an Art Director for “Song of the Cloud Forest,” a segment of The Jim Henson Hour, which was nominated for an Emmy and won a Monitor Award for Best Achievement in Entertainment Series. Currently, Cheryl Henson is curating the six-day Film Festival, “Puppets on Film at BAMcitematek,” which will run in November 2011.    Cheryl believes in the power of puppets to educate as well as entertain, to transcend cultural differences and to communicate in a universal language. She lives in New York City with her husband, Edwin A. Finn, and their children, Elizabeth and Declan.


The New Victory Theater is New York City’s first and only full-time performing arts theater for kids, their families and classmates. When it opened 1995, The New Victory quickly became an integral part of the cultural landscape in New York City, annually presenting a full season of adventurous multidisciplinary works from around the globe and close to home.  Sixteen years later, The New Victory Theater continues to seek out sophisticated, thought-provoking, professional productions that are as artistically rich as they are entertaining. Tickets are made affordable as a result of support from a variety of public and private sources and cost an average of $18, with seats for members available for as little as $9.

In addition, The New Victory Theater offers daytime school performances ($2 per student), family workshops and jobs to high school and college students.  Interactive Lower Lobby Activities, FYIs (performance-related exhibits) and Talk-backs with the artists are offered in conjunction with select performances throughout the season.


Founded in 1990, The New 42nd Street is an independent, nonprofit organization charged with long-term responsibility for seven historic theaters on 42nd Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues. In addition to running The New Victory Theater, The New 42nd Street built and operates the New 42nd Street® Studios – a 10-story building of rehearsal studios, offices and a 200-seat theater named The Duke on 42nd Street – for national and international performing arts companies. Since its opening on June 21, 2000, the New 42nd Street Studios building has been fully occupied by both nonprofit and commercial theater, dance and opera companies. With these institutions and the other properties under its guardianship, The New 42nd Street plays a pivotal role in the dynamic evolution of the reinvented 42nd Street at the Crossroads of the World.