The Leon Katz Memorial Celebration Committee has chosen LMDA as the recipient of a yearly fund for a new award honoring the legacy of Dr. Leon Katz.  

The Leon Katz Award for Teaching & Mentoring will recognize an individual’s service to their mentees within the academic and professional fields. To commemorate the long-term,  widespread influence Leon had on his students and colleagues, excellence will be measured by the impact mentors have within their communities. Eligible candidates may be, but are not limited to, college/university educators, freelance/resident dramaturgs, literary managers overseeing development programs, activists or literary agents.

The first Leon Katz Award for Teaching & Mentoring will be granted at LMDA’s 2019 annual conference, coinciding with what would have been Leon’s 100th birthday. It will come with a $1,000 cash prize.

Details about application criteria and timeline are forthcoming.


ABOUT LEON KATZ: In a career spanning more than six decades—at Carnegie Mellon, UCLA, UNC Chapel Hill (Frey Distinguished Professor of Dramatic Art), Yale University (Professor Emeritus), among several others—Dr. Katz taught theatre history & criticism and dramatic literature to generations of professionals working throughout the American theatre and entertainment industry, as well as scholars around the world. His essay, The Compleat Dramaturg (1984), is an influential tool for the discipline. As a dramaturg in the professional theatre, he fostered new work with companies including the Mark Taper Forum, and curated collections and seasons, such as while director of the 99¢ Floating Theatre. He wrote dozens of plays and adaptations, produced throughout the US and abroad, pulling from a wide range of source materials—from traditional children’s stories and Yiddish theatre to commedia dell'arte and de Sade. In 2004, Katz was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Teaching from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. Early in his career, he became known for interviews with Alice Toklas, which became significant within the field of Gertrude Stein scholarship.

ABOUT THE LEON KATZ MEMORIAL CELEBRATION COMMITTEE: Shortly after Leon’s passing on January 23, 2017, a small group of passionate colleagues, students, friends and mentees of Leon came together and organized a Memorial Celebration at Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City, California, which took place on June 12, 2017.   The committee is made up of Debra De Liso, C. Raul Espinoza, Randy Fullerton, James Gardner, Travis Michael Holder, Mike Kindle, Don Marinelli, Jared J. Stein, and Nausica Stergiou. During the processes of organizing Leon’s memorial, the spark for creating an award to honor Leon was first presented to the committee by Scott T. Cummings.  Scott’s initial efforts led the committee to LMDA.

To see portions of Leon’s Memorial Celebration, click these links:

Memorial printed program:

Testimonial Videos presented during Leon’s memorial:

To read Scott T. Cumming’s American Theatre Magazine In-Memoriam for Leon Katz , visit:


Grants and Awards

User login