Award on Hiatus

The inaugural Leon Katz Award for Teaching & Mentoring was given to Paul Walsh.

The Leon Katz Award for Teaching & Mentoring, a $1000 award honoring the legacy of Dr. Leon Katz, recognizes 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 is 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.

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.

Says longtime LMDA member and former Katz student Adam Versényi: “Leon had so many different facets: tremendous erudition and appreciation for some of the most abstruse theatre, enthusiasm for the cutting-edge, perceptive production dramaturgy, an unerring ability to put his finger on the pulse of a young playwright¹s budding creativity.  He was a consummate mentor and teacher to so many both in the academy and the profession.”

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:

2019 APPLICATION GUIDELINES were as follows:

All applicants, with or without a membership to LMDA, are welcome to propose a nomination for themselves or someone else. There is no application fee. Forms and writing prompts to submit for the award will be available on the LMDA website under the “Grants and Awards” tab on January 23rd at 12:00 AM PST every year (this is also the beginning of the application period). Proposals should be sent to and will be accepted until April 1st at 11:59pm PST.

The recipient will be decided in mid-May by a panel, a month before the annual conference (June)—where the recipient will be announced. Feedback on your application may be provided, by request, after the recipient is announced.

Proposal Prompts:

  • Who are you nominating and why (up to 250 words)?
  • How has this person been a mentor (up to 250 words)?
  • How is their impact noticeable in the field (up to 250 words)?

Application Guidelines

  1. If you identify the nominee as a dramaturg, they are a dramaturg. If you come from a culture that does not view dramaturgy as separate from other parts of the creative process, or does not have a word for dramaturgy, feel free to contact us at to have a conversation about how you feel your potential nominee commits acts of dramaturgy.
  2. Only one application per person.
  3. Although we welcome applicants from anywhere in the world, currently we can only process an application in English or Spanish. If you use another language (besides English or Spanish) as your primary language, we are growing towards a system in which we can accept applications not in English or Spanish, and we look forward to your application in the future when we have readers and translators in your specific language.     
  4. You have up to 250 words to answer each question. There will be equal consideration for what you write alongside how its written, so feel free to be yourself. Within the previously stated boundaries, say as much or as little as you need to be clear.
  5. At this time, we do not have the capability to review secondary materials such as videos or slideshows. Although their inclusion will not disqualify an application, they will not be reviewed. No letters of reference are needed - nor will they be read if sent.
  6. Send your application in PDF format to, with your contact information inside. Please name the file “surname_firstname”.
  7. The grant recipient is required to sit on the next year’s adjudication panel.

Feel free to peruse the criteria for strong applications that our panelists evaluate by:

If you have any further questions, feel free to contactRoxanne Ray, VP of Grants and Awards, at If you don't receive an acknowledgement of your application within 7 days, please contact

We look forward to your application!


To include in your PDF file:


Name of Applicant:  ___________

Name of Institution (if applicable):  ___________

Phone: ______________ Email:  __________________


Name of Institution (if applicable):  ___________

School or Organization’s Mailing Address:____________________________ ______________________

Phone:  ______________  Web Site: _______________

Name of Nominee:


Contact Phone:  ___________ Email:  ____________________

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