2016 Women of Achievement Awards Gala

Celebrating 2016’s Game-Changing Women!

Each year WP Theater (Women’s Project Theater) honors truly outstanding women who have taken risks, pushed limits, and broken ground in a wide variety of fields, celebrating their unique accomplishments. Over the past 30 years, WP Theater has paid homage to luminaries such as Gloria Steinem, Audra McDonald, Eve Ensler, Estelle Parsons, Whoopi Goldberg, Lucia Hwong Gordon, Vanessa Redgrave, and Chita Rivera, to name but a few. Our Women of Achievement Awards delivers an inspiring, entertaining, star-studded night that celebrates the accomplishments of vital women across many disciplines in New York and beyond.

WP Theater’s 31st Annual Women of Achievement Awards Gala took place June 13, 2016 at the Edison Ballroom. The evening, which was hosted by comedian and playwright Lisa Lampanelli (#StuffedPlay), honored Emmy Award winning actress and activist Martha Plimpton; film, television, and Broadway producer Jenna Segal; and actress, producer, environmentalist, and UNICEF ambassador Trudie Styler.

On hand to perform and present were Kathryn Erbe (“Law & Order”), Heidi Thomas (creator of “Call the Midwife”), Celine Rattray (The Kids Are All Right), Beth Malone (“Fun Home”), Dee Hoty (“Bright Star”), and Monica Bill Barnes and Company, who performed a dance routine to James Brown’s “Sex Machine.”

View photographs from the 2016 Gala:

Women's Project Theater's 31st Annual Women of Achievement Awards Gala


Emmy Award-winning Stage, Screen, and TV Actress & Founder, A Is For..

Celebrated Film, Television and Theater Producer, President, Segal NYC and Gatherer Entertainment, and Lead Producer, Broadway’s Gigi

Award-Winning Actress, Film Producer, and Director & Founder, The Rainforest Fund


Celebrated comedienne, 2016 Grammy Nominee & star of countless Comedy Central Roasts


Celebrated Stage, Screen, and TV Actress, “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and currently starring in the Tony Award nominated Broadway production of The Father

Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe Award-winning producer, The Kids Are All Right, and co-founder, Maven Pictures

Emmy Award nominated creator of “Call The Midwife”


Three-time Tony Award nominated actress, currently starring in the award-winning musical Bright Star

Tony nominated star of the Tony Award-Winning Best Musical, Fun Home

Stars of the hit “Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Show Host” with Ira Glass

2016 GALA CO-CHAIRS: Annette Green, HBO, Donald J. Loftus, Paul & Jenna Segal, and Time Warner Inc.

MONDAY, JUNE 13, 2016
The Edison Ballroom, 240 West 47th Street, New York City
6:30PM – Cocktails
8:00PM – Dinner, Awards, and Performances


MARTHA PLIMPTONAn accomplished and Award-winning actress, MARTHA PLIMPTON has achieved success across stage, screen and television.Plimpton can now be seen starring in ABC’s new comedy series “The Real O’Neals.” For her work in the television series Raising Hope, she was nominated for an Emmy® Award for “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series” and twice for a Critics’ Choice Television Award for “Best Actress in a Comedy.” Her memorable TV appearances include “The Good Wife,” for which she won the Emmy® Award, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” for which she earned an Emmy® Award nomination and “How to Make it in America.” Plimpton has appeared in over 30 films, including The Goonies, The Mosquito Coast, Running on Empty, Beautiful Girls, Parenthood, 200 Cigarettes, Pecker, Eye of God and Small Town Murder Songs. She will next be seen in the film adaptation of the musical of Hello Again opposite Audra McDonald.

On stage, Plimpton’s work has garnered three consecutive Tony® Award nominations. In 2014, she starred alongside John Lithgow and Glenn Close in the Broadway revival of Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance. Previously, she starred alongside Stockard Channing in Pal Joey for the Roundabout Theatre Company, garnering her third Tony® Award nomination in as many years, as well as a Drama Desk nomination for “Best Featured Actress in a Musical” and a Drama League nomination. In 2008, Plimpton starred in Top Girls for the Manhattan Theatre Club and received Tony® and Drama Desk Award nominations, and in 2007, Plimpton appeared in Tom Stoppard’s nine hour trilogy, The Coast of Utopia at Lincoln Center Theater, for which she earned a Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award and Tony® Award nomination.

Plimpton recently starred in the UK premiere of Jon Robin Baitz’s acclaimed play, Other Desert Cities alongside Sinéad Cusack, Peter Egan, Clare Higgins and Daniel Lapaine at The Old Vic in London. Company opposite Patti LuPone and Stephen Colbert, Shakespeare in the Park’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shining City, The False Servant (Drama League nomination), HurlyBurly, Hobson’s Choice (Obie Award, Lortel nomination) and Lincoln Center Theater production of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. She is also a proud member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Ensemble since 1998, where she has appeared in Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, Stephen Jeffries The Libertine opposite John Malkovich, and made her directing debut there with Absolution in 2001. Plimpton lives in New York City.


Jenna_154-croppedJENNA SEGAL heads Segal NYC, which develops and produces: theater, digital content, television, and film with a focus on female audiences. Currently, she is focused on her new production company Gatherer. Segal was the lead producer of the musical Gigi, starring Vanessa Hudgens and written by celebrated scribe Heidi Thomas (“Call The Midwife,” “Crandford”), which enjoyed a sold-out run at the Kennedy Center and then moved to the Neil Simon Theater in Broadway’s 2015-spring season. She’s been featured in Variety, the Star Ledger, the Bergen Record, and the Wall Street Journal as a new producer to watch. Currently, Jenna is an Associate Producer on the web series “Lady Parts” and producer of “Out on the Wing.”

After beginning her career in political talk shows in Washington, DC, including CNBC and CNN, Jenna moved to VIACOM networks in both Los Angeles and New York (MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, Nicktoons) working in Production Management Development and Series on live shows, animation, live events, reality competitions, variety shows, documentaries, live-action gaming, non-fiction programming, extreme sports and reality programming, where she rose to the position of Director of Production Management Development.

Jenna serves on the Board of Directors for the Birthright Israel Foundation and co-chairs the Board of Directors of the NEXT platform. In the development spirit, she created the successful Passport Program currently being implemented at the JCC Manhattan. Segal also served on the Board of Directors of  A Better Balance. She is a member of the Broadway League and a Tony Voter, as well as a member of the Central Park Conservancy Women’s Committee and Emily’s List Majority Council. Jenna Segal has three children and lives with her husband in New York City.


TS by Patrick DemarchelierTRUDIE STYLER is an actress, film producer, director, human rights activist, environmentalist, organic farmer and UNICEF Ambassador.  In 1989, Trudie and her husband Sting started the Rainforest Fund, an organization devoted to protecting rainforests and their indigenous peoples in South America, Africa and Asia, raising more than $30 million for the cause. Trudie produced award-winning documentaries and feature films through her company Xingu Films and is now a partner in New York-based production company Maven Pictures, whose first feature Girl Most Likely, starred Kristen Wiig, Annette Bening and Matt Dillon, closely followed by Filth, which starred James McAvoy and Black Nativity, which starred Forest Whitaker. Maven Pictures currently has several films in various stages of development and production, including Freak Show based on the bestselling book by James St. James, starring Abigail Breslin and Bette Midler, as well as Wilding, starring Liv Tyler. Trudie has numerous stage credits in both the US and UK, including roles for the RSC. Recent film work includes her highly acclaimed performance in Living Proof and Paul Haggis’ The Next Three Days.

Trudie has made seven hugely popular mind-body fitness released by Gaiam. She is also an organic farmer and producer of highly acclaimed Italian wines under the Il Palagio label which are exported throughout Europe and the US.


Lisa-Lampanelli-HeadshotLISA LAMPANELLI is best-known as “Comedy’s Lovable Queen of Mean.”  A regular on the Comedy Central Roasts and frequent guest on Sirius satellite radio’s “Howard Stern Show,” Ms. Lampanelli has recently written Stuffed, a play that tackles weight, body image, and food issues from the perspective of four different women. The four-person play is the first in a series of four she is penning about important issues to women. Over her more than 25 years in show business, Ms. Lampanelli has appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Late Show with David Letterman,” “Chelsea Lately,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “The Dr. Oz Show,” “Today,” and “Good Morning America,” and was also a member of the cast of NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice,” Season 5, raising $130,000 for her charity, the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. Ms. Lampanelli also made headlines when she donated $50,000 to the GMHC after protesters from the Westboro Baptist Church picketed her comedy show in Topeka, KS, in 2011. Ms. Lampanelli has also been nominated twice for Grammy Awards for “Best Comedy Album,” and has five one-hour televised specials, including her HBO special, “Long Live The Queen.”


KATHRYN ERBE can currently be seen co-starring along side Frank Langella in MTC Tony Nominated Broadway production of ‘The Father.” She is best known for playing Detective Alexandra Eames in the popular long-standing hit TV series “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.” Erbe’s television credits include playing the infamous death row inmate Shirley Bellinger on the acclaimed HBO series “Oz.”  She also appeared on NBC’s “Homicide: Life on the Street,” the miniseries “George Wallace,” Showtime’s original production of “Naked City: Justice with a Bullet,” NBC’s “Another World” and the television movie “Breathing Lessons.” Erbe also gained notice in the 1999 box office hit “Stir of Echoes” opposite Kevin Bacon and “Dream with the Fishes” with David Arquette.  Her additional film credits include “Entropy,” “Kiss of Death,” “D2: The Mighty Ducks,” “Rich in Love”,  “What About Bob?”, and “Speaking of Sex” with Lara Flynn Boyle and Bill Murray. Erbe also filmed “Three Backyards,” starring opposite Embeth Davidtz and Edie Falco, “Mother’s House”, “Worst Friend’s”, “The Love Guide” with Parker Posey,” Mistress America” and “No Beast So Fierce.” Before appearing in feature films, Erbe began her career on the stage.  She is a member of the Steppenwolf Theater Company and has starred in many of their productions, including Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire” as Stella, “Curse of the Starving Class” and “My Thing of Love.”  She earned a Tony® Award nomination in 1991 for her portrayal of Mary in “Speed of Darkness.” Erbe is also an active member of the Atlantic Theatre Company. For the last year, Erbe has recently focused her attention to the theater appearing in Craig Lucas’ play Ode to Joy,  as Pat Nixon in The Vineyard’s Checkers, Natasha in Lincoln Center’s Nikolai and The Others,  Sue in ACT’s Natural Affection, Mother in Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, America, Kuwait as well as Adele in Rattlestick’s production of Ode to Joy.

CELINE RATTRAY has over thirty independent films under her belt as a producer, including twelve Sundance Film Festival selections, five Toronto Film Festival selections and one Berlin International Film Festival selection. In 2010, Rattray co-founded Maven Pictures with Trudie Styler, a transatlantic development, production, and financing company. Styler (wife of acclaimed musician, Sting), a BAFTA-nominated producer (Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels, Moon) and Oscar-nominated filmmaker Rattray (who won a Golden Globe for The Kids Are All Right) focus on innovative storytelling with premiere talent. Together, they work to produce high quality independent films while taking advantage of cultural resources in New York and London and working with top tier filmmakers.

HEIDI THOMAS is one of the UK’s top dramatists, and her acclaimed career in stage, film and television drama spans 25 years.  Her award-winning theatrical work has been produced by the Liverpool Playhouse, Almeida, Royal Court and Chichester Festival Theatres, the National Theatre Studio and the Royal Shakespeare Company.  Heidi wrote the book for the Kennedy Center and Broadway revival of Lerner and Loewe’s Gigi, produced by Jenna Segal and directed by Eric Schaeffer.  Her classic adaptations for the large and small screen include “Cranford,” “Return to Cranford,” “Madame Bovary,” “Ballet Shoes,” and “I Capture The Castle.” Other credits include the original period BBC drama series “Lilies” and the revived “Upstairs, Downstairs.”  Heidi created and writes the worldwide hit BBC show “Call the Midwife,” which is the most watched drama on British television and is seen in 212 territories internationally. Heidi’s work has been acknowledged and awarded by the Emmys, BAFTA, the Writer’s Guild of Great Britain, the Arts Council of Great Britain, the Christopher Society, the Broadcasting Press Guild, and the Royal Television Society.


DEE HOTY currently plays Mama Murphy in the award-winning play Bright Star created by Grammy Award winners winners Steve Martin and Edie Brickell. She recently played Aunt Alicia in Gigi on Broadway last season. She earned Tony nominations for starring roles in Footloose, The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public, and The Will Rogers Follies. Dee starred on Broadway and in eight major U.S. cities as Donna in Mamma Mia! More Broadway: Bye Bye Birdie (Roundabout), City of Angels (Outer Critics Circle Nominations), Me and My Girl, Big River, The Five O’Clock Girl and Shakespeare’s Cabaret. Otterbein College graduate/Honorary Doctorate. Proud member Actorʼs Equity.

BETH MALONE currently plays Alison in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Fun Home (2015 Tony Award nominee). Other Broadway: Ring of Fire (original cast). Off-B’way: Bingo, Fun Home, The Marvelous Wonderettes. Regional: The Unsinkable Molly Brown (Denver Center), Sister Act (Alliance Theatre), Annie Get Your Gun (CMT). TV: Will recur as Claudia on CBS’s “BrainDead,” premiering this June; also “The Good Wife,” “Reno 911!,” ”Judging Amy,” “What’s On?,” “One Minute Soaps.” Film: The Comedian w/Robert DeNiro, Hick w/Eddie Redmayne, The Interview.

MONICA BILL BARNES & COMPANY is a contemporary American dance company that brings dance where it does not belong. We create and produce each work entirely from its own rulebook—dancing to radio interviews on the biggest stages in the world, hosting a weekly show in a crowded office party, or leading a choreographed exercise routine in an art museum. Within each of these new contexts and borrowed environments, we constantly find humor in our awkward, everyday triumphs and failures. The company consists of a team of collaborators – Artistic Director/Choreographer, Monica Bill Barnes; Associate Artistic Director/Performer, Anna Bass; designers Kelly Hanson (Set/Costume) and Jane Cox (Lighting); and the newest company member, Robbie Saenz de Viteri (Creative Producing Director). Together, this team creates the most unlikely experiences for every kind of audience. MonicaBillBarnes.com

Watch and Learn Why the World Needs WP!

Sponsorship and support of WP’s premier event complements WP Theater’s unwavering commitment to develop, produce, and promote the work of female theater artists at every stage in their careers. Go inside last’s year celebrated Women of Achievement Awards Gala and hear what participants and guests had to say about WP Theater!