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The 2019 Marquee Dinner Re-Cap

Mar 19, 2019

"Radical simply means « grasping at the root. » Gene, and the committee, in their gentle way, are grasping at the root with this award. They are spearheading a movement. They incentivize artmaking that aims at a new politic for our times, a politic of empathy. This is art that pulls up weeds by the root and leaves a vulnerable space for new growth. Thank you, Gene, for being the gentle radical we need." - Mary Tuomanen

"The people who are always on the leading edge of social change are activists and artists. But it’s not a comfortable place to be. I think Gene, as a passionate theater-goer, saw how hard it was for theater companies to do plays about marginalized characters. But Philly theater-makers do them anyway because we wish to give voice to the voiceless.  I can think of no higher use for our craft. And Gene saw that Philadelphia theater artists were charting a course towards social justice, and she decided she was going to be the wind in our sails." - Erin Reilly

On March 11th, fellow theatre supporters celebrated work with a social impact as Theatre Philadelphia honored Gene Dilks and the Virginia Brown Martin Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation.

Since 2008, Ms. Dilks has led the Brown Martin Philadelphia Award, which recognizes productions that enlighten us and help us to appreciate different points of view. The Brown Martin Philadelphia Award has infused nearly $400,000 into our performing arts community for work that best leads audiences to a better understanding of our global community.

At the Marquee Dinner, guests heard from artists impacted by the generosity of the Virginia Brown Martin Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation, and learned how these theatrical works reflect and encourage social change.

Catharine Slusar was the evening's host and performers included Charlie DelMarcelle, Eliana Fabiyi, Kimberly Fairbanks, Lynette Freeman, Krissy Fraelich, Kristen Norine, Ryan Touhey, Mary Tuomanen, Ryan Walter, and Stephanie Kyung Sun Walters.

The 2019 Marquee Dinner was sponsored by The Philadelphia Foundation, Robert and Nancy Elfant, David and Linda Glickstein, and Christina Kind.

Thank you to all of our supporters, guests, and performers for a wonderful evening! View photos from the event and read more highlights below: 

View Photos and Read Highlights from the Event