Tampa, Fla. – The Florida Theatre Conference (FTC) awarded their Distinguished Career in Professional Theatre Award to Judy Lisi, president and CEO of the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts.
Lisi was nominated by Jeff Revels, past president of FTC and artistic director of the Orlando Repertory Theatre. According to Revels, Lisi was given this honor, in part, because of her “belief in, and a commitment to, the community and to ensuring outreach, accessibility and audience development for the entire community through multicultural and educational programming.”
The award was presented at a ceremony at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Fla., on Saturday, Oct. 27, during the FTC Annual Festival.
In 1986, FTC began recognizing individuals in the state of Florida who have made an impact on the state’s theater community. Each year the FTC Board solicits names from the general membership for these awards based upon service to their organization and field. Lisi joins a list of previous Professional Theatre Award recipients that includes Burt Reynolds, Ann Reinking and Patrick Wilson.
FTC is a non-profit, educational theater organization founded in 1956 whose members subscribe to the philosophy that the synergy of collaboration enhances the professionalism and quality of the art form and that the building of a theater community unique to Florida is important in order to strengthen and support individual theater artists and theatrical organizations. FTC nurtures communications among the various theater constituencies, advances the highest possible standards of theater while encouraging public appreciation of the art form.
As president of the 335,000 square-foot David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, Lisi oversees the operation of the massive complex that typically welcomes more than 600,000 patrons to 650 events each year. The Straz Center’s Patel Conservatory serves nearly 75,000 people annually with more than 1,000 educational activities, outreaches and classes. With an estimated economic impact of $110 million a year, the Straz Center provides an environment for a wide variety of world-class events. It boasts one of the nation’s leading Broadway series and is nationally respected for producing grand opera, as well as presenting a wide variety of concerts, performances and events.
Lisi, who recently celebrated her 20th anniversary with the Straz Center, joined the organization on Oct. 1, 1992. She holds degrees from Sacred Heart University and St. Louis University, has done doctoral course work in theater at the University of Minnesota and has studied opera at the Juilliard School of Music and with the Metropolitan Opera. In 2008, Lisi received the Patrick Hayes Award for lifetime achievement from the International Society for the Performing Arts. In 2012, the Broadway League bestowed the Distinguished Lifetime Service Award on Lisi for her years of outstanding leadership.