The Verdon Fosse Legacy, LLC would like to congratulate the honorees of the 2014 Dancers over 40 Legacy Awards—especially former Fosse dancers: Eileen Casey, Carolyn Kirsch, and Penny Worth. Dancer over 40 is a non-profit organization with a mission to celebrate and preserve the lives and legacies of dancers. In the annual Legacy Awards, DO40 President John Sefakis states, “We choose to honor our own, and in doing so, we honor each other and our profession.”
Congratulations to all five Legacy Award honorees and thank you, Dancers over 40, for recognizing their involvement and influence in the dance community.
DO40 Founding Member Eileen Casey arrived in NYC from Boston, MA at 18 to pursue her professional dance career. She studied with all the top teachers in New York at the time, including Luigi and Matt Mattox. Her first ob was a TV commercial dancing with Broadway performers. Shortly thereafter, she booked a summer stock job, obtaining her Equity card and fast on her way to a career totaling 16 Broadway shows, as well as TV and film.
Eileen worked with all the major director/choreographers of the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, such as Bob Fosse, Gower Champion, Jerome Robbins, Tommy Tune, and Michael Bennett. She traveled extensively, performing with greats like Mary Martin, Ethel Merman, and Fred Astaire, which gave her invaluable experience.
Highlights of her career were working on Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz as a principal dancer, and a TV special with Fred Astaire and as a ghost dancer in the Woody Allen film “Everybody Says I Love You.”
Eileen’s Broadway credits include Hello Dolly, West Side Story, Mame, Promises Promises, Sugar, Seesaw, Pippin, Dancin’, and My One and Only. she loved performing in the annual Milliken Breakfast shows and working with the top Broadway stars and choreographers there. Eileen attributes her success to her love and discipline for her profession, along with enthusiasm and thrive to succeed. She considers herself fortunate to have worked with all these legends of theater and dance.
Carolyn wishes to thank John Sefakis and the Dancers over 40 Board of Directors for this venerable, and meaningful, Legacy Award. Carolyn has appeared in 15 Broadway productions over a 21 year period of performing in New York City. During that time she worked extensively for director/choreographers Michael Bennett and Bob Fosse. For Mr. Fosse she appeared in both the First National and Broadway companies of How to Succeed and Sweet Charity, and toured with the First National company of Chicago in which she played Velma Kelly. She was one of the first teachers of Fosse Technique in the country to be sanctioned by The Verdon Fosse Estate. The Estate, led by Nicole Fosse, daughter of Gwen Verdon and Bob fosse, has a stated mission to ensure that the Verdon-Fosse style is passed on to younger generations in an authentic manner. For Mr. Bennett, Carolyn appeared in the Broadway productions of A Chorus Line (OBC) as well as Coco, Company, and Promises Promises. A student of Uta Hagan and Austin Pendleton, Carolyn received the NH Theatre Award for Best Actress in 2008 for her portrayal of Amanda Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie.
In Connecticut she has appeared in leading roles in Driving Miss Daisy, On Golden Pond, Grey Gardens, and Dancing at Lughnasa. She also recently directed a critically acclaimed production of Equus. Her original play, The Waltz, based on the life of French sculptress Camille Claudel, was selected as a semi-finalist at The Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference 2012.
An active member of DO40, Carolyn is passing on the legacy to a new generation of talent. She presently is the Musical Theatre Department Chair of The Center for Creative Youth at Wesleyan, and was on the faculty of The Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts for many years. She proudly serves on The Board of Directors of The Connecticut Dance Alliance.
Penny Worth is the third generation of her family in professional Broadway theater. She has come full circle as an educator, starting as a teacher at her parents’ studio in Morristown, New Jersey Patty attended the Convent of Sacred Heart in Farleigh Dickenson and Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.
Her performing credits include: the last original tour of Cabaret, Broadway in Coco, Debbie Reynolds’ Act, Broadway and National Tour of Irene, How to Succeed in LA as Rosemary, Broadway in the original Annie as Ms. Hannigan u/s, National Tour of Chicago as Roxie Hart (opposite Jerry Orbach and Carolyn Kirsch). After a 6-year layoff and two children, Penny returned to Broadway in Grand Hotel, covering the two leading ladies. Penny continues as part of DO40’s Legacy Project to further dance education by passing on Broadway choreography with her cohort in crime, Carolyn Kirsch. She is currently the coordinator of “Look Good, Feel Better” at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, which helps women deal with appearance issues while being treated for cancer. Penny considers her most rewarding role as that of mother to Meaghan Anderson of Boston, MA, and Coleman Anderson of Baltimore, MD.