How Billie Burke (AKA Glinda) Continues to Nurture Female Composers
November 4th, 2016
by Josh Ferri
Billie Burke is a part of our collective childhoods thanks to her immortalized performance as Glinda in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.
In addition to being pop culture’s ultimate Good Witch, Burke was also a Ziegfeld Follies girl and the wife of the legendary producer Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.
In 1936, Burke founded The Ziegfeld Club to honor her late husband and provide support for Ziegfeld Girls who had fallen on hard times. Today, The Ziegfeld Club continues its legacy of supporting women in the arts with the Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award, which is awarded (along with $10K and a year of professional mentorship from Tony Award-winning producer Barbara Whitman and In Transit Oscar winner Kristen Anderson-Lopez) to an emerging female theatre composer. (Crazy fact: did you know that women made up only 14% of composers, 9% of lyricists, and 7% of music directors and conductors?! Wild.)
The 2016 recipient is Anna K. Jacobs (with Zoe Sarnak and Shaina Taub as honorable mentions). The ladies will be honored at the New Amsterdam Theatre (home to the original Follies) on November 7. To congratulate these ladies who are about to shake up the industry, BroadwayBox looks at some of their work.
Anna K. Jacobs