The Joe A. Callaway Award
Equity Foundation Presents Classic, Shakespeare Awards
Three acting awards were presented by the Equity Foundation at the Eastern Regional Membership Meeting on January 8, 2010. Foundation President Arne Gundersen was on hand to talk about the Foundation, and Councillor Francis Jue emceed the presentation.
Kate Forbes and John Douglas Thompson received the Joe A. Callaway Award honoring the best performance by a female and male actor in a professional production of a classic play (one written prior to 1920) in the New York metropolitan area. Ms. Forbes was recognized for her performance in the Theatre for a New Audience production of OTHELLO. Mr. Thompson was cited for his performances both in OTHELLO and in the title role of THE EMPEROR JONES presented by The Irish Repertory Theatre.
Ms. Forbes was unable to attend the meeting. Nevertheless, Jeffrey Horowitz, Artistic Director of Theatre for a New Audience, spoke on her behalf. He was pleased to do so because as a young actor he had studied the classics in England and always had a dream of supporting the classics in the United States. Ms. Forbes, he said, has “a magnificent gift of language.” Although she is from the South, her voice “has a natural musicality” to it. Mr. Horowitz called her “an extraordinary artist,” and said TFNA was “fortunate to have had her with us.” In a letter, Ms. Forbes said she was “deeply grateful” for the award.
Andre De Shields, John Douglas Thompson
Equity Councillor André De Shields presented John Douglas Thompson’s award. He noted that “it takes more than a chocolate veneer to be Othello, it takes tremendous truth, nobility and innocence,” all traits, Mr. De Shields said, possessed by Mr. Thompson. He called Mr. Thompson’s performance in THE EMPEROR JONES, “incandescent.”
Mr. Thompson said he came late to acting and had started out as a computer salesperson. But he saw a production of August Wilson’s JOE TURNER’S COME AND GONE and fell in love “with this noble profession.” He said that the award meant he had “arrived” as an actor. He thanked his fellow cast members, saying “I can’t do my work without the work of others.”
Arizona Theatre Service
Diversity on Broadway
Established by Equity member Joe A. Callaway in 1989 to encourage participation in the classics and non-profit theatre.