The Clarence Derwent Award
Annaleigh Ashford, Michael Urie Receive Equity’s Clarence Derwent Award
Annaleigh Ashford and Michael Urie
The Clarence Derwent Award for most promising female and male performers on the New York metropolitan scene, has gone to Annaleigh Ashford and Michael Urie. The announcement was made by Arne Gundersen, president of the Actors’ Equity Foundation, which administers the Award.
Annaleigh Ashford was cited for her performance on Broadway in KINKY BOOTS, as well as in the Off-Broadway musical, DOGFIGHT. Other Broadway appearances have included HAIR, WICKED, and the original cast of LEGALLY BLONDE. Off-Broadway she received Drama League and Clive Barnes Awards nominations for her performance in RENT.
Michael Urie was recognized for his performance in BUYER & CELLAR, a solo vehicle produced by Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre. On Broadway, Mr. Urie was in the 2011 revival of HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING. Other Off-Broadway appearances include THE CHERRY ORCHARD at Classic Stage, ANGELS IN AMERICA and THE TEMPERAMENTALS. On TV, he appeared in the long-running hit series, Ugly Betty.
The award was presented at Equity’s Eastern Regional Board meeting at 2 pm on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at the Equity offices, 165 West 46th Street.
The Derwent Award is the oldest award on Broadway, established in 1945 by Clarence Derwent, distinguished actor and president (1946-1952) of Actors’ Equity. Past recipients include Nina Arianda, Annette Bening, Kristin Chenoweth, Morgan Freeman, Allison Janney, Frances Sternhagen, Christopher Walken, Fritz Weaver, and, in 2012, Susan Pourfar and Finn Wittrock.
The Judges’ Panel includes Joe Dziemianowicz, Daily News; Adam Feldman, Time Out New York; Susan Haskins, Theater Talk; Harry Haun, Playbill and David Rosenberg, The Hour Newspapers.
Arizona Theatre Service
Diversity on Broadway
Unknown to anyone but his sister and lawyer, Clarence Derwent had stipulated in his will that two five hundred dollar prizes were to be given out annually to the best individual supporting performances on Broadway. He had originally planned to have the awards given out only after his death, but, he reflected, “The amount of fun one can have from one’s money when underground is strictly limited…” So the Derwent Awards began in 1945.
To read more about Clarence Derwent click here...