The Clarence Derwent Award
Leslie Kritzer, Lin-Manuel Miranda
Receive Equity's Clarence Derwent Award
Leslie Kritzer and AEA President Mark Zimmerman
Leslie Kritzer and Lin-Manuel Miranda have been selected to receive the annual Clarence Derwent Award presented by the Actors' Equity Foundation to honor the most promising female and male performers on the New York metropolitan scene. The prizes are $2,000 each plus an engraved crystal trophy. The announcement was made by Arne Gundersen, President of the Equity Foundation.
Leslie Kritzer was recognized for her performance as Serena, a sorority girl, in LEGALLY BLONDE. Other credits include the Broadway production of HAIRSPRAY; the National tour of URINETOWN, and the Off-Broadway production of THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK MUSICAL, for which she received a Drama Desk nomination. She also appeared Off-Broadway in BATBOY and GODSPELL and at Joe's Pub in LESLIE KRITZER IS PATTI LUPONE AT LES MOUCHES.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Lin-Man in IN THE HEIGHTS, for which he also wrote the music and lyrics, wrote the first incarnation of the show in his sophomore year at Wesleyan University. He is a founding member of Freestyle Love Supreme, a hip-hop comedy group that tours comedy festivals all over the world; has contributed original music to ads for Promesas, a youth center for homeless teens in the Bronx; is a part-time actor/teacher with CUNY/Creative Arts Team and writes restaurant reviews and a weekly scene column for the Manhattan Times, a bilingual weekly newspaper in Upper Manhattan.
Lin and "In The Heights" producer Jeffrey Seller
The presentation took place at Equity's Eastern Regional Board meeting at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, June 12, 2007 at the Equity offices, 165 West 46th Street in Manhattan.
The Derwent Awards are the oldest awards on Broadway, having been established in 1945 by Clarence Derwent, distinguished actor and president (1946-1952) of Actors' Equity. Past recipients include Philip Bosco, Annette Bening, Kristin Chenoweth, Morgan Freeman, Allison Janney, Ann Reinking, Frances Sternhagen, Christopher Walken and Fritz Weaver.
Manuel signs his new Equity card with the (back) support of President Mark Zimmerman
The Judges' Panel includes: Irene Backalenick, Back Stage; Adam Feldman, Time Out NY; Harry Haun, Playbill; Michael Kuchwara, Associated Press; David Rosenberg, Back Stage, and Michael Sommers, The Star Ledger.
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...