The Clarence Derwent Award
Zoe Kazan, Michael Esper Receive Equity's Clarence Derwent Award
Zoe Kazan and Michael Esper 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.
Zoe Kazan was recognized for her performance in three different productions during the 2007-2008 season. She made her Broadway debut in the Manhattan Theatre Club production of COME BACK, LITTLE SHEBA, and earlier in the season was seen in The New Group's production of THINGS WE WANT and in Playwrights Horizons' 100 SAINTS YOU SHOULD KNOW.
Michael Esper was honored for his performance in Playwrights Horizons' production of A.R. Gurney's CRAZY MARY. Other Off-Broadway credits include THE FOUR OF US at Manhattan Theatre Club, MANIC FLIGHT REACTION at Playwrights Horizons, Eric Bogosian's SUBURBIA and BIG BILL. He also appeared in the world premiere of Edward Albee's ME, MYSELF AND I at the McCarter Theatre.
The presentation will take place at Equity's Eastern Regional Board meeting at 2 pm on Tuesday, June 10, 2008 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 Annette Bening, Kristin Chenoweth, Morgan Freeman, Allison Janney, Frances Sternhagen, Christopher Walken and Fritz Weaver.
The Judges' Panel includes: Irene Backalenick, Back Stage; Joe Dziemianowicz, Daily News; 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...