The Clarence Derwent Award
Nina Arianda, Bill Heck Receive Equity’s Clarence Derwent Award
New York, NY, May 6, 2010 - The Clarence Derwent Award for most promising female and male performers on the New York metropolitan scene, has gone to Nina Arianda and Bill Heck. The announcement was made by Arne Gundersen, president of the Actors’ Equity Foundation, which administers the Award.
Derwent Award Receipient Nina Arianda with fellow castmate Wes Bentley in VENUS IN FUR
Nina Arianda was selected for her performance as Vanda in the two-hander, VENUS IN FUR, presented by the Classic Stage Company. A newcomer with only a few professional stage credits, the 25-year old performer recently received an MFA in Acting from NYU’s graduate acting program. She also trained at New School University, the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and HB Studios.
Derwent Award Recipient Bill Heck and fellow castmember Maggie Lacey in THE ORPHANS' HOME CYCLE, Part 3.
Photo Credit by Gregory Costanzo
Bill Heck was recognized for his multiple roles in Horton Foote’s THE ORPHANS’ HOME CYCLE, presented by the Signature Theatre Company and Hartford Stage. He has worked Off Broadway and in regional theatre, including appearances at the Public Theater, Yale Rep, Berkeley Rep and the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles. He also has worked extensively with Vitality Productions, based in LA. He originally appeared in THE ORPHANS’ HOME CYCLE at Hartford Stage.
The Derwent Awards are the oldest awards on Broadway, established in 1945 by Clarence Derwent, distinguished actor and president (1946-1952) of Actors’ Equity. Past recipients include Annette Bening, Kristin Chenoweth, Morgan Freeman, Zoe Kazan Allison Janney, Frances Sternhagen, Christopher Walken and Fritz Weaver.
The Judges’ Panel includes Joe Dziemianowicz, Daily News; Adam Feldman, Time Out NY; Susan Haskins, Theatre Talk; Harry Haun, Playbill; Michael Kuchwara, Associated Press and David Rosenberg, Back Stage.
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...