The Clarence Derwent Award
Tracee Chimo, Santino Fontana Receive Equity’s Clarence Derwent Award
The Clarence Derwent Award for most promising female and male performers on the New York metropolitan scene, has gone to Tracee Chimo (BACHELORETTE) and Santino Fontana (THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST). The announcement was made by Arne Gundersen, president of the Actors’ Equity Foundation, which administers the Award.
Before appearing in BACHELORETTE, part of Second Stage Theatre Uptown’s series, Ms. Chimo was seen Off-Broadway in CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION, which received both Drama Desk and Obie special ensemble awards. She made her Broadway debut in IRENA’S VOW and earlier, played in VAMP, an Equity showcase production.
Santino Fontana received a Drama Desk Award for his performance on Broadway in the revival of Neil Simon’s BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS. Other credits include the original Broadway cast of BILLY ELLIOT, SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE at the Roundabout, the original revival cast of THE FANTASTICKS and regional theatre performances at the Guthrie and Old Globe theatres, among others.
Santino Fontana, Tracee Chimo
photo: John Quilty
Presentation of the award took place at Equity’s Eastern Regional Board meeting on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 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 and Fritz Weaver.
The Judges’ Panel includes Joe Dziemianowicz, Daily News; Adam Feldman, Time Out NY; Harry Haun, Playbill and David Rosenberg, Back Stage.
Santino Fontana, Arne Gundersen, Tracee Chimo, Nick Wyman
photo: John Quilty
Arizona Theatre Service
Diversity on Broadway
Spirit of Diversity
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...