AEA Logo

The Equity Awards

Members Only

  About Equity Home
  Equity Government
  Offices & Staff
  Contracts & Codes
  AEA Foundation


Paul Robeson Citation Award


Equity’s 2013 Paul Robeson Award was presented to veteran director, playwright, author, actor and educator Shauneille Perry.  The award was presented by Councillor and Paul Robeson Citation Award Committee Chair Julia Breanetta Simpson at Equity’s Eastern Regional membership meeting on October 11, 2013.

Ms. Perry, who has a B.A. in drama from Howard University and an M.A. in directing from the Goodman Theatre Art Institute in Chicago, is one of the first African American women to direct on the New York stage.  Among the productions she directed on Broadway and on national and international stages are The Mau Mau Room at the Negro Ensemble Company, Rosalie Pritchett, Sty of the Blind Pig, and the original Off-Broadway production of Black Girl.  Other directing credits include Looking Back, Trouble in Mind, African Interlude and The Prodigal Sister.  She has directed more than 100 plays, including Paul Robeson by Phillip Hayes Dean.   

Ms. Perry is the author of Pearl, a short story collection; six produced plays for young people; and several musicals.  Her most recent work is the teleplay, The Old Settler, adapted from the play by John Henry Redwood, starring Phylicia Rashad and Debbie Allen; Black Beauties:  100 Years of African Women on Broadway, a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS presented by Equity’s Equal Employment Opportunity Committee; and the narrative for the 2005 Harlem Exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York.  Ms. Perry also served as dramaturg on the 2008 Broadway production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof starring James Earl Jones.  She is currently working on the libretto for the opera, Paul Robeson. 

Ms. Perry has been honored with four AUDELCO Awards, two CEBAS, the Lloyd Richards Award of Direction, the Black Rose of Achievement, the Howard Player and Alumni Awards and the Scholar Achievement Award from Lehman College of the City University of New York, where she was a professor of Theatre and Black Studies. 

On November 7, 2011, in the House of Representatives, Representative Charles B. Rangel cited Shauneille Perry “as a living legend of the American and Black Theatre.”

Established in 1971, The Paul Robeson Citation Award is presented to an individual or organization which, during the preceding year, best exemplified and practices the principles and ideals to which Mr. Robeson devoted his life:  dedication to the universal brotherhood of all humankind, commitment to the freedom of conscience and of expression, belief in the artist’s responsibility to society, respect for the dignity of the individual, and concern for and service to all humans of any race or nationality.        

Julia Breanetta Simpson and Shauneille Perry.


Award pages:

Arizona Theatre Service
Diversity on Broadway

On June 1, 1971, the Council of Actors' Equity Association established what is now known as the Paul Robeson Committee, and designated Frederick O'Neal as Chair. The Committee resolved to present annual citations to the individual or organization that, during the preceding year or years, best exemplified and practiced the principles and ideals of this great humanitarian, Paul Robeson. For a complete list of recipients click here.

Paul Robeson as Othello

Recipients of the Paul Robeson Award are:

Year Recipient
1974 Paul Robeson
1975 Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee
1976 Lillian Hellman
1977 Pete Seeger
1978 Sam Jaffe
1979 Harry Belafonte
1980 Alice Childress
1981 Studs Terkel
1982 Ed Asner
1983 John Henry Faulk
1984 Lena Horne
1985 Arthur Mitchell
1986 Vinie Burrows
1987 Joe Papp
1988 Jacques D'Amboise
1989 Bill Ross & Dr. Margaret Burroughs
1990 Maya Angelou
1991 Gordon Parks
1992 Art D'Lugoff
1993 Katherine Dunham
1994 Lloyd Richards
1995 Gil Noble
1996 George C. Wolfe
1997 Athol Fugard
1998 Leonard Etienne de Paul
1999 Loften Mitchell
2000 Rosetta LeNoire
2001 Brock Peters
2002 Gertrude Jeanette
2003 Woodie King, Jr.
2004 Judith Jamison
2005 Carl Harms
2006 Bill Cosby
2007 Mercedes Ellington
2008 Sidney Poitier
2009 Micki Grant
2010 Charles Randolph-Wright
2011 James Earl Jones
2012 William Greaves
2013 Shauneille Perry
2014 Baayork Lee
2015 Arthur French
2016 ASTEP
2017 Jamal Joseph

Home | Members Only | About Equity | Member Benefits | Document Library
FAQ | News and Media | Membership Department | Contact

© 2018 . Actors' Equity Association. Terms of Use | Privacy