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    Posted May 20, 2008

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26th Annual Elliot Norton Awards

Equity Actors, Theatres Shine at 26th Annual Elliot Norton Awards

By David Lotz, National Communications Director

Rachel Harker, Outstanding Actress/Small-Midsize Theatre, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE
Photo: Leo Gozbekian

Boston-area AEA actors and theatres were in the spotlight at the 26th Annual Elliot Norton Awards, which were held at the Sanders Theatre in Cambridge on May 12, 2008. The Awards are named for the late, legendary Boston Herald-American theatre writer, known as the "dean of American theater critics."

Equity co-sponsored this year's awards as part of its Centennial branding campaign, to boost awareness about AEA and celebrate the artistic achievements of Boston's actors, stage managers and theatres. Equity represents about 600 members in the Eastern Massachusetts area, who work at 25 professional theatres on LORT, NEAT, SPT and Letter of Agreement Contracts.

Eastern Regional VP Arne Gundersen said: "For many reasons, it is very important for Actors' Equity to raise awareness across the country by participating in local events that support our members and Equity theatres. As we approach our Centennial, we want theatre-goers, the media and the public to know what Actors' Equity stands for and the vital role we play in theatre communities like Boston."

Nicholas J. Martin (Sustained Excellence) and Andrea Martin

The evening was emceed by AEA member Andrea Martin and WBZ-TV Arts and Entertainment reporter Joyce Kulhawik.

Multiple honors went to:

  • Boston Theatre Works (NEAT), ANGELS IN AMERICA (Best Production, Actor, Director)

  • American Repertory Theatre (LORT), NO MAN'S LAND (Best Actor, Director), A MARVELOUS PARTY (Best Musical) and NO CHILD (Best Solo Performance, Nilaja Sun);

  • Huntington Theatre Company (LORT), PRESENT LAUGHTER (Best Musical, Actress and Design).

  • New Repertory Theatre (NEAT), CLEAN HOUSE (Best Play, Design)

Best Actor nods went to Equity members Johnny Lee Davenport, Maurice E. Parent, Nilaja Sun, Rachel Harker, Max Wright, Nancy E. Carroll and Lisa O'Hare.

Members of the Boston Area Liaison Committee raise a toast to the 2008 Elliot Norton Award winners. Clockwise from Left: Emily McMullen, John Kooi, James Bodge (Chair), Robert Saoud, Celeste McClain, Ellen Colton

There were two special presentations during the evening. The SpeakEasy Stage Company (NEAT) received a "Theatre Hero" Award, presented by StageSource, for the company's commitment and service to the Boston theatre community. Renowned Director Nicholas J. Martin, who is leaving the Huntington this year to become Artistic Director at Williamstown Theatre Festival, received the Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence.

Equity was proudly represented by Boston Area Liaison Committee members James Bodge (Chair), John Kooi, Emily McMullen, Donna Sorbello, Maureen Lane, Celeste McClain, Kippy Goldfarb, Ellen Colton and Robert Saoud; and AEA Staff members Melissa Ann Colgan, Lawrence Lorczak and David Lotz.

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