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    Posted October 24, 2008

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2008 Barrymore Awards Honor Philadelphia AEA Actors, Theatres

Mark Zimmerman withLifetime Achievement Honoree Dolly Beechman Schnall

A red carpet entrance, live performances, video tributes and a well-dressed crowd of local and national theatre celebrities were all part of the glamour at the 14th Annual Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre Ceremony on Monday, October 6 at the Crystal Tea Room. Presented by the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, the black-tie ceremony celebrated the artistic accomplishments of more than 800 local Equity actors and stage managers who live and work in the area, as well as the vibrancy of the region's theatrical offerings with 26 individual awards.

Committee members Lois Sach-Binder, Julie Czarnecki, Pat Sabato, President Mark Zimmerman, Councillor Tom Helmer, Bus Rep Joe Erdey, Bill Irwin, Liaison Chair Christopher Sapienza

AEA President Mark Zimmerman and members of the Philadelphia Area Liaison Committee officially represented Actors' Equity at the gala. In his presentation, Zimmerman thanked the Committee and said: "I would like to salute the hundreds of professional actors and stage managers who are the backbone of this rich and diverse theatre community. Every night, on dozens of stages across this great city, you engage, provoke and enthrall audiences with your amazing talent. Your dedication and artistry are what keeps those audiences coming back."

Pat Sabato, Bill Irwin, Julie Czarnecki

As part of the Union's ongoing branding campaign, Equity sponsored a video tribute entitled "The Actor" that featured interviews with three Barrymore nominated actors: Jennifer Childs, Bill Irwin and John Peakes. Each nominee talked about how they got started in the business and their pride in earning their Equity cards. The video was produced and directed by Vincent Marini.

Alliance ED Margie Salvante, Mark Zimmerman, Alliance Chair Rebekah Sassi

Outstanding Supporting and Leading Actor Awards went to: Jeb Kreager (FROZEN, InterAct Theatre Company), Geneviève Perrier (SKYLIGHT, Lantern Theater Company), Hugh Panaro LES MISÉRABLES, Walnut Street Theatre), Kim Carson (HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH, Azuka Theatre), Triney Sandoval (EURYDICE, The Wilma Theater), Lee Ann Etzold (THE HAPPINESS LECTURE, Philadelphia Theatre Company), Scott Greer (ASSASSINS, Arden Theatre Company), and Christina DeCicco (LES MISÉRABLES).

Matt Pfeiffer received the coveted F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Philadelphia Theatre Artist, a special $10,000 cash award. Long time-AEA member Dolly Beechman Schnall received the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award acknowledging her work as an actress, director, playwright, professor, board member and all-around advocate for the arts.

Mark Zimmerman, Philadelphia Arts/Culture Commissioner Gary Steuer

The Arden Theatre Company took top honors with six awards for four productions: (ASSASSINS, SLEEPING BEAUTY, WITTENBERG, and OUR TOWN IN OLD CITY). Along with the Arden, the Walnut Street Theatre's LES MISÉRABLES, and 1812 Productions' SUBURBAN LOVE SONGS tied for the most awards for a single production (three), while Delaware Theatre Company's ART, The Wilma Theater's EURYDICE and Lantern Theater Company's SKYLIGHT trailed with two awards each.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter received a standing ovation for reopening the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, and introduced Commissioner Gary Steuer.

Senior Business Rep Zalina Hoosein, Walnut Street Theatres' Bernard Havard

Attending the gala were Philadelphia AEA Liaison Committee members: Christopher Sapienza (Chair), Councillor Tom Helmer, Pat Adams, Lori Aghazarian, Julie Czarnecki, Seth Reichgott and Pat Sabato. Staff included National Communications Director David Lotz, Senior Business Rep Zalina Hoosein, Traveling Business Rep Joe Erdey, and Developing Theatres Rep Dragica Dabo.

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