Davron Monroe to Receive Bob Jolly Award at IRNE's, 4/7

Davron Monroe to Receive Bob Jolly Award at IRNE's, 4/7

The Bob Jolly Charitable Trust, established by the late Boston actor, has announced Boston actor Davron Monroe as the first recipient of the Bob Jolly Award. A $2,000 recognition, Bob Jolly created the Trust and the Award to recognize and encourage a local actor or actress who shared Jolly's commitment to the Boston theater community.

The award will be presented at the 18th Annual Independent Reviewers of New England Awards at 7:30 p.m. on April 7, 2014, at the Cyclorama. The IRNE Awards are free to attend, no ticket required.

Marshall Williams, chair of the Trust and a long-time friend of Bob Jolly, said the selection was made by an advisory committee with a mission to name "someone who performs in the spirit of Bob Jolly, with a love of theater and being on stage, and a commitment to Boston theatre."

Davron Monroe is an actor and singer, and has appeared with in several productions with the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, and Key West Symphony's Broadway Across America. A tenor, his opera credits include the Key West Symphony, Houston Ebony Opera Guild, Connecticut Opera, Opera Providence and the Longy School Orchestera, among others.

Monroe played Nanki-Poo in The Mikado at the Lyric in fall of 2012, alongside Bob Jolly's portrayal of Ko-Ko. It was Jolly's last role before his passing.

Bob Jolly's career spanned 28 years on Boston stages. Jolly received a special recognition IRNE Award in 1997. He was known as the premier interpreter of Gilbert & Sullivan on the East Coast, having studied with D'Oyly Carte's master, John Reed, and the distinguished conductor Richard Aslanian. On the Freedom Trail, he was known to delighted tourists as "Boston's Ambassador," performing in period costume as a tour guide.

"It is indeed an honor and a great joy to have been selected to receive this amazing award," Monroe said. "I am whole heartedly committed to this amazing theater community here in Boston and will continue to go forward with zest and zeal in the hopes of touching someone with my craft and one day leaving a legacy as rich and bountiful as that in which Bob Jolly has given to us."

The presentation will be made by Bill and Elizabeth Jolly, Bob's brother and niece, and long-time friend Marshall Williams.

"As the first recipient of an award Bob established himself, I'm glad we're honoring a talented actor who knew Bob and worked with him," said Williams. "Davron's wit and spirit and his devotion to Boston theater is what Bob was about, and what he sought to recognize years after his passing. We're thrilled to present Davron Monroe with the first Bob Jolly Award."

The Bob Jolly Award will be made annually at the IRNE Awards, and the Bob Jolly Trust also provides for small grants for actors. According to Williams, future months will bring a website, sharing information about grant applications and will accept nominations for future Bob Jolly Award recipients. The advisory committee is comprised of Williams, Beverly Creasey and Larry Stark of the IRNE Committee, Lynn Bratley of Improbable Players, Spiro Veloudos of Lyric Stage Company of Boston, Mimi LaCamara, President of the Freedom Trail Foundation, and Brad Conner, performer and co-founder of American Classics.

"Bob's legacy is his passion for fellow actors and Boston stages," said Beverly Creasey, Founder and Chair of the IRNE Committee. "We're honored he chose the IRNE's for this annual award, and thrilled to host this esteemed recognition each year."

The Independent Reviewers were founded by Beverly Creasey (Journal Newspapers) in 1995 when she organized Boston's small and neighborhood newspaper reviewers into an Independent group of "Outer
Critics" to honor Boston's rapidly growing small theater scene. She joined forces with seven newspapers and two of the earliest internet "Review" sites in the country, Larry Stark's Theater Mirror and the
national site, Aisle Say. The first actual awards celebration took place in l997 to honor the previous year's productions. The IRNE Award is given in 54 categories to actors, directors, choreography, design disciplines, and companies across the full spectrum of large, mid-size and small/fringe theater companies that comprise Boston's theater scene.

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