IRNE Awards to Honor Trinity Rep, Lyric Stage & David Coffee

IRNE Awards to Honor Trinity Rep, Lyric Stage & David Coffee

Trinity Repertory Company, the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, and actor David Coffee will each receive special recognition at the 18th Annual Independent Reviewers of New England Awards ceremony on April 7. Trinity Repertory in celebration of their 50 years of excellence in theater, the Lyric Stage Company 40 years. David Coffee in celebration of his 20 years in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge in North Shore Music Theatre's annual production of A Christmas Carol.

The IRNE Awards will be held at 7:30 p.m. (doors at 7), April 7, at the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont Street. The event is free, no ticket required, in appreciation of Boston's theater community. Awards are given in 54 categories for acting, directing, design, writing, music and choreography at large, mid-size and small/fringe theaters in the greater Boston area.

"Each year, in addition to recognizing achievement in theater companies of all levels, we pause to reflect on companies and individuals whose contribution to the cultural landscape over time warrants a special 'thank you,'" said Beverly Creasey, Founder and Chair of the IRNE Committee. "Trinity Rep has been a cultural landmark for half a decade, challenging and entertaining audiences with the classics and taking risks that drive the art form forward. David Coffee's annual portrayal of Scrooge is has become a part of the holiday tradition - distinguishing himself in one of the most frequently staged roles in history."

The State Theater of Rhode Island, Trinity Repertory Company is now celebrating its 50th Anniversary Season. Featuring the last permanent resident acting company in America Trinity Rep presents a balance of world premiere, contemporary, and classic works for an estimated annual audience of approximately 145,000. In its 50-year history, the theater has produced 62 world premieres, mounted national and international tours, and, through its MFA program, trained hundreds of new actors and directors. This season marks the 46th year of Project Discovery, Trinity Rep's pioneering educational outreach program.

Lyric Stage Company of Boston was founded in 1974 by Polly Hogan and Ron Ritchell and is the oldest professional theater company in Boston, continuing to produce a diverse range of productions that entertain, challenge and provoke. Under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Spiro Veloudos since 1998, The Lyric Stage showcases the work of the best Boston actors, designers, and directors. Over the past 40 years, The Lyric Stage has employed over 800 actors and 160 designers, highlighting the incredible depth of talent available in the Boston area.

David Coffee was cast as Ebenezer Scrooge in the 1992 North Shore Music Theatre production of A Christmas Carol, and has played the role every year since. 2013 marked his 20th reprisal of the role in the perennial holiday production, and 45 years as an award-winning actor. Last year, David received a DFW Critics' Forum Award for his portrayal of Mr. McClam in the new musical, Fly By Night, at the Dallas Theater Center, and also reprised his IRNE Award-winning performance of King Pellinore in Camelot. David also returned for his 5th season with the Trinity Shakespeare Festival as well as performed Red, White and Tuna and Big River for Casa Manana.

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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