SpeakEasy's Paul Daigneault to Receive 2014 Norton Award for Sustained Excellence

SpeakEasy's Paul Daigneault to Receive 2014 Norton Award for Sustained Excellence

SpeakEasy Stage Company Founder and Producing Artistic Director Paul Daigneault has been named the recipient of the 2014 Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence, The Boston Theater Critics Association (BTCA) announced today.

This prize, awarded annually to an outstanding member of the Greater Boston Theatre community, will be presented at the 32nd Annual Elliot Norton Awards ceremony to be held Monday, May 19, 2014 at 7PM at the Wheelock Family Theatre in Boston.

In announcing their selection, the BTCA commented that "Paul Daigneault's vision and leadership have made SpeakEasy Stage one of the most successful and respected professional theaters in New England, with a strong reputation for producing regional premieres of contemporary plays and musicals and an even stronger commitment to developing the talents and careers of local theatre artists."

Mr. Daigneault has previously been awarded two Elliot Norton Awards for Direction; first in 2003 for his work on both Stephen Sondheim's Passion and Bat Boy: The Musical, and again in 2008 for his work on three productions: Parade, Some Men, and Zanna, Don't!

The Elliot Norton Awards are named in honor of distinguished Boston Theatre critic Elliot Norton, who, over the course of his 48-year career, became one of the most influential regional theatre critics in the country.

International stage, television, and film star Olympia Dukakis will also be honored at the May 19th ceremony with the 2014 Elliot Norton Lifetime Achievement Award. Her cousin, former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis, will attend and offer special remarks.

Tickets to the award ceremony are $30 and include admission to a post-awards reception. Tickets can be purchased by calling 617-879-2300 or online at www.NortonAwardsBoston.com .

Paul Daigneault is the Founder and Producing Artistic Director of SpeakEasy Stage Company.

He has directed more than half of his company's roughly 100 productions over its past 23 seasons.

His SpeakEasy directing credits include regional premieres of such diverse works as

The Color Purple; In the Heights; Next to Normal; Nine; Body Awareness; The Great American Trailer Park Musical; [title of show]; The Savannah Disputation; Jerry Springer - The Opera; Caroline, or Change; A Man of No Importance; and Take Me Out.

Paul is the past recipient of two Elliot Norton (Boston Theatre) Awards for Direction. In 2003, he was honored for his work on both Stephen Sondheim's Passion and Bat Boy: The Musical, the latter of which still holds the record as SpeakEasy's longest running show. Then in 2008, Paul received his second Norton Award for his work on three very different productions: Parade, Some Men, and Zanna, Don't!.

In 2007, Paul was honored with the Boston College Arts Council's Alumni Award for Distinguished Achievement. In 2011, he became the first BC alumnus to serve as the

Rev. J. Donald Monan S.J. Professor in Theater Arts, an endowed professorship that brings nationally and internationally renowned theatre artists to work and teach at Boston College for a year.

In 2008, SpeakEasy Stage was the first theatre company to receive the Stage Source Theater Hero Award, a distinction given annually to "an exceptional member of the Greater Boston Theatre community [which] has demonstrated a history of service and commitment to the community through leadership, support, inspiration, innovation, and promotion of the art of theatre throughout the region."

Paul is currently on the faculty of The Boston Conservatory where he teaches Directing and Musical Theatre and has helmed productions of Merrily We Roll Along, Rent, Sunday in the Park with George, City of Angels, and Grand Hotel.

Outside the theater, he serves on the boards of the Barbara C. Harris Camp & Conference Center and the ICU Patient & Family Advisory Council at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Paul was born in Marlborough, MA; attended high school in Sandwich, MA, on Cape Cod; and is a graduate of Boston College.

He currently resides in Brookline, MA, with his husband, the Rev. Jeffrey W. Mello, and their son Ardani Mello-Daigneault.

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