Griffin Theatre Company to Receive 2014 Special Award at Jeff Awards Non-Equity Ceremony, 6/2

Griffin Theatre Company to Receive 2014 Special Award at Jeff Awards Non-Equity Ceremony, 6/2

The Jeff Awards Committee has announced that Griffin Theatre Company will receive a Special Award at the 41st Annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards Ceremony on Monday, June 2, 2014. Griffin Theatre Company will receive the Special Jeff Award for its dedication to provocative and transformational theatre that bridges the generations.

During the past 25 years, Griffin Theatre Company has provided a wide range of work including world and mid-west premieres of acclaimed scripts, original adaptations of novels, and critically lauded productions ranging from Shakespeare to musicals. Griffin's national touring company presents three productions. "Letters Home" incorporates letters and missives from military service men and women to tell the story of the soldier's experiences in war, and has been touring since 2007. "Letters Home" has played to thousands and will be seen at the Columbia Festival of the Arts in Columbia, Maryland in June. Griffin also travels with two youth oriented productions: "Frindle" and "The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales," both shows having toured the country since 2005. Last year, Griffin Theatre Company had the pleasure to perform its touring productions throughout the United States for over 100,000 young people and adults.

In serving its mission to create meaningful theatrical experiences for both children and adults, Griffin Theatre Company has carved out a unique vision by choosing works that speak to all generations, as reflected in its productions such as "Time and the Conways," "Little Brother," "Dead End," and the Jeff Award winning shows "Punk Rock" and "Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging." Griffin's trans-generational messages have spanned the nation, with touring shows hosted coast to coast in more than 150 cities located in 41 states, including Alaska. The theatre recently signed with a Los Angeles agent with plans to extend their range internationally.

Headed by Artistic Directors Richard Barletta and Bill Massolia, who were founding members, Griffin is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year. Bill Massolia stated "I am thrilled and honored that the Jeff Awards Committee has given us this Special Jeff Award this year. It really confirms our mission and commitment to creating and presenting work that speaks to all generations."

Founded in 1988, Griffin Theatre Company originated in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood in a factory loft renovated by the company. In July 1992, Griffin relocated to Andersonville and renovated the historic Calo Theater. Seven years ago, the Griffin vacated its space in Andersonville and purchased an abandoned police station from the city on Foster Avenue and Winchester in Chicago's Bowmanville neighborhood (Edgewater). The company plans to renovate and transform the building into a state of the art theatre facility--the Griffin Arts Center-- that will become its permanent home.

The nominations for the Non-Equity Jeff Awards for productions that opened between April 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014 were previously announced and include 127 nominees in 24 categories. The Non-Equity Awards honor excellence in Chicago theaters not under a union contract. Jeff judges attended opening nights of 147 productions offered by 65 Non-Equity producing organizations. The judges recommended 66 of those shows, making them eligible for Non-Equity Jeff Award nominations. Thirty theater companies received nominations.

The 41st Annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards ceremony will be held on Monday, June 2, 2014, at Park West, 322 W. Armitage, Chicago. Doors open for a cash bar at 6 p.m., with a light buffet at 6:30 p.m., and the presentation ceremony at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 at the door. A group rate of $35 is available for parties of 10 or more. Festive cocktail attire is suggested, and the public is cordially invited. Tickets are purchased online with a credit card at www.jeffawards.org or by mail with the downloadable mail-order form, also found at www.jeffawards.org. For more information, contact John D. Glover, Non-Equity Wing Chair, at nonequitywing@jeffawards.org. Follow live twitter feeds from the ceremony and behind the scenes at #josephjefferson.

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