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Andre De Shields, Ephraim Sykes, Sarah Stiles, & Marylouise Burke Honored With Actors Equity Foundation Awards

Andre De Shields, Ephraim Sykes, Sarah Stiles, & Marylouise Burke Honored With Actors Equity Foundation Awards

The Actors' Equity Foundation presented its annual veteran actor award (Richard Seff Award) and breakout performer award (Clarence Derwent Award) at the Actors' Equity Association's Eastern Regional Board meeting today.

These recent Tony nominees/winners were introduced by their colleagues at an intimate and heartfelt ceremony which bookends the arc of actors' careers.

Santino Fontana, 2019 Tony winner for Best Leading Actor in a Musical, introduced Sarah Stiles who was honored for her role as Sandy in Tootsie. Sarah was a 2019 Tony nominee, Outer Critics Circle nominee and Drama desk nominee this year as well.

Sergio Trujillo, 2019 Tony winner for Choreography introduced Ephraim Sykes who was honored for his role as David Ruffin in Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations. Ephraim was a 2019 TONY nominee, and Outer Critics Circle nominee this year as well.

Both Sykes and Stiles are recipients of the Clarence Derwent Award which is presented to an actor who has shown the most promise this season. Previous recipients of this award include George C. Scott, Ann Reinking, Morgan Freeman, Dianne Weist, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Santino Fontana who was introducing one of this year's winners.

Pulitzer Prize winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire introduced Marylouise Burke who was honored for her role in True West for her role as Mom.

André De Shields, 2019 Tony winner for Best Featured Actor in a Musical, was introduced by Rachel Chavkin, 2019 Tony winner for Best Direction of a Musical. De Shields was honored for his role as Hermes in Hadestown. De Shields, winner of numerous awards over his career was also the recipient of the 2019 Outer Critics Circle Award and the Drama Desk Award for Featured Actor in a Musical.

Both Burke and De Shields are veteran stage, screen and TV actors and were honored today with the Richard Seff Award. Equity member Richard Seff, who was in the audience, established this award in 2003. It is considered a lifetime achievement award for an actor who is over the age of 50 and has been an Equity member for 25 years or more. Previous recipients include: Margo Martindale, Jayne Houdyshell, Dana Ivey, Kristine Nielsen, Patrick Page, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Bill Camp, and Michael Potts.

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