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Houdyshell, Dale, Fields, Ritter Honored by Actors' Equity


Jayne Houdyshell, Jim Dale, Felicia P. Fields and Jason Ritter have been selected as this year's recipients of Actors' Equity Awards.

Houdyshell (Well) and Dale (The Threepenny Opera) are this year's recipients of Actors' Equity's Richard Seff Award, which was created in 2004 to "honor a female and male character actor, 50 years of age or older, for the best performance in a supporting role in a Broadway or Off-Broadway production." They will each receive $1,000 for the honor.

Fields (The Color Purple) and Ritter (Third) were selected the winners of the Clarence Derwent Awards, honoring promising newcomers in New York theatre; they will each receive $2,500 and an engraved crystal trophy. Both the Richard Seff and Clarence Derwent Awards will be presented on August 1st at the Actors' Equity Association office in Manhattan.

Houdyshell is currently Tony-nominated for her performance as Ann in the recently-closed Well. She was also with the Lisa Kron play for its Public Theater run in 2004; she won an Obie Award for her performance. Off-Broadway credits include True Love and Much Ado About Nothing, and she has also acted extensively in regional theatre.

Dale is also Tony-nominated for his performance as Mr. Peachum in The Threepenny Opera, and recently won Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards. A Tony Award-winner for Barnum, he has also been seen on Broadway in Candide, Me and My Girl, Joe Egg and Scapino.

Fields recently received a Tony nod for her work as Sofia in The Color Purple. Acclaimed for her Chicago theatre work, she performed in productions of The Hot Mikado, Show Boat, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Dreamgirls and Hello, Dolly!, among others, in that city.

In addition to Third, the Wendy Wasserstein play that was presented at the Mitzi Newhouse Theatre at Lincoln Center, Ritter has appeared Off-Broadway in The Beginning of August. "Joan of Arcadia," Happy Endings, Swimfan, Mumford and "Days of Our Lives" are among numerous TV and film credits.

This year, Betty Corwin, Director of Special Projects, Theatre on Film & Tape Archive of the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts; Adam Feldman of Time Out NY; Arne Gundersen, President of the Actors' Equity Foundation; Harry Haun of Playbill; Michael Kuchwara of The Associated Press; Patrick Quinn, President of Actors' Equity Association; David Rosenberg of Back Stage; Michael Sommers of The Star Ledger; and Douglas Watt of The Daily News comprised the judges' panel for both awards.

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