Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award

Newly anointed Tony winner André De Shields culminated the theater award season by receiving the 2019 Richard Seff Award at Equity's Eastern Regional Board meeting on June 11th at Equity's office in New York.

The Richard Seff award, administered by the Actors' Equity Foundation, honors veteran stage actors' best supporting performances of the year. Mr. De Shields was chosen to receive this year's award by a panel of judges who were unanimous in their acclaim of his performance as Hermes in Hadestown. The award consists of a check for $1,000 and a crystal trophy.

Rachel Chavkin, 2019 Tony winner for Best Director of a Musical for Hadestown, introduced Mr. De Shields. During her remarks, Ms. Chavkin donned a hat imprinted with the phrase, "André De Shields is My Stage Fave." On cue, more than 20 members of the Hadestown company stood wearing the hats which were the brainchild of Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, who plays one of the Fates in Hadestown. In keeping with his flair for the dramatic, Mr. De Shields called out to his agent to bring his bag to the podium and pulled out his Tony Award.

In a career spanning 50 years, Mr. De Shields has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, and educator. He has intermittently portrayed Hermes in Hadestown since 2012, including the recent critically acclaimed production at London's National Theatre. Mr. De Shields took home his first Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical on June 9th at Radio City Music Hall in New York and also received the 2019 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical, a 2019 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical and a 2019 Drama League Award nomination for Distinguished Performance for his role as Hermes.

In 2018, Mr. De Shields was the recipient of the 8th Annual Off-Broadway Alliance Legend Award and the 33rd Annual Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award. Among his other accolades are the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival's Living Legend Award, and the 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. A three-time Tony Award nominee, he is best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway productions: The Wiz, Ain't Misbehavin' (Emmy Award), Play On!, and The Full Monty. Mr. De Shields is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and SDC. www.andredeshields.com

The Actors’ Equity Foundation also presented the Richard Seff Award to Marylouise Burke and the Clarence Derwent Award to Sarah Stiles and Ephraim Sykes.

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

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.

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.

The judges’ panel includes Joe Dziemianowicz, Daily News; Adam Feldman, Time Out New York; Susan Haskins-Doloff, Theater Talk; Harry Haun, Playbill and David Rosenberg, The Hour Newspapers

The Actors’ Equity Foundation, a philanthropic and humanitarian nonprofit organization, was created in 1962 to aid and assist the members of the acting profession and to promote the theatre arts. It is separate from Actors’ Equity Association and is funded by estate bequests and individual donations.

Photo Credit: Lia Chang

high res photos

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields and the company of HADESTOWN

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
2019 Tony Award winner Rachel Chavkin and 2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
2019 Tony Award winner Rachel Chavkin

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields and 2019 Tony Award winner Rachel Chavkin

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields and Judith Rice, President of Actors' Equity Foundation

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
Richard Seff and 2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields and his HADESTOWN family

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields and 2019 Tony winner Anais Mitchell

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
"Andre De Shields is My Stage Fave" hat designed by Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields and Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
Reeve CarneyEva Noblezada and 2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
Malcolm Armwood, 2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields, Amber Gray, Lori Tan Chinn, Norm Lewis, T. Oliver Reid and Ahmad Simmons

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields and Norm Lewis

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
T. Oliver Reid, 2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields and Norm Lewis

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
2019 Tony winning producer Mara Isaacs with 2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
Anais Mitchell, Mara Isaacs, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, Kimberly Marable and Afra Hines

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
Francis Jue with 2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
Brandon J. Dirden and 2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
Actors'' Equity Foundation honorees Ephraim Sykes, Sarah Stiles, Tony winner Andre De Shields and Marylouise Burke

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
Actors'' Equity Foundation honorees Ephraim Sykes, Sarah Stiles, Tony winner Andre De Shields and Marylouise Burke with Tony winners Santino Fontana and Sergio Trujillo

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
2019 Clarence Derwent Award winner Ephraim Sykes, Tony winner Santino Fontana and 2019 Clarence Derwent Award winner Sarah Stiles and Tony winner Sergio Trujillo

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
2019 Clarence Derwent Award winner Ephraim Sykes and Sarah Stiles

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
2019 Clarence Derwent Award winner Ephraim Sykes with his mom

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
2019 Tony winner Sergio Trujillo, 2019 Clarence Derwent Award winner Ephraim Sykes and Judith Rice, President of Actors' Equity Foundation

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
Tony winner Santino Fontana with 2019 Clarence Derwent Award winner Sarah Stiles

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
Tony winner Santino Fontana

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
2019 Clarence Derwent Award winner Sarah Stiles and TOOTSIE co-star and Tony winner Santino Fontana

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
2019 Clarence Derwent Award winner Sarah Stiles

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
2019 Clarence Derwent Award winner Sarah Stiles and Judith Rice, President of Actors' Equity Foundation

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
Richard Seff, Amber Gray, Rachel Chavkin and Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
Judith Rice, President of Actors' Equity Foundation

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
Richard Seff, 2019 Richard Seff Award winner Marylouise Burke, 2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
Playwright David Lindsay-Abaire

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
2019 Richard Seff Award winner Marylouise Burke with Playwright David Lindsay-Abaire

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
2019 Richard Seff Award winner Marylouise Burke

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
2019 Richard Seff Award winner Marylouise Burke and Judith Rice, President of Actors' Equity Foundation

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
Julie Halston, Richard Seff, 2019 Richard Seff Award winner Marylouise Burke, Playwright David Lindsay-Abaire, 2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
Martina Sykes, 2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields, 2019 Clarence Derwent Award winner Ephraim Sykes and his mother.

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
2019 Richard Seff Award winner Marylouise Burke with Playwright David Lindsay-Abaire

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
Peter Bartlett and 2019 Richard Seff Award winner Marylouise Burke

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
David Neumann and 2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
Tony winner Santino Fontana, Julie Halston, 2019 Clarence Derwent Award winner Sarah Stiles

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
Lori Tan Chinn and 2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
Liam Robinson and 2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
Tony Winner Sergio Trujillo and 2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
Lia Chang, 2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields and Lori Tan Chinn

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
2019 Clarence Derwent Award winner Ephraim Sykes with Lia Chang, 2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields and Lori Tan Chinn

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
2019 Clarence Derwent Award winner Ephraim Sykes with 2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
Peter Bartlett with 2019 Richard Seff Award winner Marylouise Burke and 2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
Kimberly Marable and 2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields with Jim Mirrione

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
Stephen Bogardus with 2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields with Judith Rice, President, Actors' Equity Foundation, Reeve Carney, Eva Noblezada and Kimberly Marable

Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award
2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner Andre De Shields

 



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