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Chicago Theatres Executive Director to Receive Eclipse Theatre's 2014 Corona Award

Eclipse Theatre Company announces League of Chicago Theatres Executive Director Deb Clapp as the recipient of theirSixth Annual Corona Award, which honors an individual who plays an important role in supporting and nurturing the growth of the Chicago theatre community as well as small- to medium-sized organizations such as Eclipse.

Actor and playwright Jon Steinhagen will host, and guest speakers, who have worked closely with Ms. Clapp, will include Steppenwolf Theatre's Executive Director David Hawkanson, Goodman Theatre's Artistic Associate Henry Godinez, Arts Alliance Illinois Executive Director Ra Joy, Writers' Theatre Executive Director Kate Lipuma, director Derrick Sanders, and Lifeline Theatre's Artistic Director Dorothy Milne, among others.

The 2014 Corona Award event will be held on Tuesday, December 2, with refreshments, cash bar and silent auction at 6:30 p.m., and the ceremony at 7:30 p.m., at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door, and can be purchased online at or at the door.

Eclipse Artistic Director Nathaniel Swift said, "Deb Clapp has been a tireless champion of the Chicago theatre community for many years, supporting small storefront theatre companies and working to increase the visibility and growth of companies of all sizes throughout our community. She is more than deserving of this year's Corona Award."

Past Corona Award Recipients have included Chicago casting director Jane Alderman, Timeline Theatre Managing DirectorElizabeth K. Auman, Steppenwolf Associate Artistic Director Erica Daniels, Goodman Theatre Associate Producer Steve Scott, and Goodman Theatre Resident Director Chuck Smith. The Corona Award derives its name, Latin for crown, from the sun's outer atmosphere most easily seen during a total eclipse.

Deb Clapp joined the League of Chicago Theatres as their Executive Director in July 2008. During her tenure, the League has increased its membership, scope of programming, and raised the visibility of Chicago theatre on the national stage. Prior to her work with the League, Ms. Clapp worked as a consultant for companies such as Teatro Vista, About Face Theatre, and Chicago Children's Theatre. From 2002-2007, she was the Director of Management for The Goodman Theatre where she oversaw all operations in addition to negotiating and executing contracts.

Ms. Clapp began her career in theatre management at Connecticut's Hartford Stage Company, where she rose from Assistant House Manager to Operations Manager to Associate Business Manager. In 1996, she moved to Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven as General Manager, where she oversaw day-to-day operations with a $5 million annual budget. She has guest lectured at Columbia College Chicago, DePaul University, and Florida State University. She has served as a grant panelist for the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, City Arts Grants, and the Missouri Arts Council. She also served on the judges' panel for the National Women's Hall of Fame in 2012, and serves on the board of the Network of Ensemble Theatres.

Jon Steinhagen is a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists, a finalist for the first Noël Coward Award (2010), and winner of the Julie Harris Playwriting Award in 2009 for his comedy The Analytical Engine, which received its world premiere at Circle Theatre in 2010. He had two premieres during the 2011-12 season, Dating Walter Dante (Raven Theatre) and the Jeff-nominated Blizzard '67 (Chicago Dramatists). The 2012-13 season saw the premiere of his comedy Successors at Signal Ensemble Theatre and the New York premiere of Blizzard '67 at the New York International Fringe Festival (Playlab NYC). The 2013-14 season will see the premiere of The Next Thing (Signal) for which he is writing the music and lyrics (book by Ronan Marra). He wrote the book, music, and lyrics for the musical The Teapot Scandals (Porchlight Music Theatre), which received a Jeff Award nomination for Best New Work (and was a featured question on Jeopardy).

The current Eclipse ensemble is Stephen Dale, Kathleen Dickinson, Sally Eames, Nora Fiffer, Susanne Hufnagel, Anish Jethmalani, Joe McCauley, Sarah Moeller, Nina O'Keefe, J.P. Pierson, Rebecca Prescott, Steve Scott, TayLar, andKatie Vandehey. The Artistic Director is Nathaniel Swift and the Managing Director is Kevin Scott.

Eclipse Theatre Company presents the work of one playwright each season, offering audiences an opportunity, unique in the Midwest, to journey through the playwright's works. Eclipse featured playwrights include Jean Cocteau (1998); Tennessee Williams (1999); Lillian Hellman (2000); Romulus Linney (2001); John Guare (2002); Neil Simon (2003); Keith Reddin(2004); Lanford Wilson (2005); Rebecca Gilman (2006); Pearl Cleage (2007); Arthur Miller (2010), Naomi Wallace (2011),Eugene O'Neill (2012), Sir Alan Ayckbourn (2013), and Lynn Nottage (2014).

Eclipse's final Nottage production of Mud, River, Stone will run November 9-December 14, 2014. The 2015 season playwright will be Terrence McNally, and presentations of his work will include readings, public events and three full productions: Lips Together, Teeth Apart (April 16-May 24); A Perfect Ganesh (July 26-August 23); and The Lisbon Traviata (November 5-December 13).

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