Theatre Philadelphia Unveils New Barrymore Award Design for 25th Anniversary

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Theatre Philadelphia, the region's marketing and leadership organization for theatre, announced a new design for the Barrymore Award trophy. A collaboration with Sharif Pendleton of Philadelphia Laser and Industrial Design, the new trophy design helps mark the 25th Anniversary of the Barrymore Awards and creates a trophy that reflects the values of the nationally-recognized symbol of professional theatre in the Greater Philadelphia region. The 25th Anniversary Ceremony will be held Monday, October 14 at 7 the Bok Building, 800 Mifflin Street in South Philadelphia.

Theatre Philadelphia Unveils New Barrymore Award Design for 25th Anniversary

The Barrymore Awards honor local artists and theatre companies while increasing public awareness of the richness and diversity of our city's thriving theatre community. The Barrymore Awards are a peer-adjudicated program with nominators attending over 100 plays each year across our region to recommend to our judges for award consideration. Theatre Philadelphia works with local supporters to award grants to artists and organizations to strengthen their abilities to pursue artistic work in Philadelphia. This annual event is a celebration of the community and the work created on local stages. More information on the ceremony can be found at

Over the past two years, Theatre Philadelphia has worked to make the Barrymore Awards representative and inclusive of Philadelphia. Through surveys, focus groups, community forums, and conversations with other theatrical awards organizers around North America, Theatre Philadelphia has identified key changes to the awards program.

"We recognized an opportunity for this 25th Ceremony to ensure our trophy - physical representation of the awards and our theatre community - reflected our values," says Leigh Goldenberg, Executive Director of Theatre Philadelphia. "We were lucky to connect with a local artist to put a hand-crafted, thoughtful spin on what an awards trophy can be."

Last fall, Theatre Philadelphia took up residence at Cherry Street Pier, a mixed-use space run by the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation that houses 14 artists studios. Directly downstairs from Theatre Philadelphia's office is Sharif Pendleton of Philadelphia Laser and Industrial Design (PLAID LLC). Over the past 6 months, Goldenberg along with Theatre Philadelphia staff and key board members, have met with Pendleton to discuss the history, values, and goals of the Barrymore Awards.

The result is quite a departure from the previous award. For the past 24 years, the Barrymore reflected the Tony Award for Broadway, and even the Helen Hayes in Washington DC -- a silver spinning disk atop a black base. The new award infuses color and mixed media. The award stands 9 inches tall, with a wooden base reflecting a skyline, or even individuals on stage or in a theatre. Rising from the base is a semi-translucent green-blue resin, which is hand-poured in such a way that each award has individual differences. The award will be completed with an etched metal plaque on one corner bearing the award and recipient details.

An additional touch this year is that each Barrymore nominee will receive a special pin inspired by the trophy. This pin will include the year, so over time, an artist may amass a collection to showcase their body of work over time. Nominees will receive the pin at a special pre-Ceremony toast on-stage at Bok on Monday, October 14th at 6:30pm.

The Barrymore Awards began in 1995 and recognize excellence in professional theatre in Philadelphia and re-grant over $92,000 in cash awards to Philadelphia-based theatre artists. This season, 118 productions across 41 professional companies were eligible for award adjudication in the 2018-19 Season. The 2019 Barrymore Nominations reflect 48 productions from 29 professional companies within a 35-mile radius of Center City, Philadelphia.

"We're looking forward to this year's event which will honor the 25th anniversary of the Barrymore Awards' founding alongside the storied history of our theatre community," says Leigh Goldenberg, Executive Director of Theatre Philadelphia. "The Barrymores are a truly singular event where artists and supporters from around the region come together in a reflection of our collaborative theatre community."

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