Emery Battis Award Recipients Announced

The Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) has announced this year's recipients of the Emery Battis Award for Acting Excellence: Amber Iman and Amelia Pedlow. Since 2010, STC has recognized two actors per season who have demonstrated exceptional skill and technique on the stage.

Iman and Pedlow were chosen for their 2014-2015 Mainstage Season performances as the beleaguered serving wench Aldonza in Man of La Mancha and the poetry-obsessed Lucille in The Metromaniacs, respectively. The awards were presented on October 13, 2015, at the Opening Night dinner for the first show of STC's new Mainstage Season, Salomé, hosted by the Board of Trustees. Iman and Pedlow each received a $5,000 cash prize made possible by the generosity of an anonymous donor, along with a crystal sculpture commemorating their achievement.

Each season, a panel composed of D.C. theatre critics, STC supporters and theatre professionals recommends two performers from the Mainstage Season to receive the esteemed Emery Battis Award. Named in honor of STC's longtime friend and affiliated artist, the late Emery Battis, the award is presented to two actors whose performances are deemed especially noteworthy.

All performers in Mainstage productions are eligible for consideration. After the close of the 2014-2015 Season, the panel met to discuss the performances that had made the strongest impressions. In ultimately selecting Iman for her vocally and emotionally powerful take on Aldonza, and Pedlow for her giddily delightful interpretation of Lucille, this year's panel chose to honor two highly skilled early-career performers and offer them tangible encouragement to remain committed to working in the theatre.

ABOUT THE HONOREES

Amber Iman made her Shakespeare Theatre Company debut as Aldonza in Man of La Mancha, which became the best-selling production in the Company's history. A graduate of Howard University, she has appeared on Broadway as Nina Simone in Soul Doctor and Off-Broadway in Rent and A Civil War Christmas. She has appeared locally in Stick Fly at Arena Stage, as well as at Huntington Theatre Company, Alliance Theatre and True Colors Theatre Company. Iman will be seen on Broadway next year in Shuffle Along starring Audra McDonald.

Amelia Pedlow returned to STC to play Lucille in The Metromaniacs after portraying Hermia in 2012's A Midsummer Night's Dream and Jessica in 2011's The Merchant of Venice, both directed by Ethan McSweeny. Her New York credits include David Ives's The Heir Apparent at Classic Stage Company and Pearl Theatre Company's You Never Can Tell. She has appeared at regional theatres such as La Jolla Playhouse, Hartford Stage, Huntington Theatre Company and Denver Center Theatre Company, and she earned her BFA at the Juilliard School. Pedlow will reprise her role in The Metromaniacs next year at the Old Globe in San Diego in a production directed by STC Artistic Director Michael Kahn.

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