STC Names Emery Battis Award Honorees: Carson Elrod and Steven Epp

The Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) congratulates this year's winners of the Emery Battis Acting Award, Carson Elrod and Steven Epp. Since 2010, STC has recognized two actors per season who have demonstrated exceptional skill and technique on the stage. Elrod and Epp were lauded for their incredible performances as Crispin in The Heir Apparent and Truffaldino in The Servant of Two Masters, respectively. The award was presented September 24 at the opening night dinner for STC's first 2012-2013 production, The Government Inspector, hosted by the Board of Trustees.

This award, named in honor of STC's longtime friend and affiliated artist, the late Emery Battis, is given based on the recommendation of a panel of 11 individuals, which includes theatre professionals, local critics and STC supporters. All performers and shows within STC's mainstage season are eligible for the award, which comes with a $5,000 cash prize made possible by the support of a generous donor who wishes to remain anonymous.

Panelists nominate two actors each year: one emerging performer who has the potential to make extraordinary contributions to the field of classical acting, and one established performer, who has given one of the season's most impressive performances and whose commitment to not only classical theatre, but also not-for-profit theatre, is unmatched. 

STC's Artistic Director Michael Kahn praised the work of both actors. "Not only was Carson Elrod's performance in The Heir Apparent a brilliant piece of comedic characterization, but his inventiveness and impressive improvisational ability helped shape and develop the script in many ways," Kahn said of Elrod. Of Epp, he added "As Truffaldino in The Servant of Two Masters, Steven Epp was the brilliant focal point of a tremendous group of performers that revivified the tradition of commedia dell'arte for our time. He will long be remembered as one of the great Arlecchinos in a world that has been handed down and re-imagined for centuries."

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