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Shakespeare Theatre Company to Honor John Hurt, Stacy Keach & Diana Rigg at 2014 Gala

The Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) has selected John Hurt, Stacy Keach and Dame Diana Rigg as the 2014 recipients of The William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre (Will Award), which recognizes artists who have made significant contributions to classical theatre in America. The Beech Street Foundation will be awarded the Sidney Harman Award for Philanthropy in the Arts. The awards will be presented at the Harman Center for the Arts Annual Gala on Sunday, October 5, 2014, hosted by STC at Sidney Harman Hall (610 F Street NW) and the National Building Museum (440 G Street NW).

On selecting the honorees, Shakespeare Theatre Company Artistic Director Michael Kahn said, "We are thrilled to be able to recognize three performers whose prolific careers span multiple decades and feature iconic roles across stage, film and television. Between them they have portrayed the spectrum of Shakespeare's great roles, from heroes and lovers to villains, and great works by playwrights from Euripides to Beckett."

John Hurt has kept his roots in classical theatre while making a name for himself on the small and large screen. While recognized for his early appearances in Alien and The Elephan Man to more recently Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, the Harry Potter movies and television roles from Caligula to Doctor Who, John has been a constant presence in major theatres around the world, including his recent STC appearance in Krapp's Last Tape.

Stacy Keach, best known to STC audiences for his portrayals of Richard III, Macbeth, King Lear and Falstaff, has been considered one of America's leading classical actors since his performances with the New York Shakespeare Festival in the sixties and seventies. His diverse career in TV and cinema runs from Mike Hammer to last year's Oscar-nominated Nebraska.

Dame Diana Rigg has always been renowned for her work on the classical stage, as well as her extensive film and TV roles ranging from her early appearances as The Avengers' Emma Peel and a Bond girl through her current Emmy-nominated role on Game of Thrones. In her work with the Royal Shakespeare Company and others she has performed nearly every leading female classical role, including her Tony Award-winning portrayal of the title role in Medea.

The Will Award is an annual honor presented by the Shakespeare Theatre Company, and past recipients include Elizabeth McGovern, Annette Bening, Sir Ian McKellen, Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Dame Judi Dench, Fiona Shaw, Ralph Fiennes, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Dame Maggie Smith, Sir Patrick Stewart, Sam Waterston, Christopher Walken, Morgan Freeman, Sir Kenneth Branagh, Christopher Plummer, Kevin Kline, the late Joseph Papp, and Shakespeare Theatre Company Artistic Director Michael Kahn.

The Sidney Harman Award for Philanthropy in the Arts honors those whose generosity has made a significant impact on the performing arts in our nation's capital. This year, the Sidney Harman Award for Philanthropy in the Arts will be presented to the Beech Street Foundation. Accepting the award for the foundation will be STC Trustee Jeffrey D. Bauman and his wife Linda Fienberg, the co-Trustees of the Foundation. The Beech Street Foundation has been a significant supporter of arts organizations in D.C. and around the country for decades, and Mr. Bauman has been a Trustee of the Shakespeare Theatre Company since 1992. STC's signature arts education program, Text Alive!, now in its 24th year, was created with a multi-year funding commitment from the Beech Street Foundation. In addition, the Beech Street Foundation supports commissioning of new works of theatre for STC and the Company's District Shakespeare arts access program, and provided support to the Campaign for the Harman Center for the Arts. It has also provided major support to Studio Theatre, the Levine School of Music, Theatre Lab (where Mr. Bauman is an Emeritus Trustee), New George's, Children's Hospital, the National Partnership for Women and Families and the National Women's Law Center.

The 2014 Gala is co-chaired by Meg and John Hauge and Suzanne and Glenn Youngkin. The black tie event will begin at Sidney Harman Hall with the Gala performance at 6 p.m., directed by STC Associate Artistic Director Alan Paul, and close with dinner and dancing in an elegant setting at the National Building Museum.

The Harman Center for the Arts Annual Gala benefits the many artistic and community engagement programs of the Shakespeare Theatre Company. STC Education programming serves more than 20,000 children and adults each season through comprehensive school, training, community access and audience enrichment programs that make Shakespeare and classical theatre exciting and accessible both on and off the stage. The centerpiece is the annual Free For All, which presents one of Shakespeare's classic plays free of charge to the general public, and has reached more than 650,000 D.C. residents and visitors since its launch in 1991.

2014 Gala Committee:

Nick and Marla Allard
Stephen E. Allis
Anita Antenucci
Brian and Jennifer Coulter
Donn and Sharon Davis
David and Marijke Dupree
Stefanie Erkiletian
Andrew and Heather Florance
Jerry and Isabel Jasinowski
Kevin and Stephani Kolevar
Abbe David Lowell and Molly A. Meegan
Stephen and Lisa Ryan
Pauline Schneider
Melissa Moss and Jonathan Silver
Frederick and Elizabeth Singer
Rod and Alexia von Lipsey
Tom and Cathie Woteki

Individual tickets and tables to the Harman Center for the Arts Annual Gala range from $750 to $50,000. For further information about the Annual Gala, patrons may call Moriah Mills, Special Events Manager, at 202.547.3230 ext. 2330, or HCAGala@shakespearetheatre.org.

Photo Credit: Piers Allardyce


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