The Actors’ Equity Foundation has announced that Ben Platt and Alana Arenas are the recipients of the 2016 Clarence Derwent Awards for most promising male and female performers on the New York metropolitan scene.
Platt was awarded the prize for his performance in Dear Evan Hansen, currently playing at Second Stage Theatre; and Arenas for her performance as Cookie in the Public Theater production of Head of Passes, which recently concluded its acclaimed run. The actress is also the recent recipient of a Lucille Lortel Award for her performance.
The Foundation also announced that Bill Camp and Lois Smith are the recipients of the annual Richard Seff Award, presented to a veteran male and female character actor for a supporting role in a Broadway or Off-Broadway production. Camp was cited for his performance in the Broadway revival of The Crucible; and Smith was recognized for her performance in Signature Theater’s production of Annie Baker’s John as well as the title role in Playwrights Horizons' Marjorie Prime.
The award and cash prizes will be presented to the actors at Equity’s Eastern Regional Board meeting May 31 at the Equity offices, 165 West 46th Street. Past recipients of the Clarence Derwent Award include Nina Arianda, Annaleigh Ashford, Annette Bening, Kristin Chenoweth, Morgan Freeman, Allison Janney, Frances Sternhagen, Michael Urie, Christopher Walken, Fritz Weaver, Phillipa Soo and Josh Grisetti.
The Judges’ Panel for both prizes included Joe Dziemianowicz, Daily News; Adam Feldman, Time Out New York; Susan Haskins, Theater Talk; Harry Haun, Playbill; and David Rosenberg, The Hour Newspapers.