The announcement was made May 13 by Arne Gundersen, president of the foundation. The awards "honor a female and male character actor, 50 years of age or older, for the best performance in a supporting role in a Broadway or Off-Broadway production." The prizes are $1,000 each plus a crystal trophy. Lynn Cohen was honored for her performance in Primary Stages' recent production of Chasing Manet and Roger Robinson for his work in the current Tony-nominated revival of August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone; Robinson is also a 2009 Tony nominee for his role in the Wilson drama.
Equity member Richard Seff, a respected agent for many years who gave up repping in the 1970s to devote more time to acting, established these awards in 2003. Previous recipients include Tom Aldredge, Larry Bryggman, Jim Dale, Jane Houdyshell, Dana Ivey and Margo Martindale. Last year's winners were Hallie Foote and David Rasche.
The presentation will take place at Equity's Eastern Regional Board meeting at 2 PM June 9 at Equity's offices, 165 West 46th Street, New York.
The judges' panel included Joe Dziemianowicz, Daily News; Adam Feldman, Time Out NY; Susan Haskins, Theatre Talk; Michael Kuchwara, Associated Press; and David Rosenberg, Back Stage.