The award, created in 2004, "honors 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." As such, it is a complement to the 60-year-old Clarence Derwent Awards, which annually honor "the most promising female and male performers on the New York metropolitan scene." The winners receive $1,000 each.
Ivey was named for her performance as Mrs. Malaprop in the Lincoln Center Theater revival of The Rivals. Ivey has also been nominated for a Tony Award for her work in that Sheridan comedy.
Bryggman, meanwhile, received the prize for both his performance in the Off-Broadway world premiere of David Mamet's Romance, in which he played a delusional, drugged-up judge, and his portrayal of an earnest juror in Broadway's Twelve Angry Men.
The Judges' Panel for the award consists of: Betty Corwin, Director of Special Projects, Theatre on Film & Tape Archive of the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts; Michael Kuchwara, Associated Press; Patrick Quinn, President of Actors' Equity; David Rosenberg, Back Stage; Michael Sommers, The Star Ledger; Douglas Watt, The Daily News; and Carl Harms.
Septuagenarian Seff is a character actor and former Broadway agent who has also written plays (Broadway's Paris is Out!) and musicals (Shine!, available through Samuel French).