The award honors "the best performances in a professional production of a classic play (one written prior to 1920) in the New York metropolitan area." The Pearl has been quietly presenting classic plays for many years, first out of a space in Chelsea, more recently at Theatre 80 in the East Village. This is the third year running the Pearl has claimed a Callaway Award. Joanne Camp and Robert Hock won in 2004 for their performances in The Imaginary Invalid, and, in 2003, Carol Schultz won for her work in The Rivals at the Pearl.
The Hedda Gabler Marvel appeared in was directed by Dutchman Ivo van Hove. The avant garde production feature a spare, white, stylized set, unorthodox performances, and such coups de theatre as Hedda furiously stapling roses to the drywall, Judge Brack humiliated Hedda by pouring a can of V-8 tomato juice down her face (and spitting a mouthful of juice into her mouth), and a final scene played out in total darkness.
Betty Corwin, Director of Special Projects, Theatre on Film & Tape Archive of the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts; Michael Kuchwara, Associated Press; David Rosenberg, Back Stage, and Douglas Watt, The Daily News.