The announcement was made May 16 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. Hallie Foote was honored for her performance in Horton Foote's Dividing the Estate, which was produced Off-Broadway by Primary Stages and will arrive on Broadway this fall.
David Rasche was honored for his work as Dr. Dorn in the Classic Stage Company's production of Chekhov's The Seagull.
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 Mary Louise Wilson and David Margulies.
The presentation will take place at Equity's Eastern Regional Board meeting at 2 PM June 10 at Equity's offices, 165 West 46th Street, New York.
The judges' panel included Irene Backalenick, Back Stage; Joe Dziemianowicz, Daily News; Adam Feldman, Time Out NY; Harry Haun, Playbill; Michael Kuchwara, Associated Press; David Rosenberg, Back Stage; and Michael Sommers, the Star Ledger.