Benko is being honored for her performance as Titania in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Julie Taymor as Theatre for a New Audience’s inaugural production at its new home in Brooklyn.
The St. Clair Bayfield Award was established in 1973 in memory of Equity member St. Clair Bayfield and "honors the best performance in a supporting role by an actor in a Shakespearean play in the New York metropolitan area." The recipient receives a $1,000 check and a crystal plaque, which will be presented at Equity’s Eastern Regional Membership Meeting Jan. 10, 2014.
Benko recently played the title roles in Jackie at the Women’s Project, for which she received a Lucille Lortel Award nomination, and Toni Morrison’s Desdemona. Her Broadway appearances include Irina’s Vow, Top Girls, A Day in the Life of Joe Egg and Hedda Gabler.
The judges panel included Joe Dziemianowicz, Daily News; Adam Feldman, Time Out New York; Susan Haskins, Theater Talk; Harry Haun, Playbill; and David Rosenberg, nytheaterscene.com.