The award includes a $1,000 check and crystal trophy for each. The award is intended for performers who have worked in the business for at least 25 years.
Octogenarian Stenborg was cited for her performance in the two-hander, Vigil, presented at Off-Broadway's DR2 Theatre. Previously Stenborg appeared on Broadway in Waiting in the Wings, for which she received a Tony nomination; The Crucible; A Month in the Country; and A Life. She and her late husband, Barnard Hughes (the recipient of Equity's St. Clair Bayfield Award in 1973), toured the country in Da, and received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Drama Desk in 2000. Stenborg also has appeared Off-Broadway, in films, on TV and for 16 seasons was at the O'Neill Playwrights Conference.
Stephen McKinley Henderson was recognized for his performance in the Broadway revival of August Wilson's Fences, for which, on May 4, he was nominated for a Tony Award as Best Supporting Actor in a Play. Other Broadway credits include August Wilson's King Hedley II and the revival of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom; Dracula and Drowning Crow. He was also a member of Wilson's Jitney ensemble, which received a 2002 Olivier Award for Outstanding Drama. He has appeared at the Public Theater, Yale Rep, the Signature Theatre and the Kennedy Center. Professor and former chair of the department of theatre and dance at SUNY Buffalo, he is a member of the LAByrinth Theatre Company, the Actor's Center and is a Fox Foundation Fellow.
Equity member Richard Seff established this award in 2003. Previous recipients include Tom Aldredge, Larry Bryggman, Lynn Cohen, Jim Dale, Hallie Foote, Jane Houdyshell, Dana Ivey, David Margulies, Margo Martindale, David Rasche, Roger Robinson and Mary Louise Wilson.
The presentation will take place at Equity's Eastern Regional Board meeting at 2 PM on June 8 at Equity's office, 165 West 46th Street, in Manhattan. The judges panel includes Joe Dziemianowicz, Daily News; Adam Feldman, Time Out NY; Susan Haskins, Theater Talk; Harry Haun, Playbill; Michael Kuchwara, Associated Press; and David Rosenberg, Back Stage.
Seff was a respected agent for many years who gave up repping in the 1970s to devote more time to acting. He is also a playwright and librettist. He lives in Manhattan.