DC's Shakespeare Theatre to Present Will Awards March 4

By Kenneth Jones
February 22, 2007

Avery Brooks, Patrick Page and Geraint Wyn Davies are among 15 company actors of Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC., to be honored with the William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre.

The Shakespeare Theatre Company will host its 20th Annual Gala, at which the Will Awards are handed out, March 4, at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium.

At the gala, the Shakespeare Theatre Company's core company members will be honored with the William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre (the Will Award) in recognition of their distinguished work in classical theatre.

The gala benefits the Shakespeare Theatre Company Free For All two weeks of free Shakespeare presented by the company each summer at Carter Barron Amphitheatre as well as other artistic programs. The gala is chaired by Kathleen and Chris Matthews, and Maureen and Bill Torgerson. The gala's honorary patrons are His Excellency the British Ambassador and Lady Manning.

The Shakespeare Theatre Company's core company members include Emery Battis, Avery Brooks, Helen Carey, Franchelle Stewart Dorn, Edward Gero, Philip Goodwin, Tana Hicken, Floyd King, Claire Lautier, Andrew Long, Patrick Page, Nancy Robinette, David Sabin, Ted van Griethuysen and Geraint Wyn Davies.

Together with artistic director Michael Kahn, since 1986, "these artists have brought to vibrant life groundbreaking, thought-provoking and eminently accessible classic theatre in a uniquely American style."

Kahn stated, "Over the past 20 years, I have had the great fortune to work closely with these 15 supremely talented individuals. They are some of the most gifted artists working in the theatre, and they are the foundation on which the Shakespeare Theatre Company was built. We are thrilled to honor their contribution to classic theatre and the many memorable performances they have given us over the years."

The evening's events will begin with a cocktail reception and receiving line, followed by dinner, and then the award ceremony and program.

The Will Award is an annual honor given by the Shakespeare Theatre Company to a person (or persons) who has made a significant contribution to classical theatre in America.

Past recipients include Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Dame Judi Dench, Fiona Shaw, Ralph Fiennes, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Dame Maggie Smith, Hal Holbrook, Patrick Stewart, Sam Waterston, Lynn Redgrave, Christopher Walken, Morgan Freeman, Mel Gibson, Kenneth Branagh, Christopher Plummer, Kevin Kline, the late Joseph Papp and Shakespeare Theatre Company artistic director Michael Kahn.

Individual tickets and tables to the Will Awards range from $750 to $25,000.

For further information about the 20th Annual William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre, call Joanne Coutts, special events manager, at (202) 547-3230 ext. 2330.

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The troupe is currently presenting Richard III starring Geraint Wyn Davies, through March 18. Visit www.shakespearedc.org.