Annaleigh Ashford and Michael Urie Win Clarence Derwent Awards
By Andrew Gans
Arne Gundersen, president of the Actors’ Equity Foundation, announced May 16 that The Clarence Derwent Awards for most promising female and male performers on the New York metropolitan scene have gone to, respectively, Annaleigh Ashford and Michael Urie.
Ashford, a 2013 Tony nominee, was cited for her performance on Broadway in Kinky Boots, as well as in the Off-Broadway musical Dogfight. Her other Broadway appearances have included Hair, Wicked and the original cast of Legally Blonde. Off-Broadway she received Drama League and Clive Barnes Awards nominations for her performance in Rent.
Urie was recognized for his performance in Buyer & Cellar, a solo vehicle produced by Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre that will reopen at the Barrow Street Theatre. On Broadway Urie was in the 2011 revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Other Off-Broadway appearances include The Cherry Orchard at Classic Stage, Angels in America and The Temperamentals.
The awards will be presented at Equity’s Eastern Regional Board meeting June 11 at the Equity offices.
The Derwent Award is the oldest award on Broadway, established in 1945 by Clarence Derwent, distinguished actor and president (1946-1952) of Actors’ Equity. Past recipients include Nina Arianda, Annette Bening, Kristin Chenoweth, Morgan Freeman, Allison Janney, Frances Sternhagen, Christopher Walken, Fritz Weaver, and, in 2012, Susan Pourfar and Finn Wittrock.
The Judges’ Panel included Joe Dziemianowicz, Daily News; Adam Feldman, Time Out New York; Susan Haskins, Theater Talk; Harry Haun, Playbill; and David Rosenberg, The Hour Newspapers.
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