Honoring the best performance in a professional production of a classic play (one written prior to 1920), the award was established by Equity member Joe A. Callaway in 1989 and includes a $1,000 check plus an engraved plaque for each recipient.
Fraser is being honored for her performance as Lady Ariadne Utterword in the Gingold Theatrical Group’s production of Heartbreak House, while Sanders is being honored for his performance as Uncle Vanya in Richard Nelson’s production of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya at the Hunter Theater Project.
Both will be presented with their awards January 28, 2019, at Actors’ Equity Association’s Eastern Regional Membership Meeting in New York.
Previous recipients include Kate Burton, Byron Jennings, Frank Langella, Laura Linney, Lily Rabe, Liev Schreiber and, in 2017, Arnie Burton and Mary Testa.
Fraser is a two-time Tony nominee for The Secret Garden and Romance/Romance, a Lucille Award nominee for First Daughter Suite, a Drama Desk Award nominee for The Secret Garden, and a Carbonell Award winner for Romance/Romance. Sanders is an original cast member of Richard Nelson’s Apple Family Plays and, more recently, The Gabriels.
The judges are Joe Dziemianowicz, Adam Feldman of Time Out New York, Susan Haskins of Theater Talk, Harry Haun, and David Rosenberg of Hearst Media.