Jamie Brewer and Edward Barbanell, who starred in the world premiere of Amy and the Orphans (or, when Barbanell stepped in, Andy and the Orphans) Off-Broadway, will share The Arc's Entertainment Industry Excellence Catalyst Award. The Catalyst Awards honor individuals and organizations that have made extraordinary contributions in the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Brewer and Barbanell will also share the award with playwright Lindsey Ferrentino, who wrote the play with both actors in mind for the leading roles. Amy and the Orphans tells the story of a woman with Down Syndrome who is reunited with her siblings on a road trip.
The play opened in March in a debut production from Roundabout Theatre Company, directed by Scott Ellis. The cast also included Tony winner Debra Monk (Redwood Curtain, Steel Pier), Mark Blum (The Assembled Parties), Vanessa Aspillaga, Diane Davis, and Josh McDermitt. Edward Barbanell is the understudy.
“The Catalyst Awards honor those who are not traditionally recognized within the disability community for their diverse and meaningful contributions to our movement. These award winners are unique in their accomplishments, but unified by their tireless pursuit of inclusion,” said Peter Berns, Chief Executive Officer of The Arc. "Their work has helped further The Arc’s mission to promote and protect the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and we are thrilled to bring them together to receive this well-earned honor. Our hope is that by shining a spotlight on these change agents we will inspire and educate others.
The Arc is the largest national community-based organization advocating for and serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. A full list of the accomplishments being honored can be found on The Arc’s Catalyst Awards website.