Each will receive $2,000 and an engraved crystal trophy at the afternoon ceremony that will be held during Equity's Eastern Regional Board meeting in Manhattan. Kazan was recognized for her performance in three different productions during the past season: She made her Broadway debut in Come Back, Little Sheba, and earlier in the season was seen in The New Group's Things We Want and in Playwrights Horizons' 100 Saints You Should Know.
Esper was honored for his performance in Playwrights Horizons' production of Crazy Mary. His other Off-Broadway credits include The Four of Us, Manic Flight Reaction, SubUrbia and Big Bill. Esper also appeared in the world premiere of Edward Albee's Me, Myself and I at the McCarter Theatre.
Established in 1944 by actor and former Actors' Equity Association President Clarence Derwent, The Derwent Awards are among the oldest awards on Broadway. Past recipients include Annette Bening, Kristin Chenoweth, Calista Flockhart, Gene Hackman, Dana Ivey, John Malkovich, Ann Reinking, George C. Scott, Frances Sternhagen, Gene Wilder and James Woods. Leslie Kritzer (Legally Blonde) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (In the Heights) were last year's winners.
This year's judges panel included Irene Backalenick, Back Stage; Joe Dziemianowicz, Daily News; Adam Feldman, Time Out NY; Harry Haun, Playbill; Michael Kuchwara, Associated Press; David Rosenberg, Back Stage; and Michael Sommers, The Star Ledger.