Kathleen Chalfant and Christopher Durang have won the second annual Madge Evans and Sidney Kingsley Awards, presented by the Dramatists Guild Fund for excellence in the theatre. Chalfant won the Drama Desk, Obie, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League and Lucille Lortel awards for her performance as a cancer-ridden poetry professor in Wit. Christopher Durang received acclaim for Betty's Summer Vacation, a searing satire presented Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons this past spring and expected to be remounted in the fall. The awards, which each carry a cash prize of $25,000, will be presented at a reception at Sardi's Restaurant on Sept. 15 at 6 PM. Tony Kushner will introduce Chalfant, who appeared in his Angels in America. Donna McKechnie will introduce Durang, who is currently working on a one-man show for McKechnie.
The 1998 Evans-Kingsley awards went to actresses Cherry Jones, Frances Sternhagen and playwright Tina Howe. Kingsley was the author of many social dramas, such as Dead End and Men in White. Evans, Kingsley's wife from 1939, was a child star of the silent screen and an adult star of the talking movies, appearing in "Dinner at Eight" and "David Copperfield."
-- By Robert Simonson