The 2014 Clarence Derwent Award for most promising female and male performers on the New York metropolitan scene has gone to Whitney Bashor and Steven Boyer. The announcement was made by Arne Gundersen, president of the Actors’ Equity Foundation, which administers the award.
Whitney Bashor was recognized for her Broadway debut in The Bridges of Madison County, in which she played dual roles and also understudies Kelli O’Hara. Off-Broadway she has appeared in The Fantasticks. Regional credits include performances at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Goodspeed, Dallas Theatre Center and the Kennedy Center. On TV, she has appeared in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and ABC’s All My Children.
Steven Boyer was cited for his performance in Off-Broadway’s Hand to God presented by MCC Theater at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, following a run at the Ensemble Studio Theatre. He also received a Lucille Lortel Award for this performance. Mr. Boyer plays “Jason,” a meek teenager, as well as violent puppet, named “Tyrone.” The New York Times hailed his performance, saying “First honors must go to Mr. Boyer, who truly gives two distinct performances—one all bewildered innocence, the other pure beastly vulgarity—as Jason and Tyrone.” Mr. Boyer previously had worked with puppets in Jollyship the Whiz-Bang, a 2008 Ars Nova production. A 2001 graduate of the Juilliard School, Mr. Boyer almost immediately was cast in I’m Not Rappaport on Broadway.
The award, a check and a crystal trophy, will be presented at Equity’s Eastern Regional Board meeting at 2 pm on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at the Equity offices, 165 West 46th Street.
The Derwent Award is the oldest award on Broadway, established in 1945 by Clarence Derwent, distinguished actor and president of Equity from 1946-1952. Past recipients include Nina Arianda, Annette Bening, Kristin Chenoweth, Morgan Freeman, Allison Janney, Frances Sternhagen, Christopher Walken, Fritz Weaver and, in 2013, Annaleigh Ashford and Michael Urie.
The Judges’ Panel includes Joe Dziemianowicz, Daily News; Adam Feldman, Time Out New York; Susan Haskins, Theater Talk; Harry Haun, Playbill and David Rosenberg, The Hour Newspapers.