“Oh! This is a wonderful honor and I have a confession to make: I have coveted this award since the day the late, great Joe Papp received the first one,” divulged Stacy Keach, on stage receiving The William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre earlier this month.
“The Tony’s… Oscar’s… Emmy’s be damned. For me, the Will Award has always been the crowning achievement for the classical artist. I am thrilled, humbled, and honored to be sharing the award this evening with two brilliant actors…”
Keach, along with John Hurt and Dame Diana Rigg received the award in recognition of his contributions to classical theatre in America at the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s annual Harman Center for the Arts Gala. 2014 marked the first time more than a single recipient was honored.
Joining the ranks of such stage greats as Dame Judi Dench, Morgan Freeman and Elizabeth McGovern (2013 recipient), this year’s triple awardees — and the audience who was there to support them — enjoyed an evening of entertainment based on the theme “Much Ado About… Shakespeare.”
Guests were treated to a range of performances, from classical violinist Sean Carpenter and pianist Mary Anne Huntsman, to a modern dance based on Othello choreographed by Doug Elkins, to a rap song by the Q Brothers.
“One of the great things about this evening for me is to be able to ask artists from other disciplines to come and pay tribute to our honorees by showing through their art the huge inspirations that Shakespeare has had throughout the world and through all of the performing arts,” shared STC Artistic Director Michael Kahn.
Another great gift of the evening? Gala chairs Meg and John Hauge and Suzanne and Glen Youngkin were at the helm of a record fundraiser! $1M was raised by the black tie gala and dinner and dancing afterward to benefit the Shakespeare Theatre’s arts education programs.
*Lead image: Anwen Rees Myers, Will Award Honoree John Hurt, Lisa Ryan and STC Trustee Stephen Ryan. Photo by Kevin Allen.