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slides: Superstars of Trinity’s Pell Awards—Actor Kate Burton Newest Star

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Trinity Repertory Company has announced that celebrated stage and screen actor Kate Burton will be honored with the 2013 Pell Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts at the 17th annual Pell Awards to be held on Monday, June 10, 2013 at Trinity Rep. The annual fundraising event will be co-chaired by Joe & Michele Madden and Elizabeth “Beppie” Huidekoper.  Mrs. Nuala Pell will serve as the event’s honorary chair.

The 17th annual Pell Awards will be held on Monday, June 10, 2013 at Trinity Rep. Individual tickets to the full event are $500; a limited number of individual tickets to the ceremony and post-show reception are $250, and corporate sponsorships are available. Proceeds from ticket sales benefit Trinity Rep’s artistic and educational programs.

Burton joins an esteemed and diverse group of artists who have received the Lifetime or Distinguished Achievement Pell Award... here is a retrospective of some of her fellow award-winners.

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2013: Kate Burton

Theater, film + stage actor

Kate Burton has amassed a wide range of awards, nominations and accolades from her decades as an actress across the globe in theatre, film and television. Recent film roles include Josh Radnor's Liberal Arts2 Days in New York from writer/director Julie Delpy; Danny Boyle's 127 Hours with James Franco and the indie Puncture with Chris Evans.

Television audiences can see Kate recur in the latest Shonda Rhimes ABC series Scandal, in addition to her recurring roles on the CBS hit drama The Good Wife, the NBC series Grimm and the HBO series Veep with Julia Louis Dreyfuss.

On stage, she starred in the new A.R. Gurney play The Grand Manner at Lincoln Center Theatre, playing the legendary Katherine Cornell.

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2012: Viola Davis

Tony-winning and Academy-Award nominated actor

Artistic Director Curt Columbus said, “I’m so proud that we’ll be able to offer a sort of homecoming for the stunning and brilliant Viola Davis, and that she’ll be joining us to accept the Pell Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts on the very stage where she began her career. For us to be able to count a talent like Ms. Davis among the names who have walked the boards here at Trinity Repertory Company over the years is an honor. To have her back in Providence for this special evening will be nothing less than a delight.”

Davis is a critically revered actress of film, television and theater and has won rave reviews for her intriguingly diverse roles. Photo: Mark Turek

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2011: Adrian Hall

Founding artistic director of Trinity Rep

Hall arrived at Providence in 1964 where he aided in founding Trinity Rep. In 1983 he simultaneously took on artistic management of the Dallas Theatre Center, creating a connection between the two iconic resident theatre companies.

Curt Columbus said, “I am thrilled that Adrian Hall, the brilliant, maverick stage director and writer, will accept the Pell Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts this year. As the Pell Awards enters its 15th year, and Trinity Repertory Company nears its 50th Anniversary, I can think of no artist more deserving of this honor than Trinity Rep's founding director, who helped launch our nationally celebrated theater company and was one of the chief authors of Trinity's unique, innovative, and enduring style of theater.”

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2010: Liza Minnelli

Stage and film star

Artistic Director Curt Columbus said, “We could not be more delighted to present the 2010 Pell Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts to Liza Minnelli, star of stage and screen. Her passion for the arts and brilliant career continue to inspire thousands of artists, and her philanthropic efforts dedicated to education and AIDS research are equally commendable."

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2009: Kevin Spacey

Tony and Academy Award-winning actor

Spacey has served as the artistic director of London's Old Vic Theatre Company since 2003. His London stage credits include The Iceman Cometh, for which he earned the Evening Standard and Olivier Award for Best Actor. Spacey was awarded a Tony for Lost in Yonkers and has been Tony-nominated for his Broadway appearances in the Old Vic transfers of A Moon for the Misbegotten and The Iceman Cometh. His numerous screen credits include Oscar-winning performances in American Beauty and The Usual Suspects.

"Kevin Spacey is a natural choice to receive this award because of his commitment to the live theatre, the medium of film, and good works around the globe. He is a great director, actor, artistic director, and humanitarian. We are honored to have him as a part of this year's important celebration," said Curt Columbus.

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2008: The Acting Company

Trinity's Resident Acting Company

The 15 current members of the award-winning resident acting company--the last of its kind--were honored alongside the many actors and actresses who have called Providence and Trinity Rep home over the past 45 years. Forty-five years after it was founded by a group of Rhode Island citizens, Trinity Rep is the last large long-standing resident acting company left in the country.  The current company has been with the theater between three and 39 years - some having appeared in more than 100 productions.

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2007: Olympia Dukakis

Academy award-winning actor

The award-winning actress, director, producer, teacher, and activist, received the Pell Award for Lifetime Achievement at Trinity Rep's Annual Gala on Saturday evening, June 2, 2007.  Dukakis, who boasts a career spanning over 40 years, was last seen on the Trinity Rep stage in The Hope Zone ('92-93 Season) and as Amanda in The Glass Menagerie ('91-92 season).

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2006: Chita Rivera

Tony Award winning actor/singer/dancer

Two-time Tony Award winner Chita Rivera was be honored at The 2006 Pell Awards. An accomplished and versatile actress/singer/dancer, Chita Rivera has won two Tony Awards (Kiss of the Spider Woman; The Rink) and received six additional Tony nominations. She recently starred on Broadway in Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life, a new musical celebrating her life and career. In December 2002 she received the coveted Kennedy Center Honor in Washington, DC.

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2005 Ruby Dee/Ossie Davis

Iconic couple of the American stage

Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis stand as one of the most revered couples of the American stage, having created profound and lasting work that has touched millions. Since meeting on Broadway in the 1946 production of Jeb, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee have excelled both as collaborators and as individuals.  When not on stage or on camera, Davis and Dee were deeply involved as artists at the forefront of political activism, ranging from their vigorous opposition to Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Communist witch hunt to their tireless work on behalf of civil rights, voting rights and equal rights for all. Mr. Davis passed away in February at the age of 87; Ms. Dee accepted the award for them both.

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2004: Jane Alexander

Acclaimed actor and former chair of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)

Jane Alexander’s distinguished acting career includes her Tony Award-winning performance in The Great White Hope directed by Ed Sherin (who later became her husband) and Tony-nominated roles in Honour, The Sisters Rosenweig, The Visit, First Monday in October, Find Your Way Home, and 6 Rms Riv Vu, all on Broadway.  She won an Obie Award and Drama Desk Award for The Great White Hope. A four-time Oscar nominee for the films Testament, Kramer vs. Kramer, All the President’s Men, and The Great White Hope, she has also appeared in over 45 screen roles. Ms. Alexander is the author of the book, Command Performance: An Actress in the Theater of Politics, documenting her tenure as chairman of National Endowment for Arts from 1993-1997. 

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2003: Maurice Sendak

Internationally acclaimed children’s book author and illustrator

Best known for his award-winning Caldecott Medal book, Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak is one of the preeminent children’s book authors and illustrators of the twentieth century.  He has produced over a dozen books of his own and has illustrated more than seventy stories by other authors. With his unique ability to capture the joys, fears, and insecurities of childhood, he has revolutionized the content of children's books, expanding the limits of what is considered appropriate for young people.

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Claiborne Pell

The Pell Awards honor Senator Claiborne Pell and recognize artistic excellence in Rhode Island and the New England region as well as on the national level. Throughout his life, Senator Pell worked to support the arts and provide new opportunities for artists.  He sponsored the landmark legislation that established the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities in 1965, and chaired the Senate Education and Arts subcommittee. 


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