Trinity Rep actors to receive special Pell Award

PROVIDENCE – Trinity Repertory Company’s resident actors will be among the honorees when the theater hosts the 2008 Pell Awards this spring, receiving a special National Pell Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Arts. The winners of this year’s Rhode Island Pell Awards have yet to be announced.
Since the 1960s, local actors and their peers have been assisted by the National Endowment for the Arts – an initiative of former U.S. Sen. Claiborne Pell, who also served a four-year term on the Trinity Rep board – in building “a special relationship with their communities,” the theater said. But now, it said, the Trinity Rep troupe is the last longstanding resident acting company left in the country.
“As we approached our 45th anniversary, we started looking at just how far we have come from such humble beginnings in – literally – the Trinity Square church basement,” Curt Columbus, Trinity Rep’s artistic director, said in a statement.
“Since 1964, our resident company has been at the heart of our mission and identity – hundreds of talented and committed actors have appeared on our stage and have called this city home. We want to honor all of the artists who have formed this company, and celebrate the ideals that inspired the regional theater movement a generation ago.”
The troupe’s 15 current members, shown at right, will be honored alongside their many predecessors, Trinity Rep said. The current members’ tenures range from 3 years to 39, with some having appeared in more than 100 productions.
“The heart of this theater is the acting company,” Columbus said. “Their familiarity, chemistry and theatrical shorthand make possible the kind of distinctive artistry originally envisioned by the founders of the American regional-theatre movement, our own Adrian Hall among them.”
The 12th annual Pell Awards Gala is slated for the evening of Friday, May 30. The awards ceremony in the Chace Theater at Trinity Rep will be followed by a free-flowing party – with food and mixed drinks served from restaurant-themed bars – in a city-block-sized tent.
Gov. Donald L. Carcieri, Providence Mayor David N. Cicilline, Senator Pell and his wife, Nuala Pell, are serving as honorary chairs for the event. Tickets are $250, or $500 for patrons; corporate sponsor tables also are available. For reservations or additional information, call Trinity Rep at 521-1100, ext. 237.
Trinity Repertory Company – founded in 1963 – is a regional theater presenting a variety of world premiere, contemporary and classic productions for an annual audience of nearly 160,000. Trinity Rep’s graduate-level conservatory has trained hundreds of actors and directors. Its educational outreach program, Project Discovery, provides more than 20,000 Rhode Island and Massachusetts students per year with an introduction to the theater. To learn more, visit

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