The Actors Equity Foundation honored Ephraim Sykes, Sarah Stiles, André De Shields, and Marylouise Burke with the Clarence Derwent Award for Breakout Performers and the Richard Seff Award for Veteran Supporting Actors.
According to Broadway World, these recent Tony nominees/winners were introduced by their colleagues at an intimate and heartfelt ceremony which bookends the arc of actors' careers.
Ephraim Sykes was introduced by Sergio Trujillo, the 2019 Tony winner for Choreography. Sykes received the Clarence Derwent Award for Breakout Performers for his role as "David Ruffin" in Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations.
Santino Fontana, 2019 Tony winner for Best Leading Actor in a Musical, introduced Sarah Stiles. Stiles received the Clarence Derwent Award for Breakout Performers for her role as "Sandy Lester" in Tootsie.
The Clarence Derwent Award which is presented to an actor who has shown the most promise this season. Previous recipients of this award include George C. Scott, Ann Reinking, Morgan Freeman, Dianne Weist, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Santino Fontana.
André De Shields 2019 Tony winner for Best Featured Actor in a Musical, was introduced by Rachel Chavkin, 2019 Tony winner for Best Direction of a Musical. De Shields received the Richard Seff Award for Veteran Supporting Actors for his role as "Hermes" in Hadestown.
Pulitzer Prize winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire introduced Marylouise Burke who was honored with Richard Seff Award for Veteran Supporting Actors for her role in True West for her role as "Mom."
Equity member Richard Seff established this award in 2003. It is a lifetime achievement award for an actor who is over the age of 50 and has been an Equity member for 25 years or more. Previous recipients include: Margo Martindale, Jayne Houdyshell, Dana Ivey, Kristine Nielsen, Patrick Page, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Bill Camp, and Michael Potts.