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Ellen Stewart Career Achievement in Professional Theatre and Career Achievement in Academic Theatre
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The highest honors bestowed by ATHE are two Career Achievement Awards: the first, the Ellen Stewart Career Achievement Award in Professional Theatre, is given to an individual who is primarily based in professional theatre; the second, the Career Achievement in Academic Theatre Award, is given to an individual who is primarily based in academic theatre. Each award indicates a career of distinguished service to the field. Frequently recipients have distinguished careers that overlap both areas.

Review the list of past awardees.

The following is a list of six prioritized criteria to be applied to potential candidates for either award:

  • Acclamation: Awardees must be recognized and known for superlative contributions to the field.
  • Test of time: Achievement must be the product of an entire career of contributions as opposed to a short time span, no matter how significant the contribution.
  • Service: Awards must be given for significant selfless service. Awardees must be authentic role models to peers and students.
  • Innovation: Awardees must be original thinkers and/or creators whose work has established new frames of reference.
  • Mentoring: Awardees must be instrumental in nurturing careers of others.
  • Advocacy: Awardees must have been effective advocates for the field.

In addition to these major criteria common to both awards, candidates should be known for supporting multiculturalism and diversity in theatre and/or education. In the case of the Career Achievement in Academic Theatre Award, recognized scholarly and/or creative contributions, work with professional organizations, and service to students should be considered.

Nominators should submit a letter of nomination that addresses the above criteria. Nominators must also attach five to ten letters from supporters who also speak to the above criteria. The letters of support are requested by and sent to the nominator. If a nominator receives more than ten letters of support, only the strongest ten should be sent in their entirety along with the nominator’s letter. 

ATHE membership is encouraged but not required of nominators and nominees. Nominees for Career Achievement may be considered for more than one award cycle. Winners will be contacted in May and a public announcement will be made in early June. The awardee will receive up to $400 in travel expenses (reimbursement), conference registration, and one night in the conference hotel.

View the subcommittee here.

For questions, contact Vice President for Awards Dassia N. Posner.

The nomination period for the 2020 award is closed.

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