Lois Smith & Bill Camp


The annual Actors’ Equity Foundation Award honored Lois Smith for her work in John at Signature Theatre and in Marjorie Prime at Playwrights Horizons and Bill Camp for his performance on Broadway in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.


“It’s a privilege for me to be an actor in the theatre,” said Equity member Bill Camp. “And it’s a thing that I’m still coming to and learning about. I love the theatre because it keeps me curious.” 


Equity member Richard Seff, who noted that he received his Equity card 70 years ago, established the award in 2003 to honor a veteran male and female character actor for the best performance in a supporting role in a Broadway or Off-Broadway production. Previous recipients include Tom Aldredge, Reed Birney, Hallie Foote, Jayne Houdyshell and, in 2015, Julie Halston and Brad Oscar.


Bill Camp was cited for his performance as Reverend Hale in the Broadway production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible (for which he has been nominated for the 2016 Best Performance by an actor in a Featured Role in a Play Tony Award and the 2016 Drama Desk Award).Other Broadway shows include Death of a Salesman,  Coram Boy, Heartbreak House, Jackie, Saint Joan and The Seagull. And that’s just his stage work. Camp has many television and film credit as well.


Lois Smith, winner of multiple theatre awards, including the Obie Award for Lifetime Achievement (2016) and New York Drama Critics’ Circle Special Citation (2016), was recognized for her performance in Signature Theatre’s production of Annie Baker’s John for her role as Genevieve. She was also cited for her role as Marjorie in Playwrights Horizon’s Marjorie Prime.  


“I know that I’m part of this community,” Smith commented. “I knew that. But, coming here today, certainly the community took care of me today.”


Both recipients commented on their gratefulness to the Foundation as well as the union.


“I’m so grateful for Actors’ Equity,” Smith said. “I often feel like I should stump speeches because I don’t think young actors understand how important it is to be together…and have a pension.”  


The judges’ panel includes:  Joe Dziemianowicz, Daily News; Adam Feldman, Time Out New York; Susan Haskins, Theater Talk; Harry Haun, Playbill; and David Rosenberg, The Hour Newspapers.

Originator of the Richard Seff Award is Seff himself (center), flanked by Lois Smith  and Bill Camp

Photo by Susan Stripling