Lisa Harrow and Corey Stoll

Lisa Harrow and Corey Stoll received the 2016 Joe A. Callaway Award presented by the Actors’ Equity Foundation. The award, honoring the best performance in a professional production of a classic play (written prior to 1920) in the New York metropolitan area, was presented at Actors’ Equity Association’s Eastern Regional Membership Meeting on January 9, 2017, in New York City and includes a $1,000 check plus a commemorative engraved plaque for each recipient.

Due to other commitments, neither actor was present, but each chose an artistic collaborator to present and receive the award on their behalf. Michael Sexton, who directed Harrow’s award-winning performance as Volumnia in Red Bull Theater’s Coriolanus, spoke of “her fierce passion that she has for the world, for the planet, for theatre, for politics, for her art and her fellow artists.”

Sexton praised Harrow’s ability to elevate the character of a “possessive, controlling and ambitious mother” to that of “an actual woman filled with complexities, terrors, beauties, faults and virtues that we find every day in our own mothers.”

He went on to say, “It is that complexity and emotional resonance that she brings to everything she does.”

Sexton then read prepared remarks from Harrow, who was abroad witnessing the birth of her grandchild in New Zealand. In thanking the Foundation for this honor, Harrow wrote, “Volumnia was a joy to play. The role embraced such an astonishing range, from the heights of joy to the depths of raw pain. That is why actors love to play Shakespeare; no writer has expressed the human experience with more nuance and more devastating honesty. I am proud to join such a powerful group of actors honored for their performances in the classical canon."

Prior to her performance as in Coriolanus, Harrow has appeared in regional theatre including the Denver Center Theatre, the George Street Theatre (New Brunswick, NJ), La Jolla Playhouse, the National Actors Theatre, the Pittsburgh Public Theater, Santa Fe Stage, Seattle Rep and the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. She has also performed at the Williamstown Theatre Festival and Off-Broadway in Phallacy, Things We Do For Love (Roundabout) and Wit.

Corey Stoll was cited for his performance as Ulysses in the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park production of Troilus and Cressida. His award was presented and accepted by his castmate Louis Cancelmi, who received the Foundation’s St. Clair Bayfield award for the same production.

Cancelmi praised his castmate both for making him feel welcome when he joined (late in rehearsal) the production as Achilles, and for his facility with language, saying “he had a way of taking these big blocks of language and not only making them extraordinarily clear, but really illuminating the character of Ulysses through the language. It was a really great thing to watch every night.”

The judges for the Callaway Award are Joe Dziemianowicz, Daily News; Adam Feldman, Time Out New York; Susan Haskins, Theater Talk; Harry Haun, Playbill; and David Rosenberg, The Hour Newspapers.

Previous recipients of the Callaway Award include Kate Burton, Byron Jennings, Frank Langella, Laura Linney, Lily Rabe, Liev Schreiber and, in 2014, Suzanne Bertish and Paxton Whitehead.

The Actors’ Equity Foundation, a philanthropic and humanitarian nonprofit organization, was created in 1962 to aid and assist members of the acting profession and to promote the theatre arts. It is separate from Actors’ Equity Association and is funded by estate bequests and individual donations.

The 2015 Joe A. Callaway Award winners, Kelley Curran and Thomas Jay Ryan, along with Arne Gundersen. (center).
credit: Stephanie Masucci

The 2016 Joe A. Callaway Award winner, Lisa Harrow.

The 2016 Joe A. Callaway Award winner, Corey Stoll.