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Conservatory Faculty Member wins 2014 Elliot Norton Prize For Sustained Excellence

The Boston Theater Critics Association has announced that Boston Conservatory faculty member Paul Daigneault will be awarded the 2014 Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence on May 19 at The Wheelock Family Theatre. Academy Award-winner and international star of stage, television and film Olympia Dukakis will receive the 2014 Elliot Norton Lifetime Achievement Award with special remarks by her cousin and former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis.

Daigneault is also the Founder and Producing Artistic Director of SpeakEasy Stage Company. According to the BTCA press release, “Daigneault’s vision and leadership have made SpeakEasy Stage one of the most successful and respected professional theaters in New England, with a strong reputation for producing regional premieres of contemporary plays and musicals, and an even stronger commitment to developing the talents and careers of local theatre artists. Paul has directed more than half of his company’s roughly one hundred productions over its past 23 seasons. He has received two Elliot Norton Awards for Direction: the first in 2003, for his work on both Stephen Sondheim's Passion and Bat Boy: The Musical, the latter of which still holds the record as SpeakEasy’s longest running show, and then again in 2008, for his work on three productions: Parade, Some Men, and Zanna Don’t!.”

Outside the theatre, he serves on the boards of the Barbara C. Harris Camp & Conference Center and the ICU Patient & Family Advisory Council at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Paul resides in Brookline, MA with his husband, the Rev. Jeffrey W. Mello, and their son Ardani Mello-Daigneault.

The Elliot Norton Awards are named in honor of the distinguished Boston theater critic Elliot Norton, who for many years served on the selection committee and who remained an engaged supporter of drama, both locally and nationally, until his death in 2003 at the age of 100. For 48 years Mr. Norton was a drama critic for Boston newspapers; concurrently, from 1958 until his retirement in 1982, he was moderator of Elliot Norton Reviews on WGBH television. The Norton Medal was first bestowed in 1983. Since then, the awards have grown to include, in addition to the Prize for Sustained Excellence, almost two dozen awards presented annually to outstanding productions, performers, directors, and designers.

Tickets are $30 (including post-party) and available by phone at 617-879-2300 or online www.nortonawardsboston.com.

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