Eclipse Theatre Company announces the recipient of 2020’s Eleventh Annual Corona Award: Mary Ann Thebus and Michael and Mona Heath. The Corona Award honors individuals and organizations which play an important role in supporting and nurturing the growth of the Chicago theatre community as well as small- to medium-sized theatres like Eclipse Theatre.
The 2020 Corona Award event will begin at 6:30pm with a buffet dinner and live music followed by the award ceremony at 7:30 pm on Monday, March 2, 2020 at The Athenaeum Theatre, located at 2936 N. Southport Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at www.eclipsetheatre.com
Over a career of more than forty years, MARY ANN THEBUS has created dozens of roles for theaters around the country and on film, and has appeared with virtually every major Chicago company, including Goodman, Steppenwolf, Chicago Shakespeare, and The Gift, where she is a company member. The recipient of numerous Jeff Award nominations, she is also a highly respected teacher (primarily through her long association with The Artistic Home) and acting coach, whose former students are now among the leading players of Chicago’s Equity and non-Equity communities.
As Chicago’s most ardent and passionate theatergoers, MICHAEL AND MONA HEATH are also among Chicago’s most generous donors, particularly to the city’s storefront companies. Established in 2013, the Michael and Mona Heath Fund has supported dozens of productions and companies, including Jackalope, Free Street, Redtwist, The Hypocrites, Firebrand, The Gift, Griffin, Lifeline, Porchlight, Raven, and Eclipse; and the underwriting for the Heath Main Stage at the Den Theatre. Recipients of the 2017 Tribute Award from the League of Chicago Theatres, the Heaths now attend more than 300 Chicago performances annually.
“We are proud indeed to be able to honor these recipients, whose talent and generosity has helped to transform the Chicago theater,” said Steve Scott, Eclipse’s board president. “Mary Ann Thebus is without doubt the first lady of the Chicago stage, whose passion and skill have inspired and nurtured our acting community for decades. And the Heaths’ overwhelming love for our local companies has brought us both spiritual and financial support at a time when both are crucial.”
Past Corona Award Recipients have included Chicago casting director Jane Alderman, Timeline Theatre Managing Director Elizabeth K. Auman, Steppenwolf Associate Artistic Director Erica Daniels, Goodman Theatre Associate Producer Steve Scott, Goodman Theatre Resident Director Chuck Smith, League of Chicago Theatres Executive Director Deb Clapp, Mary-Arrchie Artistic Director Richard Cotovsky, Goodman Theatre Stage Manager Joseph Drummond, Court Theatre Resident Artist and Director Ron OJ Parson and the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation.
Steve Scott recently retired as Producer of Goodman Theatre, where he had overseen more than 200 productions; he is also a member of the Goodman’s Artistic Collective. Goodman directing credits include The Santaland Diaries; Ah, Wilderness!; Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike; Wit; Horton Foote’s Blind Date; the world premiere of Tom Mula’s Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol; and six seasons of A Christmas Carol. He is a twenty-year member of the Eclipse Theatre ensemble, he most recently directed Christopher Durang’s Why Torture is Wrong and the People Who Love Them. He has also directed productions at Northlight Theatre, A Red Orchid Theatre, Silk Road Rising, Shattered Globe, American Blues, Redtwist Theatre (where he is also a company member), and many others. A faculty member at the Theatre Conservatory of the College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, he also serves on the advisory board of Congo Square Theatre, as well as the board of Season of Concern. In addition to Eclipse’s Corona Award, he is the recipient of six Jeff Award nominations, an After Dark Award, the Illinois Theatre Association’s Award of Honor, the League of Chicago Theatre’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the 2017 Special Jeff Award for his contributions to the Chicago theatre community.
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