The Late Boston actor Bob Jolly contributes a new honor to the annual IRNE Awards ceremony.
The late Boston actor Bob Jolly contributes a new honor to the annual IRNE Awards ceremony.

The Independent Reviewers of New England have announced that this year's IRNE Awards will include the first annual presentation of the Bob Jolly Award, a $2,000 prize to an up-and-coming local actor.

Bob Jolly, who died in 2013, was an actor in the Boston community for 28 years and a recipient of a special recognition IRNE Award in 1997. The Bob Jolly Charitable Trust, established by his will, supports local actors with small grants and stipulates that the new award to be presented annually to a Boston area actor who "best exemplifies the charisma, creativity, spirit, wit and dedication to the theater, in general, and to the craft of acting, particular, which Bob Jolly demonstrated throughout his professional life."

The 18th annual IRNE Awards will be held on Monday, April 7, at the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts. The Bob Jolly Award will be presented by Bill and Elizabeth Jolly, Bob's brother and niece, and longtime friend Marshall Williams.

"We're honored Bob Jolly's friends and family chose to celebrate his remarkable legacy with the IRNE Awards," said Beverly Creasey, Founder and Chair of the IRNE Committee. "We've always striven to make the IRNE Awards not just about recognition of excellence among the nominees and award winner, but as a night of appreciation for the entire Boston theater community. The spirit Bob demonstrated throughout his acting career is alive and well in actors throughout this community, and we're delighted to a play role in celebrating his legacy."