Lauren Ambrose
(© Joseph Marzullo/Retna)
Lauren Ambrose
(© Joseph Marzullo/Retna)
Lauren Ambrose and Byron Jennings have been awarded this year's Joe A. Callaway Award, while Jay O. Sanders has received the St. Clair Bayfield Award, to be presented by the Actors' Equity Foundation.

Ambrose was recognized for her performance as Juliet in The Public Theatre's Shakespeare in the Park production of Romeo and Juliet. Her previous stage credits include the Broadway revival of Awake and Sing!, for which she received a 2006 Drama Desk Award as part of an Outstanding Ensemble and Buried Child at the National Theatre. She is best known for her portrayal of Claire Fisher on the HBO series, Six Feet Under, for which she received two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.

Jennings was cited for his role as Bastien André in Is He Dead?, in which he currently appears on Broadway. Previous credits on the Great White Way include Inherit the Wind, Noises Off, Heartbreak House, A Touch of the Poet, Twelve Angry Men, The Man Who Came to Dinner, A Month in the Country, Henry IV, Dinner at Eight and The Invention of Love.

Sanders, who receives the award for his performance as Bottom in the Public Theatre's Shakespeare in the Park production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, recently appeared in the Roundabout's revival of Pygmalion. Additional credits include Stuff Happens, Taming of the Shrew, King John, and Henry V.

The Callaway Award -- which comes with a $1,000 check plus an engraved plaque for each recipient -- honors the best performances in a professional production of a classic play (one written prior to 1920) in the New York metropolitan area. It was established by Equity member Joe A. Callaway to encourage participation in the classics and non-profit theatre. The Bayfield Award was established in 1973 in memory of Equity member St. Clair Bayfield, and honors the best performance by an Actor in a Shakespearean play in the New York metropolitan area. The recipient receives a $1,000 check and a crystal plaque.

The awards will be presented at Equity's Eastern Regional Membership Meeting on Friday, January 11.