The 43rd Annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards were presented in a ceremony on June 6 at Chicago's Park West. The event recognizes excellence in non-union Chicago theater.
Oracle Theatre's production of Eugene O'Neill's expressionist play The Hairy Ape, The New Colony and Definition Theatre Company's Byhalia, Mississippi by Evan Linder, and Rent, presented by Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, took home the most honors.
Long-time Chicago actors Karl Hamilton and Sarah Hayes returned as emcees for the award show. Brenda Didier directed Monday's ceremony, with musical direction provided by Jimmy Morehead. John D. Glover, Non-Equity Wing Chair of the Jeff Committee, produced the event.
David Liesse, Chair of the 55-member Jeff Awards Committee, presented this year's Special Jeff Award honoring director Kimberly Senior (Disgraced) for her efforts as a mentor to emerging directors and her advocacy in helping to promote the careers of fellow artists.
Over the course of her career, she has served as an artistic associate with Chicago Dramatists and Next Theatre, and is currently an associate artist at TimeLine, and a resident director at Writers Theatre. Senior also served for 10 years as an administrator and resident artist for Steppenwolf's Theatre for Young Adults. She made her Broadway debut in 2014, directing Ayad Akhtar's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Disgraced.