Ben Platt & Alana Arenas Win Clarence Derwent Awards

first_img Ben Platt Dear Evan Hansen star Ben Platt and Head of Passes’ Alana Arenas have received Actors’ Equity Foundation’s 2016 Clarence Derwent Award for most promising performers. Additionally, Lois Smith, who appeared off-Broadway this season’s Marjorie Prime and John, and The Crucible Tony nominee Bill Camp are the recipients of this year’s Richard Seff Award, which honors veteran actors in supporting roles.Platt has earned Drama League and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations for his performance in Dear Evan Hansen, now at Second Stage Theatre. He made his Broadway debut in 2014 in The Book of Mormon, having previously played the role of Elder Cunningham in Chicago and on tour. His film credits include Pitch Perfect and Ricki and the Flash.Arenas won this year’s Lucille Lortel Award for her featured performance in the Public’s Head of Passes. Her other off-Broadway credits include The Bluest Eye and Disgraced. She has been a member of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company ensemble since 2007.Smith received a special citation this week by the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards, and also received Drama League and Lucille Lortel Award nominations. Her numerous stage credits include Tony-nominated performances in Buried Child and The Grapes of Wrath, as well as Stages and The Iceman Cometh.In addition to a Tony nomination, Camp picked up a Drama Desk nod for his current performance in The Crucible at the Walter Kerr Theatre. He has appeared on Broadway in Death of a Salesman, Coram Boy, Heartbreak House, Jackie, Saint Joan and The Seagull.The four recipients will be presented with the award on May 31 at Equity’s Eastern Regional Board meeting. Bill Camp Star Filescenter_img View Comments Ben Platt in ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ & Alana Arenas in ‘Head of Passes'(Photos: Matthew Murphy & Joan Marcus)last_img read more

IU team sends wrong message

first_imgIn my column last week, I urged the NCAA to severely punishIndiana head basketball coach Kelvin Sampson for violating five majorrecruiting policies (for a second time), should IU Athletic Director RickGreenspan not take action.Well, Greenspan took action Friday as he forced Sampson toaccept a $750,000 buyout (not bad for a two-time cheater), which subsequentlyterminated the remainder of his contract.In protest, six IU players ? including senior captain andBig Ten Player of the Year candidate D.J. White (who was not recruited bySampson, which makes it that much more ridiculous) ? skipped practice Fridayafternoon, which happened to be the day before the Hoosiers had a gamescheduled against Northwestern. At that time on Friday, it was unknown whetherthose six players would travel with the team (the No. 15 team in country, whichalso happened to be tied for first place in the Big Ten, mind you) to Evanston,Ill.Not only did those six players play Saturday as the Hoosiersalmost became the Wildcats? first Big Ten prey of the season, but the majorityof the Indiana players wrote ?K.S.? in red marker on their sneakers as atribute to their former coach, or ?father,? as IU freshman guard Eric Gordonreferred to Sampson.Much like when the Atlanta Falcons? D?Angelo Hall and RoddyWhite wore ?Free Mike Vick? T-shirts underneath their game jerseys to honortheir former teammate (and recent criminal), this just doesn?t settle well withme.I understand the concept of paying homage to one?s teammateor friend. Had Sampson died or been hospitalized for some reason, a tribute ofsome sort would certainly be appropriate, just as many NFL players wore the ?21?sticker on the back of their helmets following the tragic death of Redskinssafety Sean Taylor. But at some point morals and ethics must become arecognizable factor. Maybe Sampson was a father figure to these players, but byhonoring him a day after he left campus for cheating, these players arestanding up for a liar against the integrity of their university.There?s a reason why you don?t see Andy Pettitte ? RogerClemens? friend and former teammate ? roaming the streets with a sign reading ?LeaveRoger Alone!? Everyone would see that as a pro-steroid stance instead of simplybeing a good friend.When Patriots coach Bill Belichick got caught red-handed for?Spygate,? his players showed their support by quietly congratulating him onthe sideline after their next win over the Chargers, not by wearing ?BB?stickers on their arms. (Granted, He Who Wears the Hooded Sweatshirt wasn’tfired, but you get the point).Since 1960, the Indiana basketball program has been seen asone of the most (if not the most) prestigious programs in the nation. BobKnight had his issues in Bloomington, but IU hadn?t been subject to an NCAAinvestigation in 48 years.Until this month, of course.In April 2006, Sampson stood on the floor of Assembly Halland addressed the IU student body for the first time since being introduced asthe Hoosiers? new head coach. He acknowledged the recruiting violations he madewhile at Oklahoma and promised (yes, promised) the IU faithful that he wouldgraduate his players, win titles and play by the rules.Talk about an empty promise.Former Indiana basketball All-American Kent Benson got ridof his season tickets in protest to Sampson?s actions. He told the IndianapolisStar he would not step foot into Assembly Hall again until both Sampson andGreenspan were fired.Now, at least he?s got one foot back in the door.Dallas Mavericks owner and IU alum Mark Cuban also said therelease of Sampson was a ?step in the right direction.? So it?s not as ifHoosier Nation has been backing Sampson since this controversy arose. In fact,it?s been quite the opposite.Unless you play for the Indiana basketball team.Greenspan made a mistake in hiring Sampson in the firstplace, but he is not to blame. I blame the IU players.Athletes need to realize that they are role models. Theirevery action and every word are blown out of proportion in the media. Sometimesthey?re justified, other times they may not be. But the point is, by playingbasketball at Indiana University they chose to be under the spotlight, so theyneed to understand the repercussions.Their former coach smacked Greenspan ? the man who gaveSampson a second chance and a clean slate ? in the face by lying to him twoAprils ago.And now these players smacked Greenspan on the other cheek,by honoring the man who has now severely tarnished the integrity of Indianabasketball.?Derek is a sophomoremajoring in economics. If you think that the Hoosiers? tribute to Sampson wasjustified, or you just want to talk college hoops, you can e-mail him at [email protected]last_img read more