Monday, May 2, 2016

Anne Keefe to Receive CT Critics Circle's Killen Award

Anne Keefe. Photo: Kerry Long
Anne Keefe, former Co-Artistic Director at Westport Country Playhouse and long-time stage manager at Long Wharf Theatre and at various Broadway venues, is this year's recipient of the CT Critics Circle's Tom Killen Award.

The award, given in recognition to years of extraordinary achievement and service to Connecticut theater, will be presented at the 26th annual awards event celebrating the 2015-16 theater season 7:30 pm  Monday, June 13 at Hartford Stage, co-hosted by Hartford's TheaterWorks. The event is free and open to the public.

Previous winners include Lloyd Richards, Michael Price, Gordon Edelstein, Michael Wilson and Lucille Lortel. Last year's recipient was Carmen de Lavallade (who will be interviewed for an Oral History event, sponsored by the League of Professional Theatre Women in New York on June 27).

Fresh out of college, Keefe began her career as a stage manager at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, N.J in the late '60s. From 1973 to the late '90s, Keefe worked as a production stage manager and production supervisor at Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, where many of its shows moved to New York, beginning with the American premiere of David Storey's The Changing Room in 1973. She was 27 and the only female stage manager on Broadway.

Beginning in 1999, she and friend Joanne Woodward began working together, programming Westport County Playhouse’s 2000 season. They also worked together to develop plans to save the famed historic Westport theater from demolition, and in 2003 construction began on the $30 million transformation of the theater and its grounds that converted it into a year-round multi-purpose facility. It re-opened in 2005, its 75th anniversary year.

Keefe's roles there included artistic associate and interim co-artistic director with Woodward. She is now curator and director of the Playhouse's popular "Script in Hand" series.

She is married to playwright David Wiltse. They live in Weston.


Nominees for the Connecticut Critics Circle Awards celebrating the best in the state's professional theater season will be announced in early June. Winners will be announced at the awards event. Information: www.ctcritics.org.

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