Theatre Philadelphia Announces Virtual Celebration of Region’s Theatre November 16, 2020

Replacing the annual Barrymore Awards Ceremony and Celebration, Theatre Philadelphia: A Celebration will recognize over 75 producers, artists, advocacy work, non-traditional theatre, and education — virtually.


Theatre Philadelphia, the region’s theatre marketing and leadership organization, proudly announces Theatre Philadelphia: A Celebration, the annual celebration of our region’s theatre industry. This year, over 75 producers will be recognized for their work during the 2019-20 season, in addition to virtual and activism work.


The official 2019 – 2020 theatre season came to an abrupt end in March due to COVID-19. Since then, the Philadelphia theatre community has pivoted in the face of the most uncertain times. 


“While this year’s celebration won’t look anything like our traditional fall gathering, what remains is an opportunity to recognize our amazing community’s resilience and to virtually gather,” says Theatre Philadelphia Executive Director LaNeshe Miller-White.


Theatre Philadelphia: A Celebration replaces the annual Barrymore Awards Ceremony and Celebration, which has offered nearly $1 million in cash awards to theatre organizations and individual artists since 1995. 


During this year’s celebration, Theatre Philadelphia will announce the Victory Award for Outstanding Theatre Education Program recipients, sponsored by the Victory Foundation. This award recognizes the diverse, rich, and impactful youth-focused education programs in the Philadelphia theatre community, and seeks to put arts education and the future of the field front and center. Recipients who will receive awards of $5,000 include After School Activities Partnerships, People’s Light, Philly Young Playwrights, and Yes! And…Collaborative Arts.

Other traditional special cash awards have been redirected towards Theatre Philadelphia’s Emergency Relief Program, which was launched in April to provide micro-grants to nearly 500 theatre workers who experienced income and opportunity loss due to COVID-19 and theatre closures. 


The Celebration will begin at 7pm on Monday, November 16th as a 1 hour-long look back at the year of theatre in Philadelphia. The celebration will be hosted by local theatre makers Jenna Kuerzi and Newton Buchanan. Theatre Philadelphia’s new executive director, LaNeshe Miller-White, will introduce the celebration. Following the video, there will be a series of breakout rooms where attendees can gather and interact for 2 hours.

The event is one-night only and requires a ticket for access. Tickets are $15 for General Admission and $100 for Honorary Committee, which includes a tax-deductible donation to Theatre Philadelphia. A Pay What You Can option is also available. For tickets, visit

For more information about Theatre Philadelphia, or to request interviews and additional high-resolution images, please contact 267.761.9950 or email

About Jenna Kuerzi, Co-host

Jenna Kuerzi is an actor and singer making new work (and lifting old work!) in Philadelphia and NYC. She has worked regionally with the Arden Theatre Company, Tribe of Fools (Barrymore Nominee: Best Ensemble/New Play- Fishtown: A Hipster Noir), 11th Hour, Shakespeare in Clark Park, Philadelphia Young Playwrights, Revolution Shakespeare, Act II Playhouse, and On the Rocks. Jenna’s solo-ish show, Johnny Depp: A Retrospective on Late-Stage Capitalism, (co-created with Val Dunn) traveled to the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, played sold-out bar performances at Fergie’s Pub, and has since spun off into a podcast titled Depp Impact, available on itunes, spotify, and wherever else one would listen to podcasts.


About Newton Buchanan, Co-host

Newton is a Barrymore Award Nominated performer and theatre producer based in Philadelphia. He’s a co-founder of New Light Theatre Company ( New Light is dedicated to illuminating the human condition and providing opportunities for emerging young theatre artists to work in a professional setting. He’s a co-founder of the newly formed Black Theatre Alliance of Philadelphia. BTAP’s mission is geared toward the elevation and advocacy of black theatre artists in the Philadelphia area. He currently holds an associate artist position with Delaware Shakespeare Co, where, with two other artists and the artistic director, he devises continued educational and creative programming. He’s also the Director of Customer Experience with Markee, a virtual events platform centered on customers owning their own space.


About Theatre Philadelphia
Founded in 2012, Theatre Philadelphia unites, celebrates, and promotes the Philadelphia region’s diverse and growing theatre community. We lead efforts that expand audiences and engage the public to participate in our community’s work. Theatre Philadelphia envisions an equitable and inclusive region that champions and nurtures local artists. We aim to raise our city’s profile as a world-class city and enrich the lives of Philadelphia-area citizens. This August, Theatre Philadelphia announced LaNeshe Miller-White as the new executive director.


About the Barrymore Awards
Originally established in 1994 and relaunched by Theatre Philadelphia in 2013, the Barrymore Awards serve as Philadelphia’s professional theatre awards program, recognizing artists for excellence and innovation while increasing public awareness of the richness and diversity of our city’s thriving theatre community. A nationally recognized symbol of excellence for professional theatre in our region, the Barrymore Awards raise the bar for the work produced by local theatres and individual artists while providing cash awards that strengthen companies and individual artists’ abilities to pursue artistic work of the highest caliber. Past recipients can be found online at This year’s Barrymore Awards will be replaced by Theatre Philadelphia: A Celebration, due to the season of theatre disrupted by COVID-19.


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