Jean Scott, who several years ago was presenting Theater Lobby awards at The Writer’s Center, severely injured herself there during Quotidian Theatre Company’s July 27th performance of Conor McPherson’s The Veil. We all wish her the best and a speedy recovery!
From the 1950s to 1972, Jean acted with D.C.’s Theater Lobby, which after its close became the champion of other small, non-profit theater companies from 1987 to 2006 by bestowing awards upon local actors, directors, designers, and other small non-profit theaters at an annual ceremony. In 1993, the Theater Lobby honored me, Stephanie Mumford, with its Mary Goldwater Award. It was one of the most meaningful recognitions of my theater career. I will never forget it.
When the Theater Lobby presented its last awards in October 2006, Jane Horwitz marked the occasion in her column in The Washington Post. She cited the reaction of Christopher Henley (at left in the title role in QTC’s Faith Healer) to his being honored with a Mary Goldwater Award. Christopher recalled how “they wrote a citation on which they spoke with care and insight about what it was in the work that inspired them to honor it… without regard to categorizing the work. And it was just such a charming and unpretentious evening. It will be missed.”
Jean Scott, one of Theater Lobby’s original members, often read these citations with great eloquence and exuberance. Prior to becoming an advocate for a new generation of artists and burgeoning theater companies, Jean performed in productions herself, staged at the Theater Lobby’s own small performance space at 17 St. Matthews Ct. NW in D.C. She played Regina in Ibsen’s Ghosts directed by Theater Lobby co-founder Mary-Averett Seelye, who said at Theater Lobby’s close, “I hope that what we did was to spread the word so more people heard about these theaters and realized that just because they were small and struggling, they weren’t necessarily not worth going to.”
DC Theatre Scene had archived all the recipients of the Theater Lobby’s Mary Goldwater Awards. They can be viewed here.