Established by Equity member Richard Seff in 2003, the award is given to veteran female and male character actors for their performances in a supporting roles in a Broadway or Off-Broadway production.
De Shields is receiving the award for his performance as Hermes in the new Broadway musical Hadestown; he also received a 2019 Tony nomination for his work in the acclaimed production. Burke is being honored for her role as Mom in the recent Broadway revival of True West.
Previous recipients of the award include Tom Aldredge, Reed Birney, Larry Bryggman, Lynn Cohen, Jim Dale, Hallie Foote, Jayne Houdyshell, Dana Ivey, Kristine Nielsen, Patrick Page, Laila Robins, Lewis J. Stadlen and, in 2018, Michael Potts and Margaret Colin.
De Shields and Burke will be presented with a check and crystal trophy at Equity’s Eastern Regional Board meeting June 11 in Manhattan.
The judges panel includes Joe Dziemianowicz, Adam Feldman, Susan Haskins, Harry Haun, and David Rosenberg.