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Spring 2018
                                                            Vol. 1, No. 1  
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Curtain up on our first newsletter
Welcome to the Jeff Awards first official newsletter--a new addition to our activities.

Our intent is to set the stage to better inform, communicate and interact with the
theatre community and general public about who we are, what we do and
how we do it.

Our mission since 1968 continues to honor excellence in Chicago theatre as we celebrate our 50th anniversary this year. Chicago is blessed with some of the best theatre in the world, and the Jeff Awards is proud to be part of the Chicago theatre community.

We promise to continue recognizing and encouraging the best in Chicago theatre with the enthusiasm it so richly deserves.


David Liesse
Chair, Jeff Awards

Save the dates for Non-Equity Awards
Non-Equity Statue 2• Nomination Announcement: April 23rd
• Non-Equity Jeff Awards: June 11th
Join us for the 45th Annual Non-Equity Awards
hosted by Veronica Garza on Monday, June 11th
at the Athenaeum Theatre
The Nomination Announcement Video will go live on the
morning of April 23rd on social media and the
Jeff Awards website.  
Tickets can be purchased online
after the nominations are announced at or the TodayTix app. 

We listened. Now acting on research findings.
Jeff Awards Opinion Research_11Dec2017

♦ Proactively diversify membership

♦ Review voting procedures
♦ ​Form an Outreach Task Force
♦ Open member programs to the public
♦ Initiate more communication activities
Outcomes of a major research project in 2017 resulted in the Jeff Awards taking action on key issues. The two-phased research was conducted over five months with the Chicago theatre community.

The full report is available on the Jeff Awards website home page or click the image on left to download. Some actions underway as a result of the findings are listed on the left

​Presentations of the findings were made to the League of Chicago Theatres Board of Directors and at a Managing Directors meeting. Email for more information.


Ad hoc committee studying ballot and voting procedures
An ad hoc committee is completing recommendations for changes to Equity and Non-Equity ballots after reviewing all categories and voting procedures.

Recommendations include changes in performance, ensemble and artistic specialization categories as well as additional categories. Input was received from Jeff Award members, Chicago theatre community via Taproot research results and awards programs from other cities. Once recommendations are reviewed and approved, the committee will study opening night ballot procedures.

Membership proactively looking to diversify
The membership committee is proactively reaching out to underrepresented communities to improve diversity among the membership. From interviews held in January, four new candidates joined the Jeff Awards and two candidates are currently on reserve waiting a vacancy. The Jeff Awards is limited to 55 members.

The next round of interviews is planned for June.

​Beginning April 1, a new rule allows new members to select "rotation" as they begin, which eliminates the mandatory one-year rule to attend plays in both Equity and Non-Equity wings. This change reduces the number of plays a member sees annually from approximately 150 to 60-100 productions when on rotation.

Learn more about becoming a member and email your application to Candidates should have a background in theatre and interest in advancing Chicago theatre. Information about membership and background about Jeff members are available on the web site in the member section.
Welcome New Members
Ryan Anderson2 2 NUMBER 1 2 Daniel de la Cruz4 Cheryl Frazier2 Cait Williams2 AJ Wright 2
de la Cruz

Educational programs now open to public
As part of its continuing education program, the Jeff Awards hosts panel discussions with Chicago theatre professionals on different subjects before its membership meetings.

Educational programs are now open to the public and are no longer limited to Jeff Awards members.

Theatre students from Oak Park-River Forest High School and Columbia Collage joined the February discussion on scenic design. Watch it on YouTube. Past discussions have ranged from direction, acting, ensemble and Shakespeare to puppetry, sound/set/lighting design, casting, costumes and more.

Coming soon: New Jeff Awards website
A new Jeff Awards website with a livelier look, more information and user-friendly navigation is coming this Spring. Watch for our launch announcement.

The website will contain Jeff Recommended shows, awards ceremony details and photo gallery, news updates, panel discussion videos, membership information, voting procedures and an archive of past recipients. Some of same information is on our current website at
50th Logo

​How is a production Jeff Recommended?
FAQs on website

Interested in being a Jeff Judge?
Here's what it takes.


Support the Jeff Awards for our 50th Anniversary celebration. Donate or sponsor an awards category by clicking the Donate image below and locating it on our website home page. We are a 501(c)3 organization.

Donate button

The Jeff Awards Quarterly is published by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee four times annually.

  David Liesse​
Media/Marketing Chair:
  Jeffrey Marks​
  Martha Hudak


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The Joseph Jefferson Award Committee
3531 Kenilworth Ave
Berwyn, Illinois 60402

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