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Christopher Plummer to give $20,000 prize to Canadian theatre artist

Christopher Plummer

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Canadian actor Christopher Plummer will reveal the winner of a $20,000 prize named in his honour next month.

The Oscar-winning actor will personally present the inaugural Christopher Plummer Fellowship Award of Excellence to a fellow homegrown artist at a gala presentation in Toronto on May 23. The $20,000 award will go to an emerging or mid-career Canadian theatre artist deemed to have made a unique and exceptional contribution to the study of Shakespeare and/or the classics in performance.

As determined by a peer jury, the Christopher Plummer Fellowship Award is intended for serious stage performers that have demonstrated unique ability in the classics. The shortlist includes Toronto director Alan Dilworth, Montreal actor-director Paul Hopkins and veteran Stratford actress Yanna McIntosh. The recipient is free to use the money for whatever purpose he or she wishes.

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The new award is administered by the Shakespeare Globe Centre of Canada, of which Plummer serves as patron. The SGCC works closely with Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London to support artistic and educational goals associated with furthering the international understanding of Shakespeare and his contemporaries in performance.

Toronto-born Plummer, 83, began his acting career with the Canadian Repertory Theatre in Ottawa before going onto greater fame on the Broadway stage. He earned his first Tony Award in 1974 for starring in the musical Cyrano and another in 1997 for the play Barrymore.

On film, Plummer appeared in the movies Cleopatra, The Man Who Would Be King, The Silent Partner and A Beautiful Mind. His Best Supporting Oscar win last year for the film Beginners made him the oldest person in history to ever receive an Academy Award.

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