The Theatre School at DePaul University Hosts Awards Gala

by Jacob Coakley

James and Catherine Denny will receive the 2014 Leadership Award for Excellence from The Theatre School at DePaul UniversityThe 2014 Awards for Excellence in the Arts gala from The Theatre School at DePaul University will take place Monday, Nov. 3 and will honor James and Catherine Denny with the 2014 Leadership Award for Excellence in the Arts and Theatre School Alumnus P.J. Byrne will receive the 2014 Alumni Award for Excellence in the Arts.

The Theatre School at DePaul University Presents: The 26th Annual Awards for Excellence in the Arts

CHICAGO ­– The Theatre School at DePaul University (John Culbert, Dean) is pleased to present The 2014 Awards for Excellence in the Arts gala on Monday, November 3, 2014, at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago.  The Four Seasons is located at 120 East Delaware Place.  The event will begin with a 6 PM cocktail reception, followed by dinner and the awards presentation at 7 PM.

The Annual Awards for Excellence in the Arts recognize distinguished artists and visionaries who have proven their dedication, talent, and leadership in support of the arts.  All proceeds from the event directly benefit The Theatre School Scholarship Fund, supporting students from all over the nation to come to train at the school.

James and Catherine Denny will receive the 2014 Leadership Award for Excellence in the Arts, in recognition of extraordinary contributions to arts and cultural institutions in Chicago. In addition to their outstanding support of the arts and sciences, DePaul University Life Trustee James Denny recently served as the Co-Chair for the Campaign for the Performing Arts, as part of the Many Dreams, One Mission Campaign for DePaul University. 

Theatre School Alumnus P.J. Byrne will receive the 2014 Alumni Award for Excellence in the Arts. Earlier this year, Byrne starred alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street for director Martin Scorsese, and this summer he teamed up again with the famed director on the Untitled HBO/Rock ‘N’ Roll Project. He recently wrapped production on the feature film Eloise co-starring Robert Patrick and directed by the Oscar-winning Robert Legato. Renowned for his pivotal scene-stealing role in Horrible Bosses, Byrne’s character supports the stars of the film as they plot to kill their bosses. He has played opposite Steve Carell in Dinner for Schmucks; Zach Galifianakis in The Campaign; Harrison Ford in Extraordinary Measures; Tom Hanks in Mike Nichols' Charlie Wilson's War; Will Ferrell and Nicole Kidman in Nora Ephron's Bewitched; Jack Black in Michel Gondry's Be Kind, Rewind; Jim Carrey in Bruce Almighty; and Clint Eastwood in Bloodwork. Byrne's television credits include the fan favorite role of Irv Smiff, the driven sports agent who represents a number of professional football players, in the ongoing BET hit series The Game. He has appeared in recurring and guest roles on hit and acclaimed series such as NCIS, The Mentalist, Burn Notice, Bones, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Reno 911, West Wing, ER, Boston Legal, Desperate Housewives, and New Adventures of Old Christine. He received his MFA in Acting from The Theatre School at DePaul University.

 

Actress Felicia P. Fields will accept the 2014 Award for Excellence in the Arts. Ms. Fields’ Chicago credits include The Rose Tattoo, The Amen Corner, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and A Christmas Carol at the Goodman Theatre, as well as productions at Marriott Theatre Lincolnshire, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace, Theatre at the Center, and Apple Three Theatre, among others. She recently completed Hairspray and the first cycle of the tour Love, Loss and What I Wore. Production credits include Nunsense; Sunset Boulevard; Swinging on a Star; Some Like It Hot; Richard II; It Ain’t Nothing But the Blues; Low Down Dirty Blues; A Civil War Christmas; Hot Mikado; Show Boat; Ain’t Misbehavin’; Dreamgirls, and Hello, Dolly!, among others. Ms. Fields earned a Tony Award nomination for her portrayal of Sofia in The Color Purple on Broadway. Her performance also earned her a 2006 Theatre World Award, a Clarence Derwent Award, two Broadway.com awards, an NAACP nomination, and a Denver Post Ovation Award. She was a 2006 Drama League honoree. Ms. Fields has received a Black Theatre Alliance Award and nominations, many Jeff Award nominations, and the award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in Sophisticated Ladies. Her television and film credits include Early Edition, Save the Last Dance, The Knights of Prosperity, Chicago PD, and the television pilot for Doubt, as well as many commercials and voice-overs. Felicia also sings with The Smiley Tillmon Band, a blues, funk, soul, and jazz revue.

The Corporate Co-Chair for the 2014 Awards for Excellence in the Arts is PNC Bank (Scott Swanson, President, PNC Bank Illinois).  Additional sponsors include Geico, Magellan Corporation, Antunovich Associates, and Exelon Corporation.

The co-chairs for the 2014 Awards for Excellence in the Arts include Joseph Antunovich (President, Antunovich Associates); Sondra A. Healy (Chairman, Turtle Wax Inc.); Gordon and Carole Segal (Co-Founders, Crate & Barrel); and Rev. Monsignor Kenneth Velo (Senior Executive, Office of Catholic Collaboration, DePaul University). 

Single tickets can be purchased for $500.  For more information and table pricing, please contact DePaul University’s Office of Advancement: (312) 362-8455 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..