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Elizabeth McGovern Receives Custom Bennett Recognition Award

Academy Award nominee Elizabeth McGovern was a recent recipient of a custom recognition award designed by Bennett Awards. The Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC), one of the nation’s leading theatre companies, selected McGovern as their 2013 recipient of The William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre (the Will Award).

The Will Award is presented each year to an artist who has made a significant contribution to classical theatre in America. Past recipients include Annette Bening, Sir Ian McKellen, Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Dame Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Dame Maggie Smith, Hal Holbrook, Fiona Shaw, Patrick Stewart, Sam Waterston, F. Murray Abraham, Lynn Redgrave, Christopher Walken, Morgan Freeman, Mel Gibson, Kenneth Branagh, Christopher Plummer, Kevin Kline, the late Joseph Papp, and Shakespeare Theatre Company Artistic Director Michael Kahn. 

This is the seventh straight year that the STC has used a custom recognition trophy from Bennett Awards for this award. In 2008, Bennett Awards created a new custom sculpture design in the shape of a swan, paying homage to the Shakespeare heritage. These sculpture trophies are cast in bronze with a high-polish finish, and then mounted on round black marble bases with personalized engraving of the award and recipient names. 

McGovern received the Will Award at the STC’s Harmon Center for the Arts Annual Gala, held October 6, 2013 at the Harmon Center for the Arts in Washington DC. 

McGovern has been nominated for both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her performance as Cora, Countess of Grantham in Downton Abbey. She has also appeared in numerous TV programs, theatre productions, and feature films, including Ragtime, a role for which she was nominated for an Academy Award. 

Over the past quarter of a century, the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., has become “the nation’s foremost Shakespeare company” (Wall Street Journal) and the “region’s most dynamic theatre” (The Washington Post), and received more Helen Hayes Awards for producing than any other theatre. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Kahn, STC has grown from its residence at the Folger Shakespeare Library to the Lansburgh Theatre in 1992 to the opening of the brand new Sidney Harman Hall in 2007. More information on the Shakespeare Theatre Company can be found on their website at