By Gordon Cox
MARCH 16, 2017 | 07:00AM PT
The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center has named actress Judith Light the recipient of its annual Monte Cristo Award, handed out each year to a theater creative whose work has had a major impact on American theater.
“Hamilton” director Thomas Kail will present Light with the award at a May gala. Although Light is most widely known for TV roles in “Transparent” and “Who’s the Boss?,” she’s also won two Tony Awards, one for “Other Desert Cities” in 2012 and one for “The Assembled Parties” in 2013. In 1977 she spent a summer at the O’Neill Center’s National Playwrights Conference, performing in new works that included Wendy Wasserstein’s “Uncommon Women and Others.”
The actress, whose TV credits also include “One Life to Live” and “Ugly Betty,” joins a list of Monte Cristo recipients alongside prior winners Meryl Streep, Michael Douglas, Nathan Lane and George C. Wolfe, among others. Kail previously worked with Light in the 2010 Broadway play “Lombardi”; at the O’Neill Center’s Music Theater Conference he collaborated on “In the Heights” with Lin-Manuel Miranda before that show moved to Broadway.
The O’Neill Theater Center, located in Waterford, Conn., oversees a range of new-work initiatives that include the conferences for playwrights and for music theater, as well as the National Puppetry Conference and the Cabaret and Performance Conference. The O’Neill also runs undergraduate training programs through its National Theater Institute.
The 2017 Monte Cristo Award gala is set for May 21 at New York event venue 583 Park Avenue.