Anne Keefe Named Winner of 2016 Tom Killen Award

WESTPORT — Anne Keefe, associate artist with the Westport Country Playhouse, who was part of the team that transformed the theater nearly two decades ago, will be presented this year’s Tom Killen Award from the Connecticut Critics Circle in June.

The award, recognizing Keefe’s “years of extraordinary achievement and service to Connecticut theater,” will be presented at the Critic Circle’s 26th annual awards event at 7:30 p.m. June 13 at Hartford Stage. Keefe also has been a stage manager at Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven and various Broadway venues.

Previous winners of the award include Lucille Lortel, founder of the White Barn Theatre in Westport, as well as Lloyd Richards, Michael Price, Gordon Edelstein, Michael Wilson and Carmen de Lavallade.

Keefe began her career as a stage manager at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, N.J.,in the late 1960s. From 1973 to the late ’90s, Keefe worked as a production stage manager and production supervisor at Long Wharf Theatre, where some productions moved to New York, beginning with the American premiere of David Storey‘s “The Changing Room” in 1973. At 27, she was the only female stage manager on Broadway, according to publicity for the award.

In 1999, Keefe and actress Joanne Woodward began working on programming the Westport Country Playhouse’s 2000 season. They also worked on plans to save the theater from demolition, and in 2003, construction began on the $30 million transformation for the theater and its grounds that converted it into a year-round, multi-purpose venue. It re-opened in 2005, its 75th anniversary year.

Keefe’s roles at the playhouse have included artistic associate and interim co-artistic director with Woodward. She is now curator and director of the playhouse’s “Script in Hand” series.

A Weston resident, she is married to playwright David Wiltse.

Nominees for the Connecticut Critics Circle Awards will be announced in early June, and the winner will be announced at the awards event.

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