Distinguished Career Award

About the Award

The Southeastern Theatre Conference’s Distinguished Career Award is presented annually to a theatre, professional, advocate, administrator or educator who during their career has made outstanding contributions to the theatrical arts field. The award is presented at the annual SETC Convention’s Saturday night Banquet Gala & Awards Ceremony. The recipient presents a keynote address earlier in the day which is open to all SETC Convention attendees.

2022 Award Recipient: Norm Lewis

SETC is pleased to honor Norm Lewis as our 2022 Distinguished Career Award Recipient. Norm will be presented the award at the 2022 SETC Annual Convention Convention in Memphis, TN.

Meet Norm Lewis

Emmy, Tony, and SAG Award nominee, NORM LEWIS, recently starred in Spike Lee’s critically acclaimed, “Da 5 Bloods,” and in the groundbreaking FX series, Pose. Additionally, Mr. Lewis can be seen starring in ABC’s newest series, Women of The Movement, and offscreen, his voice can be heard in the latest season of Apple TV’s animated series, Central Park. He was also seen as ‘Caiaphas’ in the award-winning NBC television special, “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert!,” alongside John Legend, Sara Bareilles, and Alice Cooper.

Mr. Lewis returned to Broadway in the Fall of 2021, starring in Chicken and Biscuits at the Circle In The Square Theatre. He previously appeared in the Broadway revival of Once on This Island and as Sweeney Todd in the Off-Broadway production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street at the Barrow Street Theatre, receiving the AUDELCO Award for his performance. In May of 2014, he made history as The Phantom of the Opera’s first African American Phantom on Broadway.

He has been seen on PBS in the Live From Lincoln Center productions of Showboat with Vanessa Williams, Norm Lewis: Who Am I?, New Year’s Eve: A Gershwin Celebration with Diane Reeves, as well as American Voices with Renée Fleming and the PBS Specials First You Dream – The Music of Kander & Ebb and Ella Wishes You A Swingin’ Christmas. He can be seen recurring in the VH1 series, Daytime Divas, also alongside Vanessa Williams. His additional television credits include Dr. Death, Mrs. America, Better Things, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Bull, Chicago Med, Gotham, The Blacklist, and Blue Bloods, as well as in his recurring role as Senator Edison Davis on the hit drama Scandal.

Mr. Lewis is a proud founding member of Black Theatre United, an organization which stands together to help protect Black people, Black talent and Black lives of all shapes and orientations in theatre and communities across the country. He received Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle award nominations for his performance as Porgy in the Broadway production ofThe Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess. Other Broadway credits include Sondheim on Sondheim, The Little Mermaid, Les Misérables, Chicago, Amour, The Wild Party, Side Show, Miss Saigon, and The Who’s Tommy. In London’s West End he has appeared as Javert in Les Misérables and Les Misérables: The 25th Anniversary Concert, which aired on PBS.

Off-Broadway Mr. Lewis has performed in Dessa Rose (Drama Desk nomination, AUDELCO Award), Shakespeare in the Park’s The Tempest, The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Drama League nomination), Captains Courageous, and A New Brain. His regional credits include Porgy in The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (A.R.T.), Ragtime, Dreamgirls (with Jennifer Holliday), First You Dream, Sweeney Todd, and The Fantasticks.

His additional film credits include Christmas In Tune (starring opposite Reba McEntire), Magnum Opus, Winter’s Tale, Sex and the City 2, Confidences, and Preaching to the Choir.

Norm’s albums “The Norm Lewis Christmas Album” & “This is The Life” can be found on Amazon.com as well as cdbaby.com.

Past Distinguished Career Award Recipients

  • 1960 – Stark Young
  • 1961 – Charles Coburn
  • 1962 – Fred Coe
  • 1963 – Samuel Selden
  • 1965 – John Mason Brown
  • 1967 – Tennessee Williams
  • 1970 – Bob Porterfield
  • 1971 – Nunnally Johnson
  • 1972 – Roger Stevens
  • 1973 – Marian Gallaway
  • 1974 – Ossie Davis
  • 1976 – Melvyn Douglas
  • 1977 – Lillian Hellman
  • 1978 – Josh Logan
  • 1979 – John Houseman
  • 1980 – Ellen Stewart
  • 1981 – José Ferrer
  • 1982 – Mildred Dunnock
  • 1983 – Mercedes McCambridge
  • 1984 – Zelda Fichandler
  • 1985 – Patrica Zipprodt
  • 1986 – Ben Edwards
  • 1987 – Norris Houghton
  • 1988 – Lloyd Richards
  • 1989 – Zoe Caldwell
  • 1990 – Jerome Lawrence
  • 1991 – Arthur Lessac
  • 1992 – Jose Quintero
  • 1993 – Charles Strouse
  • 1994 – Julie Harris
  • 1996 – Jon Jory
  • 1997 – Stephen Schwartz
  • 1998 – Tharon Musser
  • 1999 – Ming Cho Lee
  • 2000 – Tom Jones & Harvey Schmidt
  • 2001 – Edward Albee
  • 2002 – William Ivey Long
  • 2003 – Michael Kahn
  • 2004 – Christopher Durang
  • 2005 – Dixie Carter
  • 2006 – Anne Bogart
  • 2007 – Marsha Norman
  • 2008 – Alliance Theatre of Atlanta
  • 2009 – Eugene Lee
  • 2010 – Judith Malina
  • 2011 – Ben Cameron
  • 2012 – Tony Walton & Richard Pilbrow
  • 2013 – Ken Ludwig
  • 2014 – Terrence Mann
  • 2015 – Ben Vereen
  • 2016 – Pearl Cleage
  • 2017 – Oskar Eustis
  • 2018 – Jane Greenwood
  • 2019 – Muriel Miguel
  • 2020 – NC Black Rep
  • 2021 – Rosemary Harris
  • 2022 – Norm Lewis

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