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The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center will present iconic stage and film actress Judith Light with the 17th Monte Cristo Award.  An alum of the O’Neill, Judith first performed at the O’Neill’s 1977 National Playwrights Conference. A gala dinner will be held in her honor at 583 Park Avenue (New York) on Sunday, May 21, followed by a special program hosted by O’Neill Executive Director Preston Whiteway and an award presentation by director and O’Neill alumnus Thomas Kail.


Star of stage and screen, Judith Light received her BFA from Carnegie Mellon University and has worked in repertory theatres in the US and Canada, as well as performing in Europe.  Her Broadway debut was in A Doll's House with Liv Ullman, followed by a season at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference (performing in three plays over the summer of 1977, including Wendy Wasserstein’s Uncommon Women and Others). In 1999 she starred in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Wit in New York and also at the Kennedy Center, winning the Helen Hayes Award; soon after she played the title role in Hedda Gabler for Michael Kahn at the Shakespeare Theatre in D.C.  For three consecutive years, she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a play. She won back-to-back Tony Awards for Jon Robin Baitz's Other Desert Cities (2012) and Richard Greenberg's The Assembled Parties (2013). She also won back-to-back Drama Desk Awards for those same performances. Judith is currently starring with Al Pacino in the play God Looked Away at the Pasadena Playhouse.

Judith's television career began with her two-time Emmy Award-winning Best Actress  turn on One Life to Live, followed by the comedy series, Who's the Boss and 15 movies of the week. She played Claire Meade in the Emmy-winning ABC series, Ugly Betty and was Emmy-nominated for her performance.  She is currently on the groundbreaking show, Transparent streaming now on Amazon Prime.

Judith is also an advocate for HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ causes; supporting such organizations as Point Foundation and Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights Aids. She is also very active with the D.C.-based peace building organization, Friends Committee on National Legislation.



For sponsorship opportunities or additional information about the event, contact Special Events Manager Chris Lagana 860-443-5378 x285, or email

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About the Monte Cristo Award:

The Monte Cristo Award honors a theater artist who exemplifies Eugene O'Neill's "pioneering spirit, unceasing artistic commitment, excellence, and accomplishment." A groundbreaking playwright and the only American dramatist to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, Eugene O'Neill set his masterpiece Long Day's Journey Into Night at his childhood home, the Monte Cristo Cottage, in New London, CT.

Past Monte Cristo Award recipients include Meryl Streep, George C. Wolfe, Nathan Lane, Christopher Plummer, Michael Douglas, Kevin Spacey, Hal Prince, James Earl Jones, and Wendy Wasserstein.

Watch video of 2016 Honoree George C. Wolfe