The Elliot Norton Awards are named for the eminent Boston theater critic Elliot Norton, who remained an active supporter of the drama, both locally and nationally, until his death in 2003 at the age of 100. For 48 years Mr. Norton was a drama critic for Boston newspapers; concurrently, from 1958 to 1982, he was moderator of “Elliot Norton Reviews” on WGBH television.
The Boston Theater Critics Association, which presents the Elliot Norton Awards, has been a vital participant in the remarkable growth of the Boston theater community at a time in our nation’s history when it seems that the arts have an even greater struggle to survive.
The awards began as the Norton Medal, first bestowed in 1983. The awards now include a lifetime achievement award– the Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence– and more than a dozen other awards are presented annually to outstanding productions, performers, directors and designers.
The Elliot Norton Awards ceremony also features a guest of honor. That distinguished list has thus far included Edward Albee, Brian Dennehy, Julie Harris, Sir Ian McKellen, Al Pacino, Lynn Redgrave, Jason Robards, August Wilson, and many other theater artists who have enriched the cultural life of our region. The event has become a memorable evening, treasured for its atmosphere of camaraderie. Awardees and attendees alike come away suffused with excitement for the future of Boston theater.