SpeakEasy Stage Company
About the Gala
Over 250 artists, supporters, and friends will gather to celebrate SpeakEasy Stage Company at our annual Spring Gala. This year’s event will feature a lively cocktail reception, a three-course seated dinner, a silent auction filled with one-of-a-kind prizes and experiences, and an exclusive cabaret performance from Broadway's Mary Callanan.
Honoring Thomas Derrah
Thomas Derrah was a nationally acclaimed actor, director, and educator. He was a founding member of the American Repertory Theatre, where he performed in over 120 productions. He also performed on Broadway, off-Broadway, and in regional theatres across the country (including in Mary Zimmerman’s The Jungle Book at the Goodman, where he originated the role of Kaa). In Boston, he performed with many companies, including the Huntington, Commonwealth Shakespeare, Stoneham, and Actor’s Shakespeare Project (where he also directed the Norton Award winning production of God’s Ear). He could often be seen on the stages of SpeakEasy Stage, including in such productions as Red, Casa Valentina, The Drowsy Chaperone, Grand Concourse, and more.
Mr. Derrah was the recipient of the Elliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence. He taught acting at Harvard University and MIT, and was on the faculty of The ART Institute for Advanced Theater Training. Mr. Derrah was a gifted educator and artist who believed in giving young artists opportunities to discover their potential and develop as professionals. In 2017, SpeakEasy established the Thomas Derrah Emerging Artists Fund, which will directly support the hiring of new talent and will continue Mr. Derrah’s legacy of helping others discover their potential.
We would like to posthumously honor him with the Mayor Thomas M. Menino Memorial Award for Inspired Support of the Arts in Boston in recognition of Tommy's eternal dedication to teaching and the inspiration he provided to hundreds of students and young artists every day.
“I remember how fiercely passionate he was about each and every play he did for SpeakEasy. And watching him work was a master class in humanity. He just knew how to get inside a character.
He also made directing easy. Some actors you have to guide and provide lots of focus. Tommy was in many shows, and I would always say to the director, ‘Just leave him alone. Just leave him alone, and you’ll know when he gets there.’ And to just watch him work things out — just watching him work things out and indirectly teaching so many people about the art. He was a mentor to so many of us.”
-SpeakEasy Producing Artistic Director, Paul Daigneault
Featuring Entertainment by Mary Callanan and Brian Patton
After recently performing on Broadway as Jean Ann Ryan in the Tony Award winning musical Bandstand, Mary will be returning to Boston for this one night only event. You may remember Mary from SpeakEasy’s productions of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Bat Boy, Violet, and Sorry, Wrong Number.
Mary Callanan and Brian Patton have been performing together for well over 25 years. They often refer to themselves as “the last of the Gown and Tuxedo set”, having been voted Most Likely to Replace Steve and Eydie by their third grade class. They have done their act on cruise ships as well as in clubs and theaters in Boston, Provincetown and New York. Their debut CD How I Spent My Summer Vacation is available on cdbaby.com and at www.marycallanan.com.