gala history

Since its inception in 2006, STC’s annual celebration has been hailed by Washington Life as the area’s “most buzzed-about gala.” Hosted by acclaimed artistic director, Simon Godwin, the gala celebrates Shakespeare’s enduring influence across time and cultures with an international cast of performers and celebrities and provides critical funds for STC’s artistic, education, and community programs year-round.

From the stage to the classroom, your generosity allows audiences and students to experience all the wonders of great theatre. You allow us to tell vital stories in audacious ways. Each season is a testament to your care and passion for the work we do.

Past Honorees


The William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre has been presented by the Shakespeare Theatre Company since 1988 to recognize an artist who has made a significant contribution to classical theatre in America. The honorees exemplify the importance of enriching the present with the richness of the past through the magic of the classics in performance.

Recipients (in alphabetical order)

F. Murray Abraham
Eileen Atkins
Annette Bening
Kenneth Branagh
Charles Dance
Dame Judi Dench
Ralph Fiennes
Morgan Freeman
Mel Gibson
Rennie Harris 
Hal Holbrook
Sir Anthony Hopkins

John Hurt 
Jeremy Irons
Michael Kahn 
Stacy Keach 
Kevin Kline
Laura Linney
Peter Martins 
Elizabeth McGovern
Sir Ian McKellen
Joseph Papp
Christopher Plummer
Phylicia Rashad

Diana Rigg
Chita Rivera 
Fiona Shaw
Dame Maggie Smith
Kevin Spacey
Patrick Stewart
Julie Taymor
John Douglas Thompson
Christopher Walken
Sam Waterston

2024 honorary congressional committee

Senator Ben Cardin
Senator Chris Coons
Senator Chuck Schumer
Senator Chris Van Hollen

Senator Mark Warner
Senator Roger Wicker
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
Representative Donald S. Beyer Jr.

Representative Suzanne Bonamici
Representative Gerry Connolly
Representative Sara Jacobs
Representative Dan Kildee

Representative Derek Kilmer
Representative Chellie Pingree
Representative Dina Titus
Representative Susan Wild


Anita M. Antenucci, Chair
Abbe David Lowell, Vice Chair
Michael Paese, Treasurer
Emily Lenzner, Secretary

Founder & CEO, 3 Wire Partners
Partner, Winston & Strawn LLP
Co-Head Global Government Affairs, Goldman Sachs 
EVP, Global Communications & Public Affairs, MPA


Nicholas W. Allard
Michael Bahar
Jeffrey D. Bauman 
Michael Beriss
Landon Butler
Monica Dixon
Steve Elmendorf
Dr. Mark Epstein
Stefanie Erkiletian
Nichole Francis 
Scott Frisch
Michelle Quest Gillis
Barbara Harman
Scott Kaufmann
Sudhakar Kesavan
Michael R. Klein
J. Kendall Lott
Gail MacKinnon
Bernard F. McKay
Maureen McMurphy
Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath
Melissa A. Moss
Karishma Shah Page
Dame Karen Pierce DCMG
Vincent Roberti
Kathy Rondon
Stephen M. Ryan
Michael Schoenfeld
Sumeet Shrivastava
Rob Wilder

Founding Dean, Jacksonville University College of Law
Partner, Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP
Professor Emeritus, Georgetown University Law Center
Senior Financial Advisor, Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.
President, Landon Butler & Co.
President, Ext Affairs & CAO, Monumental Sports & Entertainment
Partner & Co-Founder, Subject Matter
Senior VP of Development, QualComm
President, Erkiletian Development Co.
VP/Head of Global Government Relations, ServiceNow, Inc.
Former Partner, KPMG UK
Executive Director, Harman Family Foundation 
Senior VP, JM Zell Partners LTD
Chairman, Duvel Technologies
Chairman, CoStar Group, Wilmer Hale (Ret.)
CEO and President, M Powered Strategies, Inc.
Sr VP, Global Policy & Government Affairs, MPA
Former Vice President, Government Affairs, Intuit (retired)
Trustee, The Patrick Michael McMurphy Memorial Foundation
Physician, scientist, research advocate
President, Moss Advisors, Inc
Partner, K&L Gates
His Majesty’s Ambassador to the United States
Chairman and Co-Founder, Roberti Global LLC
Entrepreneur, author and data consultant
Partner, Brunswick Group 
Business leader in IT & Government Contracting
Partner/CEO, Think Food Group