Company One

The Press Room


Contact: Summer L. WIlliams - 617.292.7110 ext. 6

Company One Theatre (C1), recently named ‘Boston’s Best Theatre Company” by The Improper Bostonian, will celebrate it’s 15th year and honor Rob Orchard, Nik Walker, and the Ridker Family at the 2014 C1 Gala XV on Wednesday April 30, 2014. The event begins at 6pm at the Artists for Humanities EpiCenter, 100 W 2nd St., Boston, MA. Tickets are available for purchase at

Rob Orchard, Founder and Executive Director of ArtsEmerson: The World On Stage, will be honored with the Lois Roach Award, given annually in recognition of outstanding commitment to the Boston theatre community.

C1 Artistic Director Shawn LaCount says, “Through his leadership at ArtsEmerson, Rob Orchard has ensured that Boston is a hub for world-class theatre. Since his time at the ART, Rob has been instrumental in Boston's growth as a theatre town. He has opened the doors of one of Boston's most prominent arts institutions to include local theatre makers like Company One Theatre. Rob cares deeply about this community and has spent a lifetime pushing and elevating the Boston Theatre and the art we create. I personally look to Rob as a role model. He inspires us to articulate and champion our mission and to never settle.”

Actor and poet, Nik Walker, will be honored with the David Wheeler Award, given annually in recognition of an emerging talent from the Boston theatre scene.

“We are thrilled to have had Nik as part of the Company One family for so long, and even more proud to see where he is going in the future. Growing up in the Boston area, beginning his professional career with Company One in ARTiculation and Assassins, and then moving on to a stunning beginning of a career on the national stage: originating the role of Booker in Des Macnuff's production of Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots at La Jolla Playhouse, playing multiple roles in the off-Broadway run of Peter and The Starcatcher in New York, and now as a principle swing in Motown on Broadway. We couldn't be more proud of Nik not only as an up and coming artist to watch, but as a young man,” says Mark VanDerzee, C1 Educational Director.

The Ridker Family, Susan, Paul, Andrew, and Elena, will receive The C1 Founders Award. The C1 Board has established the C1 Founders Award to honor longtime donors who have invested in our vision to change the face of Boston theatre from our very earliest days and have stayed with us as our audiences and influence have expanded. With the C1 Founders award we are turning around to applaud the donors who give consistent organizational support that not only keeps the lights on, but makes them glow brighter every year.

“The Ridker Family have been tremendous supporters of Company One! Susan and Paul are not only financial supporters by way of annual generous donations and fundraising support via the gala and friend-raising, but they have also made attending C1 Theatre as a family of members a priority,” says Summer L. Williams, a C1 Founder and Director. “It's been so great to see Elena and Andrew grow and experience theatre as the types of audience members we strive to cultivate for Boston. It's this holistic approach to supporting C1 that has helped to attract other families to support in the same way and encourages foundations to believe in what we do.”

C1 Gala XV will feature music by DJ Nomadik, entertainment from One Love Entertainment presenting “Singing in Hot Rain’ with Hoofer Khalid Hill and Krump King Russell Ferguson, and a Live Auction with Susan Wornick of WCVB-TV.

Last year over 300 guests attended the C1 Gala, with all proceeds benefiting Company One Theatre's educational programs and affordable ticket price policy.

About Company One Theatre:

Founded in 1998, Company One was recently named "Boston's Best Theatre Company" by The Improper Bostonian and "One of the most inspiring and innovative theatre companies on our national landscape” by the American Theatre Wing. Company One‘s mission is to change the face of Boston theatre by uniting the city’s diverse communities through socially provocative performance and the development of civically engaged artists. The award-winning company has been instrumental in bringing younger and more diverse audiences to see and participate in socially and politically relevant theatre.

About the Honorees:

Rob Orchard, Founder and Executive Director of ArtsEmerson: The World On Stage
In October 2009, theatre producer and educator Rob Orchard became Emerson College’s first Executive Director for the Arts and Stephen G. Langley Chair in Theater Management and Production. Orchard was Managing Director of the Yale Repertory Theatre and School of Drama, where he also served as associate professor and co-chair of the MFA Theatre Administration Program. Following his time at Yale, Orchard was the Founding Managing Director of the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) and subsequently Executive Director, and was the architect for the A.R.T. Training Institute and its relationship with the Moscow Art Theatre School, as well as Director of the Loeb Drama Center at Harvard. Over a 30-year tenure at the A.R.T., he produced more than 200 works (the vast majority of which were premieres), and worked with many of the world’s most respected directors, playwrights and composers. Orchard has served as chairman of both the Theatre and the Opera/Musical Theatre Panels at the National Endowment for the Arts as well as on numerous other national and local boards. In 2000, Orchard received the Elliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence. Most recently he received the Moscow Art Theatre’s highest award for Distinguished Service: The Morozov Diamond Award.

Nik Walker is an actor, poet and Boston boy, residing in NYC with his beautiful Sarah and his cat, Ferris. Currently, you can catch him in Broadway'sMotown; before that he was living the pirate-life in Peter and the Starcatcher. Regionally he's worked at The Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse, and Centerstage in Baltimore, but to this day, his favorite gigs have been the two he got to do with the amazingly-awesome Company One, ARTiculation and Sondheim's ASSASSINS. Nik's also a playwright- his first full-length, The Devil and Thomas Briggs, was produced at The Bleecker Street Theater in 2010, and his Boston-set rock musical Whiskeyland will be enjoying it's first industry workshop in NYC this summer!

Ridker Family Profile:

The Ridker Family has been involved with Company One Theatre since 2006 by way of Stage One, Company One’s Educational Theatre Program for Teens, Andrew, now a senior English major at Washington University in St. Louis, was the first Ridker to become actively involved. Paul, the Eugene Braunwald Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Susan, a French teacher at Wellesley Middle School, soon followed by attending C1 shows and becoming members. Daughter Elena, now a sophomore History major at Dartmouth College, made seeing shows a full family affair. Both Andrew and Elena are Brookline High School graduates where they studied with C1 Founders Summer L .Williams and Mark Abby VanDerzee.

About the Auctioneer:

Susan Wornick, Live Auctioneer
Susan Wornick has been anchor of WCVB-TV’s Midday newscast since February 1989. Wornick was named a member of Team 5 Investigates, WCVB’s investigative unit, in 2006 and also serves as NewsCenter 5’s consumer reporter.
Wornick was an anchor and reporter at WHDH Radio in Boston from 1979 to 1981. She also worked for WBZ Radio in Boston as an anchor/reporter, where she won several Associated Press and United Press International Awards for radio journalism.

Wornick spends a tremendous amount of time volunteering in the community and serving as a celebrity auctioneer for many organizations including the Mass Coalition for the Homeless and Mayyim Hayyim. She helps to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research and supports Rodman Celebration for Kids and the Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly.

Born and raised in Natick, Wornick now resides in Needham. She is a graduate of Boston’s Emerson College, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree. In 1988, Wornick was honored by the State Department of Youth Services for her volunteer work with troubled teenagers. In 1995, she was recognized with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters Degree from Becker College in Worcester, MA.

About the Awards:

The Lois Roach Award is given annually in recognition of outstanding commitment to the Boston theatre community.
Lois Roach’s play The Emancipation of Mandy and Miz Ellie received its world premiere with Company One in May 2010. In recent years, she directed ARTiculation at Company One, Treemonisha by Scott Joplin for Opera Providence, Legacy of Light by Karen Zacarias for the Lyric Stage Company, the world premiere of A House With No Walls at the New Repertory Theater, the world premiere of Six Rounds/ Six Lessons with Company One, as well as the Boston premieres of Crowns and Living Out at the Lyric Stage Company. An award-winning producer and director, she was commissioned to write and direct a performance piece for the 25th anniversary of Casa Myrna Vazquez, a shelter for battered women, which featured actress Phylicia Rashad. In Derry, Northern Ireland, she worked with a group of artists on the theater project, Borderlands, which brought together women from the Catholic, Protestant and Southern communities. Lois also teaches at Wellesley College, works with First Night and coordinates the Stony Brook Initiative at Northeastern University.

The David Wheeler Award is given annually in recognition of an emerging talent in the Boston theatre scene.

On Broadway, David Wheeler directed Richard III with Al Pacino, and The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel, for which Mr. Pacino won the Tony Award for Best Actor. Regional theatres include the Guthrie Theatre, Alley Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, Arizona Theatre Company, Pittsburgh Playhouse, and the Charles de Rochefort Theatre in Paris, where he directed the French premiere of Edward Albee's The Zoo Story.

As the artistic director of the Theatre Company of Boston (TCB) from 1963 to 75, Mr. Wheeler directed over eighty productions. Among these were ten by Pinter, seven by Brecht, five by Albee, nine by Beckett, two by O'Neill, and numerous works by new writers such as Ed Bullins, Jeffrey Bush, John Hawkes, Adrienne Kennedy, and Sam Shepard. Through these productions and others, he helped to launch the careers of then-unknown actors including Paul Benedict, Larry Bryggman, John Cazale, Stockard Channing, Blythe Danner, Robert DeNiro, Robert Duvall, Hector Elizondo, Spalding Gray, Paul Guilfoyle, Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino, Jon Voight, Ralph Waite, and James Woods. His film The Local Stigmatic (with Mr. Pacino)—adapted from the play by Heathcote Williams—was presented at the Montreal Film Festival and screened at the Whitney Museum and the MOMA. It was released in 2006.

Mr. Wheeler's honors include the Elliot Norton Award for his work on No Man’s Land and on Misalliance, the St. Botolph Club Foundation's Award for Distinction in the Performing Arts, and the Rodgers and Hammerstein Award. He has taught and directed at Harvard University, Boston University, MIT, Brandeis, Barnard, Colorado College, and Circle-in-the-Square. He has directed student productions at U.N.C. Chapel Hill, U.C. Irvine and Long Beach, and Évora, Portugal. After receiving his masters at Harvard, Mr. Wheeler trained with José Quintero in New York during the great "O'Neill years" of the 1950's.

The C1 Founder’s Award was established to honor longtime donors who have invested in our vision to change the face of Boston theatre from our very earliest days and have stayed with us as our audiences and influence have expanded. With the C1 Founders award we are turning around to applaud the donors who give consistent organizational support that not only keeps the lights on, but makes them glow brighter every year.

Contact: Summer L. Williams

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