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NEWS WIRE : SAG Awards Its Own

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The fourth annual Screen Actors Guild Awards were bestowed to members for outstanding performances in feature film and television on Mar. 8 at the Shrine Auditorium. Elizabeth Taylor was also given the Life Achievement Award. The following is a complete list of the winners in the competitive categories.

FEATURE FILM: Actor: Jack Nicholson, As Good as It Gets. Actress: Helen Hunt, As Good as It Gets. Supporting actor: Robin Williams, Good Will Hunting. Supporting actress (tie): Kim Basinger, L.A. Confidential, and Gloria Stuart, Titanic. Ensemble cast: The Full Monty.

TELEVISION: Actor, TV movie or miniseries: Gary Sinise, George Wallace. Actress, TV movie or miniseries: Alfre Woodard, Miss Evers' Boys. Actor, drama: Anthony Edwards, ER. Actress, drama: Julianna Margulies, ER. Ensemble cast, drama: ER. Actor, comedy, John Lithgow: 3rd Rock From the Sun. Actress, comedy: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Seinfeld. Ensemble cast, comedy: Seinfeld.

Memorial Held for Ellis Rabb

Ellis Rabb, one of the most versatile actors and directors in the American theatre, died on Jan. 11, 1998 in Memphis, Tennessee. A special memorial service was held this week at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles to honor Rabb.

Rabb founded the Association of Producing Artists repertory company, a pioneering theatre in the 1960s. The APA was a collective ensemble of actors and directors who came together under Rabb's leadership to present classics in repertory on Broadway and across the country. The company soon became the American version of a national theatre.

As a director, Rabb was best known for helming You Can't Take It With You and The Royal on Broadway. He also directed many times at the Repertory Theatre of Lincoln Center under Jules Irving, including an award-winning production of Gorky's Enemies. He was a frequent visitor to California, staging work at the Huntington Hartford Theatre and an extravagant War and Peace at the Greek Theatre, as well as directing for ACT in San Francisco and the Old Globe in San Diego.

In 1981, he was the co-director of Chekhov in Yalta and Twelfth Night in the Taper's repertory festival.

As an actor, Rabb appeared at the Old Globe in The Tempest, Much Ado About Nothing, and As You Like It, and he directed A Midsummer Night's Dream, Hamlet, and Macbeth, among others.

Among Rabb's awards were two Tony trophies, a New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, a Drama Desk, an Obie, and a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle prize.

L.A. Classical Ballet Folds

In another blow to the Los Angeles dance community, the L.A. Classical Ballet has disbanded and will file bankruptcy papers, according to artistic director David Wilcox. Wilcox cited "a huge lack of interest in a big ballet company" in Southern California and "failing to find a board of directors to make it work" as the principal causes for the disbanding.

The company had enjoyed 14 Nutcracker seasons and other periodic performances since 1982. However, ticket sales for Nutcracker had fallen from $40,000 in 1991 to $13,000 last year, and the Ballet had accumulated almost $1 million in debts. For several years, in fact, all its sets and costumes have been held on lien by a creditor who lent the items back to the company as needed.

Off the Wire

PACIFIC NORTHWEST-- Seattle Repertory Theatre is accepting applications through Apr. 15 for its Professional Arts Training Program for the 1998-'99 season. Internships are available in the following areas: artistic/literary, arts management, communications, company management, costume design, graphic design, fundraising, directing, education/outreach, finance, lighting design, production management, props, scenic art, scenic design, stage management, and technical production. (206) 443-2210, ext. 1200

The Seattle Fringe Theatre Festival's eighth season will host 90 performing companies at 11 venues around Seattle, Mar. 12-22. This year, A Contemporary Theatre will be one of the 11 hosts for the festival and will co-present 51 performances. Running concurrently with the Fringe Festival at ACT will be Power Plays, starring Alan Arkin and Elaine May, May 12-29. Also during the fest, Seattle Repertory Theatre will present a solo show called Homecoming that will play at the Underground Theater. (206) 322-2018.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA-- In celebration of Berkeley Repertory Theatre's 30th Anniversary, BRT will hold a gourmet gala dinner hosted by Bay Area culinary expert Narsai David, Mar. 20 at the ANA Hotel in San Francisco. The fundraising event, titled "The Narsai Toast," will include a cocktail reception, dinner, and live auction. (510) 204-8914.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA-- FirstStage in Hollywood is accepting submissions for its second annual One-Act Play Contest. Submissions are open to previously unproduced one-act plays of any genre. The winning playwright will receive $100 and second and third place winners will get $50 each. Winners will receive a videotaped staged reading at FirstStage. The deadline for submissions is May 1. (213) 850-6271

Denise Jefferson, director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center in New York, will give a free modern dance master class at 9 a.m. on Mar. 20 at the Santa Monica College Gym. (310) 450-5150, ext. 9590

Veteran casting director Risa Bramon Garcia (Joy Luck Club, JFK, Speed) recently began production on her first feature as a director. Not surprisingly, she's managed to round up an impressive young cast that includes Ben Affleck, Courtney Love, Christina Ricci, Gaby Hoffman, David Chappelle, Jay Mohr, Paul Rudd, Martha Plimpton, and Mary McCormack. The film, titled 200 Cigarettes, is being made by MTV Films, Dogstar, and Lakeshore Intl. and will be distributed by Paramount

Patrick Marber's comic drama Dealers Choice has been chosen as the fifth play of the Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum's 1997-'98 season. Previews begin Apr. 5, with the opening set for Apr. 16. The West Coast premiere of the play will run through May 31 and replaces the previously announced House Arrest, by Anna Deavere Smith. (213) 628-2772

A four-month festival of new work from the Mark Taper Forum's play developmental programs--Asian Theatre Workshop, Blacksmyths, Latino Theatre Initiative, and the Other Voices Project--is currently taking place at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank through June 27. The festival, titled "The Wing New Theatre Taking Off," is presented in association with DreamWorks SKG and the Falcon, and will feature 26 events including play readings, showcases of works-in-progress, and performances of spoken word, dance, poetry, and music. Events are free of charge and tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis one hour before curtain at the Falcon box office. As part of the fest, Cornerstone Theatre will collaborate with ATW and East West Players in a production of Chay Yew's A Beautiful Country, which opens May 28 (at a venue to be announced). (213) 972-7389

The 20th annual Young Artists Awards of Hollywood will be given out Mar. 14 at the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Universal City. The co-hosts will be Beverly Mitchell (7th Heaven) and Jena Malone (Ellen Foster). For their performance in the stage production of Ragtime at the Shubert Theatre, Danielle Wiener and Blake McIver Ewing will receive awards. Other young actors to receive awards include Alan James Morgan, for his performance in a series of Target commercials, and Bryton McClure of Family Matters, who will be given an award for Outstanding Contribution to Youth Through Entertainment

The Actors' Work Program, which is supported by the Actors' Fund of America, will hold a free career night for professionals in the entertainment industry, Mar. 19 at the Screen Actors Guild in Los Angeles. Participants will learn about opportunities in teaching English as a second language, computer technology, health and fitness, graphic arts, and many other fields. (213) 939-1801

The American Cinematheque's Alternative Screen series presents three intriguing documentaries in March: a Mar. 12 double feature of Sundance winner David Sarno's Goreville, USA, a look at a rural town where it is mandatory to own a gun, and James' Knight's Ballad of Fire, a portrait of a Los Angeles neighborhood terrorized by an arsonist, and a Mar. 28 screening of Independent's Day, Marina Zenovich's probing portrait of the independent film scene as seen through the eyes of key players such as Sundance Film Festival founder Robert Redford, filmmakers Steven Soderbergh and Neil LaBute, and actress Parker Posey. (213) 466-3456

Laemmle Theatres will present Views of Merchant Ivory: 14 Films, 3 Continents, a two-week festival, opening Mar. 13, at the Music Hall Theatre in Beverly Hills. Earlier works, including Merchant Ivory's first collaboration with Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, The Householder, will be screened, as will the well-known Howards End and The Bostonians. (310) 274-6869

The Association of Women in Entertainment panel discussion "Financing: Get the Big Picture," has been rescheduled for Mar. 16 at CBS Studios in Los Angeles. Members may attend free of charge. (213) 896-8242

The UnCabaret, starring Henriette Mantel, Laura Kightlinger, Margret Cho, and others, will perform the Dog & Pony Show, celebrating man's and woman's best friend, Mar. 15 at LunaPark in West Hollywood. The UnCabaret has also established a regular monthly season in 1998. (310) 652-0611

Women in Theatre presents Stanley Myron Handelman, a comedian who's performed on The Tonight Show, Merv Griffin, and the Smothers Brothers, as leader of its Stand-up Comedy Workshop, Mar. 14 at the West Hollywood Playhouse. (818) 503-7400

Eveoke Dance Theatre is currently presenting the premiere of The Past Didn't Go Anywhere, with music composed by Ani Difranco, recorded text spoken by Utah Phillips, and choreography by Gina Angelique, through Mar. 22 at the Sledgehammer Theatre and St. Cecilia's Playhouse in San Diego. (619) 238-1153

Kent Skov's L.A. Connection will hold a 21st Anniversary Celebration, saluting alumni notables such as Vic Dunlop and Taylor Negron, Mar. 16 at the theatre in Sherman Oaks. (818) 784-1868

Bang.'s production of Big Lon Chaney has been extended through Apr. 11 at Bang Improv Studio in Hollywood. Ticket proceeds will benefit the troupe's invitation to perform the upcoming Big Stinkin' International Improv & Sketch Festival in Austin, Tex. (213) 653-6886.

--Scott Proudfit/Jamie Painte

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