Lantern to Honor Mary Martello and Richard Vague at its RITE OF SPRING Benefit

Mary Martello

Mary Martello.

A highlight of Lantern Theater Company’s annual spring fundraiser is the presentation of its Luminary Awards. At this year’s benefit, RITE OF SPRING, the Lantern will recognize award-winning actress Mary Martello and philanthropic businessman Richard Vague for their significant contributions to the performing arts in Philadelphia.

Vague, a managing partner of Gabriel Investments, is President of the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, Chairman of The Governor’s Woods Foundation, and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania Press. He also serves as a trustee of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Franklin Institute, the Museum of the American Revolution, and other organizations.

Martello, a native of Michigan, has been a mainstay of the Philadelphia stage since she first arrived in the city, with five Barrymore Awards and seventeen nominations to her credit. She was therecipient of the prestigious Lunt/Fontanne Fellowship​ in 2011, and, at the Lantern, has appeared as Gertrude in Hamlet (2009), Mag Folan in The Beauty Queen of Leenane (2013), and Sister Aloysius in Doubt: A Parable (2015).

Richard Vague

Richard Vague.

RITE OF SPRING will be held on Monday, March 21, beginning at 6 pm, in the historic Union Trust. Now a restaurant, the building was originally constructed in 1888, to house three separate banks. It was remodeled in 1923 by Paul Philippe Cret, the French-born architect who taught at the University of Pennsylvania for more than 30 years and designed such important local landmarks as the Ben Franklin Bridge, the Rodin Museum (with Jacques Gréber), the original Barnes Foundation in Merion, and the National Memorial Arch in Valley Forge National Historical Park.

In addition to the presentation of the 2016 Luminary Awards, the gala includes a cocktail reception, dinner, a silent auction, and music by the All City Premiere Quartet–four accomplished young string players from the All City Orchestra and current students at Julia R. Masterman High School and CAPA (Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts). Ticket prices for the exclusive event range from $200 to $1000 per person; proceeds will benefit the Lantern’s theatrical productions and educational programming.

[Union Trust, 717 Chestnut St.] March 21, 2016; www.lanterntheater.org

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About the author

Debra Miller

Debra holds a PhD in Art History from the University of Delaware and teaches at Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ. She is a judge for the Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre, Philadelphia Arts and Culture Correspondent for Central Voice, and has served as a Commonwealth Speaker for the Pennsylvania Humanities Council and President of the Board of Directors of Da Vinci Art Alliance. Her publications include articles, books, and catalogues on Renaissance, Baroque, American, Pre-Columbian, and Contemporary Art, and feature articles on the Philadelphia theater scene.