By The Associated Press on January 14, 2020.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard University’s famed Hasty Pudding theatre troupe has named actor and director Elizabeth Banks as the group’s 2020 Woman of the Year.
The troupe’s leaders made the announcement Tuesday, saying Banks was chosen because of her impact in Hollywood as a female director, producer and writer.
â€œElizabeth is a role model to all of the young women in the Theatricals, especially in a year with a female writer, female producers, and a majority female cast – we all cannot wait to celebrate and meet her,â€ Natalie Needle, the troupe’s co-producer, said in a statement.
Banks will be honoured with a parade through Cambridge on Jan. 31, followed by a celebratory roast where she will be awarded her pudding pot. After the roast, the troupe will perform a preview of â€œMean Ghouls,â€ the group’s second show with a cast that includes women.
Banks is an executive producer on â€œShrill,â€ a Hulu series featuring Aidy Bryant that’s scheduled to begin its second season this month. She made her feature directorial debut in 2015 with â€œPitch Perfect 2,â€ and last year produced, wrote, directed and appeared in a reboot of â€œCharlie’s Angels.â€
She has received three Emmy nominations for roles on â€œModern Familyâ€ and â€œ30 Rock.”
Born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Banks graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and received a graduate degree at the American Conservatory Theater. A longtime advocate for women’s rights, Banks in October was named chair of the new Creative Council for the Center for Reproductive Rights.
Hasty Pudding Theatricals dates to the late 18th century. One of its first mandates was â€œmembers in alphabetical order shall provide a pot of hasty pudding for every meeting.â€
It has honoured a Woman of the Year since 1951, and previous winners include Ella Fitzgerald, Meryl Streep and Halle Berry. Bryce Dallas Howard was last year’s honoree.
This yearâ€™s Man of the Year has not yet been announced.
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