Elizabeth Banks Named Hasty Pudding's 2020 Woman of the Year

Tuesday January 14, 2020

The Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the oldest theatrical organization in the United States, announces Elizabeth Banks as the recipient of its 2020 Woman of the Year Award. The Pudding is thrilled to present this honor to such a celebrated actress in both film and television, who is also known for breaking ground in Hollywood as a female director and producer.

The Woman of the Year Award is the Hasty Pudding Theatricals' oldest honor, bestowed annually on performers who have made lasting and impressive contributions to the world of entertainment. Established in 1951, the Woman of the Year Award has been given to many notable and talented entertainers including Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Scarlett Johansson, Anne Hathaway, Kerry Washington, and most recently Bryce Dallas Howard, the 69th Woman of the Year.

The Woman of the Year festivities, presented by RELATED and Equinox/SoulCycle, will begin at 3:00 pm on January 31st, 2020, when Ms. Banks will lead a parade through the streets of Cambridge. Following the parade, the Hasty Pudding Theatricals will host a celebratory roast for Ms. Banks at 4:00 pm, after which she will be presented with her Pudding Pot at Farkas Hall, the Hasty Pudding's historic home in Harvard Square since 1888. A press conference will follow the presentation at 4:30 pm. Afterward, the Hasty Pudding Theatricals will preview HPT 172: "Mean Ghouls," our second-ever cast featuring both men and women.

"We're very excited to honor Elizabeth Banks as our 70th Woman of the Year because of her wonderful acting career and impact in Hollywood as a female director, producer, and writer," said co-producer Samantha Meade. "Elizabeth 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!" added fellow co-producer Natalie Needle.
Elizabeth Banks is a three-time Emmy nominated actress, producer, writer, and director. With stand-out performances in projects including "The Hunger Games" franchise, "Love & Mercy," and "The LEGO Movie," she is also a three-time Emmy nominee for her recurring roles in '30 Rock" and "Modern Family".

This month season two of her critically acclaimed series "Shrill,' starring SNL's Aidy Bryant, will premiere on Hulu. Last fall she produced, wrote, directed and appeared in "Charlie's Angels." Banks produced both projects through her company Brownstone Productions, which she co-owns with husband Max Handelman. The company is best known for the Box Office hit "Pitch Perfect" franchise. Banks made her feature directorial debut with "Pitch Perfect 2," which was the highest opening weekend for a musical comedy in history, the biggest opener for a first-time feature film director, and the second-largest opening for a female director. With a first-look film deal at Universal and an exclusive television deal at Warner Bros. Television, Brownstone has film, television and digital collaborations with Universal, Sony Pictures, CW, ABC, Lionsgate, FOX, NBC, HBO Max, Netflix, and Hulu. The current film slate includes 'Queen for a Day" at Paramount Players; "White Girl Problems" at Lionsgate; and "Uncanny Valley," "Science Fair," "Red Queen," "Paper Bag Princess," and "The Grace Year" at Universal. Brownstone's upcoming Television slate includes "Mavenhood" at NBC; "Bedrock" at Warner Bros. Animation; Love Me at ABC; "The Twelve" at FOX; "Over My Dead Body" at WarnerMedia Streaming; and "Borrowed Time" at CBS.

Bank's additional film credits include "W" which garnered her critical acclaim for her role as 'First Lady Laura Bush;' her breakthrough role as 'Marcela Howard' in the Academy Award-winning film "Seabiscuit;" Steven Spielberg's "Catch Me If You Can," "Power Rangers," "Magic Mike XXL," "Zack and Miri Make a Porno," "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," and "Spider-Man" amongst others. Additional television credits include "Scrubs," Netflix's "Wet," "Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp," and "10 Years Later."

Originally from Massachusetts, Banks graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania and received her Graduate Degree at the American Conservatory Theater. She is heavily involved with the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood, and Turnaround Arts, among others.

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