Emi Hegarty receives the 2024 Louis Sudler Prize

Graduating double major in Biology and Theater Studies, Emi Hegarty has been announced as this year’s recipient of the Louis Sudler Prize. The Louis Sudler Prize is awarded to the graduating senior who has demonstrated the most distinguished record of excellence in performance or creation in the arts. Emi Hegarty has been selected for this award for her accomplishments in theater during her studies at Duke. Hegarty is also a 2024 awardee of the John M. Clum Distinguished Theater Studies Graduate Award and the Award for Excellence in Acting.

Emi Hegarty was awarded Highest Distinction within the Theater Studies major for her project entitled “Biology, Movement, and Theater.” Her research applied Jakob von Uexküll’s biological concept of Umwelt, a term used to describe an organism’s unique experience of its environment, to character work through embodied movement in Duke Mainstage’s production of Eurydice. During her time at Duke she has been involved in six Mainstage productions, having acted most recently as Viola/Cesario in Twelfth Night and Eurydice in Eurydice. In addition to her time with the Theater Studies department, she has acted in student film projects and is a member of Duke Players. Originally from Central Oregon, Emi is passionate about the outdoors and conservation biology. Off stage, she is an equestrian who served as President of Duke University Club Equestrian for the 2023-2024 academic year. This summer, she is looking forward to attending the Society of American Fight Directors’ National Stage Combat Workshop before applying for an MFA in Acting in the fall. Emi is extremely grateful for the faculty across her majors at Duke who have supported her.

Emi Hegarty in "Eurydice" | Photo by Les Todd
Emi Hegarty in “Eurydice” | Photo by Les Todd

Louis Sudler was a Chicago industrialist to whom the arts had been a major source of life satisfaction. In 1982, he endowed an annual prize in the arts at fourteen major universities:  Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Dartmouth, Columbia, Johns Hopkins, MIT, University of Chicago, Michigan State, Oberlin College, Purdue University, Duke, Rice, and Stanford.

At each institution, an annual prize in the creative and performing arts is awarded to the graduating senior who has demonstrated the most distinguished record of excellence in performance or creation in one of the following areas:  music, theater, painting, dance, design, film, creative writing, and other areas of the arts (as determined by each institution).

At Duke, each year the Office of Vice Provost for the Arts awards a cash prize of $2,000 to selected recipient. Students do not apply directly for the award but rather are nominated by arts department chairs, who are invited to make one nomination each.