On Monday, September 16th, Theatre District Association of Western New York will honor esteemed actor, director and producer Jeanne Hebborn Cairns by presenting her with a Star in its Plaza of Stars, Main and Tupper, in celebration of her extraordinary career spanning more than four decades.
A multi-Award-winning Theatre Artist, Jeanne attended the Royal Academy of Theatre Arts, London, and in 1962, moved to Buffalo where Studio Arena Theatre, under the leadership of legendary Artistic Director Neal Du Brock, discovered her immense talent. In its first year, Jeanne became a member of the original troupe of what was to become Buffalo’s flagship producing theatre.
Her prolific career began there with roles in high-profile productions, alongside such luminaries as Betty Buckley, George Grizzard, Lester Rawlins, John Schuck and fellow Brits Donald Ewer and Paxton Whitehead, who would later serve as Artistic Director of the Shaw Festival, Niagara-On-The-Lake. It is purported that Jeanne appeared in more Studio Arena Theatre productions than any other actress. In 2002, she was honored, along with fellow Studio Arena alum, Stephen McKinley Henderson, with an ARTIE Award for her exceptional Career Achievement.
Studio Arena credits include Shear Madness, A Little Night Music, A Man for All Seasons, Charlie’s Aunt, Harvey, The Importance of Being Earnest, Uncle Vanya and countless others. Jeanne originated the role of Sister Clarissa in Tom Dudzick’s Over the Tavern.Locally, she has performed and/or directed with the Amherst Players, Artpark, Irish Classical Theatre Company, O’Connell & Company, the Kavinoky Theatre, the Raycroft Inn, and Theatre for Change, to name a few.
Jeanne co-founded, produced and performed for MHM Productions at the Statler Hilton and Way Off Broadway Productions. Directing credits include Shirley Valentine (ICTC), Love Letters (O’Connell & Company), Sleuth, Deathtrap, Oklahoma, Lips Together, Teeth Apart and many more. Acting and directing also took her to New York City, Florida, Ohio, Missouri, Texas, and London, England.
Film work includes Hide in Plain Sight with James Caan; Touch &Die, Dangerous Curves, and, of course, Barney’s Waiting for Santa in which she played the kindly Mrs. Claus. “Theatre District Association is thrilled to recognize our cherished colleague, Jeanne Hebborn Cairns, as a Theatre Artist of such talent, stature and renown that her Star will be enshrined with those of such greats as Christine Baranski, Michael Bennett, Javier Bustillos, Saul Elkin, Stephen McKinley Henderson and Brother Augustine Towey to inspire us and future generations of Theatre Artists to realize their goals and dreams in this profession,” said Lisa Ludwig, President, Theatre District Association of Western New York.
The star-studded public festivities will begin at 5PM at Shea’s 710 Main, the former home of Studio Arena Theatre. TDA President Lisa Ludwig and Buffalo News reviewer and respected local theatre historian Anthony Chase will host the formal presentation. Jeanne Hebborn Cairns’ Star will then be unveiled at Plaza of Stars, immediately across from 710 Main Street at Main and Tupper.
Area dignitaries, theatre professionals, colleagues, patrons and members of the media will be in attendance. A meet-and-greet and a complimentary champagne toast at Matinee, 698 Main Street, will immediately follow. This event is FREE, and the public is cordially invited.
The ceremony will kick-off the 38th Annual Curtain Up! celebration which will be held on Friday, September 20th, the official opening of Buffalo’s Theatre Season. Curtain Up! 2019 is presented byM&T Bank and The Theatre District Association, www.tda-wny.com.