2009 – Court Theatre, Jack Reuler, Dennis Zacek, Robert Falls and Roche Schulfer

Equity's 2009 Spirit Recognition Award, given to institutions that "have made non-traditional casting a way of life," has gone to the Court Theatre. The award was accepted by Artistic Director Charles Newell.

Under the leadership of Mr. Newell and Resident Artist Ron OJ Parson, Court's commitment to diversity can be seen in both its casting choices and by its scheduling of numerous works from the African-American canon of classic theatre, including many of the plays by August Wilson.

Additional Spirit Awards were presented to Jack Reuler of Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis, Dennis Zacek of Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago and Roche Schulfe and Robert Falls of the Goodman Theatre in Chicago.