America's Oldest · Founded 1808

Tony Nominated Rob McClure To Host 204th Anniversary Gala Concert This Saturday!

April 30, 2013

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Walnut Street Theatre is pleased to announce that it will honor Albert A. Giagnacova, an avid Walnut Street Theatre supporter and a member of its Board of Trustees, with the 2013 Edwin Forrest Award at its landmark 204th Anniversary Gala. This unforgettable evening will begin with a 90-minute concert hosted by Rob McClure, fresh from his Tony nominated Broadway performance of the title role in Chaplin, the musical. Featuring some of Philadelphia’s favorite Walnut performers, including Marissa Barnathan, Sarah Biddle, Nat Chandler, Carl Clemons-Hopkins, Brian Cowden, Mike Dorsey, Jennie Eisenhower, Liz Filios, Sarah Gliko, Jessica Johnson, Jesse Kirkland, Matt Mastronardi, Cary Michele Miller, Ellie Mooney, Fran Prisco, Nicholas F. Saverine, Peter Schmitz, Marcus Stevens and Denise Whelan, the night will be filled with sizzling sounds of summer. All proceeds from the Gala benefit the Walnut Street Theatre’s Education and Outreach programming, which reaches over 120,000 students, teachers and families annually in the Delaware Valley.

The Gala Concert, Summer Nights, will entertain attendees on the Walnut Street Theatre Mainstage at 7:00PM on Saturday, May 4. Following the Gala Concert, a VIP After-Party will be held on the Thomas Jefferson University Campus in the Dorrance H. Hamilton Building (1001 Locust Street, between 10th and 11th Streets).

This event is held annually to honor members of the business and artistic communities with the Edwin Forrest Award for their contributions to American Theatre. The award was created in 1990 in honor of the leading American actor of the nineteenth century, Edwin Forrest. Forrest is a Philadelphia native who made his debut at the Walnut in 1820.

The Walnut is happy to honor Albert A. Giagnacova with the Edwin Forrest Award for his dedicated service to the Walnut Street Theatre. Giagnacova became a Trustee of Walnut Street Theatre in 1990, after being recruited by Trustee Frank McGlinn. During his 23 years of service, he has been a stalwart member of the theatre’s Executive, Finance, Compensation and Investment Committees. From 1995 through 1998, he and his wife Luci chaired the theatre’s Birthday Gala, a premiere fundraising event.

A resident of Bucks County, Giagnacova received his BS in Economics from Villanova University and did graduate studies at the Wharton School/University of Pennsylvania. He then joined the Equitable (now AXA Financial Advisors) as an advisor and became a Chartered Life Underwriter in 1970. In 1984, Giagnacova became a Chartered Financial Consultant from the American College of Financial Service Professionals in Bryn Mawr, PA. Among his numerous insurance achievements, he was awarded the Equitable’s “Distinguished Service” citation and is a Life and Qualifying Member of the Million Dollar Roundtable. In 2011, Giagnacova celebrated 50 years with the company and continues to work with a favored roster of clients.

In addition to the Walnut, Giagnacova and wife Luci are also dedicated supporters of many Greater Philadelphia institutions. They have served on Capital Campaign Committees for Villanova, Ursinus and Temple and they have chaired multiple fundraising galas for Temple University Hospital, Lower Bucks Hospital, Delaware Valley Philharmonic Orchestra and Washington Crossing Foundation.

Giagnacova also serves in an advisory capacity with the Bucks County Heroes Scholarship Fund, Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine Board of Visitors and the Heritage Society of Villanova. With 38 years of service, he is the longest appointed member of the Bucks County Conference and Visitors Bureau and he served as a Commissioner of Washington Crossing Foundation for more than 30 years. He is also a member of the Rotary Club and Foundation, Bucks County Italian American Culture Society and the Hendel Foundation of Bucks County. A daily communicant, Giagnacova is a member of St. John the Evangelist, Yardley and maintains strong ties to St. Ann’s Church, Bristol.

On May 5, Giagnacova and his wife will celebrate their 34th wedding anniversary. Their greatest enjoyment in life is traveling and spending time with friends and family at their summer home in Avalon. They are proud parents of Dr. Albert Giagnacova, D.P.M. and Dr. Nancy Giagnacova O'Neil, Ed.D., and grandparents of baby Jack.

The Gala Committee is chaired by Walnut Trustee Denise Daher Hodgson (Philadelphia, PA) and includes Walnut Trustees Ben Lipitz (East Stroudsburg, PA), Brad A. Molotsky (Cherry Hill, NJ), John D. Graham (Devon, PA), Lorraine Koc (Horsham, PA), Audrey Merves (Haverford, PA), Ann Marie Richter (Cherry Hill, NJ) and Thomas White (Philadelphia, PA).