School of the Arts

2016 Jess Ilias Clavelli Comedy Award - $1,000

Call For Nominations

The Dean of the School of the Arts invites Emerson comedy troupes to nominate two members of their organization for the Jess Ilias Clavelli Comedy Award.  The student comic nominees will perform their comedy routines before a panel of judges who will choose the recipient of the title and $1,000 award.  The award will be presented at the 35th Annual EVVY Awards (the winner will be notified in advance).


  • Nominees must be current students and active members of one of the college’s comedy organizations.
  • Nominating troupes must be student organizations that are active in the current school year.

Format: Stand-up – Improv – Sketch. It's all good!

  • This award is for an individual comic.
  • Routines should be five to seven minutes long.
  • The nominee may recruit others to perform with him/her in sketch or improv pieces.
  • Routines must be original and created by the nominee.
  • A script or description of the routine to be performed should be submitted by the nominee prior to judging (the judges will not see these before the performances).
  • No sets will be allowed. Minor props are acceptable but nominees will NOT be judged on production values. This is about comedy.

How to Nominate Comics

  • Two nominees per troupe.
  • Nominations should be submitted by the leader of the comedy troupe. How the troupes decide which two comics get their nomination is up to them.
  • Send nominations to both and
  • Include nominee’s name, their e-mail address, and their phone number.
  • Please confirm with the comic their interest in being a nominee before submitting their name.


  • The deadline for nominations is Thursday, April 14th, 2015 at 5:00 pm.


  • Comics will present their work for the judges on Friday, April 22nd in the afternoon (this is a Reading Day before exams begin)
  • The precise time and location of judging will be sent to the nominees directly.
  • Nominees will be contacted by the Dean’s office with additional information.
  • The award recipient is not required to be present at the EVVY Awards ceremony.


Jess Ilias Clavelli was the six-year-old son of Christopher Clavelli (’83). He died suddenly in February of 2003. Even at that young age, Jess displayed a unique gift for storytelling. While other children were creating happy characters, Jess understood how conflict in his stories could help him find the heart of the action and what was humorous about the situation. This award seeks to commemorate and honor Jess and to recognize a student comic who demonstrates the sweet and funny attributes that marked Jess’s short life.