2009 Young Alumni Achievement Award Winner
Major: Political Science
In the eight years since leaving Knox, Novak has appeared in more
than 20 plays in New York and around the country. She received acclaim on
the stage of the Old Globe Theatre for her performance in Two Noble Kinsman. The San Diego Theatre Critics Circle honored Novak with a 2004 Craig Noel Award for Excellence in Theatre.
My Name Is Rachel Corrie, a one-woman play directed by noted actor Alan Rickman, marked the off-Broadway debut for Novak. The play tells the story of an American college student and member of the International Solidarity Movement who traveled to the Gaza Strip. She was killed by an armored Israeli bulldozer during a protest against the destruction of Palestinian homes. Initially, Novak was cast as an understudy and played Corrie at the Saturday and Sunday matinees. When My Name is Rachel Corrie was extended, Novak portrayed Corrie at the play's six weekly evening performances.
Novak earned recognition for her portrayal of Harper Pitt in Angels in America as outstanding actress in a small/midsize company at the Elliot Norton Awards ceremony, an annual event honoring excellence in the greater Boston theatre community. A review in Boston Theatre Works stated, "It's Elrod who nearly steals the show in an incredible performance as Harper Pitt. Acting of this caliber is a rare treat."
Novak has had roles in several productions with New York City's 52nd Street Project and most recently completed work on the Martin Scorsese movie Shutter Island, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and slated for release in October 2009.
A review of her work in the play Realism by Anthony Nielson states that "Elrod commands her scene with a hushed gracefulness. Beneath the playful warmth she adds to her lines and movements, her guarded posture and wide eyes show a layer of fragility and fear . . ."
Although her career has taken Novak far away from Knox geographically speaking, she continues to hold her memories of the College close. Said Novak: "I met so many interesting people with whom I had -- and continue to have -- memorable and engaging coversations."