And the Nominees Are…

0 Comments 24 August 2015


Theater Awards announces nominees, new adjudication panel

Eighth annual “Artsies” to be held at November Theatre on Oct. 25

Richmond, VA: The Richmond Theatre Critics Circle (RTCC) invites lovers of the local arts scene to its big, boffo annual party and to the next step in the arts advocacy group’s evolution.

In addition to revealing the nominations for the Eighth Annual “Artsies” Awards, its glamorous black-tie gala that will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 25, the RTCC has announced the creation of the RVA Theatre Alliance Panel, or TAP. Members of this panel will work together with the RTCC on determining nominees for next year’s awards.

“Our annual awards show has always been an opportunity for local artists and lovers of the arts to get gussied up and gather to celebrate the amazing local theater scene,” says David Timberline, a theater critic for Style Weekly magazine and the outgoing president of the RTCC. “This year we’re thrilled to introduce our new partners, the Theatre Alliance Panel, who will augment our efforts to make the awards better going forward.”

Established in cooperation with the RVA Theatre Alliance, a consortium of local theater companies, the TAP consists of six theater professionals and patrons who will vote along with RTCC members to determine the nominees for the 2015-16 season (brief bios below). “The TAP members are extremely well qualified and are committed to adding their knowledgeable perspectives to the RTCC award process,” explained Jerry Williams, whose theater reviews are on Sifter (tvjerry.com) and radio station WRIR and who spearheaded the creation of the new panel.

The “Artsies” awards show has become a defining event on the local arts calendar. This year, as always, it will feature stirring musical performances from productions nominated for Best Musical as well as a special performance by Desiree Roots. The theme of the event is “The Originators,” and many aspects of the show will honor local artists who create original work.

Hosting the show will be Georgia Rogers Farmer, acclaimed cabaret star and local actress, who has written, developed, and headlined sold-out musical revues in Virginia and North Carolina since 1999. She is currently starring in “Dixie Swim Club” at Swift Creek Mill Theatre in Colonial Heights.

All proceeds from ticket sales to the “Artsies” will support the Richmond Theatre Artists Fund, which was established to help those in the Richmond theater community who have fallen on hard times due to illness, injury, or extenuating circumstances.

The members of the RTCC that voted on the nominations this year include Tony Farrell (Richmond Times-Dispatch), Rich Griset (Style Weekly), Julinda Lewis (Richmond Times-Dispatch), John Porter (WCVE-FM) and Jerry Williams (TVJerry.com / WRIR). Circle members must have seen at least two-thirds of the locally-produced shows during the last season in order to vote. Joining the Circle this year is Julie Harthill Clayton, writing for GayRVA.com.

Formal attire is encouraged for the awards ceremony, which is open to the public. Tickets for the event are $20 and can be purchased from Virginia Rep at va-rep.org or 282-2620.

Here are this year’s nominees:

Best Musical
Caroline, or Change, Cadence Theatre Company in partnership with Virginia Rep
Carrie the Musical, 5th Wall
Hedwig and the Angry Inch, TheatreLab/Spin, Spit & Swear
South Pacific, Virginia Repertory Theatre
Two Bits: The Barbershop Musical, Swift Creek Mill Theatre

Best Direction – Musical
Patti D’Beck, Mame, Virginia Repertory Theatre
Chase Kniffen, South Pacific
Billy Christopher Maupin, Carrie the Musical
Maggie Roop, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Tom Width, Two Bits

Best Actor – Musical
Denver Crawford, Boy in the Bathroom, Firehouse Theatre
Branch Fields, South Pacific
David Janeski, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Virginia Repertory Theatre
Landon Nagel, They’re Playing Our Song, Virginia Repertory Theatre
Matt Shofner, Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Best Actress – Musical
Stacey Cabaj, South Pacific
Desiree Roots, Caroline, or Change
Cathy Shaffner, Boy in the Bathroom
Brittany Simmons, Carrie the Musical
Aly Wepplo, They’re Playing Our Song

Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Musical
Brian Baez, Pageant, Richmond Triangle Players
Brandon McKinney, Caroline, or Change
Kirk Morton, We Three Lizas, Richmond Triangle Players
James Stover, South Pacific
Durron Tyre, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown
Matt Zimmerman, South Pacific

Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Musical
Bianca Bryan, Caroline, or Change
Bianca Bryan, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Audra Honaker, Mame
Tyandria Ford Jackson, Caroline, or Change
Grace Mincks, Carrie the Musical

Best Musical Direction
Ryan Corbitt, Caroline, or Change
Paul Deiss, Two Bits
Drew Perkins, A Lie of the Mind, Cadence Theatre Company in partnership with Virginia Rep
Anthony Smith, Carrie the Musical
Anthony Smith, Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Best Choreography
Patti D’Beck, Mame
Jan Guarino, They’re Playing Our Song
Emily Poff, Carrie the Musical
Brad Willcuts, South Pacific

Best Play
Equivocation, Quill Theatre Company/Virginia Repertory Theatre
Hamlet, Quill Theatre Company
The Human Terrain, 5th Wall Theatre
The Lyons, 5th Wall Theatre
The Whipping Man, Virginia Repertory Theatre

Best Direction – Play
Debra Clinton, The Whipping Man
Carol Piersol, The Human Terrain
Jan Powell, Equivocation
Jan Powell, Hamlet
Bo Wilson, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, Richmond Triangle Players

Best Actor – Play
Nick Aliff, Sam and Carol: A Play Where Everything is True, Quill Theatre Company
Andrew Firda, Angels in America
Marquis Hazelwood, When Last We Flew, TheatreLab
Jerold Solomon, The Whipping Man
Rafael Untalan, Equivocation

Best Actress – Play
Eva DeVirgilis, Sam and Carol
Molly Hood, Hamlet
McLean Jesse, The Human Terrain
Jacqueline Jones, The Lyons
Melissa Johnston Price, Lion in Winter, Quill Theatre Company

Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Play
Jeff Clevenger, Hamlet
Max Eddy, The Whipping Man
Deejay Gray, The Whale, HATTheatre
Joe Pabst, Equivocation
Taamu Wuya, The Whipping Man

Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Play
Sara Heifetz, The Human Terrain
Jessi Johnson, Psycho Beach Party, Richmond Triangle Players
Raven Lorraine, When Last We Flew
Maggie Roop, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Virginia Repertory Theatre
Zoe Speas, Equivocation

Ernie McClintock Award for Best Ensemble
Angels in America: Millennium Approaches
Cock, TheatreLab
The Altruists, TheatreLab
The Human Terrain
The Whipping Man

Promising Newcomer
Zoe Cotzias, Oblivion, TheatreLab
Denver Crawford, The Aliens, Firehouse Theatre
Saleh Ismael, The Human Terrain
Tyandria Ford Jackson, Caroline, or Change
Joseph Nelson, Oblivion

Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design
Anna Bialkowski, Hamlet
Sue Griffin, Mame
Sue Griffin, South Pacific
Elizabeth Hopper, Equivocation
D. Mark Souza, 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche, Richmond Triangle Players

Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Design
Lynn Hartman, Mame
Michael Jarett, Angels in America
BJ Wilkinson, Equivocation
BJ Wilkinson, The Whipping Man
Robby Williams, Boy in the Bathroom

Outstanding Achievement in Set Design
Christopher Acebo, Equivocation
Kat Conley, The Whipping Man
Tennessee Dixon, Boy in the Bathroom
Ron Keller, Mame
Edwin Slipek, Wait Until Dark, Firehouse Theatre

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design
Carlos Collazo, The Human Terrain
Joey Luck, Carrie the Musical
Joey Luck, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Joey Luck, Psycho Beach Party
Joey Luck, The Aliens

Liz Marks Memorial Award for Ongoing Contribution to Richmond Area Theater
Bob Albertia, deVeaux Riddick, and Robert Watkins

The Theatre Alliance Panel for the 2015-16 season will consist of:

Susan Haubenstock, who served as theater critic and feature writer for the daily Stamford (CT) Advocate from 1989 to 1994, and theater critic for the Richmond Times-Dispatch from 2003 to 2012. Haubenstock received an MA in theater from the University of Illinois.

Steve Murden, the archivist for the Virginia Museum Theatre and TheatreVirginia, a life-long theater fan and a season subscriber for nearly all the major local theater companies.

Karen Newton, a freelance writer for Style Weekly and a devoted theater fan whose commentary on the local theater scene regularly appears in her popular blog, http://icouldgoonandon.blogspot.com/.

David Emerson Toney, a local actor and director and the current Artistic Director for TheatreVCU. Toney received his MFA in Professional Acting from Ohio University.

Patricia Vastano, former Board member for 5th Wall Theatre Company and celebrated local theater fan. Vastano had a long and distinguished career with the U.S. Department of Labor before retiring to Richmond in 2005.

Dr. Jack Welsh, a local director, a professor of Theatre and Speech at the University of Richmond from 1965 to 2000, and an on-site Adjudicator for the American College Theatre Festival. Dr. Welsh has a PhD in Theatre from Tulane University.

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