Evita and Cromer's Our Town Are Big Winners at Non-Equity Jeff Awards

News   Evita and Cromer's Our Town Are Big Winners at Non-Equity Jeff Awards The Non-Equity Jeff Awards, recognizing excellence in Chicago's non-union storefront and black box theatre community, were handed out June 8.
Our Town star David Cromer
Our Town star David Cromer Photo by Carol Rosegg

The award for Outstanding Production - Play went to The Hypocrites' Our Town, which was remounted to critical success in New York City, where it continues in a partly-recast Equity production, again directed by David Cromer, who also won in the Directing category.

The award for Outstanding Production – Musical or Revue went to Theo Ubique's Evita, which was re-imagined for the company's tiny cabaret space. The staging took six awards, including one for director Fred Anzevino, the most for any single production.

The ceremony paused to note the untimely passing in recent weeks of two Chicago actors, Will Schutz and Steve Cinabro.

A Special Award was given to Pegasus Players' founder Arlene Crewdson for her lifelong contributions to Chicago theatre. The ceremony was emceed by actor-composer Jon Steinhagen.

The Jeff Awards (the Joseph Jefferson Awards) have been honoring outstanding theatre artists annually since it was established in 1968. With up to 50 members representing a wide variety of backgrounds in theatre, "it is committed to celebrating the vitality of Chicago area theatre by recognizing excellence through its recommendations, awards and honors." The Jeff Awards "foster the artistic growth of area theatres and theatre artists and promotes educational opportunities, audience appreciation, and civic pride in the achievements of the theatre community."

Jeff members evaluate over 250 theatrical productions and hold two awards ceremonies annually — one for Actors' Equity-affiliated work and one for non-Equity work.

The next Equity Awards Ceremony, honoring productions presented under union contracts, will be held on Oct. 19, 2009, at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie.

2009 NON-EQUITY JEFF AWARD NOMINEES AND WINNERS

Winners are indicated in boldface type with an asterisk.

PRODUCTION – PLAY
Enchanted April - Circle Theatre
In Arabia We'd All Be Kings - Steep Theatre Company
Mariette in Ecstasy - Lifeline Theatre
The Mark of Zorro - Lifeline Theatre
*Our Town - The Hypocrites
Rose and the Rime - The House Theatre of Chicago

PRODUCTION - MUSICAL OR REVUE
The Christmas Schooner - Bailiwick Repertory Theatre
*Evita - Theo Ubique Theatre Company i/a/w Michael James
Jacques Brel's Lonesome Losers of the Night - Theo Ubique Theatre Company i/a/w Michael James
The Robber Bridegroom - Griffin Theatre Company
Woody Guthrie's American Song - Blindfaith Theatre

DIRECTOR – PLAY
Nathan Allen - Rose and the Rime - The House Theatre of Chicago
*David Cromer - Our Town - The Hypocrites
Elise Kauzlaric - Mariette in Ecstasy - Lifeline Theatre
Joanie Schultz - In Arabia We'd All Be Kings - Steep Theatre Company
Rick Snyder - Men of Tortuga - Profiles Theatre

DIRECTOR - MUSICAL OR REVUE
*Fred Anzevino - Evita - Theo Ubique Theatre Company i/a/w Michael James
Fred Anzevino - Jacques Brel's Lonesome Losers of the Night - Theo Ubique Theatre Company i/a/w Michael James
Mary Beidler Gearen - The Christmas Schooner - Bailiwick Repertory Theatre
Paul S. Holmquist - The Robber Bridegroom - Griffin Theatre Company
Nicolas Minas - Woody Guthrie's American Song - Blindfaith Theatre

ENSEMBLE
Evita - Theo Ubique Theatre Company i/a/w Michael James
*In Arabia We'd All Be Kings - Steep Theatre Company
Mariette in Ecstasy - Lifeline Theatre
Men of Tortuga - Profiles Theatre
Our Bad Magnet - Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company
Woody Guthrie's American Song - Blindfaith Theatre

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY
Don Bender - Old Times - City Lit Theater Company
*Esteban Andres Cruz - Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train - Raven Theatre
James Elly - The Mark of Zorro - Lifeline Theatre
Ryan Jarosch - Torch Song Trilogy - Hubris Productions
Brian Parry - Shadowlands - Redtwist Theatre
Brian Plocharczyk - After Ashley - Stage Left Theatre
Bradford Stevens - Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train - Raven Theatre

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL
Courtney Crouse - Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical - Bohemian Theatre Ensemble
*Chris Damiano - Evita - Theo Ubique Theatre Company i/a/w Michael James

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY
Brenda Barrie - Mariette in Ecstasy - Lifeline Theatre
*Laura Coover - Blue Surge - Eclipse Theatre Company
Cameron Feagin - Private Lives - City Lit Theater Company
Nancy Freidrich - The Dastardly Ficus and Other Comedic Tales of Woe and Misery - The Strange Tree Group
Betsy Zajko - Beholder - Trap Door Theatre

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL
Laura McClain - The Christmas Schooner - Bailiwick Repertory Theatre
*Maggie Portman - Evita - Theo Ubique Theatre Company i/a/w Michael James
Rachel Quinn - Gentlemen Prefer Blondes - Circle Theatre
Bethany Thomas - Belle Barth: If I Embarrass You Tell Your Friends - Theo Ubique Theatre Company i/a/w Michael James

SOLO PERFORMANCE
*Janet Ulrich Brooks - Golda's Balcony - Pegasus Players
Alice Wedoff - The Shape of a Girl - Pegasus Players

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY
Paul S. Holmquist - The Picture of Dorian Gray - Lifeline Theatre
Matthew Sherbach - The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler - Dog & Pony Theatre Company
Kevin V. Smith - Our Bad Magnet - Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company
Madrid St. Angelo - A Passage to India - Premiere Theatre & Performance i/a/w Vitalist Theatre
Jon Steinhagen - Plaza Suite - Eclipse Theatre Company
*Nathaniel Swift - Blue Surge - Eclipse Theatre Company

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL
*Chris Damiano - Jacques Brel's Lonesome Losers of the Night - Theo Ubique Theatre Company i/a/w Michael James
Chris Froseth - Woody Guthrie's American Song - Blindfaith Theatre
Jim Sherman - The Christmas Schooner - Bailiwick Repertory Theatre

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY
Susan Veronika Adler - Torch Song Trilogy - Hubris Productions
Jeannette Blackwell - The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler - Dog & Pony Theatre Company
Nora Fiffer - The Autumn Garden - Eclipse Theatre Company
Mary Hollis Inboden - Torch Song Trilogy - Hubris Productions
Elise Kauzlaric - On the Shore of the Wide World - Griffin Theatre Company
Lily Mojekwu - Greensboro: A Requiem - Steep Theatre Company
Rinska Prestinary - In Arabia We'd All Be Kings - Steep Theatre Company
*Mary Redmon - Enchanted April - Circle Theatre

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - MUSICAL OR REVUE
*Amanda Hartley - The Robber Bridegroom - Griffin Theatre Company

NEW WORK
Tony Fiorentino - All My Love - Diamante Productions
Robert Koon - Odin's Horse - Infamous Commonwealth Theatre
Frank Maugeri & Seth Bockley - Boneyard Prayer - Redmoon Theater
Andrew Park - The People's History of the United States - Quest Theatre Ensemble
*Ken Prestininzi - Beholder - Trap Door Theatre

NEW ADAPTATION
Fred Anzevino, Arnold Johnston & Joshua Stephen Kartes - Jacques Brel's Lonesome Losers of the Night - Theo Ubique Theatre Company i/a/w Michael James
Cristina Calvit - Mariette in Ecstasy - Lifeline Theatre
Robert Kauzlaric - The Picture of Dorian Gray - Lifeline Theatre
William Massolia - Be More Chill - Griffin Theatre Company
Terry McCabe - Scoundrel Time - City Lit Theater Company
*Katie McLean - The Mark of Zorro - Lifeline Theatre

CHOREOGRAPHY
Kevin Bellie - Gentlemen Prefer Blondes - Circle Theatre
Brenda Didier - Evita - Theo Ubique Theatre Company i/a/w Michael James
Tommy Rapley - Rose and the Rime - The House Theatre of Chicago

ORIGINAL INCIDENTAL MUSIC
Lara Golan - Dr. Egg and the Man with No Ear - Redmoon Theater
Charles Kim & Seth Bockley - Boneyard Prayer - Redmoon Theater
*Kevin O'Donnell - Rose and the Rime - The House Theatre of Chicago

MUSIC DIRECTION
*Ryan Brewster - Evita - Theo Ubique Theatre Company i/a/w Michael James
Mark Elliott - The Robber Bridegroom - Griffin Theatre Company
Joshua Stephen Kartes - Jacques Brel's Lonesome Losers of the Night - Theo Ubique Theatre Company i/a/w Michael James
Jeremy Ramey - The Christmas Schooner - Bailiwick Repertory Theatre
Shaun Whitley - Woody Guthrie's American Song - Blindfaith Theatre

SCENIC DESIGN
*(TIE) Alan Donahue - Mariette in Ecstasy - Lifeline Theatre
Anders Jacobson - Red Angel - LiveWire Chicago Theatre
*(TIE) Bob Knuth - Enchanted April - Circle Theatre
Bob Knuth - Hay Fever - Circle Theatre
Richard & Jacqueline Penrod - The Shape of a Girl - Pegasus Players
Emily Schwartz & Kate Nawrocki - The Dastardly Ficus and Other Comedic Tales of Woe and Misery - The Strange Tree Group

LIGHTING DESIGN
John Horan - Dr. Egg and the Man with No Ear - Redmoon Theater
Denise Karczewski - Golda's Balcony - Pegasus Players
Lee Keenan - Rose and the Rime - The House Theatre of Chicago
*Jared B. Moore - Touch - New Leaf Theatre

COSTUME DESIGN
Debbie Baer - Rose and the Rime - The House Theatre of Chicago
Michelle Julazadeh - Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical - Bohemian Theatre Ensemble
*Suzanne Mann - Hay Fever - Circle Theatre
Suzanne Mann - Enchanted April - Circle Theatre
John Nasca - Die! Mommie Die! - Hell in a Handbag Productions
Jesus Perez - Gentlemen Prefer Blondes - Circle Theatre

SOUND DESIGN
*(TIE) Victoria DeIorio - The Mark of Zorro - Lifeline Theatre
Mikhail Fiksel - Winter Pageant Redux - Redmoon Theater
Tim Hill - Mariette in Ecstasy - Lifeline Theatre
*(TIE) Joshua Horvath - Rose and the Rime - The House Theatre of Chicago
Nick Keenan - Touch - New Leaf Theatre
Stephen Ptacek - God's Ear - Dog & Pony Theatre Company

ARTISTIC SPECIALIZATION
Mask Design - Amanda Church - The People's History of the United States - Quest Theatre Ensemble
Animation - Jamie Clennett - Dr. Egg and the Man with No Ear - Redmoon Theater
*Fight Choreography - Geoff Coates - The Mark of Zorro - Lifeline Theatre
Puppets – Graeme Davis - Dr. Egg and the Man with No Ear - Redmoon Theater
Puppets - Jesse Mooney-Bullock - Boneyard Prayer - Redmoon Theater

*

The Jeff Awards has been honoring outstanding theatre artists annually since it was established in 1968. With up to 50 members representing a wide variety of backgrounds in theatre, the Jeff Awards "is committed to celebrating the vitality of Chicago area theatre by recognizing excellence through its recommendations, awards, and honors."

The Jeff Awards evaluates over 250 theatrical productions and holds two awards ceremonies annually. Originally chartered to recognize only Equity productions, the Jeff Awards established the Non-Equity Wing in 1973 to celebrate outstanding achievement in non-union theatre (the awards used to be called the Jeff Citations). The next Equity Awards Ceremony, honoring productions presented under union contracts, will be held on Oct. 19 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie.

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