The annual ceremony represents the largest annual gathering of local theatre people, with designers, directors, techies, academics and Equity and non-Equity artists blending. The event was May 12 at the Gem Theatre in downtown Detroit.
Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train marked the debut of a new troupe in Detroit called African Renaissance Theater.
Winners were picked from among 22 nominated productions staged by 15 different theatre companies, according to Free Press theatre critic Martin F. Kohn.
Other winners were:
Best Director: Malcolm Tulip, Man of La Mancha, Performance Network Best Lead Actor: James Bowen, Master Harold...and the boys, Planet Ant Theatre
Best Lead Actress: Sandra Birch, Stand, Purple Rose Theatre Company
Best Featured Actor: Arthur Beer, Denial, Jewish Ensemble Theatre
Best Featured Actress: Terry Heck, Necessary Targets, Performance Network
Best Design: Costume designer Ricky Greenwell, Hilberry Theatre, Cloud 9
James Kisicki Award (for ensemble acting): Joel Mitchell, for a variety of roles at Zeitgeist Performance Venue and African Renaissance Theater
Lawrence DeVine Award (for outstanding contributions during the current season): Set designer Monika Essen for work at Performance Network and Jewish Ensemble Theatre
Lee Hills Awards (for distinguished career achievement): Actor Robert Grossman, who has worked at almost every area theatre over more than 30 years
Nominations and awards were determined by Free Press theater critic Martin F. Kohn in consultation with other members of the Free Press arts and entertainment staff.