OOB's Safreeta Mae Wins Six Audelco Awards

News   OOB's Safreeta Mae Wins Six Audelco Awards The Trial of One Short-Sighted Black Woman vs. Mammy Louise and Safreeta Mae, a satirical comedy by Marcia L. Leslie, won six Audelco Awards, Nov. 15, including Best Play, Playwright, Ensemble, Director, Set, Costumes and Dramatic Production of the Year. Andre DeShields (Play On!) hosted the 27th annual Vivian Robinson Audelco Recognition Awards, which honor excellence in African-American theatre.

The Trial of One Short-Sighted Black Woman vs. Mammy Louise and Safreeta Mae, a satirical comedy by Marcia L. Leslie, won six Audelco Awards, Nov. 15, including Best Play, Playwright, Ensemble, Director, Set, Costumes and Dramatic Production of the Year. Andre DeShields (Play On!) hosted the 27th annual Vivian Robinson Audelco Recognition Awards, which honor excellence in African-American theatre.

Safreeta Mae has returned to the Henry Street Settlement's Harry De Jur Playhouse for a run Oct. 31-Nov. 28. The piece looks at an African American who views her race as a conglomeration of images culled from television, advertising and the movies. In this mock trial, Mammy Louise (a sort of Aunt Jemima) and Safeeta Mae fight against their images as humorous stereotypes of a time gone by.

Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee served as honorary chairpersons of the Awards, founded in 1973 by the late Vivian Robinson to generate "more recognition, understanding and awareness of the arts in African-American communities...and to build new audiences for non-profit theaters and dance companies."

Only NYC-based, not-for-profit organizations qualify for the Audelcos, which this year had the theme of "Theatre Jazz: the Jazz Root of Black Theatre." Host DeShields' credits include The Wiz and Ain't Misbehavin'. The casts of Broadway's It Ain't Nothin' But The Blues and Kat and the Kings performed at the Nov. 15 awards ceremony, at Aaron Davis Hall. The Kat crew will sing "Tafelberg Hotel" and "Lagunya."

Also, special presentations were made by Idris Ackamoor and Rhodessa Jones. The Audelco nominees -- 91 of them in 13 categories -- were announced Oct. 18. Here's the line-up of winners, in bold and marked by an asterisk:

DRAMATIC PRODUCTION OF THE YEAR:
Angelique
Everybody's Ruby
Jar The Floor
The Old Settler
* The Trial of One Short-Sighted Black Woman vs. Mammy Louise and Safreeta Mae

LEAD ACTRESS:
Stephanie Berry (Fixin' the Album)
Patrice Johnson (Angelique)
Phylicia Rashad (Everybody's Ruby)
Genie Sloan (Whoa Jack!)
* Leslie Uggams (The Old Settler)

LEAD ACTOR:
Michael Ealy (Whoa Jack!),
Michael Early (Fixin' the Album)
Beau Gravitte (Everybody's Ruby)
* Adam Wade (Still Such a Thing as Love)

SOLO PERFORMANCE:
* Vinie Burrows (Rose McClendon: Harlem's Gift to Broadway)
Sarah Jones (Surface Transit)
Dael Orlandersmith (The Gimmick)

OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE:
Black Codes from the Underground
Jar the Floor
The American Jesus Christ
* The Trial of One Short-Sighted Black Woman vs. Mammy Louise & Safreeta Mae

SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Christine Campbell (Exhibit #9)
Rosalyn Coleman (The Old Settler)
* Viola Davis (Everybody's Ruby)
Lynda Gravatt (The Old Settler)
Patricia Nyberg (Angelique)

SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Bernard K. Addison (Fixin' The Album
Russ Costen (Exhibit #9)
Stacy Dotson (Man of God)
Ruben Santiago Hudson (Deep Down)
* Godfrey L. Simmons (The Old Settler)

PLAYWRIGHT:
Thulani Davis (Everybody's Ruby)
Don Wilson Glenn (The American Jesus Christ)
* Marcia L. Leslie (The Trial of One Short-Sighted Black Woman...)
John Henry Redwood (The Old Settler)
Cheryl L. West (Jar The Floor)

DIRECTOR/DRAMATIC PRODUCTION:
* Paul Carter Harrison (The Trial of One Short-Sighted Black Woman...)
Derek Anson Jones (Angelique)
Kenny Leon (Everybody's Ruby)
Marion McClinton (Jar The Floor)
Harold Scott (The Old Settler)

SOUND DESIGN:
Jeffrey Carlson (Everybody's Ruby)
* Nik Chamberlin (The American Jesus Christ)
Janet Kalas (Jar The Floor)
Robert Murphy (Angelique)

COSTUME DESIGN:
Anita Ellis (Rose McClendon: Harlem's Gift to Broadway)
* Helen L. Simmons (The Trial of One Short-Sighted Black Woman...)
Debra Stein (The Old Settler)
Mariann Verheyea (Everybody's Ruby)
Marion Williams (Angelique)

SET DESIGN:
Myung Hee Cho (Angelique)
* Felix E. Cochren (The Trial of One Short-Sighted Black Woman)
David Gallo (Jar the Floor)
Bob Phillips (The Old Settler)
Ron Taylor (The American Jesus Christ)

LIGHTING DESIGN:
* Frances Aronson (The Old Settler)
Michael Chybowski (Angelique)
Donald Holder (Jar The Floor)
Ryan Mueller (Black Codes from the Underground)
Tom Sturge (Everybody's Ruby)

1999 OUTSTANDING PIONEER AWARD (presented by Idris Acakmoor and Rhodessa Jones):
* Olu Dara, Diane McIntyre, Emme Kemp.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD:
* Director-playwright Shaunielle Perry.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS AWARD:
* Cultural Odyssey (Idris Ackamoor & Rhodessa Jones

For information on the 1999 Audelco Awards call (212) 650 7148.

-- by David Lefkowitz