"The VIV" Awards are "the only formally established awards presented to the black theatre community," according to an announcement. Audience Development Committee, Inc. (AUDELCO) celebrated 35 years of Excellence in Black Theatre with this year's honors.
The event began with a 6 PM reception at the Harlem Stage/Aaron Davis Hall, Inc. followed by the 7:30 PM ceremony of awards and honors in the Marion Anderson Theatre.
In the Dramatic Production of the Year category, Obsidian Media Group's Black Man Rising (which also earned the Outstanding Ensemble Performance and Director honors) tied with Hadley Players' The Guest at Central Park West (which also took home prizes for Playwright and Lead Actor).
Special honors of acknowledgement and achievements for "Outstanding Pioneer Organizations – 35 Years and Over" were given to Roger Furman Theatre, Negro Ensemble Company, Richard Allen Center for Culture & Art, New Federal Theatre, National Black Theatre, Amas Musical Theatre, Black Spectrum Theatre, Billie Holiday Theatre and Frank Silvera's Writer's Workshop.
In addition special honors were presented to Jewel Kinch, Riverside Theatre, playwright Samm-Art Williams and Mary B. Davis, AUDELCO's Chair Emeritus and "Rising Star" Youth Theatre companies in New York City. The 2006-2007 theatre season nominees (*with winners in bold) are:
MUSICAL PRODUCTION OF THE YEAR
*Passing Strange DRAMATIC PRODUCTION OF THE YEAR
Two Trains Running (Signature Theatre) OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE
The Taking of Miss Janie SOLO PERFORMANCE
Leslie Lewis Sword (Miracle in Rwanda) LEAD ACTOR
Timothy Stickney (Hamlet) LEAD ACTRESS
Vivian Reed (The Second Tosca) SUPPORTING ACTOR
John Douglas Thompson (King Lear) SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Kim Weston-Moran (Moon on a Rainbow Shawl) OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL - FEMALE
*Eartha Kitt (Mimi Le Duck) OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL - MALE
Ronny Mercedes (Magpie) AUGUST WILSON PLAYWRIGHT AWARD
*Levy Lee Simon (The Guest at Central Park West) DIRECTOR - DRAMATIC PRODUCTION
Leigh Silverman (Blue Door) DIRECTOR - MUSICAL PRODUCTION
Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj (Magpie) CHOREOGRAPHER
*Juson Williams (Black Man Rising) OUTSTANDING MUSICAL DIRECTOR
Jana Zielonka (Magpie) LIGHTING DESIGN
Harlan D. Penn (The Guest at Central Park West) JUDY DEARING COSTUME DESIGN
*Ali Turns (Hamlet) SOUND DESIGN
*David Wright (Hamlet) For more information, visit audelco.net.