Marietta, GA's Theatre in the Square presented its 15th annual Jennie Awards Sunday, July 20. For Favorite Production from the 1996-97 season, subscribers chose A.R. Gurney's comedy Sylvia, directed by Linda Sherbet, a TIS artistic associate.
Other productions that were presented were: The Heiress, Tru, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and Private Lives.
Don Finney took the Jennie for Favorite Actor for Tru and Shelly McCook for Favorite Actress in Sylvia. Christopher Ekholm took Favorite Featured Actor for his roles in Sylvia; and Muriel Moore was voted Favorite Featured Actress for her Aunt Lavinia in The Heiress.
Subscribers also voted for the first time this year for technical achievement.
Producing director Palmer Wells said the event, which featured entertainment from TIS stars, gourmet hors d'oeuvres, champagne and wine,was also an occasion for fund-raising. Celebrity memorabilia from Neil Simon, Wendy Wasserstein, Terrence McNally and Joanne Woodward in addition to Delta Airline travel vouchers, dinner certificates, crystal (in honor of TIS's 15th anniversary) cultural event tickets, tickets to Atlanta Braves baseball and Georgia Tech football, and a walk-on in TIS's annual production of The 1940's Radio Hour were among the items up for grabs in a silent auction.
Helene Erenberg, TIS marketing director, said, "We don't have the final count, but it was a most successful event, raising in the neighborhood of $7-8,000."
McNally donated two signed copes of Lips Together, Teeth Apart, which when done by TIS in 1993 was the subject of much controversy. Wells noted that the Cobb County Board of Commissions cut off arts funding county-wide after one commissioner claimed the play was "promoting and advocating the gay lifestyle."
According to Erenberg, McNally has been a vocal advocate for the arts there ever since. The fund cut-off cost TIS a grant of about $45,000, she said. Which brought Marietta native Joanne Woodward to the rescue.
The actress donated $20,000 in a matching grant campaign which, with the help of private and corporate donations from Atlanta companies resulted in another $20,000.
TIS's Jennie Award, a sculpture designed by glass artisan Don Lillie, is named for Jennie Tate Anderson, a Marietta civic and arts leader and original member of the TIS board.
-- By Ellis Nassour