Nominees for 18th Annual NAACP Theatre Awards Announced

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21 May 2008

Jurnee Smollett, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Eva Marcille and Henry Simmons announced the nominees for the 18th Annual NAACP Theatre Awards May 20 at a press conference in the Hollywood Ballroom of the Renaissance Hotel.

This year's distinguished honorees include:

  • Harold Wheeler (music orchestrator/music director): Lifetime Achievement Award
  • American Idol's "Idol Gives Back": Community Service Award
  • David E. Talbert (producer/writer/director): Trailblazer Award
  • Vivica A. Fox (actress/producer): Spirit Award

    Kimberly Elise and Anthony Anderson will host the annual awards ceremony, which will be held June 30 at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles. Performers will include Grammy winner Stephanie Mills, seen on Broadway in The Wiz, and R&B recording artist Mario.

    The theme of this year's awards is "Salute to Black Theatre," which "celebrates the evolution of the portrayal of African Americans in theatre, from unrealistic, stereotypical caricatures to a more balanced and honest reflection of the Black experience as a whole."

    Nominees for the 18th Annual NAACP Theatre Awards follow:



    2006–2007 Equity Nominees

    Lead Female
    S. Epatha Merkerson – Come Back, Little Sheba
    Jeanette Bayardelle – The Color Purple
    Felicia P. Fields – The Color Purple
    Michelle Williams – The Color Purple

    Lead Male
    Michael A. Sheppard – Master Harold… and the boys
    Robert Manning, Jr. – Defiance
    Cedric Sanders – A Matter of Honor
    Michael McFall – The Tempest
    Gerald C. Rivers – The Tempest

    Supporting Female
    LaToya London – The Color Purple
    Stephanie St. James – The Color Purple
    Earnestine Phillips – The Tempest

    Supporting Male
    Thomas Silcott – Master Harold…and the boys
    Stu James – The Color Purple
    Rufus Bonds, Jr. – The Color Purple
    Dexter Hamlet – The Tempest
    Steve Matt – The Tempest

    Ensemble Cast
    Ray Charles Live! A New Musical
    Sister Act
    Cuttin’ Up
    Whatever She Wants

    Director
    Sheldon Epps – Ray Charles Live! A New Musical
    Andrew J. Robinson – Defiance
    Scott Schwartz – A Matter of Honor
    David Rose – Master Harold…and the Boys
    Michael Pressman – Come Back, Little Sheba

    Music Director
    Rahn Coleman – Ray Charles Live! A New Musical
    Sheila Walker – The Color Purple
    Brent-Alan Huffman – Sister Act
    Marcus Bryant – Whatever She Wants

    Choreography
    Kenneth L. Roberson – Ray Charles Live! A New Musical
    Donald Byrd – The Color Purple
    Marguerite Derricks – Sister Act
    Lonnie L. Henderson – NEVAEH: Prince of Black Angels

    Costumes
    Paul Tazewell – The Color Purple
    Garry Lennon – Sister Act
    A. Jeffrey Schoenberg – Master Harold… and the boys
    Charlotte Kruse – The Tempest
    Lonnie L. Henderson – NEVAEH: Prince of Black Angels

    Lighting
    Brian MacDevitt – The Color Purple
    Donald Holder – Sister Act
    Paulie Jenkins – Defiance
    Donald Holder – A Matter of Honor
    Jane Cox – Come Back, Little Sheba

    Set Design
    Victoria Profit – Master Harold…and the boys
    James Noone – Come Back, Little Sheba
    Michael Carnahan – Cuttin’ Up
    Keith Jackson – Having Our Say: The Delaney Sisters’ First 100 Years

    Sound
    Carl Casella – Ray Charles Live! A new Musical
    Jon Weston – The Color Purple
    Cricket Myers – Master Harold…and the boys
    Mark Bennett – A Matter of Honor

    Playwright
    Suzan-Lori Parks – Ray Charles Live! A New Musical
    John Patrick Shanley – Defiance
    Charles Randolph-Wright – Cuttin’ Up
    Michael Chepiga – A Matter of Honor
    William Inge – Come Back, Little Sheba

    Producer
    Pasadena Playhouse – Ray Charles Live! A New Musical
    Pasadena Playhouse – Sister Act
    Pasadena Playhouse – A matter of Honor
    The Colony Theatre – Master Harold
    …and the boys
    Center Theatre Group – Come Back, Little Sheba

    2006 – 2007 Local Nominees

    Lead Female
    Ursaline Bryant – A Melody of One Act Plays
    Dael Orlandersmith – The Gimmick
    Nia Orms – Please Take A Number
    Tiffany Cousin – A Raisin In The Sun
    Baadja Lynne – A Lesson Before Dying

    Lead Male
    Malcolm-Jamal Warner – Love & Other Social Issues
    Don Reed – East 14th: True Tales of a Reluctant Player
    DeObia Oparei – Gilgamesh
    Dominic Hoffman – Last Fare
    Mailk-El-Amin – A Lesson Before Dying
    Jarreth Merz – Drums in the Night

    Supporting Female
    Fran Bennett – As You Like It
    Erica Hubbard – What Would Jesus Do?
    Petal Walker– A Raisin In The Sun
    Wynter Daggs – Meet Me At The Oak
    Nadege August – Desire Under The Elms

    Supporting Male
    Ken Sagoes – George Washington’s Boy
    David Batiste – Desire Under The Elms
    Antwan Herron – A Raisin In The Sun
    Jeff Branion – Drums in the Night
    Richard Rayas – Fallujah

    Ensemble Cast
    City Kid
    Jitney
    Butterflies of Uganda: Memories of a Child Soldier
    The Bow Wow Club
    The Edgeucation Presents: History of the Black Man
    The Divorce

    Director
    Steve Tomkins – City Kid
    Claude Purdy – Jitney
    Darin Dahms – Butterflies of Uganda: Memories of a Child Soldier
    Ted Lange – George Washington’s Boy
    Teresa Dowell-Vest – Flyin’ West

    Director of a Musical
    Denise Dowes – Love & Other Social Issues
    Ara Dabandjian –Love’s Labor’s Lost
    John Lathan – Flirting with Morty

    Music Director
    Patrick Gandy – City Kid
    Paul Wong – Do Lord Remember Me
    Ron Hasley – What’s Going On, The Musical
    Christian Nesmith – Hair
    Christy Crowl – Hotel C’est l’Amour

    Choreography
    Bradley Rapier – City Kid
    Tamica Washington-Miller – Gilgamesh
    Simon Abkarian - Love’s Labor’s Lost
    Monika Davenport and Channing Cook Holmes - What’s Going On, The Musical
    Bo Crowell – Hair

    Costumes
    Nancy Martin – Jitney
    Naila Aladdin Sanders – Butterflies of Uganda: Memories of a Child Soldier
    Mylette Nora – George Washington’s Boy
    Sherry Coon and Ann Gesling – Flyin’ West
    Christina Wright – As you like It

    Lighting
    Alex Berry – City Kid
    Joel Daavid – Jitney
    Fritz Davis – Butterflies of Uganda: Memories of a Child Soldier
    Jeremy Pivnick – Gilgamesh
    Jenny Bloom – Drums in the Night

    Set Design
    Joel Daavid – Jitney
    Melissa Ficociello – Gilgamesh
    Charles Erven – Desire Under the Elms
    Victoria Profit – George Washington’s Boy
    Ellen Sandor – The Bow Wow Club

    Sound
    Eric Snodgrass – City Kid
    Vince Wong – Love & other Social Issues
    Ellen Juhlin & Kari Rae Seekins – Gilgamesh
    Michael Flowers – Night of the Living Dead
    Audesah Thomas & Anthony Ford – Sacrificing Simone

    Playwright
    Diarra Oni Kilpatrick – The Devil is Beating His Wife
    Darin Dahns and Soenke C. Weiss – Butterflies of Uganda: Memories of a Child Soldier
    Don Reed – East 14th: True Tales of a Reluctant Player
    Ted Lange – George Washington’s Boy
    Terryl Daluz & Mann Alfonso – Masks

    Producer
    Penny L. Moore – A Lesson Before Dying
    The Theatre @ Boston Court – Gilgamesh
    Paula Mitchell Manning and Greenway Arts Alliance – Butterflies of Uganda: Memories of a Child Soldier
    Larry Farrow and Yvonne Farrow – What Would Jesus Do?
    Stage 52 in association with Ms. Thing Productions, Thomas Duckett and Ella Joyce – A Rose Among Thorns

    For tickets to the awards visit www.kodaktheatre.com. For more information about the 18th Annual Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP Theatre Awards, go to www.bhwdnaacptheatreawards.com.