Articles Tom Williams

44th Annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards

June 5, 2017 – Chicago, IL.  “At the Table”, Michael Perlman’s drama of scintillating conversation between numerous pals throughout a weekend within the nation, took residence probably the most honors on Monday, June 5, through the 44th Annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards ceremony recognizing excellence in non-union Chicago theatre.  The awards present was held on the Athenaeum Theatre for the primary time, a fitting venue since it is house to a number of non-Fairness theater corporations.

Roughly 750 individuals have been in attendance, and the night featured manufacturing numbers and excerpts from the season’s nominated musicals and performs.  Temporary memorial tributes have been additionally paid to Martha Lavey, former Inventive Director of the Steppenwolf Theatre Firm, and to Samuel G. Roberson Jr., the Inventive Director of Congo Sq. Theatre Company, both of whom handed away this yr.

“At the Table”, produced by the Broken Nose Theatre, acquired Jeff Awards for Production-Play, Ensemble, Director-Play (Spenser Davis) and Actress In A Supporting Position-Play (Echaka Agba). These awards have been quite an achievement for Broken Nostril, particularly since this was its first yr of Jeff eligibility. Prime honors within the musical class went to Refuge Theatre Challenge for its production of “High Fidelity”, based mostly on the movie starring John Cusack a few document retailer proprietor and his loves and buddies. “High Fidelity” acquired awards for Manufacturing-Musical, Director-Musical (Christopher Pazdernik), and Scenic Design (Michelle Manni). Like Damaged Nose, this was additionally Refuge Theatre Challenge’s first yr of Jeff eligibility.

Alexis J. Roston and Lillian Castillo have been emcees for this yr’s award show. Brenda Didier directed Monday’s ceremony, with musical path offered by Jimmy Morehead. John D. Glover, Non-Equity Wing Chair of the Jeff Awards, produced the occasion.

David Liesse, Chair of the 55-member Jeff Awards, welcomed the viewers and introduced this yr’s Particular Jeff Award honoring David Cerda, the Inventive Director and artistic drive behind “Hell in a Handbag Productions”, for his theatrical and charitable contributions.  His award learn: Congratulations and Thanks for “Dragging” the Chicago Theatre world into your “Hell in a Handbag” with humor, coronary heart, hilarity and humanity.”

Season of Concern, the charity offering grants to members of the theatre group who are unable to work because of illness or damage, introduced its Biscotto-Miller Award to Lifeline Theatre for elevating probably the most money this yr among non-union entities.

The Solo Performance Award went to Philip Dawkins for his work in “The Happiest Place on Earth”, produced by Greenhouse Theater Middle and Sideshow Theatre Company.   Awards for Principal Performance in a Play went to Amy Johnson for her portrayal of a mother of an autistic youngster in “Falling” at Interrobang Theatre Challenge, George Seegebrecht as the Lindbergh child kidnapper in “Hauptmann” at Metropolis Lit Theater Company, and to Gage Wallace as a sinfully elegant schemer in “Taste”, produced by Pink Theater Chicago.  Awards for Principal Performance in a Musical have been bestowed on Henry McGinniss for his portrayal of Bat Boy in “Bat Boy: The Musical” with Griffin Theatre Firm, and to Colette Todd for her portrayal of a wife and mother coping with mental sickness in “Next To Normal” at BoHo Theatre. Colette additionally acquired the award for Actor/Actress in a Revue as Angela in “Honky Tonk Angels” at Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre.

Supporting Actor and Actress awards went to Justin Tsatsa for his position as Josh in “Falling” at Interrobang Theatre Venture, Echaka Agba as Lauren in “At the Table” with Damaged Nose Theatre, Scott Danielson as Officer Lockstock  in BoHo Theatre’s musical “Urinetown”, and to Veronica Garza as  Tonya and Nancy’s mom in Underscore Theatre Company’s musical “Tonya and Nancy: The Rock Opera.”
The award for Music Course went to Jeremy Ramey for “The Most Happy Fella” with Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, and the Choreography award went to Aubrey Adams for “Urinetown” with BoHo Theatre.  The Jeff Award for Unique Music in a Play was bestowed on Natasha Bogojevich for “Gentle” with TUTA Theatre Chicago.

Technical honors went to Lighting Designer Kevin D. Gawley for “A Wrinkle In Time” at Lifeline Theatre, Scenic Designer Michelle Manni for “High Fidelity” at Refuge Theatre Venture, Costume Designer John Nasca for Satisfaction Movies and Performs’ “Priscilla: Queen of the Desert” and Sound Designer Stephen Ptacek for “How We Got On” with Haven Theatre Company. Awards in Battle Choreography and Projection Design have been also introduced to Ryan Bourque for “Prowess” at Jackalope Theatre Firm and Anthony Churchill for “The Body of an American” at Stage Left Theatre, respectively.

Moreover, three new works (two performs and one musical) have been recognized: Ike Holter’s “Prowess”, produced by Jackalope Theatre Company, which is an enthralling depiction of the tender stability between well-meaning heroism and vigilante justice throughout a summer time in Chicago;  Alex Lubischer for “Bobbie Clearly,” produced by Steep Theatre Company,  which is a darkish comedy a few group making an attempt to make sense of mindless violence in Milton, Nebraska; and to Robert Kauzlaric & George Howe for “Northanger Abbey”, produced by Lifeline Theatre, and is a musical adaptation based mostly on the first of Jane Austen’s novels and a satire of the Gothic novels common on the time of its first writing in 1798-99.

The Jeff Awards has been honoring outstanding theatre artists yearly since it was established in 1968. With up to 55 members representing a wide variety of backgrounds in theatre (including producers, administrators, actors, playwrights, designers, professors of theatre, entertainment legal professionals and agents, and theatre lovers), the Jeff Awards are committed to celebrating the vitality of Chicago space theatre by recognizing excellence by means of its suggestions, awards, and honors.   Opening night time judges embrace not solely the members but in addition the staff of Inventive & Technical theatre volunteers (the “A/T Team”) which embrace Inventive Directors, producers, directors from the key Chicago theatres, actors, designers, and so on. The Jeff Awards fosters the inventive progress of area theatres and theatre artists and promotes instructional alternatives, audience appreciation, and civic satisfaction within the achievements of the theatre group. Annually, the Jeff Awards adjudicate over 250 theatrical productions and host two awards ceremonies. Originally chartered to acknowledge only Equity productions, the Jeff Awards established the Non-Equity Wing in 1973 to have fun excellent achievement in non-union theatre. The subsequent Fairness Awards ceremony, honoring productions introduced underneath union contracts, will probably be held on Monday, November 6, 2017, at Drury Lane Oakbrook in Oakbrook Terrace.

2017 Non-Equity Jeff Award Recipients

PRODUCTION – PLAY
“At the Table” – Broken Nostril Theatre

PRODUCTION – MUSICAL
“High Fidelity” – Refuge Theatre Challenge

ENSEMBLE
“At the Table” – Broken Nostril Theatre

DIRECTOR – PLAY
Spenser Davis – “At the Table” – Damaged Nose Theatre

DIRECTOR – MUSICAL
Christopher Pazdernik – “High Fidelity” – Refuge Theatre Challenge

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY
George Seegebrecht (Hauptmann) – “Hauptmann” – Metropolis Lit Theater Company
Gage Wallace (Terry) – “Taste” – Pink Theater Chicago

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL
Henry McGinniss (Bat Boy/Edgar) – “Bat Boy: The Musical” – Griffin Theatre Firm

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY
Amy Johnson (Tami) – “Falling” – Interrobang Theatre Undertaking

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL
Colette Todd (Diana) – “Next to Normal” – BoHo Theatre

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY
Justin Tsatsa (Josh) – “Falling” – Interrobang Theatre Challenge

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL
Scott Danielson (Officer Lockstock) – “Urinetown” – BoHo Theatre

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY
Echaka Agba (Lauren) – “At the Table” – Broken Nose Theatre

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL
Veronica Garza (Nancy/Tonya’s Mother) – “Tonya and Nancy: The Rock Opera” –
Underscore Theatre Firm

SOLO PERFORMANCE
Philip Dawkins (Performer) – “The Happiest Place on Earth” – Greenhouse Theater Middle and Sideshow Theatre Company

ACTOR/ACTRESS IN A REVUE
Colette Todd (Angela) – “Honky Tonk Angels” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

NEW PLAY
Ike Holter – “Prowess” – Jackalope Theatre Company
Alex Lubischer – “Bobbie Clearly” – Steep Theatre Company

NEW MUSICAL
Robert Kauzlaric and George Howe – “Northanger Abbey” – Lifeline Theatre

CHOREOGRAPHY
Aubrey Adams – “Urinetown” – BoHo Theatre

ORIGINAL MUSIC IN A PLAY
Natasha Bogojevich – “Gentle” – TUTA Theatre Chicago

MUSIC DIRECTION
Jeremy Ramey – “The Most Happy Fella” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

SCENIC DESIGN
Michelle Manni – “High Fidelity” – Refuge Theatre Venture

LIGHTING DESIGN
Kevin D. Gawley – “A Wrinkle in Time” – Lifeline Theatre

COSTUME DESIGN
John Nasca – “Priscilla: Queen of the Desert” – Satisfaction Films and Plays

SOUND DESIGN
Stephen Ptacek – “How We Got On” – Haven Theatre Firm

PROJECTION DESIGN
Anthony Churchill – “The Body of an American” – Stage Left Theatre

FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHY
Ryan Bourque – “Prowess” – Jackalope Theatre Company

MULTIPLE RECIPIENTS

Theater Corporations
Broken Nostril Theatre – four
BoHo Theatre – three
Refuge Theatre Challenge – 3
Interrobang Theatre Undertaking – 2
Jackalope Theatre Company – 2
Lifeline Theatre – 2
Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre – 2

Productions
At The Table – 4
Excessive Constancy – three
Falling – 2
Prowess – 2
Urinetown – 2

Performers
Colette Todd – 2