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Jeff Non-Equity Awards Presented for the 2010 - 2011 Season

 Redtwist’s “Man from Nebraska” and The Hypocrites’ “Cabaret” Take Top Production Honors

 

At its 38th annual celebration of Chicago’s non-union theatre scene, the Jeff Awards honored 27 award recipients for excellence Monday evening at the Park West. The event, emceed by Circle Theatre’s Kevin Bellie for the second consecutive year, featured production numbers by the nominated musicals and presentation of awards, two of which were delivered by robots. The robots, created for Sideshow Theatre Company’s “Heddatron,” earned their creators an award for Robot Design and Engineering in the Artistic Specialization category, shared with Izumi Inaba, who received an award for makeup design for “Cats” at Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre in association with Michael James.

 

Top honors for outstanding play and musical went to Redtwist Theatre for Tracy Letts’ “Man from Nebraska” and The Hypocrites’ unique take on “Cabaret,” which featured actress Jessie Fisher as the traditionally male Emcee, garnering her the award for Principal Actress in a Musical. “Man from Nebraska’s” lead, Chuck Spencer, took home the honor for Principal Actor in a Play. The coveted Ensemble award went to “Shakespeare’s King Phycus” by The Strange Tree Group in association with The Lord Chamberlain’s Men.

 

In the Principal Actress in a Play category there was a tie between Caroline Neff, for Steep Theatre’s “The Brief History of Helen of Troy” (who was also nominated in the same category for “Port,” with Griffin Theatre Company) and Nicole Wiesner for her performance of a schizophrenic role in Trap Door Theatre’s “The First Ladies.” Principal Actor in a Musical honors went to Andrew Mueller as Huck Finn in Bohemian Theatre Ensemble’s “Big River.” Director of a Play also yielded a tie, with the awards going to James Palmer for Red Tape Theatre’s “The Love of the Nightingale” and Jimmy McDermott for Strange Tree’s “The Three Faces of Dr. Crippen,” which also earned a New Work award for playwright Emily Schwartz. 

 

Lifeline Theatre continued its winning streak in the New Adaptation category with the award to Robert Kauzlaric for “Neverwhere.” In the Director of a Musical category Matt Hawkins was honored for “Cabaret, and Brenda Didier for Cats."  Brenda Didier added to her laurels for Choreography for “Cats” and Theo Ubique scored again for Music Direction with the award to Austin Cook for his work on “Some Enchanted Evening: The Songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein.”

 

Among the companies represented, The Hypocrites walked away with the most awards (6) – 5 for “Cabaret,” followed by Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre in association with Michael James with 5. Reflecting the growing depth and breadth of Chicago’s non-union theatre scene, the awards were presented to a larger number of companies than usual.

 

The gala evening was presented by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee under the leadership of Glenn Z. Hering, Chair, and produced by Douglas Bradburd, Non-Equity Wing Chair. The Jeff Awards has been honoring outstanding theatre artists annually since it was established in 1968.  With 50 members representing a wide variety of backgrounds in theatre, it is committed to celebrating the vitality of Chicago area theatre by recognizing excellence through its recommendations, awards, and honors.  The Jeff Awards fosters the artistic growth of area theatres and theatre artists and promotes educational opportunities, audience appreciation, and civic pride in the achievements of the theatre community.  Jeff members evaluate over 250 theatrical productions and hold two awards ceremonies annually. Originally chartered to recognize only Equity productions, the Jeff Awards established the Non-Equity Wing in 1973 to celebrate outstanding achievement in non-union theatre. The next Jeff Equity Awards Ceremony, honoring productions presented under union contracts, will be held on Monday, November 7, 2011, at Drury Lane Oakbrook in Oakbrook Terrace.

 

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COMPLETE LIST OF 2011 NON-EQUITY JEFF AWARD RECIPIENTS:

 

PRODUCTION   -   PLAY

 “Man from Nebraska”  -  Redtwist Theatre

 

PRODUCTION   -   MUSICAL

“Cabaret”  -  The Hypocrites

 

DIRECTOR   -   PLAY (Tie)

Jimmy McDermott   -  “The Three Faces of Dr. Cripppen”   -   The Strange Tree Group

James Palmer – “The Love of the Nightingale” – Red Tape Theatre

 

DIRECTOR   -   MUSICAL(tie)

Brenda Didier - "Cats" - Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre i/a/w Michael James

Matt Hawkins   -  “Cabaret”   -   The Hypocrites

 

ENSEMBLE

 “Shakespeare’s King Phycus”  -   The Strange Tree Group i/a/w The Lord Chamberlain’s Men

 

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE   -   PLAY

Chuck Spencer  -  “Man from Nebraska”  -   Redtwist Theatre

 

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE   -   MUSICAL

Andrew Mueller – “Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” -   Bohemian Theatre Ensemble

 

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY (Tie)

Caroline Neff   -  “The Brief History of Helen of Troy”   -  Steep Theatre Company

Nicole Wiesner – “The First Ladies” – Trap Door Theatre

 

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE   -   MUSICAL

Jessie Fisher   -  “Cabaret”   -  The Hypocrites

 

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE   -   PLAY

Brian Parry   -  “Shining City”   -  Redtwist Theatre

 

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE   -   MUSICAL

Courtney Crouse –“Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn ” -   Bohemian Theatre Ensemble

 

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE   -   PLAY

Sara Pavlak   -  “Agnes of God”  -   Hubris Productions

 

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL OR REVUE

Kate Harris   -  “Cabaret ”  -   The Hypocrites

 

NEW WORK

Emily Schwartz   -  “The Three Faces of Dr. Crippen”   -  The Strange Tree Group

 

NEW ADAPTATION

Robert Kauzlaric   -  “Neverwhere”  -   Lifeline Theatre

 

CHOREOGRAPHY

Brenda Didier   -  “Cats”   -  Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre i/a/w Michael James

 

ORIGINAL INCIDENTAL MUSIC

Chris Gingrich, Henry Riggs, Thea Lux, and Tara Sissom   -  “That Sordid Little Story”  -   The New Colony

 

MUSIC DIRECTION

Austin Cook – “Some Enchanted Evening: The Songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein”  -   Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre i/a/w Michael James

 

SCENIC DESIGN

Alan Donahue   -  “Neverwhere”  -   Lifeline Theatre

 

LIGHTING DESIGN

Jared Moore   -  “No Exit”  -   The Hypocrites

 

COSTUME DESIGN (Tie)

Matt Guthier   -  “Cats”  -   Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre i/a/w Michael James

Alison Siple   -  “Cabaret”  -   The Hypocrites

 

SOUND DESIGN

Mikhail Fiksel   -  “Neverwhere”  -   Lifeline Theatre

 

ARTISTIC SPECIALIZATION

Glen Aduikas, Rick Buesing, Mike Fletcher, Salvador Garcia, Stuart Hecht, David Hyman, Terry Jackson, Don Kerste, Bruce Phillips, Al Schilling,  Lisi Stoessel, and Eddy Wright   -  Robot Design and Engineering  -  “Heddatron”   -  Sideshow Theatre Company

Izumi Inaba  -  Makeup Design   -  “Cats”  -   Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre i/a/w  Michael James

 

STATISTICS

In the Season ended March 31, 2011, the Jeff Awards Committee judged the opening nights of 146 non-Equity productions from 62 producing organizations. Of these, 62 productions were “Recommended” by the opening night judges and became eligible for nominations in all categories..

Total Nominations for 2010 – 2011 Season – 106

Total Categories – 23

Total Number of Companies receiving nominations - 32

Total Number of Awards – 28 (including 4 ties and 1 double Award in a non-competitive category)

 

MULTIPLE RECIPIENTS - COMPANIES

The Hypocrites - 6

Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre i/a/w Michael James – 5

Lifeline Theatre – 3

Redtwist Theatre – 3

The Strange Tree Group – 3 (one i/a/w The Lord Chamberlain’s Men)

Bohemian Theatre Ensemble - 2

 

MULTIPLE RECIPIENTS - PRODUCTIONS

“Cabaret” – 5

“Cats” – 4

“Neverwhere” – 3

“Big River” - 2

“Man from Nebraska” – 2

 

MULTIPLE RECIPIENTS – INDIVIDUALS

Brenda Didier - 2

 

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