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JEFF AWARDS COMMITTEE PRESENTS NON-EQUITY AWARDS FOR THE 2008 – 2009 SEASON

 

Theo Ubique Receives Highest Number of Awards;
“Evita” and “Our Town” Garner Outstanding Production Awards

Chicago, IL.     Chicago’s nationally-renowned storefront and black box theatre community gathered at the Park West today for its annual celebration as the Jeff Awards Committee gave out 26 Non-Equity Jeff Awards in 24 categories. In addition, a Special Award was given to Pegasus Players’ founder Arlene Crewdson for her lifelong contributions to Chicago theatre. The festive event was emceed by actor-composer Jon Steinhagen, appearing in that role for the third time.

Top honors for Outstanding Production - Play went to The Hypocrites’ “Our Town,” which was remounted to critical success in New York City. The award for Outstanding Production – Musical or Revue went to Theo Ubique’s “Evita,” beautifully re-imagined for the company’s tiny cabaret space, capping an evening in which the production walked away with a total of six awards – the most for any single production.  Directing honors went to Fred Anzevino for “Evita” and David Cromer  for “Our Town.”

The highly-coveted Outstanding Ensemble award went to Steep Theatre’s “In Arabia We’d All Be Kings,” a tale of the transformation of Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen, set in a seedy bar being sold and gentrified.

Rogers Park venues in the Glenwood Avenue Arts District, in a reprise of last year’s results, walked off with the lion’s share of the awards, garnering 11 in the total of 24 categories.

Principal Actor honors went to Chris Damiano for “Evita” (who was the evening’s only individual multiple recipient with his second award for Supporting Actor – Musical or Revue” for “Jacques Brel’s Lonesome Losers of the Night”), and Esteban Andres Cruz for his portrayal of a prisoner in Raven Theatre’s “Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train.” Principal Actress awards went to Laura Coover for “Blue Surge” at Eclipse Theatre and Maggie Portman for “Evita.”

In a solemn moment, the ceremony paused to note the untimely passing in recent weeks of two Chicago actors, Will Schutz and Steve Cinabro.

The Jeff Awards has been honoring outstanding theatre artists annually since it was established in 1968.  With up to 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 Equity Awards Ceremony, honoring productions presented under union contracts, will be held on October 19, 2009, at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie.
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2009 Non-Equity Jeff Award Recipients:

PRODUCTION – PLAY                
“Our Town” - The Hypocrites

PRODUCTION – MUSICAL OR REVUE                      
“Evita:” - Theo Ubique Theatre Company i/a/w Michael James

ENSEMBLE            
“In Arabia We'd All Be Kings” - Steep Theatre Company

DIRECTOR – PLAY                      
David Cromer – “Our Town” – The Hypocrites

DIRECTOR – MUSICAL OR REVUE               
Fred Anzevino – “Evita” - Theo Ubique Theatre Company i/a/w Michael James

NEW WORK                       
Ken Prestininzi – “Beholder” Trap Door Theatre

NEW ADAPTATION                     
Katie McLean – “The Mark of Zorro” – Lifeline Theatre

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL OR REVUE                     
Maggie Portman – “Evita” - Theo Ubique Theatre Company i/a/w Michael James

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE PLAY               
Laura Coover – “Blue Surge” - Eclipse Theatre Company

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL                       
Chris Damiano – “Evita” – Theo Ubique Theatre Company i/a/w Michael James

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE PLAY                   
Esteban Andres Cruz – “Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train” - Raven Theatre

SOLO PERFORMANCE
Janet Ulrich Brooks – “Golda's Balcony” - Pegasus Players

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL OR REVUE                 
Amanda Hartley – “The Robber Bridegroom” - Griffin Theatre Company

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE PLAY                       
Mary Redmon – “Enchanted April” - Circle Theatre

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL OR REVUE                     
Chris Damiano – “Jacques Brel's Lonesome Losers of the Night” - Theo Ubique Theatre Company i/a/w Michael James

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - PLAY                
Nathaniel Swift – “Blue Surge” - Eclipse Theatre Company

SCENIC DESIGN (Tie)
Alan Donahue – “Mariette in Ecstasy” - Lifeline Theatre
Bob Knuth – “Enchanted April” - Circle Theatre                 

COSTUME DESIGN          
Suzanne Mann – “Hay Fever” - Circle Theatre

LIGHTING DESIGN                      
Jared B. Moore – “Touch” - New Leaf Theatre
                   
SOUND DESIGN (Tie)       
Victoria DeIorio – “The Mark of Zorro” - Lifeline Theatre
Joshua Horvath – “Rose and the Rime” - The House Theatre of Chicago

CHOREOGRAPHY            
Brenda Didier – “Evita” - Theo Ubique Theatre Company i/a/w Michael James

ORIGINAL INCIDENTAL MUSIC                     
Kevin O'Donnell – “Rose and the Rime” - The House Theatre of Chicago

MUSIC DIRECTION                     
Ryan Brewster – “Evita” - Theo Ubique Theatre Company i/a/w Michael James

FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHY                      
Geoff Coates – “The Mark of Zorro”- Lifeline Theatre

SPECIAL AWARD
Arlene Crewdson

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2009 NON-EQUITY STATISTICS AND MULTIPLE RECIPIENTS

In the Season ended March 31, 2009, the Jeff Awards Committee judged the opening nights of 130 non-Equity productions from 60 producing organizations. Of these, 54 productions were recommended by the opening night judges and became eligible for nominations.

Total Nominations for 2008 – 2009 Season – 114
Total Categories – 24
Total Producing Entities Receiving Nominations – 31
Total Number of Awards – 27 (including 2 ties and 1 Special Award)

MULTIPLE RECIPIENTS

INDIVIDUALS:
Chris Damiano (2)

THEATRES:
Theo Ubique Theatre Company i/a/w Michael James – 7
Lifeline Theatre – 4
Circle Theatre – 3
Eclipse Theatre Company – 2
The House Theatre of Chicago – 2
The Hypocrites - 2
Pegasus Players - 2

PRODUCTIONS:
“Evita” – 6
“The Mark of Zorro” – 3
“Blue Surge” – 2
“Enchanted April” – 2
“Our Town” – 2
“Rose and the Rime” - 2

 


 

Contact: Jeffrey Marks, Media Chair at 312.606.0400 or media@jeffawards.org or Glenn Z. Hering, Non-Equity Chair at nonequitywing@jeffawards.org.  Additional information and photographs are available at www.jeffawards.org

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