Community Theatre Awards
The best of the 2011/2012 season of community theatre
Disclaimer: Alec Clayton and I shared the review duties this year, so I only reviewed 15 plays. For the most part, we did not see the same plays, so you really must take both sets of reviews together as one. His choices are posted right below mine.
Here are my choices, and again, bear in mind there were many plays I did not see, so don’t feel slighted if you are not in this group.
Best musical: Pinocchio at Centerstage, directed by Vanessa Miller, takes the prize with a staggeringly talented cast, great sets, costumes, direction, and of course, the best musical treatment.
Best drama: Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me at Tacoma Little Theatre, directed by Doug Kerr. Very powerful.
Best comedy: Much Ado About Nothing at Olympia Little Theatre, directed by Terence Artz, would also take most unusual and successful reimagining of Shakespeare, by setting this play in New Orleans just after WWII.
Best actor(s) in a drama: Luke Amundsen and Scott Campbell were both brilliant in the two person play Zoo Story at Toy Boat Theatre.
Best actress in a drama: Danelle Jaeger for a beautifully nuanced performance in Proof at Tacoma Little Theatre.
Best actor in a comedy: Brian Jansen as Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing at Olympia Little Theatre.
Best actress in a comedy: Kathryn Philbrook, a delightful Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing at Olympia Little Theatre.
Best young or up-and-coming actor: Coleman Hagerman crossed the line from “child actor” to real actor, and a damned good one at that, with his portrayal of The Artful Dodger in Oliver at Lakewood Playhouse.
Best supporting actress: Annie Coleman, who turned in her finest performance in all the years I’ve watched her on stage, in Proof at Tacoma Little Theatre.
Best character actor(s): Alyssa McElfresh and Priscilla Zai playing Dogberry and Verges, bit roles traditionally done by men but way funnier by these two, were outstanding in Much Ado About Nothing at Olympia Little Theatre.
Best dramatic ensemble: An amazing job by Tim Samland, Tim Shute and Marty Mackenzie, the three man cast of Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me at Tacoma Little Theatre.
Best comedic ensemble: The entire cast of Pinocchio at Centerstage; every blessed one was a great dancer, comic, and actor.
Best professional actor: Late Night Catechism’s Nonie Newton-Breen at Centerstage was superb, but to be fair, it’s not, strictly speaking, community theatre, but rather a professional touring show.
Best director of a drama: All three of these deserve recognition for great direction. Zoo Story at Toy Boat, directed by Brie Yost, Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me at Tacoma Little Theatre, directed by Doug Kerr, and The Farnsworth Invention at Lakewood Playhouse, a cleverly constructed, beautifully paced, fascinating production of a very complex and difficult play, directed by John Munn.
Best director of a musical: Vanessa Miller for Pinocchio at Centerstage. Every part of that was perfect; cast, dancing, pacing, presentation.
Best director of a comedy: Terence Artz for Much Ado About Nothing at Olympia Little Theatre.
Best musical direction: David Duvall earned this three times over for I’m Into Something Good, Pinocchio, and Tenderly, all at Centerstage.
Best season/best artistic director: Alan Bryce of Centerstage produced a consistently outstanding crop of musicals, comedies and revues; every one was noteworthy.
Best costumers: Ron Leamon and Johnni Whitby jointly created marvelously inventive eye popping costumes and wigs for Pinocchio at Centerstage.
Best choreography: This one will have to be shared between Casi Wilkerson for great production numbers in Oliver at Lakewood Playhouse, and the unnamed choreographer of Pinocchio at Centerstage. You were amazing, whomever you are.
And now, here are Alec's choices.
Alec Clayton’s selections for Critic’s Choice of the best in community theater in South Puget Sound.
These are selected from performances I have reviewed in this column over the past season. My point in doing this is to acknowledge those who are commendable without making it into a winner-takes-all competition, so in many categories I have chosen more than one person or show.
Best Actor in a Musical (male): Michael Self as Scrooge in “Scrooge” at Capital Playhouse.
Best Actor in a Musical (female): Stacie Calkins as Celie in “The Color Purple” at Tacoma Musical Playhouse
Best Direction of a Musical: Jon Douglas Rake for “The Color Purple” at Tacoma Musical Playhouse
Best Musical: “The Color Purple” at Tacoma Musical Playhouse, “The Who’s Tommy” at Centerstage
Best Dramatic Actor (male): David Wright as Richard Harken in “The Seafarer” at Harlequin Productions
Best Dramatic Actor (female): Samantha Camp as Tamora and Priscilla Marie Zal as Lavinia in Theatre Artists Olympia’s “Titus Andronicus.”
Best Direction of a Drama: This honor shared by Pug Bujeaud for Theatre Artists Olympia’s “Titus Andronicus” an Scot Whitney for “The Seafarer” at Harlequin Productions.
Best Drama: “The Seafarer” at Harlequin Productions
Best Comic Actor (male): Christopher Cantrell as Pseudolus in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” at Lakewood Playhouse. And if I was choosing a best supporting actor in a comedy that honor would go to Alex Smith as Hysterium, also in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” at Lakewood Playhouse.
Best Comic Actor (female): Alison Monda in “The Love List” at Harlequin Productions
Best Comedy: “The Love List” at Harlequin.
Best Supporting Actor in a drama: Daniel Guttenberg as Ivan in “The Seafarer” at Harlequin Productions.
Best Youth Actor in a Drama: Jackson Jones as Eugene Morris Jerome in “Brighton Beach Memoirs” at Capital Playhouse.
Best Youth Actor in a Musical: Nicholas Hayes as Tiny Tim in “Scrooge” at Capital Playhouse.
Best Ensemble: “Seafarer” at Harlequin Productions
Best Fringe Theatre: The Space in Tacoma for “Terminus,” directed by David Domkoski.
Best Choreography for a Musical: Jon Douglas Rake for “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at Tacoma Musical Playhouse.
This year I’m picking the same play for all the major technical awards: Best Set Design, Linda Whitney; Best Lighting, Kate Arvin; and Best Costumes, Darrin Mills, all for “Enchanted April” at Harlequin Productions.