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The cast of Young Jean Lee's STRAIGHT WHITE MEN produced by WET at 12th Avenue Arts. Photo: WET

Review: WET’s “Straight White Men” Plays To The Crowd

January 19, 2018 Comments Off on 7th Annual Gypsy Awards Nominations Announced Honoring Seattle Theater Views: 465 *Seattle Theaterland, *The Strangeways Report, Arts & Entertainment, Arts News, Award Worthy, Capitol Hill News, Infotainment, News, Seattle News, Stage

7th Annual Gypsy Awards Nominations Announced Honoring Seattle Theater

The moving play, LYDIA, produced by Strawberry Theatre Workshop in June of 2017 earned 6 nominations in the 7th annual Gypsy Awards honoring excellence in Seattle theater.

The moving play, LYDIA, produced by Strawberry Theatre Workshop in June of 2017 earned 6 nominations in the 7th annual Gypsy Awards honoring excellence in Seattle theater.

We’re thrilled to announce the nominees for the 7th annual Gypsy Rose Lee Awards, presented by Seattle Theater Writers, which honor excellence in Seattle area theater for 2017. This year’s big nominees include BRING DOWN THE HOUSE, the unique adaptation of 3 of Shakespeare’s history plays into a two part all female cast extravaganza that earned 10 nominations for the show’s producers, Seattle Shakespeare Company and the all female led “upstart crow collective” (lower case deliberate). Following with 9 nominations a piece were three productions from smaller theater companies: HOODOO LOVE from Sound Theatre Company; SCARY MARY AND THE NIGHTMARES NINE from Annex; TEH INTERNET IS SERIOUS BUSINESS from Washington Ensemble Theatre. 

And, two musicals earned 8 nominations each: RAGTIME from the 5th Avenue Theatre and from Village Theatre based in Issaquah, DREAMGIRLS.

Also earning significant recognition: Strawberry Theatre Workshop’s LYDIA; Theatre 22’s DOWNSTAIRS; and,  Spectrum Dance Theatre earned 4 nominations for their dazzling and moving piece on gay oppression, (IM)PULSE.

Spanning dozens of theater companies and productions, from large and prominent to small and humble, the Gypsy Rose Lee Awards honor the excellence found in as much professional theater as we reviewers can attend in a year. Named in honor of the famed theater artist/entrepreneur and Seattle native, Gypsy Rose Lee, and in a nod to the vast numbers or theater practitioners forced to travel the country to earn their living, the Gypsy Awards seek to acknowledge the excellence of the Seattle theater community.
The winners will be announced January 26, 2018.
And without further ado, arranged in 33 categories in two divisions (Large Theaters and Small Theaters).
The 2017 Gypsy Rose Lee Award Nominees are (by category, in alpha order by name):
Excellence in Production of a Play:
(Large Theaters):
  • Barbecue – Intiman Theatre
  • Bring Down The House Parts 1 & 2 – Seattle Shakespeare Company/upstart crow collective
  • Blues for Mister Charlie – The Williams Project
  • Lydia – Strawberry Theatre Workshop
  • The Crucible – ACT Theatre
The mega Shakespeare production BRING DOWN THE HOUSE earned 10 Gypsy Award nominations.

The mega Shakespeare production BRING DOWN THE HOUSE earned 10 Gypsy Award nominations.

(Small Theaters):
  • Downstairs – Theatre22
  • Greensward – MAP Theatre
  • Hoodoo Love – Sound Theatre Company/The Hansberry Project
  • Scary Mary and the Nightmare Nine – Annex Theatre
  • Teh Internet Is Serious Business – Washington Ensemble Theatre
Excellence in Production of a Musical:
  • Dreamgirls – Village Theatre
  • Newsies – Village Theatre
  • Persuasion – Taproot Theatre
  • Ragtime – 5th Avenue Theatre
  • The Pajama Game – 5th Avenue Theatre
Excellence in Direction of a Play:
(Large Theaters):
  • Sheila DanielsLydia (Strawberry Theatre Workshop)
  • Rosa JoshiBring Down the House Parts 1 & 2 (Seattle Shakespeare Company/upstart crow collective)
  • John LangsThe Crucible (ACT Theatre)
  • Malika OyetimeinBarbecue (Intiman Theatre)
  • Ryan PurcellBlues for Mr. Charlie (The Williams Project)
(Small Theaters):
  • Julie BeckmanDownstairs (Theatre22)
  • Eddie DeHaisScary Mary and the Nightmare Nine (Annex Theatre)
  • Malika OyetimeinHoodoo Love (Sound Theatre Company/The Hansberry Project)
  • Bobbin RamseyWellesley Girl (The Horse in Motion)
  • Wayne RawleyTeh Internet Is Serious Business (Washington Ensemble Theatre)
Washington Ensemble Theatre's TEH INTERNET IS SERIOUS BUSINESS earned 9 Gypsy Award nominations including Best Play, Best Ensemble and nods for its distinctive designs.

Washington Ensemble Theatre’s TEH INTERNET IS SERIOUS BUSINESS earned 9 Gypsy Award nominations including Best Play, Best Ensemble and nods for its distinctive designs.

Excellence in Direction of a Musical:
  • Bill BerryThe Pajama Game (5th Avenue Theatre)
  • Peter RothsteinRagtime (5th Avenue Theatre)
  • Steve TomkinsDreamgirls (Village Theatre)
Excellence in Performance in a Play as a Lead Actor (Male):
(Large Theaters):
  • Joshua CastilleTribes (ACT Theatre)
  • Craig MacArthur(IM)Pulse (Spectrum Dance Theater)
  • Timothy McCuen PiggeeThe Legend of Georgia McBride (ACT Theatre)
  • Brandon J. SimmonsThe Cherry Orchard (The Seagull Project)
  • Michael WintersEvidence of Things Unseen (Taproot Theatre)
(Small Theaters):
  • Peter CrookFrozen (ArtsWest)
  • Tim GouranBuilding the Wall (Azeotrope)
  • Tim GouranBurn This (Theatre22)
  • Richard GrayThe Nance (ArtsWest)
  • Brandon RyanDownstairs (Theatre22)
Excellence in Performance in a Musical as a Lead Actor (Male):
  • Joey BarrieroNewsies (Village Theatre)
  • Joshua Carter Ragtime (5th Avenue Theatre)
  • John DevereauxDreamgirls (Village Theatre)
  • Richard GrayMurder for Two (5th AvenueTheatre/ACT Theatre)
  • Douglas LyonsRagtime (5th Avenue Theatre)
Excellence in Performance in a Play as a Lead Actor (Female):
(Large Theaters):
  • Lindsay W. EvansTribes (ACT Theatre)
  • Anastasia HighamProof (Strawberry Theatre Workshop)
  • Nike ImoruCoriolanus: Fight Like a Bitch (Rebel Kat Prods.)
  • Aishé KeitaI Know Why The Caged Bird Sings (Book-It Repertory Theatre)
  • Mari NelsonBring Down The House Parts 1 & 2 (Seattle Shakespeare Company/upstart crow collective)
  • Sofía Raquel SánchezLydia (Strawberry Theatre Workshop)
(Small Theaters):
  • Kiki AbbaNo More Sad Things (Forward Flux Prods.)
  • Christine Marie BrownDownstairs (Theatre22)
  • Demene E. HallSycorax (Snowflake Avalanche)
  • Jody KuehnerCherdonna’s Doll’s House (Washington Ensemble Theatre)
  • Porscha ShawHoodoo Love (Sound Theatre Company/The Hansberry Project)
Excellence in Performance in a Musical as a Lead Actor (Female):
  • Kendra KassebaumRagtime (5th Avenue Theatre)
  • Corinna Lapid MunterSweeney Todd (ArtsWest)
  • Mari NelsonInto the Woods (Village Theatre)
  • Sara PorkalobHowl’s Moving Castle (Book-It Repertory Theatre)
  • Sara PorkalobMadame Dragon’s 60th Birthday (Cafe Nordo/Sara Porkalob)
Up and coming Seattle talent SARA PORKALOB earned 2 nominations for work in two different productions: one for her solo show MADAME DRAGON'S 60TH BIRTHDAY PARTY and for her starring role in the musical adaptation of Book-It Rep's HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE

Up and coming Seattle talent SARA PORKALOB earned 2 nominations for work in two different productions: one for her solo show MADAME DRAGON’S 60TH BIRTHDAY PARTY and for her starring role in the musical adaptation of Book-It Rep’s HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE

Excellence in Performance of a Play as a Supporting Actor (Male):
(Large Theaters):
  • Ronnie HillI Know Why The Caged Bird Sings (Book-It Repertory Theatre)
  • Charles LeggettProof (Strawberry Theatre Workshop)
  • Christopher MorsonRoom Service (Taproot Theatre)
  • Brandon O’NeillPride and Prejudice (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
  • Andrew Pryor-RamírezLydia (Strawberry Theatre Workshop)
(Small Theaters):
  • André G. Brown – Hoodoo Love (Sound Theatre Company/The Hansberry Project)
  • Daniel ChristensenThe Secret & Impossible League of the Noösphere in the Baltimore Plot (Live Girls! Theater)
  • Drew HighlandsThe Nance (ArtsWest)
  • John Q. SmithDownstairs (Theatre22)
  • Corey SpruillHoodoo Love (Sound Theatre Company/The Hansberry Project)
Excellence in Performance of a Musical as a Supporting Actor (Male):
  • Greg McCormick AllenThe Pajama Game (5th Avenue Theatre)
  • Guthrie BettingerNewsies (Village Theatre)
  • John CoonsHowl’s Moving Castle (Book-It Repertory Theatre)
  • Michael KrenningNewsies (Village Theatre)
  • Nathaniel TenenbaumDreamgirls (Village Theatre)
Excellence in Performance of a Play as a Supporting Actor (Female):
(Large Theaters):
  • Sunam EllisThe Realistic Joneses (New Century Theatre Company)
  • Peggy GannonBring Down The House Parts 1 & 2 (Seattle Shakespeare Company/upstart crow collective)
  • Kamaria HarrisBarbecue (Intiman Theatre)
  • Shaunyce OmarI Know Why The Caged Bird Sings (Book-It Repertory Theatre)
  • Wendy RobieCoriolanus: Fight Like A Bitch (Rebel Kat Prods.)
Sound Theatre Company's HOODOO LOVE earned 9 Gypsy Award nominations.

Sound Theatre Company’s HOODOO LOVE earned 9 Gypsy Award nominations.

(Small Theaters):
  • Eva AbramHoodoo Love (Sound Theatre Company/The Hansberry Project)
  • Megan AhiersMoney, Take Run (Theater Schmeater)
  • Nabilah AhmedNo More Sad Things (Forward Flux Prods.)
  • Rachel Guyer-MafuneTeh Internet Is Serious Business (Washington Ensemble Theatre)
  • Jay O’LearyMilk Like Sugar (ArtsWest)
Excellence in Performance of a Musical as a Supporting Actor (Female):
  • Danyel FultonRagtime (5th Avenue Theatre)
  • Alexandria HendersonDreamgirls (Village Theatre)
  • Kate JaegerHowl’s Moving Castle (Book-It Repertory Theatre)
  • Lorna LuftHoliday Inn (5th Avenue Theatre)
  • Arika Matoba – Into the Woods (Village Theatre)
Excellence in Performance as an Ensemble:
(Large Theaters):
  • BarbecueIntiman Theatre (Angel Brice, Macall Gordon, Kamaria Harris, Eryn Joslyn, Lamar Legend, Charles Leggett, Shaunyce Omar, Rachel Pate, Carol Roscoe, Cynthia Lauren Tewes)
  • Blues for Mister CharlieThe Williams Project (Grant Chapman, Ryan Williams French, Alexis Green, Rafael Jordan, Brenda Joyner, Leicester Landon, Elise LeBreton, Nancy Moricette, Max Rosenak, Reggie D. White)
  • I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings – Book-It Repertory Theatre (Ronnie Hill, Aishé Keita, Lamar Legend, Shaunyce Omar, Chip Sherman, Anthony Lee Simmons, Lindsay Zae Summers, Brennie Tellu, Dedra D. Woods)
  • LydiaStrawberry Theatre Workshop (Yadira Duarte, Ray González, Pablo López, Rafael Molina, Carolyn Marie Monroe, Andrew Pryor-Ramírez, Sofía Raquel Sánchez)
  • The Legend of Georgia McBrideACT Theatre (Adam Standley, Nastacia Guimont, Timothy McCuen Piggee, Jeff Steitzer, Charles Smith)
(Small Theaters):
  • DownstairsTheatre22 (Christine Marie Brown, Brandon Ryan, John Q. Smith)
  • Hoodoo LoveSound Theatre Company/The Hansberry Project (Eva Abram, André G. Brown, Porscha Shaw, Corey Spruill)
  • Milk Like SugarArtsWest (Allyson Lee Brown, Andre G. Brown, Marlette Buchannan, Nastacia Guimont, Jay O’Leary, Lindsay Zae Summers, Dimitri Woods)
  • Scary Mary and the Nightmare NineAnnex Theatre (Kiki Abba, Kai Curtis, Kelly Johnson, Corinne Magin, Jordan Moeller, Emily Pike, Carter Rodriquez, Jenn Ruzumna, Cody Smith, Raymond Williams, Sarah Winsor)
  • Teh Internet Is Serious BusinessWashington Ensemble Theatre (Megan Ahiers, Jeffrey Azevedo, Ian Bond, Stanley Dang, Samie Spring Detzer, Nick Edwards, Rachel Guyer-Mafune, Kevin Kelly, Arjun Pande, Ryan Sanders, Zenaida Smith, Jessie Underhill, Lisa Viertel, Jordan-Michael Whidbey)
Excellence in Scenic Design:
(Large Theaters):
  • Andrea Bryn BushThe Realistic Joneses (New Century Theatre Company)
  • Shawn Ketchum JohnsonBring Down The House Parts 1 & 2 (Seattle Shakespeare Company/upstart crow collective)
  • Matthew SmuckerDry Powder (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
  • Julia WelchCoriolanus: Fight Like A Bitch (Rebel Kat Prods.)
  • Carey WongMurder for Two (5th Ave Theatre/ACT Theatre)
(Small Theaters):
  • Eddie DeHaisScary Mary and the Nightmare Nine (Annex Theatre)
  • Brandon EstrellaGreensward (MAP Theatre)
  • Robin MacartneyDownstairs (Theatre22)
  • Tristan RobersonTeh Internet Is Serious Business (Washington Ensemble Theatre)
  • Margaret ToomeyHoodoo Love (Sound Theatre Company/The Hansberry Project)
Costume designer PETE RUSH earned 2 separate nominations in his category for work on the draggy THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE at ACT and THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR at Seattle Shakespeare Company

Costume designer PETE RUSH earned 2 separate nominations in his category for work on the draggy THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE at ACT and THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR at Seattle Shakespeare Company

Excellence in Costume Design:
(Large Theaters):
  • Karen Ann LedgerDreamgirls (Village Theatre)
  • Rose PedersonThe Pajama Game (5th Avenue Theatre)
  • Pete RushThe Government Inspector (Seattle Shakespeare Company)
  • Pete RushThe Legend of Georgia McBride (ACT Theatre)
  • Christine TschirgiBring Down The House Parts 1 & 2 (Seattle Shakespeare Company/upstart crow collective)
(Small Theaters):
  • Jordan Emery FellHoodoo Love (Sound Theatre Company/The Hansberry Project)
  • Michael Notestine & Danial HellmanCherdonna’s Doll’s House (Washington Ensemble Theatre)
  • Jennifer OasterTeh Internet Is Serious Business (Washington Ensemble Theatre)
  • Fantasia Oslund & Sydney TuckerScary Mary and the Nightmare Nine (Annex Theatre)
  • Kelsey RogersMilk Like Sugar (ArtsWest)
Excellence in Lighting Design:
(Large Theaters):
  • Evan Christian AndersonThe Realistic Joneses (New Century Theatre Company)
  • Jack Mehler(IM)Pulse (Spectrum Dance Theater)
  • Reed NakayamaLydia (Strawberry Theatre Workshop)
  • Duane SchulerRagtime (5th Avenue Theatre)
  • Tom Sturge – Dreamgirls (Village Theatre)
(Small Theaters):
  • Ahren BuhmannBurn This (Theatre22)
  • Emily LeongScary Mary and the Nightmare Nine (Annex Theatre)
  • Tess MaloneGreensward (MAP Theatre)
  • Alyssa MillioneMilk Like Sugar (ArtsWest)
  • Tristan RobersonTeh Internet Is Serious Business (Washington Ensemble Theatre)
The hybrid dance/theater piece (IM)PULSE from Spectrum Dance Theatre was a moving portrayal of queer subject matter that included the tragedy of the Pulse Orlando Massacre

The hybrid dance/theater piece (IM)PULSE from Spectrum Dance Theatre was a moving portrayal of queer subject matter that included the tragedy of the Pulse Orlando Massacre

Excellence in Sound Design:
(Large Theaters):
  • Matt JorgensenProof (Strawberry Theatre Workshop)
  • Sharath Patel & Josh SchmidtCoriolanus: Fight Like a Bitch (Rebel Kat Prods.)
  • Matt StarrittPride and Prejudice (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
  • Robertson WitmerBring Down The House Parts 1 & 2 (Seattle Shakespeare Company/upstart crow collective)
  • Robertson Witmer(IM)Pulse (Spectrum Dance Theater)
(Small Theaters):
  • D. R. AmrominInto the Deeps (Dangerswitch)
  • Erin Bednarz & D.R. AmrominScary Mary and the Nightmare Nine (Annex Theatre)
  • Mariah BrougherTeh Internet Is Serious Business (Washington Ensemble Theatre)
  • GOODSTEPHMilk Like Sugar (ArtsWest)
  • Stefanie SeniorThe Secret & Impossible League of the Noösphere in the Baltimore Plot (Live Girls! Theater)
The 5th Avenue's RAGTIME was a gorgeous adaptation of the book by E.L. Doctorow

The 5th Avenue’s RAGTIME was a gorgeous adaptation of the book by E.L. Doctorow

Excellence in Musical Direction:
  • Joel FramThe Pajama Game (5th Avenue Theatre)
  • Michael NuttingPersuasion (Taproot Theatre)
  • R.J. TanciocoDreamgirls (Village Theatre)
  • R.J. TanciocoNewsies (Village Theatre)
  • Ben Whiteley – Ragtime (5th Avenue Theatre)
Excellence in Choreography or Movement:
  • Daniel CruzDreamgirls (Village Theatre)
  • Alyza DelPan-Monley – Teh Internet Is Serious Business (Washington Ensemble Theatre)
  • Alice Gosti (Movement) & Peter Dylan O’Connor (Fight Choreography)Bring Down The House Parts 1 & 2 (Seattle Shakespeare Company/upstart crow collective)
  • Ryan Higgins (Fight Choreography)Money & Run Trilogy (Theater Schmeater)
  • Katy TabbNewsies (Village Theatre)
Excellence in Local Playwriting:
  • Amy EscobarScary Mary and the Nightmare Nine (Annex Theatre)
  • Katie ForgetteEvidence of Things Unseen (Taproot Theatre)
  • Rosa Joshi & Kate WisniewskiBring Down The House Parts 1 & 2 – Adapting Shakespeare’s Henry VI Part I, II, III (Seattle Shakespeare Company/upstart crow collective)
  • Darian LindleThe Secret & Impossible League of the Noösphere in the Baltimore Plot (Live Girls! Theater)
  • Y YorkSycorax (Snowflake Avalanche)
Excellence in Local Composing:
  • William Satake BlauveltBring Down The House Parts 1 & 2 (Seattle Shakespeare Company/upstart crow collective)
  • Amy EscobarScary Mary and the Nightmare Nine (Annex Theatre)
  • Chris JeffriesPersuasion (Taproot Theatre)
Excellence in Video Design:
  • Reed NakayamaProof (Strawberry Theatre Workshop)
  • Travis Mouffe(IM)Pulse (Spectrum Dance Theater)
  • Charlie Spears Much Better (Really-Really Theatre Group)
About Seattle Theater Writers:
Founded in 2010 by Miryam Gordon and comprised of local writers and reviewers, Seattle Theater Writers is a group of critic/reviewers dedicated to raising public awareness of theater practitioners and the work produced by professional theater organizations. Seattle Theater Writers’ hope is that these awards might encourage theater attendance and enjoyment of our rich cultural offerings. Born from this mission are the annual Gypsy Rose Lee Awards, recognizing excellence in Seattle theater across 33 categories.
The participants in this year’s award process were Candace Brown (goodlifenw.blogspot.com), Miryam Gordon (Seattle Gay News and miryamstheatermusings.blogspot.com), Rosemary Jones (www.seattletheateranddance.com/), Dusty Somers (guest writer for Seattle Times), and Michael Strangeways (www.seattlegayscene.com/).
A growing (years long) reality regarding reviewing and reviewers has reduced the number of reliable and credible critics writing today. Fewer and fewer reviewers are paid anything for their work, and fewer reviews are being published in every kind of publication. It is harder than ever to establish oneself as a critic, since companies are reducing the numbers of seats they can or will provide for that kind of effort.
To support the reviewers’ nominations, STW has established an Auxiliary of theater-going members, some of whom are also theater practitioners and all of whom are ardent fans of theater. All members go to multiple dozens of productions per year, many over 100. The Auxiliary supports our Round Two in the selection process where points are given to the dozens of nominees and individuals select their top five in each category. The Auxiliary points are used to support STW members’ choices as we pick our nominees and winners.

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