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January 20, 2012 Comments Off on Seattle Theater Writers announce 1st annual “Gypsy Awards” for excellence in local theater. Views: 1510 #Theater and Stage, Arts & Entertainment, Stage

Seattle Theater Writers announce 1st annual “Gypsy Awards” for excellence in local theater.

Seattle Rep's production of "The Brothers Size" sweeps The Gypsy Awards!

Ya know those old Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney musicals circa 1940? The ones where at some point someone says, “Hey! Let’s put a show on in the barn and maybe we’ll become STARS!” Many Seattle theater writers and critics got together this fall and decided to (sorta) do the same thing, except we decided to put on an Awards Show…without the actual show since we can’t afford that part…yet. 

It all started when Theater Puget Sound (TPS) changed the nominating process for their “Gregory Awards” honoring excellence in Puget Sound theater. Many Seattle writers were part of the nominating committee for The Gregory’s but the new nomination process was NOT friendly towards theater writers and critics, and we still wanted to have some sort of collective voice to honor important work from Seattle theater artists. Miryam Gordon, the theater critic for Seattle Gay News, was our Judy Garland and spearheaded the movement to create “Seattle Theater Writers”, a loose affiliation of local writers that could network and help promote local theater and honor the work being done by theater companies. We came up with a Facebook page, (please like us) and created an annual award we decided to call “The Gypsy Awards” after famed Seattle theater artist Gypsy Rose Lee, who was born in Seattle. We met a few weeks ago to hammer out the first awards and it was…feisty at times. We didn’t always all agree 100% all of the time…there are winners on this list that irritate at least one member of the group, I can assure you, myself included.

Still, it was fun and we all think it’s a good thing to honor people for their hard work and artistry. Personally, I don’t think art is a horse race with one clear cut “winner” in a specified category; that’s why when I give out my own theater awards every year, (The Strange Awards) I don’t do one winner per category. But, some people like horse races and if it helps get audiences in theater seats, then it’s a good thing….perhaps.

(Oh, and I wanted to note that our group is missing a couple of big names from its ranks. We asked both Misha Berson from The Seattle Times and Brendan Kiley from The Stranger (as well as a couple other people) and they declined. Ms Berson did not want to detract from her own “Footlight Awards” and Mr. Kiley doesn’t like competitive arts awards.)

So, here are the winners for the 1st annual “Gypsy Rose Lee Awards”.  The categories were divided between Equity houses and non-Equity and note that some of the non-Equity theaters do sometimes use Equity actors on Guest Contracts. Seattle Theater Writers wanted to honor as many theater companies as possible regardless of size and budgeting, and the best way we could divide the categories was based on the criteria of companies that routinely use 2 or more Equity contracted actors in productions have larger budgets than companies that use no Equity actors, or occasionally one guest actor. We also wanted to avoid using words like “Big” and “Small” or “Fringe” which are highly subjective and debated. That housework done, lets check out the winners and…congrats to everyone!

The 2011 Gypsy Rose Lee Award winners are as follows:

Category

Equity

Non Equity

Excellence in Production of a Play The Brothers Size (Seattle Repertory Theatre) Sick (New City Theater)
Also recognized: Also recognized:
  O Lovely Glowworm (New Century Theatre Company) Live From the Last Night of My Life(Theater Schmeater)
Excellence in Production of a Musical  Iron Curtain (Village Theatre)  Drowsy Chaperone (Seattle Musical Theatre)
Excellence in Direction of a Play Juliette Carrillo, The Brothers Size (Seattle Repertory Theatre) Karen Lund, Brownie Points (Taproot Theatre Company)
Also recognized: Also recognized:
  Valerie Curtis-Newton, All My Sons (Intiman Theatre) Wayne Rawley, Live From the Last Night of My Life (Theater Schmeater)
 
Excellence in Direction of a Musical Steve Tomkins, Iron Curtain (Village Theatre) Brandon Ivie, Drowsy Chaperone (Seattle Musical Theatre)
Excellence in Performance as a Lead Actor Michael Patten, O Lovely Glowworm (Or Scenes of Great Beauty) (New Century Theatre Company) Jaryl Draper, How I Learned To Drive(Stone Soup Theater)
Excellence in Performance as a Lead Actress Anne Allgood, Mary Stuart (ACT Theatre) Elizabeth Kenny, Sick (New City Theater)
Also recognized:
  Carolee Carmello, Saving Aimee(The 5th Avenue Theatre)
Excellence in Performance as a Supporting Actor – any non-lead
Todd Jefferson Moore, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Seattle Shakespeare Company) Aaron Lamb, An Ideal Husband (Taproot Theatre Company)
  Also recognized: Also recognized:
  Joshua Carter, Mary Stuart (ACT Theatre) Nick Edwards, Shipwrecked (ArtsWest)
Excellence in Performance as a Supporting Actress – any non-lead
Bobbi Kotula, Iron Curtain (Village Theatre) Stacie Calkins, Hairspray (Seattle Musical Theatre)
Also recognized:
  Terri Weagant, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Seattle Shakespeare Company)
Excellence in Performance as an Ensemble Cast of The Brothers Size  (Seattle Repertory Theatre) Cast of Brownie Points (Taproot Theatre Company)
Also recognized:
  Cast of A Lie of the Mind (Collektor)
Excellence in Set Design Roger Benington, O Lovely Glowworm (Or Scenes of Great Beauty) (New Century Theatre Company) Mark Lund, Something’s Afoot (Taproot Theatre Company)
  Also recognized: Also recognized:
  Mikiko Suzuki MacAdams, The Brothers Size  (Seattle Repertory Theatre) Michael Mowery, Live From the Last Night of My Life (Theater Schmeater)
  Richard Schaefer, Arms and the Man(Seattle Public Theater)
Excellence in Costume Design Harmony Arnold, O Lovely Glowworm (Or Scenes of Great Beauty) (New Century Theatre Company) Deborah Sorenson, Pygmalion (Sound Theatre Company)
  Also recognized: Also recognized:
  Catherine Hunt, In The Next Room, or The Vibrator Play (ACT Theatre) John Allbritton, Hairspray (Seattle Musical Theatre)
Excellence in Lighting Design Geoff Korf, The Brothers Size(Seattle Repertory Theatre) Tess Malone, Duel of the Linguist Mages(Annex Theatre)
  Also recognized:
  Dave Hastings, Crooked (Theater Schmeater)
Excellence in Sound Design Matt Starritt, The Brothers Size(Seattle Repertory Theatre) Christopher Overstreet, Duel of the Linguist Mages (Annex Theatre)
  Also recognized: Also recognized:
  Matt Starritt, The K of D (Seattle Repertory Theatre) Larry A. Ryan, Live From the Last Night of My Life (Theater Schmeater)
Excellence in Musical Direction RJ Tancioco, Iron Curtain (Village Theatre) Josh Zimmerman, Hairspray (Seattle Musical Theatre)
Excellence in Choreography or Movement Sonia Dawkins, The Brothers Size(Seattle Repertory Theatre) Lack of consensus
Also recognized: Noah Racey, Guys & Dolls (The 5th Avenue Theatre)
NON-DIVISIONAL:
Excellence in Local Playwrighting Elizabeth Kenny, Sick (New City Theater)Also Recognized:
Scotto Moore, Duel of the Linguist Mages (Annex Theatre)
Excellence in Local Composing Lack of consensus

 

 

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