Randall Arney, artistic director of the Geffen Playhouse at the 2014 Ovation Awards. (Photo by Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging)

Geffen, Skylight and Wallis Among Big Winners at 2014 Ovation Awards

L.A.’s peer-judged awards recognize the most notable theatre work of the past year, from Broadway-bound to black box, and dole out $75,000 worth of honorary cash awards.

LOS ANGELES: The 2014 LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards were presented on Sunday, Nov. 2nd at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse. The ceremony recognized Southern California artists and theatres across 35 categories for their work during the 2013–14 season.

The biggest winners of the night, with four awards each, were the Geffen Playhouse, Skylight Theatre Company and the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. The Geffen won for its production of The Country House (for outstanding play at a large theatre, ensemble of a play and lighting designer Peter Kaczorowski) and Slowgirl (for sound designer Richard Woodbury). The Geffen’s production of The Country House, written by Donald Margulies, is currently playing on Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club.

Skylight Theatre Company won for the musical The Wrong Man (for Ross Golan’s book, Golan’s music and lyrics, and video/projection designers Michael Hoy and Adam Flemming) and Pray to Ball (scenic designer Jeff McLaughlin). The Wallis won for Maurice Hines is Tappin’ Thru Life (ensemble of a musical, Sherrie Maricle’s music direction) and Parfumerie (set designer Allen Moyer and costume designer Michael Krass).

In addition to the competitive awards, honorary awards totaling $75,000 were doled out to a number of companies. The Biller BEST (Building Excellence in Small Theatre) Awards were given out to the Blank Theatre, the Fountain Theatre, Circle X Theatre Company, East West Players, A Noise Within and Theatre @ Boston Court. The BEST Award is funded by the Biller Family Foundation.

Center Theatre Group also presented the 2014 Sherwood Award for innovative and adventurous artists to director Sean Cawelti. The award is endowed by the Sherwood family and comes with a $10,000 purse.

The  ceremony was hosted by actors Kate Burton and Katie Lowe. In a statement, LA STAGE Alliance CEO Terence McFarland said, “This year marks 25 years of celebrating excellence in Los Angeles theatre. At the ceremony we acknowledged not only those in competitive categories, but all of the artists, craftspeople, technicians, volunteers, ushers, stage managers—all those who ensure that the magic happens on stages throughout the region.

The LA STAGE Alliance Ovation Awards began 1989 and remain the only peer-judged theatre awards in Los Angeles; voters are Los Angeles theatre professionals chosen through an application process by a rules committee. The LA STAGE Alliance, founded in 1975, advocates for the performing arts in the Greater Los Angeles area.

A complete list of the Ovation Award winners is below:

Best Season
Fountain Theatre

Outstanding Play (Large Theatre)
The Country House, Geffen Playhouse

Outstanding Play (Intimate Theatre)
The Recommendation, IAMA Theatre Company

Outstanding Musical (Large Theatre)
Floyd Collins, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts

Outstanding Musical (Intimate Theatre)
110 In the Shade, Actors Co-op

Presented Production
Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty, Center Theatre Group

Playwright of an Original Play
Meghan Brown, The Pliant Girls, Fugitive Kind Theater

Ensemble of a Play
The Country House, Geffen Playhouse

Ensemble of a Musical
Maurice Hines is Tappin’ Thru Life, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Lead Actor in a Musical
James Barbour, Les Misérables, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts

Lead Actor in a Play
Malcolm Barrett, The Recommendation, IAMA Theatre Company

Lead Actress in a Musical
Nicole Parker, Funny Girl, 3-D Theatricals

Lead Actress in a Play
Deborah Strang, Come Back, Little Sheba, A Noise Within

Featured Actor in a Musical
Leigh Wakeford, The Producers, 3-D Theatricals

Featured Actor in a Play
Hugo Armstrong, Backyard, the Echo Theater Company

Featured Actress in a Musical
Tracy Lore, Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein, Musical Theatre West

Featured Actress in a Play
Rebecca Gray, Fireman, the Echo Theater Company

Director of a Musical
Richard Israel, Floyd Collins, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts

Director of a Play
Guillermo Cienfuegos, Henry V, Pacific Resident Theatre

Director of a Play
Amanda McRaven, The Pliant Girls, Fugitive Kind Theater

Music Direction
Sherrie Maricle, Maurice Hines is Tappin’ Thru Life, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Lyrics/Composition for a World Premiere Musical
Ross Golan, The Wrong Man, Skylight Theatre Company

Book of an Original Musical
Ross Golan, The Wrong Man, Skylight Theatre Company

Choreographer
Kelly Todd, Lysistrata Jones, Chance Theater

Lighting Design (Intimate Theatre)
Jeremy Pivnick, Everything You Touch, the Theatre @ Boston Court

Lighting Design (Large Theatre)
Peter Kaczorowski, The Country House, Geffen Playhouse

Costume Design  (Intimate Theatre)
Jenny Foldenauer, Everything You Touch, the Theatre @ Boston Court

Costume Design (Large Theatre)
Michael Krass, Parfumerie, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Scenic Design (Intimate Theatre)
Jeff McLaughlin, Pray To Ball, Skylight Theatre Company

Scenic Design (Large Theatre)
Allen Moyer,  Parfumerie, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Sound Design (Intimate Theatre)
John Zalewski, Everything You Touch, the Theatre @ Boston Court

Sound Design (Large Theatre)
Richard Woodbury, Slowgirl, Geffen Playhouse

Video Designer
Adam Flemming, Michael Hoy, The Wrong Man, Skylight Theatre Company

Ovation Honors (Fight Choreography)
Ahmed Best, Backyard, the Echo Theater Company

Ovation Honors (Composition for a Play)
Dave Robbins, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Actors’ Gang

Ovation Honors (Puppet Design)
Michelle Zamora, Roald Dahl’s The Magic Finger, MainStreet Theatre Company

Biller BEST (Building Excellence in Small Theatre) Awards (Intimate Theatres)
The Blank Theatre, The Fountain Theatre, Circle X Theatre Company

Biller BEST (Building Excellence in Small Theatre) Awards (Mid-size Theatres)
East West Players, A Noise Within, the Theatre @ Boston Court

Sherwood Award
Sean Cawelti

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