Outside American Conservatory Theater's Geary Theater. (Photo by Gene X Hwang/Orange Photography)

Theatre Bay Area’s First Awards Show Cheers On Local Stages

TBA spreads the love with its first awards show, doling out a total of 69 awards in four categories to Bay Area theatres and artists.

SAN FRANCISCO: One can never have too many prizes. At least, that’s what it seems like in the City by the Bay, where Theatre Bay Area presented its first annual TBA Theatre Awards on Monday, Nov. 10 at American Conservatory Theater‘s Geary Theater. The new ceremony joins the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards in recognizing the caliber of the region’s varied theatre scene.

In a three-hour ceremony, awards were presented in 68 categories for shows that ran between Jan. 1 and Aug. 31, 2014 (TBA executive director Brad Erickson told American Theatre that future ceremonies will recognize productions playing from September to August). Produced by Robert Sokol, the event was introduced by Broadway diva Betty Buckley and hosted by actors Will Durst and Marga Gomez.

“The purpose of the TBA Awards is to raise the profile of theatre in our region, to honor artistic achievement and to build community,” Erickson said via e-mail. “From the wildly enthusiastic responses at the awards ceremony—cheering for three straight hours!—it’s clear that there was a huge pent-up desire for recognition…by the hundreds of artists in the house.  So many people have thanked us in the past few hours for creating a celebratory event that honors the artists and their work and that has reignited such a powerful sense of community.  We couldn’t have been more pleased.”

The TBA Awards were also created as a reputable counterpart to the Critics Circle Awards, which had come under criticism in recent years. “The current system here in the Bay Area—run by a group of theatre critics but not including the ones at the major daily and weekly papers—has become increasingly less convincing to the theatre community and pretty much completely unnoticed by the larger press and public,” said Erickson.

In addition to the competitive awards, TBA also presented a $10,000 award for local actors to Charles Dean. A Southern California native, Dean joined Berkeley Repertory Theatre as a company member in 1977. Thereafter, the award will be named the Charles Dean Award. The award is endowed by the Robinson Family Fund for the Arts and administered by Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

There were also three honorary legacy awards, given to those with enduring achievements: actor and clown Joan Mankin, longtime theatre patron Jill Matichak and Steve Silver’s long-time-running musical-revue Beach Blanket Babylon (unfurling itself at Club Fugazi in North Beach since 1974).

The awards were peer-adjudicated, with 270 voters—a mix of theatre professionals, journalists and educators—evaluating nearly 180 productions from 79 participating theatres. Producing theatres were divided into one of three competitive tiers: Tier I contained theatres with budgets more than $1 million and a full LORT/BAT contract; Tier II theatres had budgets of more than $400,000 and/or some AEA contracts; and Tier III theatres had budgets under $400,000 and were non-Equity.

A full list of the honorees:

TIER 1

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A MUSICAL
The Threepenny Opera, San Jose Stage Company

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A PLAY
Fences, Marin Theatre Company

OUTSTANDING DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL
Kenneth Kelleher, The Threepenny Opera, San Jose Stage Company

OUTSTANDING DIRECTION OF A PLAY
Aaron Posner, The Comedy of Errors, California Shakespeare Theater

OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHY
Gerry McIntyre, Once on This Island, TheatreWorks

OUTSTANDING MUSIC DIRECTION
William Liberatore, Once on This Island, TheatreWorks

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN
Beaver Bauer, The Comedy of Errors, California Shakespeare Theater

OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN
Steven B. Mannshardt, The Hound of the Baskervilles, TheatreWorks

OUTSTANDING SCENIC DESIGN
Christopher Barreca, The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures, Berkeley Repertory Theatre

OUTSTANDING SOUND DESIGN
Andre Pluess, The Comedy of Errors, California Shakespeare Theater

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Sharon Rietkerk, Marry Me a Little, TheatreWorks

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Johnny Moreno, The Threepenny Opera, San Jose Stage Company

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Monique Hafen, The Threepenny Opera, San Jose Stage Company

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Ryan Drummond, Painting the Clouds with Sunshine, 42nd Street Moon

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY THE ENSEMBLE OF A MUSICAL
The Cast of Once on This Island, TheatreWorks

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE IN A PLAY
Harriett D. Foy, The House That Will Not Stand, Berkeley Repertory Theatre

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE
IN A PLAY
Danny Scheie, The Comedy of Errors, California Shakespeare Theater

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A PLAY
Sarah Moser, The Coast of Utopia, Part 1: Voyage, Shotgun Players

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN
A PLAY
James Carpenter, Pygmalion, California Shakespeare Theater

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY THE ENSEMBLE OF A PLAY
The Cast of Tribes, Berkeley Repertory Theatre

TIER II 

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A MUSICAL
In the Heights, Broadway by the Bay

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A PLAY
August: Osage County, Contra Costa Civic Theatre

OUTSTANDING DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL
Mina Morita, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, Bay Area Children’s Theatre

OUTSTANDING DIRECTION OF A PLAY
Marilyn Langbehn, August: Osage County, Contra Costa Civic Theatre

OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHY
Nicole Helfer, In the Heights, Broadway by the Bay

OUTSTANDING MUSIC DIRECTION
Sean Kana, In the Heights, Broadway by the Bay

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN
Pat Tyler, Amadeus, City Lights Theater Company

OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN
Derek Duarte, In the Heights, Broadway by the Bay

OUTSTANDING SCENIC DESIGN
Kuo–Hao Lo, August: Osage County, Contra Costa Civic Theatre

OUTSTANDING SOUND DESIGN
George Psarras, Amadeus, City Lights Theater Company

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY FEMALE ACTOR IN PRINCIPAL ROLE IN MUSICAL
Leslie Ivy, The Color Purple, Hillbarn Theatre Company 

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY MALE ACTOR IN PRINCIPAL ROLE IN MUSICAL
Alex Rodriguez, Evita, Broadway by the Bay

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE
IN A MUSICAL
Jessica Coker, In the Heights, Broadway by the Bay

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN
A MUSICAL
Sean Fenton, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, Bay Area Children’s Theatre

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY THE ENSEMBLE OF MUSICAL
The Cast of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, Bay Area Children’s Theatre

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE IN A PLAY
Leontyne Mbele-­Mbong, Medea, African-­American Shakespeare Company

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE IN A PLAY
Donald Currie, The Habit of Art, Theatre Rhinoceros

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE
IN A PLAY
Deb Anderson, The Language Archive, City Lights Theater Company

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A PLAY
Max Minton, August: Osage County, Contra Costa Civic Theatre

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY THE ENSEMBLE OF A PLAY
The Cast of Sweet Maladies, Black Artists Contemporary Cultural Experience

TIER III

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A MUSICAL
Always…Patsy Cline, Altarena Playhouse

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A PLAY
Moby Dick–Rehearsed, Stanford Repertory Theater

OUTSTANDING DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL
Russell Blackwood, Pearls Over Shanghai, Thrillpeddlers

OUTSTANDING DIRECTION OF A PLAY
Rush Rehm & Courtney Walsh, Moby Dick-­‐-Rehearsed, Stanford Repertory Theater

OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHY
Noah Haydon & Bonni Suval, Pearls Over Shanghai, Thrillpeddlers

OUTSTANDING MUSIC DIRECTION
Tania Johnson, Always…Patsy Cline, Altarena Playhouse

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN
Bill Bowers, Flynn DeMarco, Dwight Overton & Tina Sogliuzzo, Pearls Over Shanghai, Thrillpeddlers

OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN
Joe D’Emilio, Triassic Parq, Ray of Light Theatre

OUTSTANDING SCENIC DESIGN
Ron Krempetz, Journey’s End, Ross Valley Players

OUTSTANDING SOUND DESIGN
Michael Keck, Moby Dick–­‐Rehearsed, Stanford Repertory Theater

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Margaret Belton, Always…Patsy Cline, Altarena Playhouse

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Will Giammona, Merrily We Roll Along, Pinole Community Players

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Jessica Coker, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, OMG, I Love That Show! Productions

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Alex Rodriguez, Triassic Parq, Ray of Light Theatre

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY THE ENSEMBLE OF A MUSICAL
The Cast of Triassic Parq, Ray of Light Theatre

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE IN A PLAY
Maggie Mason, Candida, Town Hall Theatre Company

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE IN A PLAY
Dale Albright, Take Me Out, Dragon Productions Theater Company

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE
IN A PLAY
Mikka Bonel, Everybody Here Says Hello!, Wily West Productions

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A PLAY
Charles Woodson Parker, Boeing-Boeing, Altarena Playhouse

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY THE ENSEMBLE OF A PLAY
The Cast of Moby Dick–­‐Rehearsed, Stanford Repertory Theater

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS

OUTSTANDING WORLD PREMIERE PLAY
Everybody Here Says Hello!, Wily West Productions; Stuart Bousel, Playwright
Game On, San Jose Repertory Theatre; Dan Hoyle Tony Taccone, Playwright

OUTSTANDING WORLD PREMIERE MUSICAL
Hundred Days, Z Space, Abigail & Shaun Bengson, Composers & Lyricists; Kate E. Ryan, Librettist

OUTSTANDING PRESENTATION OF A SOLO PRODUCTION
Maestro, Berkeley Repertory Theatre; Hershey Felder, Performer & Playwright

OUTSTANDING PRESENTATION OF AN ANTHOLOGY PRODUCTION
Best of PlayGround 18, PlayGround

OUTSTANDING PRESENTATION OF A GUEST PRODUCTION
The Suit, American Conservatory Theater

OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL UNDERSCORE FOR A PLAY
Macbeth at Fort Point, We Players; Charlie Gurke, Composer

OUTSTANDING VIDEO DESIGN
Tribes, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Joan Osato

OUTSTANDING CREATIVE SPECIALTY
The Orphan of Zhao, American Conservatory Theater; Jonathan Rider, Outstanding Fight/Stunt Choreography

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