"The Wild Party" from Bailiwick Chicago. (Photo by Michael Brosilow)

Bailiwick Chicago’s ‘The Wild Party’ Tops Non-Equity Jeff Awards

At last night’s ceremony honoring non-union productions, Bailiwick and Griffin Theatre Company were big winners, and a posthumous award went to Russ Tutterow.

CHICAGO: Bailiwick Chicago‘s production of Michael John LaChiusa’s musical The Wild Party swept the 42nd annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards last night, June 8. It won eight prizes, more than any production. Another big winner was Griffin Theatre‘s production of Ena Lamont Stewart’s Men Should Weep, which won the most prizes out of any play, with three awards. 

The Non-Equity Jeff Awards, honoring non-union productions in Chicago, were presented at Park West. Diane Hires, chair of the Jeff Award Committee, started the ceremony by presenting the Special Jeff Award posthumously to Russ Tutterow, longtime artistic director and patron of new works at Chicago Dramatists, who died last month.

Karl Hamilton and Sarah Hayes, two well-known Chicago actors, emceed the ceremony. A total of 118 theatre artists were nominated, representing 66 non-Equity productions. The ceremony was directed by Brenda Didier, with musical production by Jimmy Morehead. The event was produced by John D. Glover, Non-Equity Wing Chair of the Jeff Committee.

The Jeff Awards, established in 1968 and named after actor Joseph Jefferson, celebrate Chicago theatre. There are two Jeff ceremonies each year, one for Equity productions, the other for non-Equity. The Equity Jeff Awards, honoring union productions, will take place October 5 at the Drury Lane Oakbrook in Oakbrook Terrace.

The complete winners list is below:

PRODUCTION – PLAY
Men Should Weep, Griffin Theatre Company

PRODUCTION – MUSICAL
The Wild Party, Bailiwick Chicago

PRODUCTION – REVUE
Always… Patsy Cline, Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

ENSEMBLE
The Wild Party, Bailiwick Chicago

DIRECTOR – PLAY
Robin Witt, Men Should Weep, Griffin Theatre Company

DIRECTOR – MUSICAL OR REVUE
Brenda Didier, The Wild Party, Bailiwick Chicago

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY
Kevin Cox, La Bête, Trap Door Theatre

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL
Matthew Keffer, The Wild Party, Bailiwick Chicago

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY
Lori Myers, Men Should Weep, Griffin Theatre Company

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL OR REVUE
Danni Smith, The Wild Party, Bailiwick Chicago

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY
Shane Kenyon, If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet, Steep Theatre Company

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL
Donterrio Johnson, Jesus Christ Superstar, Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY
Ginneh Thomas, The Submission, Pride Films and Plays

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL OR REVUE
Danni Smith, Always…Patsy Cline, Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

NEW WORK
Ike Holter, Exit Strategy, Jackalope Theatre Company

NEW ADAPTATION
Matt Foss, The Jungle, Oracle Productions

CHOREOGRAPHY
Brenda Didier, The Wild Party, Bailiwick Chicago

ORIGINAL MUSIC IN A PLAY
Nicholas Tonozzi and Sam Allyn, The Jungle, Oracle Productions

MUSIC DIRECTION
Aaron Benham, The Wild Party, Bailiwick Chicago

SCENIC DESIGN
Ray Toler, Vieux Carré, Raven Theatre

LIGHTING DESIGN
Brian Hoehne, The Wild Party, Bailiwick Chicago

COSTUME DESIGN
Rachel Sypniewski, La Bête, Trap Door Theatre

SOUND DESIGN
Sarah Espinoza, The Arsonists, Strawdog Theatre Company

ARTISTIC SPECIALIZATION
Aaron Benham, A Musical Tribute to the Andrews Sisters, Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

SPECIAL AWARD
Russ Tutterow

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