Danna Segrest accepts the award for best design – props for "Annapurna" at the 2015 Wilde Awards. (Photo by Sean Carter Photography)

2015 Wilde Awards Fetes Purple Rose Theatre and Michigan Opera Theatre

The awards recognized 19 productions at 16 Michigan theatres.

ANN ARBOR, MICH.: The 14th annual Wilde Awards were held on Sunday, August 31 at the Berman Center for the Performing Arts. Honoring Michigan theatre, the awards recognized 28 artists and 19 productions produced by 16 theatres in the 2014–15 season. The theatres that received the most accolades, with three prizes each, were Purple Rose Theatre and Michigan Opera Theatre. The Wilde Awards were presented by online theatre publication EncoreMichigan.com.

“This year’s winners come from all over the state, and they represent theatres both large and small—and one just opened its doors this year,” said cofounder and editor-at-large Donald V. Calamia in a statement. “That to me indicates that great work is happening in all our theatres regardless of their sizes, budgets, or locations.”

Purple Rose’s Annapurna took home the most awards for a single show, winning best drama (Guy Sanville, director), best set design (Bartley H. Bauer), and best prop design (Danna Segrest).

The event was hosted by Calamia and local actress and improviser Jamie Moyer. “This year was especially fun with the return of Jaime as my cohost,” said Calamia. “Her dance card is quite full these days in Los Angeles, where she relocated a few years back, and her celebrated comedic genius helped ensure our guests had one ‘Wilde’ night indeed.”

The Wilde Awards, founded in 2002, is named after playwright Oscar Wilde. The winners are determined by professional critics who reviewed 168 productions presented by 49 professional theatre companies in 25 communities across the state. The critics included Calamia, Carolyn Hayes Harmer (owner and editor-in-chief), David Kiley, Martin F. Kohn, Jenn McKee, Sue Merrell, Amy J. Parrent, Frank Anthony Polito, John Quinn, Bridgette M. Redman, Judith Cookis Rubens, and guest critic Jennifer Knightstep.

The 2015 Wilde Awards were sponsored by Detroit Public TV, Pride Source Media Group and Actors’ Equity Association. The Council Cargle Award for Dedication to the Michigan Theatre Community was sponsored by Little Bill’s Trophies.

The complete list of winners is below:

BEST COMEDY
Leaving Iowa, Beth Torrey, director; Tipping Point Theatre

BEST DRAMA
Annapurna, Guy Sanville, director; the Purple Rose Theatre Company

BEST MUSICAL
Violet, Steve DeBruyne, director; The Dio – Dining & Entertainment

BEST OPERA
Elektra, Nicholas Muni, director; Michigan Opera Theatre

BEST OF THE BARD
King Lear, Frannie Shepherd-Bates, director; Shakespeare in Detroit

BEST THEATRE FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES
Sleeping Beauty, Igor Gozman, director; PuppetART

BEST TOURING PRODUCTION
Kinky Boots, Jerry Mitchell, director; Broadway in Detroit: Fisher Theatre

BEST PERFORMANCE, ACTRESS—COMEDY
Emily Sutton-Smith, Miracle on South Division Street; Williamston Theatre

BEST PERFORMANCE, ACTRESS—DRAMA
Inga R. Wilson, Sugarhill; The Jewish Ensemble Theatre Company

BEST PERFORMANCE, ACTRESS—MUSICAL
Mahalia Greenway, Violet; The Dio – Dining & Entertainment

BEST PERFORMANCE, ACTOR—COMEDY
Brandy Joe Plambeck, Boeing Boeing; Hilberry Theatre

BEST PERFORMANCE, ACTOR—DRAMA
Mike McGettigan, Buried Child; The Abreact

BEST PERFORMANCE, ACTOR—MUSICAL
Sebastian Gerstner, Spamalot; The Encore Musical Theatre Company

BEST PERFORMANCE—OPERA
Christine Goerke, Elektra; Michigan Opera Theatre

BEST PERFORMANCE—THE BARD
Julia Garlotte, King Lear; Shakespeare in Detroit

BEST PERFORMANCE—THEATER FOR A YOUNG AUDIENCE
Sam Carter, The Diary of Anne Frank; Flint Youth Theatre

BEST TEAMWORK
Tony Caselli and John Lepard, The Best Brothers; Williamston Theatre

BEST NEW SCRIPT
Linda Ramsay-Detherage, Sugarhill; The Jewish Ensemble Theatre Company

BEST MUSIC DIRECTION
Brian E. Buckner, The Ugly Duckling; Wild Swan Theater

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY
Irina Baranovskaya and Igor Gozman, The Crane Maiden; PuppetART

BEST DESIGN—SOUND OR VIDEO
Tim Culver, Cameron Lake and Lauri Rowe, It’s a Wonderful Life: A Radio Play; Great Escape Stage Company

BEST DESIGN—SETS
Bartley H. Bauer, Annapurna; The Purple Rose Theatre Company

BEST DESIGN—PROPS
Danna Segrest, Annapurna; The Purple Rose Theatre Company

BEST DESIGN—LIGHTS
Harley Miah, Red; Open Book Theatre Company

BEST DESIGN—COSTUMES
Monika Essen, Frida; Michigan Opera Theatre

SPECIAL AWARDS

CRITICS’ CHOICE AWARD
Farmers Alley Theatre
Detroit Improv Collective

FOUNDERS AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE
Kurt Stamm, Mason Street Warehouse

JIM POSANTE COMMUNITY PRIDE AWARD
Bailey Boudreau, Slipstream Theatre Initiative

COUNCIL CARGLE AWARD FOR DEDICATION TO THE MICHIGAN THEATRE COMMUNITY
Kristine Thatcher

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