"Come From Away" by Irene Sankoff and David Hein, at Seattle Repertory Theatre.

La Jolla Playhouse’s ‘Come From Away’ Wins Big at 2015 Craig Noel Awards

San Diego-area critics and arts journalists select the best works of the year.

SAN DIEGO: The San Diego Theatre Critics Circle held the 2015 Craig Noel Awards ceremony on Monday night at the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego. The ceremony honored local theatre companies, and the big winner of the evening, with six awards including outstanding new musical, was Come From Away, David Hein and Irene Sankoff’s show that ran at La Jolla Playhouse.

Other productions that won multiple awards were Intrepid Theatre Company’s production of Jane Anderson’s The Quality of Life, Moonlight Stage ProductionsBig Fish, San Diego Musical Theatre’s La Cage aux Folles, and the La Jolla Playhouse and Kansas City Repertory Theatre world premiere of Blueprints to Freedom.

InnerMission Productions received the Don Braunagel Award, which recognizes small theatre companies, and Elliot Weaver won the Outstanding Young Artist Award for his performances in Big Fish and The Music Man with Moonlight Stage Productions; both awards came with a cash prize. Sylvia M’Lafi Thompson
and Jeffrey Jones received the actor of the year award, and Delicia Turner Sonnenberg received the director of the year award.

The Craig Noel Awards are named after the founding artistic director of the Old Globe, San Diego’s oldest professional theatre. Noel served for more than 60 years at the theatre and was a 2007 recipient of the National Medal of the Arts. The  San Diego Theatre Critics Circle contains 10 members, all working critics and arts journalists.

The complete list of winners is below.

Outstanding Dramatic Work
The Quality of Life—Intrepid Theatre Company

Outstanding New Musical
Come From Away—La Jolla Playhouse

Outstanding New Play
Blueprints to Freedom—Michael Benjamin Washington, La Jolla Playhouse

Outstanding Resident Musical
Dogfight—Cygnet Theatre

Outstanding Touring Production
The White Snake—The Old Globe

Don Braunagel Award for Achievement by a Small Theater
InnerMission Productions

Outstanding Young Artist Award
Elliot Weaver

Actor of the Year
Sylvia M’Lafi Thompson
Jeffrey Jones

Director of the Year
Delicia Turner Sonnenberg

Outstanding Direction of a Musical
Christopher Ashley—Come From Away, La Jolla Playhouse

Outstanding Direction of a Play
Christy Yael-Cox—The Quality of Life, Intrepid Theatre Company

Outstanding Original Score
Irene Sankoff and David Hein—Come From Away, La Jolla Playhouse

Outstanding Ensemble
Come From Away, La Jolla Playhouse
The Quality of Life, Intrepid Theatre Company

Outstanding Solo Performance
Hershey Felder—Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical, Female
Victoria Strong—The King and I, Welk Resort Theatre

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical, Male
Robert J. Townsend—La Cage aux Folles, San Diego Musical Theatre

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Musical, Male
James Vasquez—La Cage aux Folles, San Diego Musical Theatre

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Musical, Female
Jenn Colella—Come From Away, La Jolla Playhouse

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Play, Male
Michael Benjamin Washington—Blueprints to Freedom, La Jolla Playhouse

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Play, Female
Sandy Campbell—Master Class, ion theatre

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Play, Female
Dana Hooley—The Birthday Party, New Fortune Theatre Company

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Play, Male
Mike Sears—Parlour Song, Backyard Renaissance Theatre

Outstanding Sound Design
Gareth Owen—Come From Away, La Jolla Playhouse

Outstanding Costume Design
Jeanne Reith—OZ, Lamb’s Players Theatre

Outstanding Lighting Design
Christopher Akerlind—Indecent, La Jolla Playhouse

Outstanding Scenic Design
Alexander Dodge—The Comedy of Errors, The Old Globe
Brian Redfern—My Mañana Comes, San Diego Repertory Theatre

Outstanding Projection Design
Joe Huppert—The Oldest Boy, San Diego Repertory Theatre
John Infante—Big Fish, Moonlight Stage Productions

Outstanding Musical Direction
Elan McMahan—Big Fish, Moonlight Stage Productions

Outstanding Choreography
Colleen Kollar Smith—West Side Story, Lamb’s Players Theatre

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