The cast and crew of 'Dreamgirls' at Porchlight Music Theatre at the 2016 Equity Jeff Awards. (Photo by Johnny Knight)

‘Dreamgirls’ and ‘Tempest’ Win Big at 2016 Equity Jeff Awards

Chicago Equity theatre was honored at the annual ceremony on Monday night.

CHICAGO: The 48th annual Equity Jeff Awards were held at Drury Lane Oakbrook  on Monday, Oct. 17. The awards celebrate Equity theatre in the Chicago area. The most lauded productions were Porchlight Music Theatre‘s Dreamgirls and The Tempest at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, with four awards each.

And the individual who took home the most prizes was actor/playwright Brian Quijada, with two awards for his autobiographical one-person play Where Did We Sit on the Bus?, produced by Teatro Vista in association with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and Victory Gardens Theater.

A special award was presented to Michael Halberstam, artistic director of Writers Theatre. Halberstam founded the theatre in 1992 and recently oversaw the opening of its new performance space.

The evening was directed by Michael Weber, with music direction by Linda Madonia, and stage management by Colleen Tovar. Merril Prager served as producer for the evening. Actors Janet Ulrich Brooks and James Earl Jones II were the emcees.

The Jeff Awards has honored Chicago artists and institutions since 1968. Its 55 members evaluates 250 productions annually, and holds two awards ceremonies, one for Equity theatre and one for non-Equity. The non-Equity awards were held earlier this past summer.

The complete list of winners is below.

PRODUCTION—PLAY—LARGE
The Tempest, Chicago Shakespeare Theater

PRODUCTION—PLAY—MIDSIZE
United Flight 232, The House Theatre of Chicago

PRODUCTION—MUSICAL—LARGE
West Side Story, Paramount Theatre

PRODUCTION—MUSICAL—MIDSIZE
Dreamgirls, Porchlight Music Theatre

DIRECTOR—PLAY
Aaron Posner and Teller, The Tempest, Chicago Shakespeare Theater

DIRECTOR—MUSICAL
Rachel Rockwell, Ride the Cyclone, Chicago Shakespeare Theater

ENSEMBLE
United Flight 232, The House Theatre of Chicago

ACTOR IN A PRINICPAL ROLE—PLAY
Dexter Zollicoffer, Charm, Northlight Theatre

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE—MUSICAL
Nathaniel Stampley, Man of La Mancha, Marriott Theatre

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE—PLAY
Mary Beth Fisher, Domesticated, Steppenwolf Theatre Company

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE—MUSICAL
Donica Lynn, Dreamgirls, Porchlight Music Theatre

ACTOR OR ACTRESS IN A REVUE
Shari Addison, Dynamite Divas, Black Ensemble Theater

SOLO PERFORMANCE
Brian Quijada, Where Did We Sit on the Bus?, Teatro Vista in association with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and Victory Gardens Theater

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE—PLAY
Mike Nussbaum, The Price, TimeLine Theatre Company

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE—MUSICAL
Eric Lewis, Dreamgirls, Porchlight Music Theatre

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE—PLAY
Jacqueline Williams, The House That Will Not Stand, Victory Gardens Theater

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE—MUSICAL
Mary Antonini, West Side Story, Paramount Theatre

NEW WORK
Philip Dawkins, Charm, Northlight Theatre
John Reeger, Julie Shannon and Michael Mahler, The Man Who Murdered Sherlock Holmes, Mercury Theater Chicago

NEW ADAPTATION
Robert Falls and Seth Bockley, 2666, Goodman Theatre

CHOREOGRAPHY
William Carlos Angulo, West Side Story, Paramount Theatre

ORIGINAL MUSIC IN A PLAY
Diego Colon and Christopher Kriz, The Grapes of Wrath, The Gift Theatre

MUSIC DIRECTION
Ryan T. Nelson, Man of La Mancha, Marriott Theatre

SCENIC DESIGN—LARGE
Jeffrey D. Kmiec, Deathtrap, Drury Lane Productions

SCENIC DESIGN—MIDSIZE
Sarah E. Ross, The Rainmaker, American Blues Theater

LIGHTING DESIGN—LARGE
Thom Weaver, The Tempest, Chicago Shakespeare Theater

LIGHTING DESIGN—MIDSIZE
Mike Durst, Adding Machine: A Musical, The Hypocrites

COSTUME DESIGN—LARGE
Catherine Zuber, War Paint, Goodman Theatre

COSTUME DESIGN—MIDSIZE
Bill Morey, Dreamgirls, Porchlight Music Theatre

SOUND DESIGN—LARGE
André Pluess, Treasure Island, Lookingglass Theatre Company and
Berkeley Repertory Theatre

SOUND DESIGN—MIDSIZE
Brian Quijada, Where Did We Sit on the Bus?, Teatro Vista in association with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and Victory Gardens Theater

PROJECTIONS / VIDEO DESIGN
Shawn Sagady, 2666, Goodman Theatre

ARTISTIC SPECIALIZATION
Johnny Thompson, Magic Design, The Tempest, Chicago Shakespeare Theater

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