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Awards for December 2012

A roundup of theatre awards and prizes.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater swept the 44th annual Equity Jeff Awards with eight awards, including best large musical, for Follies. Other Chicago-area productions and artists honored were Goodman Theatre’s The Iceman Cometh, which won six awards in the large-theatre tier, including one for Robert Falls’s direction. Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced, from American Theater Company, and Sarah Gubbins’s The Kid Thing, from Chicago Dramatists and About Face Theatre, tied for the new-play award.

The New York Innovative Theatre Awards were held in September, celebrating Off-Off-Broadway theatre. Among the recipients were Stephen Alan Wilson, for outstanding actor in a featured role for The Last Days of Judas Iscariot; Melanie Jones for solo performance in Endure: A Run Woman Show; and Ajax in Iraq from Flux Theatre Ensemble for outstanding remounted play.

Rick Shiomi, artistic director of Mu Performing Arts, was given the lifetime achievement honor at the Ivey Awards, held in Minneapolis in September. Among the productions recognized were The Compleat Female Stage Beauty from Walking Shadow Theatre Company, Spring Awakening from Theater Latté Da, Ballad of the Pale Fisherman from Illusion Theater and Julius Caesar from Theatre Unbound.

Colorado’s Creede Repertory Theatre was one of seven nonprofit organizations honored by the El Pomar Foundation. The theatre received the William I. Howbert Award for excellence in arts and culture, and $25,000. 

In October, 3Arts bestowed its fifth annual awards to women artists, artists of color and artists with disabilities in the Chicago performing arts. The theatre honorees were lighting designer Heather Gilbert and director Halena Kays, who each received $15,000.

Theatre designers have been honored with the Henry Hewes Design Awards, for work in venues on, Off and Off-Off Broadway. The recipients were David Korins for Chinglish, Gregg Barnes for Follies, Brian Mac-Devitt for Death of a Salesman and Daniel Kluger for Tribes.

Broadway producer Elizabeth McCann was named Person of the Year at the National Theatre Conference in October. New Federal Theatre was named theatre of the year and playwright Dominique Morisseau received the Barrie and Bernice Stavis Playwright award.

The Illinois Theatre Association gave out annual awards of excellence in September at its 39th annual conference. The recipients were Adventure Stage Chicago, Kevin Long, Laurel Serleth, AgeQuake Theatres, Allan Kimball, Drury Lane Theatre and Steven Jacobs.

Book-It Repertory Theatre in Seattle was one of six recipients of the 2012 Governor’s Arts and Heritage Awards, which are presented every five years.

The Americans for the Arts 2012 National Awards took place in October. Among the honorees was Brian Stokes Mitchell, who was given the award for outstanding contributions to the arts.

In November, the York Theatre Company in New York City presented musical director and conductor Paul Gemignani with the Oscar Hammerstein Award, for his work in musical theatre.

The New York City-based Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute named playwright Lila Feinberg as the inaugural recipient of the Clifford Odets Ensemble Play Commission. Feinberg will write a play for graduating Strasberg students.

Paul Taylor received the lifetime achievement award at the 2012 Bessies New York dance and performance awards in October. Other theatre-related recipients were Wendall Harrington and Simon Pastuk, both winning visual design awards; and John Fleck and Emily Wexler, who were recognized as outstanding performers.

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey was one of the honorees at Curtain Call in October, hosted by the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, the service organization for the state’s theatres.

Everyman Theatre in Baltimore, Md., was presented with the Downtown Baltimore award by the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, for its work in the community.

Seth Bockley, a Chicago-based playwright, has been named the Goodman Theatre of Chicago’s newest two-year artist-in-residence.

The Great Plains Theatre Conference has announced that Constance Congdon will be the next conference honoree. Her work will be featured prominently in the eighth annual conference in May.

The Theatre Library Association announced its 2012 book award winners in October. Among the winners were Jonathan Kalb for Great Lengths: Seven Works of Marathon Theatre, Steven Serafin for BAM: The Complete Works, and Nena Couch for performing arts librarianship. Lisbeth Wells-Pratt won the performing arts library scholarship.

Long Wharf Theatre in Connecticut has been recognized by Connecticut Magazines’s “Best of Connecticut” as best Equity theatre, in its September 2012 issue.   

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