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Barrymore Awards Celebrate 25th Year

Arden Theatre Company’s production of ‘Gem of the Ocean’ by August Wilson won the most awards, with 9.

PHILADELPHIA: Theatre Philadelphia announced the recipients of the 2018-19 Barrymore Awards at a ceremony this week. Celebrating 25 years, the Barrymore Awards honor artists and organizations with cash awards.

The cast of Arden Theatre Company’s “Gem of the Ocean”.

Arden Theatre Company won nine awards for their production of August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean, including outstanding overall production of a play and outstanding direction of a play for James Ijames. Theatre Horizon‘s production of The Color Purple, adapted by Marsha Norman with music and lyrics by Allee Willis, Stephen Bray, and Brenda Russell, garnered six awards, including outstanding overall production of a musical and outstanding direction of a musical for Amina Robinson. The production also won the Brown Martin Philadelphia Award, a $25,000 honor. Theatre Horizon’s Autism Drama program was also awarded a $10,000 grant by the Victory Foundation.

Playwright and actor Jaylene Clark Owens was awarded $15,000 through the F. Otto Haas Award for emerging Philadelphia artists. Lightning Rod Special, a devised theatre company, was awarded $10,000 through the June and Steve Wolfson Award.

The Barrymore Awards also presented their first award for an outstanding outdoor theatre production, which went to Bearded Ladies Cabaret‘s Contradict This! A Birthday Funeral for Heroes. Additionally, playwright and educator Edgar J. Shockley III received a lifetime achievement award.

A full list of nominees and winners is available here.

Founded in 2012, Theatre Philadelphia promotes the region’s theatre community through public engagement and audience expansion efforts. They relaunched the Barrymore Awards in 2013. The awards, originally established in 1994, are a nationally recognized symbol of excellence for professional theatre in the Philadelphia region.

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