Thursday March 30th 2017

43rd Annual Non-Equity Jeff Award Nominations Announced

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016-Chicago, IL. The Jeff Awards Committee today announced 121 nominations in 24 categories for the 43rd Annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards for productions that opened between April 1, 2015, and March 31, 2016. The Non-Equity Awards honor excellence in Chicago theatres not under a union contract. Jeff judges attended opening nights of 148 productions offered by 67 Non-Equity producing organizations. The Jeff Committee recommended 65 of those shows (or 44%), making them eligible for Non-Equity Jeff Award nominations. Of the 65 Jeff Recommended productions, a record 53 (or 82%) received nominations, representing 32 theatre companies.

In the Production-Musical category, Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, presenting two musicals and two revues over the season, earned 15 nominations, including six for “Rent” and four for “A Marvin Hamlisch Songbook.”  Kokandy Productions presented two musicals this season and earned 10 nominations, including five each for “Heathers: The Musical” and “Loving Repeating”. Bailiwick Chicago scored six nominations for “Murder Ballad”.

In the Production-Play category, “Byhalia, Mississippi,” produced by The New Colony and Definition Theatre Company, had six nominations, the most for any play this season. Griffin Theatre Company finished strong with five nominations for “Pocatello” and three nominations for “London Wall”.  Raven Theatre scored four nominations for “Direct from Death Row The Scottsboro Boys” and Steep Theatre Company’s “Posh” earned three nominations, rounding out this year’s slate of nominees.

The 2015-2016 season also rewarded the efforts of Non-Equity theaters producing New Works and New Adaptations in Chicago, citing 11 nominations for world premieres. Seven new plays were nominated, including Peter Gwinn and Jody Shelton’s “The Story of a Story (The Untold Story)” at Underscore Theatre Company (a newly-eligible company this year), Hansol Jung’s “No More Sad Things” at Sideshow Theatre Company, Evan Linder’s “Byhalia, Mississippi” at The New Colony and Definition Theatre Company, Cody Lucas’ “Truth in Context” at The Agency Theater Collective, Carla Stillwell’s “Lawd the CVS Is Burning…A Gospel Musical Stage Play” at MPAACT, Isaiah Werner’s “Scissortail” at Adapt Theatre Productions in association with Redtwist Theatre, and Calamity West’s “Rolling” at Jackalope Theatre Company.  New Adaptation nominations recognized Zachary Baker-Salmon’s “This House Believes the American Dream is at the Expense of the American Negro” at Oracle Theatre, Christine Calvit’s “Miss Buncle’s Book” at Lifeline Theatre, Elizabeth Lovelady’s “D.O.A.” at Strawdog Theatre Company, and Aaron Todd Douglas’ “Upstate” at MPAACT.

The coveted Ensemble nominations were spread among six productions: “Direct from Death Row The Scottsboro Boys” at Raven Theatre, “The Drowning Girls” at Signal Ensemble Theatre, “The Hairy Ape” at Oracle Theatre, “Incident at Vichy” at Redtwist Theatre, “Posh” at Steep Theatre Company, and “Rent” at Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre.

The 43rd Annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards ceremony will be held on Monday, June 6, 2016, at Park West, located at 322 W. Armitage in Chicago. Emceeing the festivities are Karl Hamilton, well-known Chicago actor and Jeff Award nominee who has performed with a myriad of companies, including Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Porchlight Music Theatre, Drury Lane Oakbrook, Marriott Theatre, Mercury Theater Chicago, and First Folio Theatre; and Sarah Hayes, a talented Chicago actress, Jeff Award nominee and an Artistic Associate at Porchlight Music Theatre, who has appeared with several non-Equity companies, including Bailiwick, City Lit, Theo Ubique, Griffin, Strawdog and Kokandy Productions.

Doors open with a cash bar at 6 p.m., light buffet at 6:30 p.m., and the awards ceremony at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 at the door. A group rate of $35 is available for parties of 10 or more. Festive cocktail attire is suggested, and the public is cordially invited. Tickets are purchased online with a credit card at www.jeffawards.org or by mail with the downloadable mail-order form, also found at www.jeffawards.org. For more information, contact John D. Glover, Non-Equity Wing Chair, at nonequitywing@jeffawards.org. Follow live twitter feeds from the ceremony and behind the scenes at #josephjefferson.

The Jeff Awards has been honoring outstanding theatre artists annually since it was established in 1968. With up to 55 members representing a wide variety of backgrounds in theatre, the Jeff Awards are committed to celebrating the vitality of Chicago area theatre by recognizing excellence through its recommendations, awards, and honors. The Jeff Awards fosters the artistic growth of area theatres and theatre artists and promote educational opportunities, audience appreciation, and civic pride in the achievements of the theatre community. Each year the Jeff Awards evaluate over 250 theatrical productions and host two awards ceremonies annually. Originally chartered to recognize only Equity productions, the Jeff Awards established the Non-Equity Wing in 1973 to celebrate outstanding achievement in non-union theatre. The next Equity Awards ceremony, honoring productions presented under union contracts, will be held on Monday, October 17, 2016, at Drury Lane Oakbrook in Oakbrook Terrace.

2016 NON-EQUITY JEFF AWARD NOMINEES

PRODUCTION – PLAY

“Byhalia, Mississippi” – The New Colony and Definition Theatre Company
“Direct from Death Row The Scottsboro Boys” – Raven Theatre
“London Wall” – Griffin Theatre Company
“Pocatello” – Griffin Theatre Company
“Posh” – Steep Theatre Company

PRODUCTION – MUSICAL OR REVUE

“Heathers: The Musical” – Kokandy Productions
“Loving Repeating” – Kokandy Productions
“A Marvin Hamlisch Songbook” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
“Murder Ballad” – Bailiwick Chicago
“Rent” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

ENSEMBLE

“Direct from Death Row The Scottsboro Boys” – Raven Theatre
“The Drowning Girls” – Signal Ensemble Theatre
“The Hairy Ape” – Oracle Theatre
“Incident at Vichy” – Redtwist Theatre
“Posh” – Steep Theatre Company
“Rent” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

DIRECTOR – PLAY

Jonathan Berry – “Pocatello” – Griffin Theatre Company
Jonathan Berry – “Posh” – Steep Theatre Company
Monty Cole – “The Hairy Ape” – Oracle Theatre
Michael Menendian – “Direct from Death Row The Scottsboro Boys” – Raven Theatre
Tyrone Phillips – “Byhalia, Mississippi” – The New Colony and Definition Theatre Company
Robin Witt – “London Wall” – Griffin Theatre Company

DIRECTOR – MUSICAL OR REVUE

Fred Anzevino – “Blood Brothers” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
James Beaudry – “Heathers: The Musical” – Kokandy Productions
James Beaudry – “Murder Ballad” – Bailiwick Chicago
Courtney Crouse – “A Marvin Hamlisch Songbook” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
Allison Hendrix – “Loving Repeating” – Kokandy Productions
Scott Weinstein – “Rent” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY

Travis Delgado (the Foundling Father) – “The America Play” – Oracle Theatre
Michael McKeogh (Eddie) – “Pocatello” – Griffin Theatre Company
Julian Parker (Yank) – “The Hairy Ape” – Oracle Theatre
Brian Parry (George) – “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” – Redtwist Theatre
Mike Tepeli (Raleigh) – “Last Train to Nibroc” – Haven Theatre
Stephen Walker (Teach) – “American Buffalo” – Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co.

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL

Matt Frye (Hunter) – “[title of show]” – The Brown Paper Box Co.
Quinton Guyton (Mama) – “Lawd the CVS is Burning…A Gospel Musical Stage Play” – MPAACT
Christopher Logan (Peter Allen) – “The Boy From Oz” – Pride Films and Plays
Tommy Novak (Max Bialystock) – “The Producers” – NightBlue Performing Arts Company
Patrick Rooney (Roger) – “Rent” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY

Amanda Drinkall (May) – “Last Train to Nibroc” – Haven Theatre
Jacqueline Grandt (Margie) – “Good People” – Redtwist Theatre
Jacqueline Grandt (Martha) – “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” – Redtwist Theatre
Liz Sharpe (Laurel) – “Byhalia, Mississippi” – The New Colony and Definition Theatre Company
Eliza Stoughton (Lila Green) – “A Loss of Roses” – Raven Theatre
Jenifer Tyler (Miss Buncle) – “Miss Buncle’s Book” – Lifeline Theatre

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL

Kyrie Anderson (Mrs. Johnstone) – “Blood Brothers” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
Amanda Giles (Young Gertrude) – “Loving Repeating” – Kokandy Productions
Emily Goldberg (Rose) – “Dogfight” – BoHo Theatre
Courtney Mack (Veronica) – “Heathers: The Musical” – Kokandy Productions

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY

Stephen Cefalu, Jr. (Nick) – “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” – Redtwist Theatre
Dennis Grimes (Sam) – “Lips Together, Teeth Apart” – Eclipse Theatre Company
Steve Love (Helen) – “Miracle!” – Hell in a Handbag Productions
JP Pierson (Mendy) – “The Lisbon Traviata” – Eclipse Theatre Company
Michael Woods (Trigorin) – “The Seagull” – Eclectic Full Contact Theatre

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL OR REVUE

Justin Adair (Performer) – “Fugitive Songs” – BoHo Theatre
Carl Herzog (Ensemble) – “My Way” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
Christopher Logan (Tom) – “Murder Ballad” – Bailiwick Chicago
Aubrey McGrath (Angel) – “Rent” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
Jordan Phelps (Narrator) – “Blood Brothers” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY

Marzena Bukowska (Babushka/Baba Yaga/Yaroslava) – “The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls” – Trap Door Theatre
Simina Contras (Masha) – “The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls” – Trap Door Theatre
Ann James (Janet) – “Rolling” – Jackalope Theatre Company
Becca Savoy (Becky) – “Pocatello” – Griffin Theatre Company
Cecelia Wingate (Celeste) – “Byhalia, Mississippi” – The New Colony and Definition Theatre Company

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL OR REVUE

Cara Chumbley (Ulla) – “The Producers” – NightBlue Performing Arts Company
Emily Goldberg (Alice B. Toklas) – “Loving Repeating” – Kokandy Productions
Stephanie Hansen (Featured Singer) – “A Marvin Hamlisch Songbook” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
Amanda Horvath (Sara) – “Murder Ballad” – Bailiwick Chicago
Michelle Lauto (Liza Minnelli) – “The Boy From Oz” – Pride Films and Plays

SOLO PERFORMANCE

Anna Dauzvardis (April, et al.) – “Liberty City” – eta Creative Arts Foundation
Charlie Irving (Daisy Fay) – “The Summer of Daisy Fay” – New American Folk Theatre i/a/w Redtwist Theatre
Nelson Rodriguez (Man on the Verge) – “Men on the Verge of a His-Panic Breakdown” – Pride Films and Plays

NEW WORK

Peter Gwinn and Jody Shelton – “The Story of a Story (The Untold Story)” – Underscore Theatre Company
Hansol Jung – “No More Sad Things” – Sideshow Theatre Company
Evan Linder – “Byhalia, Mississippi” – The New Colony and Definition Theatre Company
Cody Lucas – “Truth in Context” – The Agency Theater Collective
Carla Stillwell – “Lawd the CVS is Burning…A Gospel Musical Stage Play” – MPAACT
Isaiah Werner – “Scissortail” – Adapt Theatre Productions i/a/w Redtwist Theatre
Calamity West – “Rolling” – Jackalope Theatre Company

NEW ADAPTATION

Zachary Baker-Salmon – “This House Believes the American Dream is at the Expense of the American Negro” – Oracle Theatre
Christina Calvit – “Miss Buncle’s Book” – Lifeline Theatre
Elizabeth Lovelady – “D.O.A.” – Strawdog Theatre Company
Aaron Todd Douglas – “Upstate” – MPAACT

CHOREOGRAPHY

Kim Green and Jenna Schoppe – “The Producers” – NightBlue Performing Arts Company
Christopher Logan – “A Marvin Hamlisch Songbook” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
Stephen Schellhardt – “Dogfight” – BoHo Theatre
Sawyer Smith – “Heathers: The Musical” – Kokandy Productions
Cameron Turner – “The Boy From Oz” – Pride Films and Plays

ORIGINAL MUSIC IN A PLAY

Leif Olsen – “Beast on the Moon” – Raven Theatre
Danny Rockett – “How to Explain the History of Communism to Mental Patients” – Trap Door Theatre
Andrew Rovner – “The December Man” – Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co.

MUSIC DIRECTION

Kory Danielson – “Heathers: The Musical” – Kokandy Productions
Kory Danielson – “Loving Repeating” – Kokandy Productions
Nicholas Davio – “Murder Ballad” – Bailiwick Chicago
Jeremy Ramey – “My Way” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
Jeremy Ramey – “Rent” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

SCENIC DESIGN

William Boles – “Barefoot in the Park” – Step Up Productions
Jeffrey D. Kmiec – “A Loss of Roses” – Raven Theatre
Kevin Hagan – “Lips Together, Teeth Apart” – Eclipse Theatre Company
Mike Mroch – “After Miss Julie” – Strawdog Theatre Company
Joe Schermoly – “Pocatello” – Griffin Theatre Company
John Wilson – “Byhalia, Mississippi” – The New Colony and Definition Theatre Company

LIGHTING DESIGN

Michael C. Smith – “The Drowning Girls” – Signal Ensemble Theatre
Charles Cooper – “Murder Ballad” – Bailiwick Chicago
Diane D. Fairchild – “No More Sad Things” – Sideshow Theatre Company
John Kelly – “D.O.A.” – Strawdog Theatre Company
Eric Watkins – “Porcelain” – Prologue Theatre Company

COSTUME DESIGN

Raquel Adorno – “D.O.A.” – Strawdog Theatre Company
John Nasca – “The Boy From Oz” – Pride Films and Plays
John Nasca – “Design for Living” – Pride Films and Plays
Kate Setzer Kamphausen – “Miracle!” – Hell in a Handbag Productions
Rachel M. Sypniewski – “London Wall” – Griffin Theatre Company

SOUND DESIGN

Joe Court – “Last Train to Nibroc” – Haven Theatre
Cooper Forsman – “A Perfect Ganesh” – Eclipse Theatre Company
Jeffrey Levin – “The Hairy Ape” – Oracle Theatre
Jeffrey Levin – “The Long Christmas Ride Home” – Strawdog Theatre Company
Danny Rockett – “The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls” – Trap Door Theatre

ARTISTIC SPECIALIZATION

Breon Arzell – Step Master – “The Hairy Ape” – Oracle Theatre
R&D Choreography – Violence Design – “D.O.A.” – Strawdog Theatre Company
Stephanie Diaz – Puppet Design – “The Long Christmas Ride Home” – Strawdog Theatre Company
David Knezz – Mask Design – “Direct from Death Row The Scottsboro Boys” – Raven Theatre

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