Friday July 28th 2017

46th Annual Jeff Awards-Equity

jeffawards3HThe 46th Annual Jeff Awards
Celebrates

Excellence in Chicago Theatre

October 13, 2014 – Chicago, IL.  At the gala 46th Annual Equity Jeff Awards held at Drury Lane Oakbrook on Monday, October 13, awards were spread among numerous theatres honoring a season of outstanding productions. From Writers Theatre, “The Dance of Death”, a battle of wits between a tyrant and his manipulative wife, received the Production-Play award for a large theatre, along with its two principal actors Larry Yando and Shannon Cochran.  “The Normal Heart”, Larry Kramer’s tale of the early indifference in N.Y. about the HIV/Aids crisis, presented by TimeLine Theatre Company, was honored with awards for Production-Play for a midsize theatre and for Director Nick Bowling.

Goodman Theatre’s revival of “Brigadoon”, the Scottish tale of a mystical town appearing every 100 years, received the Production-Musical large tier award, Costume Design for Mara Blumenfeld and Choreography for Rachel Rockwell.  “Hank Williams: Lost Highway”, a biography of the singer/songwriter at American Blues Theater, won for Midsize Musical, lead actor Matthew Brumlow and Music Director Malcolm Ruhl. “Next to Normal” at Drury Lane Productions, a rock musical of a mother struggling with bipolar illness, received awards for Principal Actress Susie McMonagle, and for Director William Osetek.

In the revue categories, Porchlight Music Theatre’s “Ain’t Misbehavin’ ”, celebrating Fats Waller and other greats of the Harlem Renaissance, won for Production-Revue, for Director Brenda Didier, and for the band’s pianist and conductor, Austin Cook. Renee Matthews took home the Actress in a Revue award for “Old Jews Telling Jokes”, and John Hartman won Actor in a Revue for “Depraved New World” at The Second City.

The prestigious Ensemble Award, sponsored by Actors’ Equity Association, went to Seanachaí Theatre Company’s production of “The Seafarer”, Irish playwright Conor McPherson’s boozy mystical story of a high stakes card game on a dark Christmas Eve. Seanachaí, newly renamed Irish Theatre of Chicago, featured Brad Armacost, Ira Amyx, Shane Kenyon, Kevin Theis and Dan Waller in this talented, hilarious ensemble.

Chicago continues to be a hub for premiering new works.  The award for New Work went to Rebecca Gilman, an Artistic Collective member at Goodman Theatre for “Luna Gale”, a tale of a social worker at the center of a custody dispute, which premiered at Goodman. John Mossman won the New Adaptation award for “The Goddess”, a reimagining of Paddy Chayefsky’s screenplay of a small town girl’s evolution to world famous screen siren, presented by The Artistic Home.

Solo Performance honor went to Gwendolyn Whiteside for “Grounded” at American Blues Theater, along with Sound Design to Lindsay Jones.  Supporting Actress awards went to Jessica Rush for “Gypsy” at Chicago Shakespeare Theater and to Sandra Marquez for “A View From the Bridge” at Teatro Vista.  Supporting Actor awards went to Mike Nussbaum for “Smokefall”, a joint production of Goodman Theatre and South Coast Repertory, now in a remount at Goodman, and to Mark David Kaplan in the comic role of Thenardier in “Les Misérables” from Drury Lane Productions.  “Les Mis” also won for Projection Design by Sage Marie Carter.  PigPen Theatre Co.’s “The Old Man and the Old Moon”, produced by Writers Theatre, won for Original Music in a Play composed by PigPen Theatre Co. and for Sound Design by Mikhail Fiksel.  The House Theatre’s “Dorian” received nods for portrait artist Jeff Klapperich and Lighting Design by Rebecca A. Barrett and Lee Keenan.

In a year of enormous loss to the theatre community, the ceremony featured a moving photographic memorial that honored 24 theatre professionals and was underscored by the cast of “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” from Theatre at the Center.

The capacity audience enjoyed live performances from all nominated musicals and revues and video performances from nominated plays.  The Equity Awards ceremony was directed by Michael Weber, with music direction by Linda Madonia and stage management by Colleen Tovar.  Merril Prager, Equity Wing Chair of The Jeff Awards Committee, served as producer for the evening.  Director Henry Godinez and actor Gene Weygandt emceed the event.  Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed a lavish Drury Lane buffet and dancing.

The Jeff Awards has been honoring outstanding theatre artists annually since it was established in 1968. With 55 members representing a wide variety of backgrounds in theatre, the Jeff Awards Committee is 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 promotes educational opportunities, audience appreciation, and civic pride in the achievements of the theatre community. Each year The Jeff Awards evaluates over 250 theatrical productions and holds two awards ceremonies. 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 Non-Equity awards ceremony will be held on June 8, 2015, at Park West.

2014 Equity Jeff Award Recipients

PRODUCTION – PLAY – LARGE
“The Dance of Death” – Writers Theatre

PRODUCTION – PLAY – MIDSIZE
“The Normal Heart” – TimeLine Theatre Company

PRODUCTION – MUSICAL – LARGE
“Brigadoon” – Goodman Theatre

PRODUCTION – MUSICAL – MIDSIZE
“Hank Williams: Lost Highway” – American Blues Theater

PRODUCTION – REVUE
“Ain’t Misbehavin’ ” – Porchlight Music Theatre

DIRECTOR – PLAY
Nick Bowling – “The Normal Heart” – TimeLine Theatre Company

DIRECTOR – MUSICAL
William Osetek – “Next to Normal” – Drury Lane Productions

DIRECTOR – REVUE
Brenda Didier – “Ain’t Misbehavin’ ” – Porchlight Music Theatre

ENSEMBLE

“The Seafarer” – Seanachaí Theatre Company


ACTOR IN A PRINICPAL ROLE – PLAY
Larry Yando – “The Dance of Death” – Writers Theatre

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL
Matthew Brumlow – “Hank Williams: Lost Highway” – American Blues Theater

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY
Shannon Cochran – “The Dance of Death” – Writers Theatre

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL
Susie McMonagle – “Next to Normal” – Drury Lane Productions

ACTOR IN A REVUE
John Hartman – “Depraved New World” – The Second City

ACTRESS IN A REVUE
Renee Matthews – “Old Jews Telling Jokes” – Daniel Okrent & Peter Gethers,
Richard Frankel, Tom Viertel, Steven Baruch, and Marc Routh

SOLO PERFORMANCE
Gwendolyn Whiteside – “Grounded” – American Blues Theater

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY
Mike Nussbaum – “Smokefall” – Goodman Theatre and South Coast Repertory

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL
Mark David Kaplan – “Les Misérables” – Drury Lane Productions

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY
Sandra Marquez – “A View From the Bridge” – Teatro Vista

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL
Jessica Rush – “Gypsy” – Chicago Shakespeare Theater

NEW WORK
Rebecca Gilman – “Luna Gale” – Goodman Theatre

NEW ADAPTATION
John Mossman – “The Goddess” – The Artistic Home

CHOREOGRAPHY
Rachel Rockwell – “Brigadoon” – Goodman Theatre

ORIGINAL MUSIC IN A PLAY
PigPen Theatre Co. – “The Old Man and the Old Moon” – Writers Theatre

MUSIC DIRECTION
Malcolm Ruhl – “Hank Williams: Lost Highway” – American Blues Theater

SCENIC DESIGN – LARGE
Collette Pollard – “In the Garden: A Darwinian Love Story” –
Lookingglass Theatre Company

SCENIC DESIGN – MIDSIZE
Katie-Bell Springmann – “Cock” – Profiles Theatre

LIGHTING DESIGN – LARGE
William Kirkham – “The Little Prince” – Lookingglass Theatre Company
in association with The Actors Gymnasium

LIGHTING DESIGN – MIDSIZE
Rebecca A. Barrett and Lee Keenan – “Dorian” – The House Theatre of Chicago

COSTUME DESIGN – LARGE
Mara Blumenfeld – “Brigadoon” – Goodman Theatre

COSTUME DESIGN – MIDSIZE
Bill Morey – “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” –
Porchlight Music Theatre

SOUND DESIGN – LARGE
Mikhail Fiksel – “The Old Man and the Old Moon” – Writers Theatre

SOUND DESIGN – MIDSIZE
Lindsay Jones – “Grounded” – American Blues Theater

PROJECTIONS / MEDIA DESIGN
Sage Marie Carter – “ Les Misérables” – Drury Lane Productions

ARTISTIC SPECIALIZATION
Austin Cook – Piano/Conductor – “Ain’t Misbehavin’ ” – Porchlight Music Theatre
Jeff Klapperich – Portrait Artist – “Dorian” – The House Theatre of Chicago

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