Friday July 28th 2017

Jeff Awards-Non-Equity /41st Annual

jeffawards3HOh, What a night! June 2nd, 2014 and the Jeff Award ceremony/celebration at Park West was as exciting as ever. This is the location for the Non-Equity Award Ceremony but taking a look at the number of people who filled the crowded club, it may be that it is time for The Jeff Committee to seek a larger venue. It was, nonetheless a spirited evening with Emcees Sean Blake and Dana Tretta taking us through two hours of tributes and awards, scenes and musical nominees and a special award to a company that has been giving us excellence for twenty five years, The Griffin Theatre Company that may soon be able to begin work on the building they have purchased in Edgewater.

The show moved quickly and those awarded were very concise in their thank yous, keeping the musicians at bay. The musical numbers are always a highlight of the ceremony as we get to see the actors come back to life and bring us the memory of the special evening when we saw them first performed. The play scenes are a bit more difficult to take out of context and althought they are well acted, not in costume and with no set and props make sit difficult for those who did not see the play on its original stage, but this also hard in other awards evenings as well. Taking something out of context is hard to follow!

One of the highlights for me in this special evening was watching ” The Mother”, a production of Oracle  Productions win the top honors ( and in the musical theater, TheoUbique’s “Passion”). Oracle is a public access theater- in other words, FREE! Yes, they will accept donations! Yes, they like money! But what they stand for is bringing theater to everyone in the community and they have proven to be quite successful drawing audiences from all areas of the city and suburbs. BRAVO!

Theater is alive and well in Chicago! This evening represented the Non-Equity Wing with 127 nominees in 24 categories from over 60 productions, Talk about theater being everywhere. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Equity/Non-Equity, it is not the quality of the shows- it is union and non-union! These actors, directors, choreographers and design teams have just as much love for what they do, no matter union or non- they have a common thread- making their audiences leave the theater with a good feeling and experience. This year’s show was directed by Brenda Didier and produced by John D. Glover and as always, the announcer was James Anthony Zoccoli.

The Equity Awards will be in November at Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook. As always, Jeff Awards ceremonies are open to the public and tickts are alaways available ( on a first come first served basis). To learn more, visit www.jeffawards.org

Here are this years Recipients:

PRODUCTION – PLAY
“The Mother” – Oracle Productions

PRODUCTION – MUSICAL
“Passion” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

ENSEMBLE
“The Mother” – Oracle Productions

DIRECTOR – PLAY
Jason Gerace, “Great Expectations” – Strawdog Theatre Company

DIRECTOR – MUSICAL OR REVUE
Lili-Anne Brown, “Dessa Rose” – Bailiwick Chicago

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY
Patrick Gannon, “The Tennessee Williams Project” – The Hypocrites

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY
Katherine Keberlein, “The Mother” – Oracle Productions

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL
David Schlumpf, “Sweet Smell of Success” – Kokandy Productions

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL
Danni Smith, “Passion” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY
Norm Woodel, “Golden Boy – Griffin Theatre Company

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY
Nora Lise Ulrey, “The Children’s Hour” – Pride Films and Plays

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL
Tommy Bullington, “Return of Neverland”- Quest Theatre Ensemble

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL
Colette Todd, “Passion” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

NEW WORK
Phillip Dawkins, “Miss Marx: or the involuntary side effect of living”
– Strawdog Theatre Company
Manny Tamayo, “Incident on Run #1217” – Factory Theater

NEW ADAPTATION
Steve Gooch, “The Mother” – Oracle Productions

ORIGINAL MUSIC IN A PLAY
Jonathan Guillen and Nicholas Tonozzi, “The Mother” – Oracle Productions

MUSIC DIRECTION
Kory Danielson, “Passion” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

CHOREOGRAPHY
Linda Fortunato, “Kiss of the Spider Woman” – BoHo Theatre

SCENIC DESIGN
Andrei Onegin, “The Playboy of the Western World” – Raven Theatre

LIGHTING DESIGN
Diane D. Fairchild, “A Tale of Two Cities” – Lifeline Theatre

COSTUME DESIGN
Izumi Inaba, “The Life and Death of Madam Barker” – Red Tape Theatre

SOUND DESIGN
Stephen Ptacek, “The Killer Angels” – Lifeline Theatre

ARTISTIC SPECIALIZATION
John Fournier, “The Life and Death of Madam Barker”
(Music & Lyrics) – Red Tape Theatre

FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHY
David Woolley, “The Playboy of the Western World” – Raven Theatre

SPECIAL AWARD
Griffin Theatre Company

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