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51st Annual Equity Jeff Awards announces theater nominations
2019-09-03

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Tuesday, September 3, 2019 — Chicago, IL — Eleven world premiere plays and musicals seen first by Chicago audiences were among those receiving nominations by the Jeff Awards, announced today. A total of 192 nominations were made in 34 categories that honor Chicago Equity theatrical productions that opened between August 1, 2018 and July 31, 2019. During the 2018-19 season, Jeff Awards judges attended opening nights of 132 Equity productions offered by 43 producing organizations and from these openings, 112 productions were "Jeff Recommended" and eligible for award nominations.

This season, Porchlight Music Theatre led the theatre scoreboard with 17 nominations, followed by Paramount Theatre with 16 and Court Theatre with 15. Paramount Theatre's "The Producers" led all productions with nine nominations, followed by its production of "The Wizard of Oz" with seven nominations.

In the coveted Ensemble categories, five musical productions were nominated for Ensemble - Music or Revue, and eight plays were nominated in the Ensemble — Play category. Actors' Equity Association supports the Equity Jeff Awards by sponsoring these Ensemble awards.

The 51 st Annual Equity Jeff Awards ceremony honoring excellence in professional theatre produced within the greater Chicago area will be held on Monday, October 21 st , at Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace.

This year's ceremony performances will again feature cast members from nominated musicals and plays. Pre-show appetizers and a cash bar will be offered from 6:00 to 7:30 PM, followed by the awards ceremony, directed by Steve Scott. A buffet reception will immediately follow the ceremony.

Advance purchase tickets, which include the ceremony and pre-/post-show parties, are $85 ( $65 for members of Actors' Equity Association, United Scenic Artists, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, Stage Managers' Association, IATSE, The Dramatists Guild of America, and the American Federation of Musicians ). Tickets at the door, if available, will be an additional $10 per ticket. The evening is black tie optional, and the public is invited to attend. To purchase tickets, click here or visit the Jeff Awards website at

www.jeffawards.org . For more information, contact Jeff Awards Equity Ceremony Producer Deric Gochenauer at producer@jeffawards.org .

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 ( including producers, directors, actors, playwrights, designers, professors of theatre, entertainment lawyers and agents and theatre lovers ), the Jeff Awards is committed to celebrating the vitality of Chicago area theatre by recognizing excellence through its recommendations, awards and honors. Opening night judges include not only Jeff members but also the team of Artistic and Technical theatre volunteers ( the "A/T Team" ) which is comprised of artistic directors, producers, directors from major Chicago theatres, actors and designers. 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 judges 300 theatrical productions and host 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.

2019 EQUITY JEFF AWARD NOMINEES

Production — Play — Large

"Downstate" — Steppenwolf Theatre Company

"Indecent" — Victory Gardens Theater

"Photograph 51" — Court Theatre

"Radio Golf" — Court Theatre

"The Steadfast Tin Soldier" — Lookingglass Theatre Company

Production — Play — Midsize

"Frankenstein" — Remy Bumppo Theatre Company

"Noises Off" — Windy City Playhouse

"On Clover Road" — American Blues Theater

"The Recommendation" — Windy City Playhouse

"Something Clean" — Sideshow Theatre Company

and Rivendell Theatre Ensemble

Production — Musical — Large

"Disney's Beauty and the Beast" — Drury Lane Productions

"Next to Normal" — Writers Theatre

"The Producers" — Paramount Theatre

"Six" — Chicago Shakespeare Theater

"The Wizard of Oz" — Paramount Theatre

Production — Musical — Midsize

"Caroline, or Change" — Firebrand Theatre

i/a/w TimeLine Theatre Company

"A Chorus Line" — Porchlight Music Theatre

"A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder" — Porchlight Music Theatre

"Gypsy" — Porchlight Music Theatre

Production — Revue

"Djembe! The Show" — Doug Manuel, Ashley DeSimone and TSG Theatricals

"Women of Soul" — Black Ensemble Theater

"You Can't Fake the Funk: A Journey through Funk Music"

— Black Ensemble Theater

Ensemble — Play

"Familiar" — Steppenwolf Theatre Company

"For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf"

— Court Theatre

"Indecent" — Victory Gardens Theater

"Noises Off" — Windy City Playhouse

"Small Mouth Sounds" — A Red Orchid Theatre

"Twilight Bowl" — Goodman Theatre

Ensemble — Musical or Revue

"A Chorus Line" — Porchlight Music Theatre

"Million Dollar Quartet" — Marriott Theatre

"Queen of the Mist" — Firebrand Theatre

"Six" — Chicago Shakespeare Theater

"You Can't Fake the Funk: A Journey through Funk Music"

— Black Ensemble Theater

New Work — Play

David Auburn — "The Adventures of Augie March" — Court Theatre

David Catlin — "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" — Lookingglass Theatre Company

Jenny Connell Davis — "Scientific Method" — Rivendell Theatre Ensemble

Ike Holter — "Lottery Day" — Goodman Theatre

Manual Cinema — "Frankenstein" — Court Theatre

Bruce Norris — "Downstate" — Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Jen Silverman — "Witch" — Writers Theatre

Mary Zimmerman — "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" — Lookingglass Theatre Company

New Work — Musical

David Cale — "We're Only Alive for A Short Amount of Time"

— Goodman Theatre i/a/w The Public Theater

Michael Mahler and Jason Brett — "Miracle" — William A. Marovitz and Arny Granat

Daniel Zaitchik — "Darling Grenadine" — Marriott Theatre

Director — Play — Large

Gary Griffin — "Indecent" — Victory Gardens Theater

Pam MacKinnon — "Downstate" — Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Ron OJ Parson — "Radio Golf" — Court Theatre

Ron OJ Parson — "Too Heavy for Your Pocket" — TimeLine Theatre Company

Vanessa Stalling — "Photograph 51" — Court Theatre

Mary Zimmerman — "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" — Lookingglass Theatre Company

Director — Play — Midsize

Ian Frank — "Frankenstein" — Remy Bumppo Theatre Company

Halena Kays — "On Clover Road" — American Blues Theater

Jess McLeod — "Wolf Play" — The Gift Theatre

Scott Weinstein — "Noises Off" — Windy City Playhouse

Jonathan Wilson — "The Recommendation" — Windy City Playhouse

Director — Musical — Large

Jim Corti — "The Producers" — Paramount Theatre

David Cromer — "Next to Normal" — Writers Theatre

Amber Mak — "The Wizard of Oz" — Paramount Theatre

Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage — "Six" — Chicago Shakespeare Theater

William Osetek — "Mamma Mia!" — Drury Lane Productions

Alan Souza — "Disney's Beauty and the Beast" — Drury Lane Productions

Director — Musical — Midsize

Lili-Anne Brown — "Caroline, or Change" — Firebrand Theatre

i/a/w TimeLine Theatre Company

Brenda Didier — "A Chorus Line" — Porchlight Music Theatre

Elizabeth Margolius — "Queen of the Mist" — Firebrand Theatre

Stephen Schellhardt — "A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder"

— Porchlight Music Theatre

Michael Weber — "Gypsy" — Porchlight Music Theatre

Performer In A Principal Role — Play

Bradley Armacost ( Arthur Kipps ) — "The Woman in Black" — PW Productions

and Pemberley Productions

Emily Berman ( Lusia Weiss Pechenik ) — "A Shayna Maidel"

— TimeLine Theatre Company

Janet Ulrich Brooks ( Maria Callas ) — "Master Class" — TimeLine Theatre Company

Chaon Cross ( Rosalind Franklin ) — "Photograph 51" — Court Theatre

David Darlow ( André ) — "The Father" — Remy Bumppo Theatre Company

Lawrence Grimm ( Martin Heidegger ) — "Hannah and Martin" — Shattered Globe Theatre

Nicole Michelle Haskins ( Chess ) — "Hopelessly Devoted" — Piven Theatre Workshop

Wendy Robie ( Queen Elizabeth I ) — "Elizabeth Rex" — Oak Park Festival Theatre

Namir Smallwood ( Lee ) — "True West" — Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Meg Thalken ( Peggy ) — "Four Places" — The Den Theatre

Performer In A Principal Role — Musical

E. Faye Butler ( Rose ) — "Gypsy" — Porchlight Music Theatre

Matt Crowle ( D'Ysquith Family ) — "A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder"

— Porchlight Music Theatre

Rashada Dawan ( Caroline ) — "Caroline, or Change" — Firebrand Theatre

i/a/w TimeLine Theatre Company

Andrés Enriquez ( Monty Navarro ) — "A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder"

— Porchlight Music Theatre

Kelly Felthous ( Audrey ) — "Little Shop of Horrors" — Drury Lane Productions

Sean Fortunato ( Miss Trunchbull ) — "Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical"

— Drury Lane Productions

Blake Hammond ( Max Bialystock ) — "The Producers" — Paramount Theatre

Jacquelyne Jones ( Percy Talbott ) — "The Spitfire Grill" — American Blues Theater

Jake Morrissy ( Leo Bloom ) — "The Producers" — Paramount Theatre

Barbara E. Robertson ( Anna Edson Taylor ) — "Queen of the Mist" — Firebrand Theatre

Solo Performance

David Cale ( David ) — "We're Only Alive for A Short Amount of Time"

— Goodman Theatre i/a/w The Public Theater

Matt Crowle ( Crumpet ) — "The Santaland Diaries" — Goodman Theatre

Joe Foust ( Solo Performer ) — "The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey"

— American Blues Theater

Ross Lehman ( Solo Performer ) — "Sentimental Journey" — Citadel Theatre Company

Alexis J. Roston ( Lady Day ) — "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill"

— Congo Square Theatre Company

Performer In A Supporting Role — Play

Patrick Agada ( Joey ) — "Something Clean" — Sideshow Theatre Company

and Rivendell Theatre Ensemble

Janet Ulrich Brooks ( Sister Clarissa ) — "Over the Tavern" — Theatre at the Center

Kirsten Fitzgerald ( Tracy ) — "Sweat" — Goodman Theatre

Sean Fortunato ( Malvolio ) — "Twelfth Night" — Writers Theatre

K. Todd Freeman ( Dee ) — "Downstate" — Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Brian Keys ( Dwight Barnes ) — "The Recommendation" — Windy City Playhouse

James Vincent Meredith ( Roosevelt Hicks ) — "Radio Golf" — Court Theatre

Scott Parkinson ( Sir Andrew Aguecheek ) — "Twelfth Night" — Writers Theatre

Kelvin Roston, Jr. ( Levee ) — "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" — Writers Theatre

Alfred H. Wilson ( Elder Joseph Barlow ) — "Radio Golf" — Court Theatre

Performer In A Supporting Role — Musical

Dara Cameron ( Shelby Thorpe ) — "The Spitfire Grill" — American Blues Theater

Kyrie Courter ( Natalie Goodman ) — "Next to Normal" — Writers Theatre

José Antonio GarcÃa ( Herbie ) — "Gypsy" — Porchlight Music Theatre

Emily Goldberg ( Sibella Hallward ) — "A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder"

— Porchlight Music Theatre

Alex Goodrich ( Oscar Lindquist ) — "Sweet Charity" — Marriott Theatre

Marya Grandy ( Louise ) — "Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn" — Marriott Theatre

Donica Lynn ( Oda Mae ) — "Ghost The Musical" — Theatre at the Center

Sawyer Smith ( Fastrada ) — "Pippin" — Mercury Theater Chicago

Catherine Smitko ( Hannah Ferguson ) — "The Spitfire Grill" — American Blues Theater

Nat Zegree ( Jerry Lee Lewis ) — "Million Dollar Quartet" — Marriott Theatre

Performer In A Revue

Robin DaSilva ( Mahalia ) — "Mahalia Jackson: Moving Thru the Light"

— Black Ensemble Theater

Rashada Dawan ( Singer ) — "Djembe! The Show" — Doug Manuel, Ashley DeSimone

and TSG Theatricals

Rhonda Preston ( Mature Nancy ) — "Style and Grace: A Tribute to Lena Horne

and Nancy Wilson" — Black Ensemble Theater

Aeriel Williams ( Young Lena ) — "Style and Grace: A Tribute to Lena Horne

and Nancy Wilson" — Black Ensemble Theater

Scenic Design — Large

William Boles — "The Producers" — Paramount Theatre

Kevin Depinet and Christopher Rhoton — "The Wizard of Oz" — Paramount Theatre

Kristen Robinson — "Familiar" — Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Todd Rosenthal — "How to Catch Creation" — Goodman Theatre

Todd Rosenthal — "A Midsummer Night's Dream" — Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Arnel Sancianco — "Lottery Day" — Goodman Theatre

Arnel Sancianco — "Photograph 51" — Court Theatre

Scenic Design — Midsize

Jeffrey D. Kmiec — "Gypsy" — Porchlight Music Theatre

Jeffrey D. Kmiec — "Noises Off" — Windy City Playhouse

Angela Weber Miller — "All Childish Things" — First Folio Theatre

Lauren Nigri — "The Recommendation" — Windy City Playhouse

Arnel Sancianco — "Something Clean" — Sideshow Theatre Company

and Rivendell Theatre Ensemble

Joe Schermoly — "This Bitter Earth" — About Face Theatre

Costume Design — Large

Hugh Durrant — "Nell Gwynn" — Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Rueben Echoles — "You Can't Fake the Funk: A Journey through Funk Music"

— Black Ensemble Theater

Theresa Ham — "The Wizard of Oz" — Paramount Theatre

Ana Kuzmanic — "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" — Lookingglass Theatre Company

Ryan Park — "Disney's Beauty and the Beast" — Drury Lane Productions

Jordan Ross — "The Producers" — Paramount Theatre

Costume Design — Midsize

Rachel Boylan — "Pippin" — Mercury Theater Chicago

Jeff Hendry — "A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder"

— Porchlight Music Theatre

Bill Morey — "Gypsy" — Porchlight Music Theatre

Sound Design — Large

Mikhail Fiskel — "Cambodian Rock Band" — Victory Gardens Theater

Jeffrey Levin — "A Shayna Maidel" — TimeLine Theatre Company

Ray Nardelli — "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" — Writers Theatre

Adam Rosenthal — "The Wizard of Oz" — Paramount Theatre

Rick Sims — "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" — Lookingglass Theatre Company

Kyle Vegter and Ben Kauffman — "Frankenstein" — Court Theatre

Sound Design — Midsize

Eric Backus — "The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey" — American Blues Theater

Eric Backus — "Wolf Play" — The Gift Theatre

Christopher Kriz — "Frankenstein" — Remy Bumppo Theatre Company

Jeffrey Levin — "Small Mouth Sounds" — A Red Orchid Theatre

Matt Reich — "The Worst Mother in the World" — Halcyon Theatre

Lighting Design — Large

Tim Deiling — "Six" — Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Greg Hofmann — "The Wizard of Oz" — Paramount Theatre

Greg Hofmann and Jesse Klug — "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

— Chicago Shakespeare Theater

William C. Kirkham — "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein"

— Lookingglass Theatre Company

Jesse Klug — "The Producers" — Paramount Theatre

Ryan O'Gara — "Disney's Beauty and the Beast" — Drury Lane Productions

Lighting Design — Midsize

Mike Durst — "Frankenstein" — Remy Bumppo Theatre Company

Denise Karczewski — "A Chorus Line" — Porchlight Music Theatre

John Kelly — "This Bitter Earth" — About Face Theatre

Alexander Ridgers — "Pinocchio" — The House Theatre of Chicago

Cat Wilson — "Queen of the Mist" — Firebrand Theatre

Choreography

Christopher Chase Carter — "A Chorus Line" — Porchlight Music Theatre

Brenda Didier — "Pippin" — Mercury Theater Chicago

Brenda Didier — "The Producers" — Paramount Theatre

Denis Jones — "Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn" — Marriott Theatre

Alex Sanchez — "Sweet Charity" — Marriott Theatre

Original Music

Christopher Kriz — "Frankenstein" — Remy Bumppo Theatre Company

Andre Pluess and Amanda Dehnert — "The Steadfast Tin Soldier"

— Lookingglass Theatre Company

Rick Sims — "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" — Lookingglass Theatre Company

Kyle Vegter and Ben Kauffman — "Frankenstein" — Court Theatre

Richard Woodbury — "The Winter's Tale" — Goodman Theatre

Music Direction

Roberta Duchak — "Six" — Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Robert Reddrick — "You Can't Fake the Funk: A Journey through Funk Music"

— Black Ensemble Theater

Malcolm Ruhl — "The Spitfire Grill" — American Blues Theater

Andra Velis Simon — "Caroline, or Change" — Firebrand Theatre

i/a/w TimeLine Theatre Company

Tom Vendafreddo — "The Producers" — Paramount Theatre

Fight Choreography

Jon Beal — "Cardboard Piano" — TimeLine Theatre Company

Matt Hawkins — "Hamlet" — Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Matt Hawkins — "Witch" — Writers Theatre

Ned Mochel — "True West" — Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Puppet Design

Lizi Breit and Drew Dir — "Frankenstein" — Court Theatre

Chicago Puppet Studio — "Pinocchio" — The House Theatre of Chicago

Chicago Puppet Studio — "The Steadfast Tin Soldier"

— Lookingglass Theatre Company

Stephanie Diaz — "Wolf Play" — The Gift Theatre

Phillip Huber — "Darling Grenadine" — Marriott Theatre

Projection Design

Anthony Churchill — "Scientific Method" — Rivendell Theatre Ensemble

Rasean Davonte Johnson — "Frankenstein" — Court Theatre

Kevan Loney — "The Wizard of Oz" — Paramount Theatre

G. "Max" Maxin IV — "The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey"

— American Blues Theater

Mike Tutaj — "Hamlet" — Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Artistic Specialization

Kristy Leigh Hall — Makeup Design — "Frankenstein"

— Remy Bumppo Theatre Company

Richard Jarvie — Wig & Make-up Design — "Nell Gwynn"

— Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Cassy Schillo and Wendy A. Huber — Properties Design — "All Childish Things"

— First Folio Theatre

By Theater Company:

Porchlight Music Theatre — 17

Paramount Theatre — 16

Court Theatre — 15

Chicago Shakespeare Theater — 11

Lookingglass Theatre Company — 10

American Blues Theater — 9

Writers Theatre — 9

Black Ensemble Theater — 8

Marriott Theatre — 8

Steppenwolf Theatre Company — 8

Windy City Playhouse — 8

Drury Lane Productions — 7

Goodman Theatre — 7

Remy Bumppo Theatre Company — 7

TimeLine Theatre Company — 5

Firebrand Theatre — 4

Firebrand Theatre i/a/w TimeLine Theatre Company — 4

Victory Gardens Theater — 4

About Face Theatre — 3

The Gift Theatre — 3

Mercury Theater Chicago — 3

Sideshow Theatre Company and Rivendell Theatre Ensemble — 3

First Folio Theatre — 2

Goodman Theatre i/a/w The Public Theater — 2

The House Theatre of Chicago — 2

Doug Manuel, Ashley DeSimone and TSG Theatricals — 2

A Red Orchid Theatre — 2

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble — 2

Theatre at the Center — 2

By Production:

The Producers — Paramount Theatre — 9

The Wizard of Oz — Paramount Theatre — 7

Frankenstein — Remy Bumppo Theatre Company — 6

A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder — Porchlight Music Theatre — 6

Gypsy — Porchlight Music Theatre — 6

The Steadfast Tin Soldier — Lookingglass Theatre Company — 6

A Chorus Line — Porchlight Music Theatre — 5

Frankenstein — Court Theatre — 5

Six — Chicago Shakespeare Theater — 5

Caroline, or Change — Firebrand Theatre i/a/w TimeLine Theatre Company — 4

Disney's Beauty and the Beast — Drury Lane Productions — 4

Downstate — Steppenwolf Theatre Company — 4

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein — Lookingglass Theatre Company — 4

Noises Off — Windy City Playhouse — 4

Photograph 51 — Court Theatre — 4

Queen of the Mist — Firebrand Theatre — 4

Radio Golf — Court Theatre — 4

The Recommendation — Windy City Playhouse — 4

The Spitfire Grill — American Blues Theater — 4

You Can't Fake the Funk: A Journey through Funk Music — Black Ensemble Theater — 4

The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey — American Blues Theater — 3

Indecent — Victory Gardens Theater — 3

Next to Normal — Writers Theatre — 3

Pippin — Mercury Theater Chicago — 3

Something Clean — Sideshow Theatre Company and Rivendell Theatre Ensemble — 3

This Bitter Earth — About Face Theatre — 3

Wolf Play — The Gift Theatre — 3

By Artists:

Brenda Didier - 3

Arnel Sancianco - 3

Eric Backus - 2

Janet Ulrich Brooks - 2

David Cale - 2

Matt Crowle - 2

Rashada Dawan - 2

Sean Fortunato - 2

Matt Hawkins - 2

Jeffrey D. Kmiec - 2

Christopher Kriz - 2

Jeffrey Levin - 2

Ron OJ Parson - 2

Todd Rosenthal - 2

Rick Sims - 2

Kyle Vegter and Ben Kauffman - 2

Mary Zimmerman - 2

Names of award recipients will be released immediately following the ceremony on October 21 by email and on our website under Equity Awards at www.jeffawards.org . Photos from the event will be available on our website.

The Jeff Awards website, www.jeffawards.org, lists all the current Equity nominees, along with previous recipients and nominees and other Jeff Awards information and news.


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