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Nominations announced for 47th annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards
2020-04-28

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April 28, 2020 — Chicago — With the conclusion of the 2019-2020 Chicago non-Equity theater season, the Jeff Awards announces the nominees for the 47th annual awards for theater excellence that include 120 theater artists across 21 categories. During this past seasxon, which ended a few weeks early in mid-March due to government guidelines on public gatherings related to the COVID19 virus, Jeff Awards members attended the openings of 126 productions. From these, 52 productions became "Jeff Recommended" and therefore eligible for award nominations.This year, the work of 31 non-Equity theater companies is showcased with 44 productions receiving one or more nominations. Four productions tied for most nominations including "All Quiet on the Western Front," "The Ballad of Lefty & Crabbe," "Big Fish," and "P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle," which each received seven nominations. Among theater companies, Griffin Theatre garnered the most nominations with 10, followed by Jackalope Theatre Company ( 9 ), Lifeline Theatre ( 8 ) and BoHoTheatre, Pride Films and Plays, Red Tape Theatre and Underscore Theatre ( all with 7 ).

A virtual celebration will be held Monday, June 8, 2020 to recognize theater excellence over the past non-Equity season, announce recipients and honor the dedicated theater companies so significantly impacted during these challenging times. Details on accessing the free online program will be available in early June.

The 2020 nominees are:

Production — Play

"All Quiet on the Western Front" - Red Tape Theatre

"First Love is the Revolution" - Steep Theatre Company

"Middle Passage" - Lifeline Theatre

"Mlima's Tale" - Griffin Theatre Company

"P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle" - Jackalope Theatre Company

"The Undeniable Sound of Right Now" - Raven Theatre

Production — Musical

"The Ballad of Lefty & Crabbe" - Underscore Theatre Company

"Big Fish" - BoHo Theatre

"Ghost Quartet" - Black Button Eyes Productions

"Head Over Heels" - Kokandy Productions

"Hedwig and the Angry Inch" - Theo Ubique Cabaret TheatreEnsemble

"All Quiet on the Western Front" - Red Tape Theatre

"The Ballad of Lefty & Crabbe" - Underscore Theatre Company

"Blue Stockings" - Promethean Theatre

Ensemble

"Emma" - Lifeline Theatre

"Ghost Quartet" - Black Button Eyes

"P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle" - Jackalope Theatre Company

New Work

Larry Todd Cousineau & Cindy O'Connor - "All That He Was" - Pride Films and Plays

Matt Foss - "All Quiet on the Western Front" - Red Tape Theatre

Sam Kebede - "EthiopianAmerica" - Definition Theatre Company

Jillian Leff & Joe Lino - "Small World" - The New Colony

Kenneth Lin - "Life On Paper" - Jackalope Theatre Company

Director — Play

Lili-Anne Brown - "P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle" - Jackalope Theatre Company

Spenser Davis - "Blue Stockings" - Promethean Theatre Ensemble

Spenser Davis - "Labyrinth" - Broken Nose Theatre

Matt Foss - "All Quiet on the Western Front" - Red Tape Theatre

Jerrell L. Henderson - "Mlima's Tale" - Griffin Theatre Company

Director — Musical

Donterrio Johnson - "A Man of No Importance" - Pride Films and Plays

Ed Rutherford - "Ghost Quartet" - Black Button Eyes Productions

Stephen Schellhardt - "Big Fish" - BoHo Theatre

Rusty Sneary - "The Ballad of Lefty & Crabbe" - Underscore Theatre Company

Derek Van Barham & Elizabeth Swanson - "Head Over Heels" - Kokandy Productions

Performer in a Principal Role — Play

Laura Berner Taylor ( Grace ) - "Out of Love" - Interrobang Theatre Project

Dennis Bisto ( Bèrenger ) - "The Killer" - Trap Door Theatre

Elaine Carlson ( Mrs. Kitty Warren ) - "Mrs. Warren's Profession" - Promethean Theatre Ensemble

Bailey Castle ( Barbara, Barbara's Mom, Barbara's Dad ) - "Iron Kisses" - Theatre Above the Law

Bilal Dardai ( Samir ) - "Language Rooms" - Broken Nose Theatre

Eric Gerard ( Blacky Blackerson ) - "P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle" - JackalopeTheatre Company

David Goodloe ( Mlima ) - "Mlima's Tale" - Griffin Theatre Company

Jacqueline Grandt ( Du ) - "Keely and Du" - Redtwist Theatre

Tracey Greenwood ( Vivie Warren ) - "Mrs. Warren's Profession" - Promethean Theatre Ensemble

Brookelyn Hebert ( Ada Byron Lovelace ) - "Ada and the Engine" - The Artistic Home

Mary Williamson ( Ida ) - "Life on Paper" - Jackalope Theatre Company

Performer in a Principal Role — Musical

Jeremiah Alsop ( Musidorus ) - "Head Over Heels" - Kokandy Productions

Amanda Giles ( Elizabeth ) - "If/Then" - Brown Paper Box Co.

Ryan Lanning ( Alfie Byrne ) - "A Man of No Importance" - Pride Films and Plays

Will Lidke ( Hedwig ) - "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" - Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

Amanda Raquel Martinez ( Pearl, The Victim, Lady Usher, Soldier, Scheherazade ) - "Ghost Quartet"- Black Button Eyes Productions

Shea Pender ( James "Crabbe" Hathaway ) - "The Ballad of Lefty & Crabbe" - Underscore Theatre Company

Kyle Ryan ( Theodore "Lefty" Childs ) - "The Ballad of Lefty & Crabbe" - Underscore Theatre Company

Tommy Thurston ( Edward Bloom ) - "Big Fish" - BoHo Theatre

Solo Performance

Scott Gryder ( Alex More ) — "Buyer & Cellar" - Pride Films and Plays

Scott Sawa ( Henry ) - "Here Lies Henry" - Interrobang Theatre Project

Megan Wells ( Atina Diffley ) - "Turn Here - Sweet Corn" - Saltbox Theatre Collective

Performer in a Supporting Role - Play

Lynne Baker ( Charlotte ) - "Beyond Therapy" — Eclipse Theatre Company

Shenise Brown ( Michilla Thomas ) - "Spoken Word" — MPAACT

Elaine Carlson ( Luella ) - "Why Torture Is Wrong and the People Who Love Them" — Eclipse Theatre Company-

Renee Lockett ( Aunt Mama ) - "Sugar in Our Wounds" - First Floor Theater

Marika Mashburn ( Eva Ardsley ) - "For Services Rendered" — Griffin Theatre Company

John Mossman ( Charles Babbage ) - "Ada and the Engine" - The Artistic Home

Krystal Ortiz ( Lois Ardsley ) - "For Services Rendered" - Griffin Theatre Company

Madeline Pell ( Actor 4/Harriet Smith and others ) - "Emma" - Lifeline Theatre

Shariba Rivers ( Candylady ) - "Hoodoo Love" - Raven Theatre

Michael Turrentine ( Geedi, Wamwara, Hassan Abdulla ) - "Mlima's Tale" - Griffin Theatre Company

Kevin Webb ( Eduoard ) - "The Killer" - Trap Door Theatre

Performer in a Supporting Role — Musical

Bridget Adams-King ( Kate ) - "If/Then" - Brown Paper Box Co.

Kyrie Anderson ( Sandra Bloom ) - "Big Fish" - BoHo Theatre

Brittney Brown ( The Girlfriend ) - "All That He Was" - Pride Films and Plays

Parker Guidry ( Pythio ) - "Head Over Heels" - Kokandy Productions

Parker Guidry ( Lucas ) - "If/Then" - Brown Paper Box Co.

Brian Huther ( Gene Sherman ) - "The Ballad of Lefty & Crabbe" - Underscore Theatre Company

Jeff Pierpoint ( Will Bloom ) - "Big Fish" - BoHo Theatre

Scenic Design

Alan Donahue - "Middle Passage" - Lifeline Theatre

Alan Donahue - "Whose Body?" - Lifeline Theatre

Jeffrey D. Kmiec - "The Undeniable Sound of Right Now" - Raven Theatre

Sotirios Livaditis - "For Services Rendered" - Griffin Theatre Company

Manuel Ortiz - "Last Night in Karaoke Town" — The Factory Theater

Sydney Lynne Thomas - "Hoodoo Love" - Raven Theatre

Costume Design

Aly Renee Amidei - "For Services Rendered" - Griffin Theatre Company

Stefani Azores-Gococo - "P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle" - Jackalope Theatre Company

Robert S. Kuhn - "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" - Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

Uriel Gomez - "Head Over Heels" - Kokandy Productions

Rachel M. Sypniewski - "Blue Stockings" - Promethean Theatre Ensemble

Mieka van der Ploeg - "First Love is the Revolution" - Steep Theatre Company

Sound Design

Barry Bennett - "Middle Passage" - Lifeline Theatre

Sam Clapp - "Sugar in Our Wounds" - First Floor Theater

L.J. Luthringer - "Mlima's Tale" - Griffin Theatre Company

Dan Poppen - "All Quiet on the Western Front" - Red Tape Theatre

Erik Siegling - "Small World" - The New Colony-

Lighting Design

Michelle Benda - "Out of Love" - Interrobang Theatre Project

Simean "Sim" Carpenter & Scott Tobin - "Middle Passage" - Lifeline Theatre

Jared Gooding - "Mlima's Tale" - Griffin Theatre Company

Stephen Sakowski - "All Quiet on the Western Front" - Red Tape Theatre

Eric Watkins - "Sugar in Our Wounds" - First Floor Theater

Choreography

Breon Arzell - "Head Over Heels" - Kokandy Productions

Megan Farley - "Big Fish" - BoHo Theatre

Jesse Hoisington - "The Killer" - Trap Door Theatre

Jenna Schoppe - "The Ballad of Lefty & Crabbe" - Underscore Theatre Company

Leah Urzendowski - "All Quiet on the Western Front" - Red Tape Theatre

Original Music in a Play

Ben Chang - "The Hound of the Baskervilles" - City Lit Theatre

Jeffrey Levin - "Hoodoo Love" - Raven Theatre

Jeffrey Levin - "Kiss" - Haven Theatre

Aaron Stephenson - "P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle" - Jackalope Theatre Company Shawn Wallace and Desta Sound - "Spoken Word" - MPAACT

Musical Direction

Michael McBride - "Big Fish" - BoHo Theatre

Robert Ollis - "A Man of No Importance" - Pride Films and Plays

Jeremy Ramey - "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" - Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

Jeremy Ramey - "Hello Again" - Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

Nick Sula - "Ghost Quartet" - Black Button Eyes Productions

Fight Choreography

Rachel Flesher & Zack Payne - "First Love ithe Revolution" - Steep Theatre Company

Maya Vinice Prentiss - "EthiopianAmerica" - Definition Theatre Company

Maureen Yasko & Chris Smith - "Non-Player Character" - Red Theater Chicago

Projection Design

Clare Brennan, Aaron Sawyer, & Beth Wolf - "Non-Player Character" - Red Theater Chicago

Paul Deziel - "P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle" - Jackalope Theatre Company

Paul Deziel & Alex J. Gendal - "Middle Passage" - Lifeline Theatre

Yeaji Kim - "The Effect" - Strawdog Theatre Company

G. "Max" Maxin IV - "Ghost Quartet" - Black Button Eyes Productions

Artistic Specialization

Uriel Gomez ( Make-up Design ) - "Small World" - The New Colony

Keith Ryan ( Wig Design ) - "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" - Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

Robert-Eric West ( Wig and Makeup Design ) - "Casa Valentina" - Pride Films and Plays-

Nominations by Company:

Griffin Theatre Company — 10

Jackalope Theatre Company — 9

Lifeline Theatre — 8

BoHo Theatre — 7

Pride Films and Plays — 7

Red Tape Theatre — 7

Underscore Theatre Company — 7

Black Button Eyes Productions — 6

Kokandy Productions — 6

Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre — 6

Promethean Theatre Ensemble — 5

Raven Theatre — 5

Brown Paper Box Co. — 3

First Floor Theater — 3

Interrobang Theatre Project — 3

The New Colony — 3

Steep Theatre Company — 3

Trap Door Theatre — 3

The Artistic Home — 2

Broken Nose Theatre — 2

Definition Theatre — 2

Eclipse Theatre Company — 2

MPAACT — 2

Red Theater Chicago — 2

City Lit Theater — 1

The Factory Theater — 1

Haven Theatre — 1

Redtwist Theatre — 1

Saltbox Theatre Collective — 1

Strawdog Theatre Company — 1

Theatre Above the Law — 1

By Play with multiple nominations:

"All Quiet on the Western Front" — 7

"The Ballad of Lefty & Crabbe" — 7

"Big Fish" — 7

"P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle"— 7

"Ghost Quartet" — 6

"Head Over Heels" — 6

"Mlima's Tale" — 6- more -

"Hedwig and the Angry Inch" — 5

"Middle Passage" — 5

"For Services Rendered" — 4

"Blue Stockings" — 3

"First Love is the Revolution" — 3

"Hoodoo Love" — 3

"If/Then" — 3

"The Killer" — 3

"A Man of No Importance" — 3

"Small World" — 3

"Sugar in Our Wounds" — 3

"Ada and the Engine" — 2

"All That He Was" — 2

"Emma" — 2

"EthiopianAmerica" — 2

"Life on Paper" — 2

"Mrs. Warren's Profession" — 2

"Non-Player Character" — 2

"Out of Love" — 2

"Spoken Word" — 2

"The Undeniable Sound of Right Now" — 2

Theater Artists with more than one nomination:

Elaine Carlson — 2

Spenser Davis — 2

Paul Deziel — 2

Alan Donahue — 2

Matt Foss — 2

Parker Guidry — 2

Jeffrey Levin — 2

Jeremy Ramey — 2

47th Annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards and Community Unity Celebration will be held virtually Monday, June 8. Details on accessing the free program will be made available in early June. Names of award recipients will be released immediately following the virtual program on June 8 by email and on our website under Non-Equity Awards at www.jeffawards.org .

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

ABOUT THE JEFF AWARDS

Promoting excellence in Chicago theater, The Jeff Awards began its annual recognition program in 1968. In 1973, it expanded its scope to establish the Non—Equity Wing to celebrate outstanding achievement in non—union theater. Members include 55 individuals representing a wide variety of backgrounds in theater ( including producers, directors, actors, playwrights, designers, professors of theater, entertainment lawyers and agents, and theater 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 both the members as well as Artistic and Technical theater volunteers ( the "AT Team" ), representing Artistic Directors, producers, directors and artists from Chicago theaters. The Jeff Awards fosters the artistic growth of area theater companies and artists, and promotes educational opportunities, audience appreciation, and civic pride in the achievements of the theater community. Each year, the Jeff Awards judges over 300 theatrical productions and hosts two awards ceremonies.

The 2020 Equity Jeff Awards program is scheduled to take place when the Equity recognition is traditionally held in the fall. Information on the date and format of this program will be announced in late August.

—From a press release


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