Live Theatre Week spotlights a plethora of free shows, discount tickets and other special offers from October 12 to October 19. As part of that celebration, Theatre Puget Sound (TPS), a regional theater resource and arts-boosting organization, announced its first annual theater awards. A panel of 18 local critics (myself included) nominated 169 individual candidates, 44 productions and 26 theater companies from the 2008/2009 season. TPS chose the final nominees from the top four contenders in each category, who are voted on by the 1,500 members of TPS.
I’m happy for all the nominees, particularly for anyone associated with ACT’s beautiful Eurydice or the powerhouse debut season of New Century Theatre Company. But I am also, of course, grumbling about a few notable absences on the list: Sylvester Foday Kamara, who gave the year’s best performance in Book-It’s The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, and any mention at all of Washington Ensemble Theatre’s slight but quite memorable The Mistakes Madeline Made. And some of the judges are obviously new to the scene: Set designer Etta Lilienthal as a Person to Watch? Indeed—we’ve all been watching her for several years now.
I’ll get over it. There’s some fine work being honored, and you can be there at Seattle’s version of the Tony Awards when the winners are announced. The Gregory Awards take place on Monday, October 19 at 7:30 at the Intiman Theatre (201 Mercer St). Tickets are $20 ($25 at the door); call 800-838-3006 or go to brownpapertickets.com. In addition to the awards, the night includes hors d’oeuvres, a few cocktails (a no-host bar) and entertainment by The Love Markets, the new band featuring the wildly engaging Nick Garrison and his Cabaret costar Angie Louise.
Here are the award categories:
(12th Annual Gregory A. Falls Award)
Honoree: Photographer Chris Bennion, whose work has documented Seattle’s theater for over three decades.
Hans Altwies for Seattle Rep’s The Seafarer
Charles Leggett for Seattle Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice
MJ Sieber for Strawberry Theatre Workshop’s The Elephant Man and Guttenberg: The Musical
Paul Morgan Stetler for New Century Theatre Company’s The Adding Machine and ACT’s Eurydice
Kimberly King for ACT’s Becky’s New Car
Hana Lass for Intiman’s Crime and Punishment and Seattle Shakespeare’s The Tempest
Amy Thone for New Century Theatre Company’s The Adding Machine
Billie Wildrick for The 5th Avenue’s Sunday in the Park With George and ACT’s Das Barbecu
Kurt Beattie for ACT’s Becky’s New Car and Seattle Children’s Theatre’s Pharaoh Serket and the Lost Stone of Fire
Julie Beckman for Strawberry Theatre Workshop’s The Elephant Man
John Langs for New Century Theatre Company’s The Adding Machine
Allison Narver for New Century Theatre Company’s Orange Flower Water
Person to Watch
Playwright Vincent Delaney
Scenic designer Etta Lilienthal
Actor/Musician Don Darryl Rivera
Actor/Musician Robertson Witmer
Theater of the Year
New Century Theatre Company
Strawberry Theatre Workshop