Monday, October 20, 2008

Mill and Firehouse Win Top RTCC Awards

Posted by Bruce Miller
Urinetown at Swift Creek Mill Theatre swept the first Richmond Theatre Critics Circle Awards last night at the Firehouse, receiving the most nominations of any production (11) and the most awards (5):

Best Musical
Best Direction (Musical) – Tom Width,
Best Choreographer – Brandon Becker,
Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Musical) – Debra Wagoner, and
Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Design – Joe Doran.

The Late Henry Moss, produced by Firehouse Theatre Project, conquered the competition in the play categories, receiving:

Best Play,
Best Actor (Play) – Justin Dray, and
Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Play) – Jennie Meharg.

All told, Swift Creek Mill Theatre garnered six RTCCAs, as did Barksdale in the very even-handed awards event. Firehouse Theatre Project earned three awards, Richmond Shakespeare captured two, and ComedySportz won one. Enjoying good company in the “no wins” camp were African American Repertory Theatre, Carpenter Science Theatre, Chamberlayne Actors Theatre, Henley Street Theatre, Mystery Dinner Theatre, Richmond Triangle Players, Sycamore Rouge, and Theatre IV.

Other awards recipients included:

Stephen Ryan – Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Play) – Richard II (Richmond Shakespeare),
Sandy Dacus – Best Musical Direction – Guys and Dolls (Barksdale),
Jason Marks – Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Musical) – Guys and Dolls (Barksdale),
Rebecca Cairns – Outstanding Achievement, Costume Design – As You Like It [indoor] (Richmond Shakespeare),
Ron Keller – Outstanding Achievement, Set Design – Guys and Dolls (Barksdale),
Audra Honaker – Best Actress in a Leading Role (Musical) – Once Upon a Mattress (Swift Creek Mill Theatre),
Scott Wichmann – Best Actor in a Leading Role (Musical) – Guys and Dolls (Barksdale),
Bruce Miller – Best Direction (Play) – The Little Dog Laughed (Barksdale), and
Irene Ziegler – Best Actress in a Leading Role (Play) –Doubt (Barksdale).

The fact that major artists (and exceptional productions) like Katherine Louis, Laine Satterfield, David Bridgewater, Patti D’Beck, Leslie Owens Harrington, Paul Deiss, Joy Williams, Richard Koch, Robert Throckmorton, Sue Griffin, Liz Hopper, Lynne Hartman, Rachel Abrams, Ford Flannagan, Steve Perigard, Morrie Piersol, Keri Wormald, Margarette Joyner, Katie McCall, Susan Sanford, Duke Lafoon, Doubt, and Guys and Dolls failed to win in their appointed categories is a testament to the depth of talent in the Richmond Theatre Community.

As she herself mentioned during her hosting duties, Jill Bari Steinberg wasn’t even nominated.

A special award recognizing an Ongoing Contribution to Richmond Area Theatre was named in honor of Liz Marks, and presented to her daughter and brother. The festivities were fast moving and fun, and helped call attention to many, many achievements in Richmond’s 2007-08 theatrical season. Next year the awards ceremony will be at the Empire, which will allow for far greater attendance. Mark Sunday evening, Oct 18, 2009 on your calendars now. They’ll be plenty of tickets, and all proceeds will go once again to support the Richmond Theatre Artists Fund, an outstanding cause.

Congratulations and three cheers to all the winners and nominees. Congratulations also to the Richmond Theatre Critics Circle and the Firehouse for making the first iteration of this new annual event such a soaring success.

--Bruce Miller

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