Chicago's nationally-renowned storefront and black box theatre community gathered at the Park West tonight for its annual celebration as the Jeff Awards Non-Equity Wing gave out 28 Awards in 24 categories. In addition, a Special Award for Outstanding Contribution to Chicago Theatre was given to Circle Theatre, celebrating its 25th year. The festive event, attended by over 500, was emceed by Frances Limoncelli of Lifeline Theatre and Kevin Bellie of Circle Theatre.
Top honors for Outstanding Production - Play went to Profiles Theatre's "Killer Joe," whose long, successful run has transferred to The Royal George. Outstanding Production - Musical honors were awarded to Theo Ubique's "Chess," a rarely produced show done in their tiny Rogers Park cabaret space, capping an evening in which the production walked away with a total of seven awards - the most for any single production or company. Fred Anzevino & Brenda Didier received directing awards for "Chess," as did Rick Snyder for "Killer Joe."
The highly-coveted Outstanding Ensemble award went to Raven Theatre's "Twelve Angry Men," a riveting jury room drama which has become a stage classic.
A number of experimental theatres received nods, including Red Tape Theatre for "Mouse in a Jar" for Sound Design by Miles Polaski, and Quest Theatre Ensemble for "Evolution/Creation" for James T. Scott's Puppets, tying in the Artistic Specialization category with Lucas Merino for Projection Design in The House Theatre of Chicago's "Wilson Wants it All." Receiving an award for its first Jeff-eligible production was Dream Theatre Company's "The Black Duckling," which scored for Trevor Watkins' Original Incidental Music.
Principal Actor honors went to Darrell W. Cox for his portrayal of the brutal hit man in Profiles Theatre's "Killer Joe" and Courtney Crouse as the brooding American chess champion in "Chess." Principal Actress awards were garnered by Kendra Thulin for Steep Theatre Company's sold-out, extended run of "Harper Regan" and Maggie Portman for "Chess." Ms. Portman scored her second straight Jeff Award in the category, having won for "Evita" last year.
The Jeff Awards has been honoring outstanding theatre artists annually since it was established in 1968. With up to 50 members representing a wide variety of backgrounds in theatre, it is committed to celebrating the vitality of Chicago area theatre by recognizing excellence through its recommendations, awards, and honors. 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. Jeff members evaluate over 250 theatrical productions and hold two awards ceremonies annually. 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. The next Equity Awards Ceremony, honoring productions presented under union contracts, in a recent change of date, will now be held on Monday October 25, 2010, at Drury Lane Oakbrook in Oakbrook Terrace.
2010 Non-Equity Jeff Award RECIPIENTS:
PRODUCTION - PLAY
"Killer Joe" - Profiles Theatre
PRODUCTION - MUSICAL
"Chess" - Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre i/a/w Michael James
DIRECTOR - PLAY
Rick Snyder - "Killer Joe" - Profiles Theatre
DIRECTOR - MUSICAL
Fred Anzevino & Brenda Didier - "Chess" - Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre i/a/w Michael James
"Twelve Angry Men" - Raven Theatre
ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE - PLAY
Darrell W. Cox - "Killer Joe" - Profiles Theatre
ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE - MUSICAL
Courtney Crouse - "Chess" - Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre i/a/w Michael James
ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE - PLAY
Kendra Thulin - "Harper Regan" - Steep Theatre Company
ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE - MUSICAL
Maggie Portman - "Chess" - Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre i/a/w Michael James
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - PLAY
Peter Oyloe - "The Pillowman" - Redtwist Theatre
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - MUSICAL
John B. Leen -"Chess " - Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre i/a/w Michael James
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTNG ROLE - PLAY
Nancy Friedrich - "The Crucible" - Infamous Commonwealth Theatre
Vanessa Greenway - "The Night Season" - Vitalist Theatre i/a/w Premiere Theatre & Performance
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - MUSICAL OR REVUE
Kate Garassino - "Bombs Away! " - Bailiwick Repertory Theatre
Ellen Fairey - "Graceland" - Profiles Theatre
Michael Rohd & Phillip C. Klapperich - "Wilson Wants It All" - The House Theatre of Chicago
Frances Limoncelli - "Busman’s Honeymoon" - Lifeline Theatre
Brenda Didier - "Chess" - Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre i/a/w Michael James
ORIGINAL INCIDENTAL MUSIC
Trevor Watkin - "The Black Duckling" - Dream Theatre Company
Ryan Brewster - "Chess" - Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre i/a/w Michael James
John Zuiker - "I Am My Own Wife" - Bohemian Theatre Ensemble
Sean Mallary - "St. Crispin’s Day" - Strawdog Theatre Company
Theresa Ham - "The Glorious Ones" - Bohemian Theatre Ensemble
Joanna Melville - "St. Crispin’s Day" - Strawdog Theatre Company
Miles Polaski - "Mouse in a Jar" - Red Tape Theatre
Lucas Merino - Video Design - "Wilson Wants It All" - The House Theatre of Chicago
James T. Scott - Puppets - "Evolution/Creation" - Quest Theatre Ensemble
Geoff Coates - "Treasure Island" - Lifeline Theatre