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Nominees For The 52nd Annual Equity Jeff Awards Announced
Sep 15, 2020


Jeff AwardsThe Jeff Awards announces the nominees for the 52nd annual awards for theater excellence that include 142 theater artists across 30 artistic and technical categories. The awards will be presented in an online program on Monday, November 9, 2020 at 7:00PM.

The traditional Equity season runs August 1st through July 31st however, this year, it ended March 13th due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the course of the 2019-2020 season, Jeff Awards members attended the openings of 78 productions. From these, 64 productions became "Jeff Recommended." With two productions having runs so short (due to the pandemic shutdown), a total of 62 productions became eligible for 2020 award nominations.

This year, the work of 28 Equity theater companies is showcased with 37 productions receiving one or more nominations. Musicals led the nominations with "An American in Paris" (12) and "Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies" (8). Five productions tied with seven nominations including "The Boys in the Band," "Bug," "Grey House," "King Hedley II," and "The Color Purple." Among theater companies, Drury Lane Productions captured the most nominations with 22, followed by Paramount Theatre (13), Porchlight Music Theatre, Court Theatre and Steppenwolf Theatre Company (all with 11), TimeLine Theatre (10), and eight nominations each for A Red Orchid Theatre, Windy City Playhouse and Writers Theatre.

The virtual awards ceremony will be presented on November 9th to recognize theater excellence over the past 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 late October.

2020 EQUITY JEFF AWARD NOMINEES

Production - Play (Large)
"Bug" - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
"The First Deep Breath" - Victory Gardens Theater
"King Hedley II" - Court Theatre
"The King's Speech" - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
"Oslo" - TimeLine Theatre Company
"Stick Fly" - Writers Theatre

Production - Play (Midsize)
"The Boys in the Band" - Windy City Playhouse
"Grey House" - A Red Orchid Theatre
"His Shadow: A Parable" - 16th Street Theater
"The Leopard Play, or Sad Songs for Lost Boys" - Steep Theatre Company
"Sheepdog" - Shattered Globe Theatre

Production - Musical or Revue (Large)
"An American in Paris" - Drury Lane Productions
"Beauty and the Beast" - Paramount Theatre
"The Color Purple" - Drury Lane Productions
"Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies" - Porchlight Music Theatre
"Into the Woods" - Writers Theatre
"Something Rotten!" - Marriott Theatre

Production - Musical or Revue (Midsize)
"Always...Patsy Cline" - Firebrand Theatre
"Monty Python's Spamalot" - Mercury Theater Chicago
"Verboten" - The House Theatre of Chicago

Ensemble - Play
"The Boys in the Band" - Windy City Playhouse
"The First Deep Breath" - Victory Gardens Theater
"Grey House" - A Red Orchid Theatre
"How to Defend Yourself" - Victory Gardens Theater
"Kill Move Paradise" - TimeLine Theatre Company
"The Leopard Play, or Sad Songs for Lost Boys" - Steep Theatre Company
"Stick Fly" - Writers Theatre

Ensemble - Musical or Revue
"An American in Paris" - Drury Lane Productions
"The Color Purple" - Drury Lane Productions
"Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies" - Porchlight Music Theatre
"Into the Woods" - Writers Theatre
"Something Rotten!" - Marriott Theatre

New Work
Lee Edward Colston II - "The First Deep Breath" - Victory Gardens Theater
Steven Dietz - "How a Boy Falls" - Northlight Theatre
Gordon Greenberg and Steve Rosen, Michael Mahler and Alan Schmuckler - "The Secret of My Success" - Paramount Theatre
Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon - "The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley" - Northlight Theatre
Levi Holloway - "Grey House" - A Red Orchid Theatre
Jason Narducy and Brett Neveu - "Verboten" - The House Theatre of Chicago
Douglas Post - "Howards End" - Remy Bumppo Theatre Company
Fouad Teymour - "Twice, Thrice, Frice..." - Silk Road Rising in association with International Voices Project
Loy A. Webb - "His Shadow: A Parable" - 16th Street Theater

Director - Play (Large)
Nick Bowling - "Oslo" - TimeLine Theatre Company
Wardell Julius Clark - "Kill Move Paradise" - TimeLine Theatre Company
David Cromer - "Bug" - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Ron OJ Parson - "King Hedley II" - Court Theatre
Vanessa Stalling - "Roe" - Goodman Theatre

Director - Play (Midsize)
Laura Alcala Baker - "The Leopard Play, or Sad Songs for Lost Boys" - Steep Theatre Company
Wardell Julius Clark - "His Shadow: A Parable" - 16th Street Theater
Wardell Julius Clark - "Sheepdog" - Shattered Globe Theatre
Carl Menninger - "The Boys in the Band" - Windy City Playhouse
Shade Murray - "Grey House" - A Red Orchid Theatre
Nick Sandys - "Howards End" - Remy Bumppo Theatre Company
Randy White - "Midsummer (A Play with Songs)" - The Greenhouse Theater Center

Director - Musical or Revue (Large)
Lili-Anne Brown - "The Color Purple" - Drury Lane Productions
Brenda Didier & Florence Walker-Harris - "Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies" - Porchlight Music Theatre
Gary Griffin - "Into the Woods" - Writers Theatre
Lynne Kurdziel-Formato - "An American in Paris" - Drury Lane Productions
Scott Weinstein - "Something Rotten!" - Marriott Theatre

Director - Musical or Revue (Midsize)
Nathan Allen - "Verboten" - The House Theatre of Chicago
Brigitte Ditmars - "Always...Patsy Cline" - Firebrand Theatre
L. Walter Stearns - "Monty Python's Spamalot" - Mercury Theater Chicago

Performer in a Principal Role - Play
Carrie Coon (Agnes White) - "Bug" - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Chaon Cross (Helena) - "Midsummer (A Play with Songs)" - The Greenhouse Theater Center
Charles Andrew Gardner (Teeny) - "His Shadow: A Parable" - 16th Street Theater
Harry Hadden-Paton (Bertie) - "The King's Speech" - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Patrick Mulvey (Bob) - "Midsummer (A Play with Songs)" - The Greenhouse Theater Center
Kelvin Roston, Jr. (Hedley) - "King Hedley II" - Court Theatre
Leslie Ann Sheppard (Amina) - "Sheepdog" - Shattered Globe Theatre
Julia Siple (Jenny) - "Mosquitoes" - Steep Theatre Company
Namir Smallwood (Peter Evans) - "Bug" - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Eliza Stoughton (Margaret Schlegel) - "Howards End" - Remy Bumppo Theatre Company
Bri Sudia (Mona Juul) - "Oslo" - TimeLine Theatre Company

Performer in a Principal Role - Musical
Josh Drake (Jerry Mulligan) - "An American in Paris" - Drury Lane Productions
Leigh-Ann Esty (Lise Dassin) - "An American in Paris" - Drury Lane Productions
Lucy Godinez (Nancy) - "Oliver!" - Marriott Theatre
Beth Stafford Laird (Belle) - "Beauty and the Beast" - Paramount Theatre
Eben K. Logan (Celie) - "The Color Purple" - Drury Lane Productions
Emilie Lynn (Mary Poppins) - "Mary Poppins" - Drury Lane Productions
Alex Prakken (Jack Kelly) - "Disney's Newsies" - Paramount Theatre
Hollis Resnik (Norma Desmond) - "Sunset Boulevard" - Porchlight Music Theatre
Billy Harrigan Tighe (Brantley Foster) - "The Secret of My Success" - Paramount Theatre
Jonah D. Winston (King Arthur) - "Monty Python's Spamalot" - Mercury Theater Chicago

Solo Performance
Deirdre O'Connell (Dana H.) - "Dana H." - Goodman Theatre
Rebecca Spence (Narrator) - "Every Brilliant Thing" - Windy City Playhouse

Performer in a Revue
Harmony France / Christina Hall (Patsy Cline / Louise Seger) - "Always...Patsy Cline" - Firebrand Theatre
Donica Lynn (The Chanteuse) - "Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies" - Porchlight Music Theatre
Lorenzo Rush Jr. (The Raconteur) - "Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies" - Porchlight Music Theatre

Performer in a Supporting Role - Play
Kierra Bunch (Tonya) - "King Hedley II" - Court Theatre
Lisa Dawn (Jen) - "The Cake" - Buffalo Theatre Ensemble
Anish Jethmalani (Ahmed Qurie) - "Oslo" - TimeLine Theatre Company
Dan Klarer (Egbert Bakewell) - "Jeeves Saves the Day" - First Folio Theatre
James Leaming (Ronald Reagan) - "Five Presidents" - American Blues Theater
Marcus D. Moore (Kodak/Man) - "His Shadow: A Parable" - 16th Street Theater
Deanna Reed-Foster (Pearl Thomas ) - "The First Deep Breath" - Victory Gardens Theater
Sadieh Rifai (Eva) - "Do You Feel Anger?" - A Red Orchid Theatre
James Seol (Wen Chang) - "The Great Leap" - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
A.C. Smith (Elmore) - "King Hedley II" - Court Theatre
John Tufts (Edmond Rostand) - "Bernhardt/Hamlet" - Goodman Theatre
Celeste Williams (Ruth Jones) - "The First Deep Breath" - Victory Gardens Theater
Larry Yando (Constant Coquelin) - "Bernhardt/Hamlet" - Goodman Theatre

Performer in a Supporting Role - Musical
Ephie Aardema (Harriet Smith) - "Emma" - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Larry Adams (Max von Mayerling) - "Sunset Boulevard" - Porchlight Music Theatre
Skyler Adams (Adam Hochberg) - "An American in Paris" - Drury Lane Productions
Sydney Charles (Shug Avery) - "The Color Purple" - Drury Lane Productions
Erica Evans (Milo Davenport) - "An American in Paris" - Drury Lane Productions
Jackson Evans (Lumiere) - "Beauty and the Beast" - Paramount Theatre
Jason Grimm (Hines) - "The Pajama Game" - Theatre at the Center
Nicole Michelle Haskins (Sofia) - "The Color Purple" - Drury Lane Productions
Heidi Kettenring (Vera Prescott) - "The Secret of My Success" - Paramount Theatre
Ross Lehman (Nostradamus) - "Something Rotten!" - Marriott Theatre
Meghan Murphy (Lady of the Lake) - "Monty Python's Spamalot" - Mercury Theater Chicago

Scenic Design - Large
William Boles - "Disney's Newsies" - Paramount Theatre
William Boles - "The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley" - Northlight Theatre
Linda Buchanan - "Stick Fly" - Writers Theatre
Regina Garcia - "King Hedley II" - Court Theatre
Takeshi Kata - "Bug" - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Jeffrey D. Kmiec - "Beauty and the Beast" - Paramount Theatre

Scenic Design - Midsize
Kurtis Boetcher - "Grey House" - A Red Orchid Theatre
William Boles - "The Boys in the Band" - Windy City Playhouse
Jose Manuel Díaz-Soto - "Twice, Thrice, Frice..." - Silk Road Rising in association with International Voices Project
Angela Weber Miller - "Sherlock's Last Case" - First Folio Theatre
Joe Schermoly - "The Gulf" - About Face Theatre

Costume Design - Large
Karl Green - "An American in Paris" - Drury Lane Productions
Theresa Ham - "Beauty and the Beast" - Paramount Theatre
Theresa Ham - "Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies" - Porchlight Music Theatre
Theresa Ham - "Something Rotten!" - Marriott Theatre
Robin L. McGee - "Mary Poppins" - Drury Lane Productions
Alison Siple - "The Mousetrap" - Court Theatre

Costume Design - Midsize
Uriel Gomez - "The Boys in the Band" - Windy City Playhouse
Kristy Leigh Hall - "Howards End" - Remy Bumppo Theatre Company
Rachel Lambert - "Jeeves Saves the Day" - First Folio Theatre

Sound Design - Large
Mikhail Fiksel - "Dana H." - Goodman Theatre
Christopher M. LaPorte - "King Hedley II" - Court Theatre
Jeffrey Levin - "Kill Move Paradise" - TimeLine Theatre Company
Andre Pluess and Christopher LaPorte - "Oedipus Rex" - Court Theatre
Josh Schmidt - "Bug" - Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Sound Design - Midsize
Grover Hollway - "Verboten" - The House Theatre of Chicago
Christopher Kriz - "Sheepdog" - Shattered Globe Theatre
Jeffrey Levin - "Grey House" - A Red Orchid Theatre
Sarah D. Espinoza - "The Boys in the Band" - Windy City Playhouse

Lighting Design - Large
Lee Fiskness - "An American in Paris" - Drury Lane Productions
Lee Fiskness - "Into the Woods" - Writers Theatre
Heather Gilbert - "Bug" - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Jesse Klug - "Beauty and the Beast" - Paramount Theatre
Keith Parham - "The Great Leap" - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Keith Parham - "Oedipus Rex" - Court Theatre

Lighting Design - Midsize
Erik S. Barry - "The Boys in the Band" - Windy City Playhouse
Mike Durst - "Howards End" - Remy Bumppo Theatre Company
Mike Durst and Claire Chrzan - "Grey House" - A Red Orchid Theatre
David Goodman-Edberg - "His Shadow: A Parable" - 16th Street Theater
Rachel Levy - "The Gulf" - About Face Theatre
Jason Lynch - "Sheepdog" - Shattered Globe Theatre

Choreography
Joshua Blake Carter - "Disney's Newsies" - Paramount Theatre
Brenda Didier & Florence Walker-Harris - "Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies" - Porchlight Music Theatre
Linda Fortunato - "Irving Berlin's White Christmas" - Theatre at the Center
Lynne Kurdziel-Formato - "An American in Paris" - Drury Lane Productions
Alex Sanchez - "Something Rotten!" - Marriott Theatre

Original Music in a Play
John Gromada - "The King's Speech" - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Pornchanok Kanchanabanca - "The Great Leap" - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Ladysmith Black Mambazo - "Lindiwe" - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Jeffrey Levin - "Kill Move Paradise" - TimeLine Theatre Company
Joanna Lynne Staub - "Bernhardt/Hamlet" - Goodman Theatre

Musical Direction
Matt Deitchman - "Into the Woods" - Writers Theatre
Jermaine Hill - "The Color Purple" - Drury Lane Productions
Jermaine Hill - "Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies" - Porchlight Music Theatre
Chris Sargent - "An American in Paris" - Drury Lane Productions
Andra Velis Simon - "Always...Patsy Cline" - Firebrand Theatre
William Underwood - "Almost Heaven: John Denver's America" - Theatre at the Center

Projection Design
Anthony Churchill - "Sunset Boulevard" - Porchlight Music Theatre
Hana Kim - "The King's Speech" - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Kevan Loney - "An American in Paris" - Drury Lane Productions
Kevan Loney - "Mary Poppins" - Drury Lane Productions
Mike Tutaj - "Oslo" - TimeLine Theatre Company
Mike Tutaj - "The Secret of My Success" - Paramount Theatre

Artistic Specialization
Breon Arzell (Movement Choreographer) - "Kill Move Paradise" - TimeLine Theatre Company
Steve Cuiffo (Illusion and Lip Sync Consultant) - "Dana H." - Goodman Theatre
Micah Figueroa (Intimacy & Violence Director) - "The Leopard Play, or Sad Songs for Lost Boys" - Steep Theatre Company
Matt Hawkins (Fight Choreography) - "How to Defend Yourself" - Victory Gardens Theater
Wendy A. Huber and Margaret Garofalo (Properties Design) - "Sherlock's Last Case" - First Folio Theatre
Erin Kilmurray (Movement Design) - "Oedipus Rex" - Court Theatre


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