Theatre In Chicago      
Your Source For What's On Stage In Chicago 

   Quick Search
OR
Search by date:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Theatre News Wire

Jeff Awards 2015 Equity Nominations
Aug 21, 2015


Jeff AwardsSix world premiere plays, three world premiere musicals, and three new adaptations seen first by Chicago audiences were among those receiving Jeff nominations by the Jeff Awards Committee. 187 nominations in 36 categories honor Chicago Equity theatrical productions that opened between August 1, 2014 and July 31, 2015.

In its first year of Jeff Awards eligibility, Paramount Theatre led all theatres with 16 nominations, all for musicals in the Large Theatre category.  "Les Miserables" and the rock opera "The Who's Tommy" received six each, and "Mary Poppins" garnered four.  Drury Lane Productions received 13 nominations, including five for "Billy Elliot, the Musical", and three each for "Camelot" and "West Side Story".  The Marriott Theatre had 12 nominations, with five for "The King and I" and three for "City of Angels".

Nominations for plays at Large Theatres were led by Steppenwolf Theatre Company with 12, five were for "Airline Highway", and four for "Marie Antoinette"; and Chicago Shakespeare Theater received 11 nominations, including four for its new musical "Sense and Sensibility".
 
Midsize theatres were well represented by Porchlight Music Theatre with 11 nominations, five for the musical revue "Sondheim on Sondheim" and three each for musicals "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" and "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street"; and Mercury Theater Chicago with nine nominations, six for its co-production with Theatre at the Center of the musical revue "Ring of Fire, The Music of Johnny Cash" and three for the musical "The Addams Family".  In its first season as an Equity theatre, The Hypocrites received nine nominations, eight were for "All Our Tragic", an epic 12-hour adaptation of the 32 surviving Greek tragedies.

For the coveted Ensemble category, the Jeff Awards Committee nominated eight productions: Steppenwolf Theatre Company's "Airline Highway", about the denizens of a faltering motel outside of New Orleans (which transferred intact to Broadway); The Hypocrites' "All Our Tragic", Sean Graney's contemporary mashup of the Greek tragedies; TimeLine Theatre Company's "The Apple Family Plays", two of Richard Nelson's plays about a family's dinner table gatherings through the years; "The Humans" at American Theater Company, portraying a family's implosion; the docu-drama "The Project(s)", also at American Theater Company, recounting the rise and fall of the Chicago public housing projects; "A Q Brothers' Christmas Carol" at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, a hip-hop version of the holiday classic; The House Theatre of Chicago's "Season On The Line", about a struggling theatre trying to mount the year's plays; and "The White Road" at Irish Theatre of Chicago, about a thrilling and treacherous expedition to Antarctica.  Actors' Equity Association supports the Equity Jeff Awards by sponsoring the Ensemble Award.

New Work and New Adaptation nominations recognized plays that had their world premieres in Chicago. New Work nominations went to Bruce Graham for "White Guy on the Bus" at Northlight Theatre, a complex and explosive examination of race, intent and racial biases; Laura Jacqmin for Rivendell Theatre Ensemble's "Look, we are breathing", three women's reflections on their conflicted emotions over the death of a teen; Rohina Malik for "The Mecca Tales" at Chicago Dramatists, the personal journeys of five American Muslim women during a pilgrimage to Mecca; the late PJ Paparelli and Joshua Jaeger for their provocative examination of Chicago public housing in "The Project(s)" at American Theatre Company; Caitlin Parrish for "The Downpour" at Route 66 Theatre Company, a thriller about two sisters dealing with the legacy of their traumatic childhood; and Mat Smart for "The Royal Society of Antarctica" at The Gift Theatre, the tale of a young woman at a remote Antarctica facility searching for answers to her mother's disappearance.

New Work Musical nominations went to Paul Gordon for "Sense and Sensibility" at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, a moving chamber piece based on the Jane Austen novel; GQ, JQ, Jackson Doran and Postell Pringle for "A Q Brothers' Christmas Carol", their hip-hop take on Charles Dickens' classic story, also at Chicago Shakespeare Theater; and Jessica Thebus, Andre Pluess and Amanda Dehnert for Northlight Theatre's "Shining Lives: A Musical", a heart-rending portrait of the lives of young women poisoned while working at Chicago's Radium Dial Company in the 1920's.

New Adaptation nominations went to David Catlin for his dynamic reinvention of Herman Melville's "Moby Dick" at Lookingglass Theatre Company in association with The Actors' Gymnasium; to Sean Graney for his epic Greek tragedies marathon "All Our Tragic" at The Hypocrites; and to Nambi E. Kelley for her intense distillation of Richard Wright's "Native Son" presented by Court Theatre and American Blues Theater.

During the 2014-15 season, Jeff Awards judges attended opening nights of 149 Equity productions offered by 61 producing organizations, and from these openings, 112 productions were "Jeff Recommended" and eligible for award nominations. 

The 47th Annual Equity Jeff Awards ceremony honoring excellence in professional theatre produced within the immediate Chicago area will be held on Monday, October 5 at Drury Lane Oakbrook, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace.  Emceeing the festivities are multi-talented award winning performers Cheryl Lynn Bruce and E. Faye Butler.

Performances featuring cast members from nominated musicals and revues and video segments from nominated plays will highlight the October 5 ceremony.  Pre-show appetizers and cash bar will be offered from 6 to 7:30 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony, directed by Michael Weber, and a lavish buffet reception immediately thereafter.

Advance purchase tickets, which include the ceremony and pre- and post-show parties, are $75 ($55 for members of Actors' Equity Association, United Scenic Artists, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, Stage Managers' Association, The Dramatists Guild of America, and American Federation of Musicians). The evening is black tie optional and the public is invited to attend. To purchase tickets, visit the Jeff Awards website at www.jeffawards.org. For more information, contact Jeff Equity Chair Merril Prager at equitywing@jeffawards.org.

The Jeff Awards has been honoring outstanding theatre artists annually since it was established in 1968. With up to 55 members representing a wide variety of backgrounds in theatre, the Jeff Awards Committee 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. Each year, the Jeff Awards Committee evaluates over 250 theatrical productions and holds two awards ceremonies. Originally chartered to recognize only Equity productions, the Jeff Awards Non-Equity Wing was established in 1973 to celebrate outstanding achievement in non-union theatre.

2015 EQUITY JEFF AWARD NOMINEES

PRODUCTION - PLAY - LARGE
"Airline Highway" - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
"The Diary of Anne Frank" - Writers Theatre
"The Little Foxes" - Goodman Theatre
"Moby Dick" - Lookingglass Theatre Company in association with The Actors' Gymnasium
"Native Son" - Court Theatre and American Blues Theater

PRODUCTION - PLAY - MIDSIZE
"All Our Tragic" - The Hypocrites
"The Downpour" - Route 66 Theatre Company
"The Royale" - American Theater Company
"Travesties" - Remy Bumppo Theatre Company
"The White Road" - Irish Theatre of Chicago

PRODUCTION - MUSICAL - LARGE
"Billy Elliot, the Musical" - Drury Lane Productions
"City of Angels" - The Marriott Theatre
"The King and I" - The Marriott Theatre
"Les Miserables" - Paramount Theatre
"Mary Poppins" - Paramount Theatre
"The Who's Tommy" - Paramount Theatre

PRODUCTION - MUSICAL - MIDSIZE
"The Addams Family" - Mercury Theater Chicago
"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" - Porchlight Music Theatre
"Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" - Porchlight Music Theatre

PRODUCTION - REVUE
"Men of Soul with a Tribute to Bill Withers" - Black Ensemble Theater
"Panic on Cloud 9" - The Second City
"Ring of Fire, The Music of Johnny Cash" - Mercury Theater Chicago and
        Theatre at the Center
"Sondheim on Sondheim" - Porchlight Music Theatre

DIRECTOR - PLAY
Jaime CastaƱeda - "The Royale" - American Theater Company
David Catlin - "Moby Dick" - Lookingglass Theatre Company in association with
        The Actors' Gymnasium
Sean Graney - "All Our Tragic" - The Hypocrites
Nick Sandys - "Travesties" - Remy Bumppo Theatre Company
Erica Weiss - "The Downpour" - Route 66 Theatre Company
Henry Wishcamper - "The Little Foxes" - Goodman Theatre

DIRECTOR - MUSICAL
Nick Bowling - "City of Angels" - The Marriott Theatre
Nick Bowling - "The King and I" - The Marriott Theatre
Jim Corti - "Les Miserables" - Paramount Theatre
Jim Corti - "The Who's Tommy" - Paramount Theatre
Rachel Rockwell - "Billy Elliot, the Musical" - Drury Lane Productions
Rachel Rockwell - "Mary Poppins" - Paramount Theatre

DIRECTOR - REVUE
Nick Bowling - "Sondheim on Sondheim" - Porchlight Music Theatre
Daryl Brooks - "Men of Soul with a Tribute to Bill Withers" - Black Ensemble Theater
Brian Russell - "Ring of Fire, The Music of Johnny Cash" - Mercury Theater Chicago and
        Theatre at the Center

ENSEMBLE
"Airline Highway" - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
"All Our Tragic" - The Hypocrites
"The Apple Family Plays" - TimeLine Theatre Company
"The Humans" - American Theater Company
"The Project(s)" - American Theater Company
"A Q Brothers' Christmas Carol" - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
"Season on the Line" - The House Theatre of Chicago
"The White Road" - Irish Theatre of Chicago

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE - PLAY
Allen Gilmore (Vladimir) - "Waiting for Godot" - Court Theatre
Francis Guinan (Tommy) - "The Night Alive" - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Francis Guinan (Ray) - "White Guy on the Bus" - Northlight Theatre
Jerod Haynes (Bigger) - "Native Son" - Court Theatre and American Blues Theater
Jerod Haynes (Jay) - "The Royale" - American Theater Company
Mark L. Montgomery (Anthony Reilly) - "Outside Mullingar" - Northlight Theatre
Larry Yando (King Lear) - "King Lear" - Chicago Shakespeare Theater

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE - MUSICAL
Anthony Crivello (Louis Prima) - "Louis & Keely 'Live' at the Sahara" - HackFeld LLC
Nicholas Dantes (Billy) - "Billy Elliot, the Musical" - Drury Lane Productions
Devin DeSantis (Tommy) - "The Who's Tommy" - Paramount Theatre
Karl Hamilton (Gomez Addams) - "The Addams Family" - Mercury Theater Chicago
Bill Larkin (Prologus/Pseudolus) - "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" -
        Porchlight Music Theatre

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE - PLAY
Brenda Barrie  (Robin) - "The Downpour" - Route 66 Theatre Company
Janet Ulrich Brooks (Sonia) - "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" - Goodman Theatre
Hillary Clemens (Crystal) - "Bethany" - The Gift Theatre
Kate Fry (Rosemary Muldoon) - "Outside Mullingar" - Northlight Theatre
Mariann Mayberry (Shelley) - "Grand Concourse" - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Lia D. Mortensen (Julianna) - "The Other Place" - Profiles Theatre
Caroline Neff (Hazel) - "The Downpour" - Route 66 Theatre Company
Eileen Niccolai (Serafina Delle Rose) - "The Rose Tattoo" - Shattered Globe Theatre

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE - MUSICAL
Shoshana Bean (Cee Cee Bloom) - "Beaches, A New Musical" - Drury Lane Productions
in association with Jennifer Maloney-Prezioso
Rebecca Finnegan (Nellie Lovett) - "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" -
        Porchlight Music Theatre
Heidi Kettenring (Anna Leonowens) - "The King and I" - Marriott Theatre
Megan McGinnis (Marianne Dashwood) - "Sense and Sensibility" -
        Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Susie McMonagle (Mrs. Wilkinson) - "Billy Elliot, the Musical" - Drury Lane Productions

ACTOR OR ACTRESS IN A REVUE
Michael Monroe Goodman (Young Johnny) - "Ring of Fire, The Music of Johnny Cash" -                
        Mercury Theater Chicago and Theatre at the Center
Cory Goodrich (June Carter Cash) - "Ring of Fire, The Music of Johnny Cash" -
        Mercury Theater Chicago and Theatre at the Center
John Hartman (Ensemble) - " Panic on Cloud 9" - The Second City
James Earl Jones II (Ensemble) - "Sondheim on Sondheim" - Porchlight Music Theatre
Kent M. Lewis (Johnny) - "Ring of Fire, The Music of Johnny Cash" -
        Mercury Theater Chicago and Theatre at the Center

SOLO PERFORMANCE
Ronald Keaton (Winston Churchill) - "Churchill" - SoloChicago Theatre and
        Greenhouse Theater Center
Linda Reiter (Mary) - "The Testament of Mary" - Victory Gardens Theater
Kelvin Roston, Jr. (Donny) - "Twisted Melodies" - Congo Square Theatre Company
Steven Strafford (Himself) - "Methtacular!" - About Face Theatre
        in association with Justin Brill

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - PLAY
Greg Matthew Anderson (Tristan Tzara) - "Travesties" - Remy Bumppo Theatre Company
Behzad Dabu (Amit) - "Samsara" - Victory Gardens Theater
Anthony Fleming III (Queequeg/Ensemble) - "Moby Dick" - Lookingglass Theatre Company
        in association with The Actors' Gymnasium
K. Todd Freeman (Sissy Na Na) - "Airline Highway" - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Nic Grelli (Alvaro Mangiacavallo) - "The Rose Tattoo" - Shattered Globe Theatre
Larry Yando (Benjamin Hubbard) - " The Little Foxes" - Goodman Theatre

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - MUSICAL
Matthew Crowle (Hysterium) - "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" -
        Porchlight Music Theatre
Devin DeSantis (Marius) - "Les Miserables" - Paramount Theatre
Sean Allan Krill (Colonel Brandon) - "Sense and Sensibility" - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Ross Lehman (Moonface Martin) - "Anything Goes" - Marriott Theatre
Travis Taylor (Lancelot) - "Camelot" - Drury Lane Productions

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - PLAY
Annabel Armour (Virginia) - "The Clean House" - Remy Bumppo Theatre Company
Dana Black (Actor 6) - "Abraham Lincoln Was a F*gg*t" - About Face Theatre
Kate Buddeke (Tanya) - "Airline Highway" - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Kate Buddeke (Terry) - "Side Man" - American Blues Theater
Patrese D. McClain (Shatique) - "White Guy on the Bus" - Northlight Theatre
Cassidy Slaughter-Mason (Avery Willard) - "Rapture, Blister, Burn" - Goodman Theatre

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - MUSICAL
Michelle Aravena (Anita) - "West Side Story" - Drury Lane Productions
Kristen Choi (Lady Thiang) - "The King and I" - Marriott Theatre
Marya Grandy (Hildy Esterhazy) - "On the Town" - Marriott Theatre
Meghan Murphy (Oolie/Donna) - "City of Angels" - Marriott Theatre
Colette Todd (Sandra Bloom) - "Big Fish" - Theatre at the Center

NEW WORK - PLAY
Bruce Graham - "White Guy on the Bus" - Northlight Theatre
Laura Jacqmin - "Look, we are breathing" - Rivendell Theatre Ensemble
Rohina Malik - "The Mecca Tales" - Chicago Dramatists
PJ Paparelli and Joshua Jaeger - "The Project(s)" - American Theater Company
Caitlin Parrish - "The Downpour" - Route 66 Theatre Company
Mat Smart - "The Royal Society of Antarctica" - The Gift Theatre

NEW WORK - MUSICAL
Paul Gordon - "Sense and Sensibility" - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
GQ, JQ, Jackson Doran, Postell Pringle - "A Q Brothers' Christmas Carol" -
        Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Jessica Thebus, Andre Pluess and Amanda Dehnert - "Shining Lives: A Musical" -
        Northlight Theatre

NEW ADAPTATION
David Catlin - "Moby Dick" - Lookingglass Theatre Company in association with
        The Actors' Gymnasium
Sean Graney - "All Our Tragic" - The Hypocrites
Nambi E. Kelley - "Native Son" - Court Theatre and American Blues Theater

CHOREOGRAPHY
Brock Clawson - "The Who's Tommy" - Paramount Theatre
Rhett Guter - "West Side Story" - Drury Lane Productions
Danny Herman - "All Shook Up" - Theatre at the Center
Rachel Rockwell - "Billy Elliot, the Musical" - Drury Lane Productions
Alex Sanchez - "On the Town" - Marriott Theatre

ORIGINAL MUSIC IN A PLAY
Victoria Deiorio - "The White Road" - Irish Theatre of Chicago
Andrew Hansen - "My Name is Asher Lev" - TimeLine Theatre Company
Henry Marsh - "Pericles" - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Richard Woodbury - "The Little Foxes" - Goodman Theatre

MUSIC DIRECTION
Austin Cook - "Sondheim on Sondheim" - Porchlight Music Theatre
Paul Litteral - "Louis & Keely 'Live' at the Sahara" - HackFeld LLC
Doug Peck - "The Secret Garden" - Court Theatre
Malcolm Ruhl - "Ring of Fire, The Music of Johnny Cash" - Mercury Theater Chicago and
            Theatre at the Center
Tom Vendafreddo - "Les Miserables" - Paramount Theatre

SCENIC DESIGN - MIDSIZE
Ira Amyx and Merje Veski - "The White Road" - Irish Theatre of Chicago
John Holt - "Accidentally Like a Martyr" - A Red Orchid Theatre
Jeffrey D. Kmiec - "Watch on the Rhine" - The Artistic Home
Angela Weber Miller - "The Gravedigger" - First Folio Theatre
Sarah Ross - "The Rose Tattoo" - Shattered Globe Theatre
Grant Sabin - "Yankee Tavern" - American Blues Theater

SCENIC DESIGN - LARGE
Linda Buchanan - "Two Trains Running" - Goodman Theatre
Kevin Depinet - "The Game's Afoot" - Drury Lane Productions
Kevin Depinet and Jeffrey D. Kmiec - "Les Miserables" - Paramount Theatre
Jack Magaw - "The Diary of Anne Frank" - Writers Theatre
Scott Pask - "Airline Highway" - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Todd Rosenthal - "The Little Foxes" - Goodman Theatre
Joey Wade - "Grand Concourse" - Steppenwolf Theatre Company

LIGHTING DESIGN - MIDSIZE
Brian Sidney Bembridge - "The Royale" - American Theater Company
Maggie Fullilove-Nugent - "Endgame" - The Hypocrites
Lee Keenan - "The Hammer Trinity, Part 3: The Excelsior King" -
        The House Theatre of Chicago
Jared Moore - "All Our Tragic" - The Hypocrites
Julian Pike - "The White Road" - Irish Theatre of Chicago

LIGHTING DESIGN - LARGE
Lee Fiskness - "Camelot" - Drury Lane Productions
Greg Hofmann - "The Who's Tommy" - Paramount Theatre
Jesse Klug - "Les Miserables" - Paramount Theatre
Jesse Klug - "Pericles" - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Marc Stubblefield - "Native Son" - Court Theatre and American Blues Theater

COSTUME DESIGN - MIDSIZE
Mara Blumenfeld and Mieka Van Der Ploeg - "Mr. Burns: a post-electric play" - Theater Wit
Rachel Lambert - "Travesties" - Remy Bumppo Theatre Company
Frances Maggio - "The Addams Family" - Mercury Theater Chicago
Bill Morey - "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" - Porchlight Music Theatre
Alison Siple - "All Our Tragic" - The Hypocrites

COSTUME DESIGN - LARGE
Dede M. Ayite - "Marie Antoinette" - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Theresa Ham - "Mary Poppins" - Paramount Theatre
Susan E. Mickey - "Sense and Sensibility" - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Nancy Missimi - "The King and I" - Marriott Theatre
Nancy Missimi - "La Cage aux Folles" - Marriott Theatre

SOUND DESIGN - MIDSIZE
John Corkill and Alex Monroe - "Macbeth" - The Artistic Home
Victoria Deiorio - "The White Road" - Irish Theatre of Chicago
Joshua Horvath - "The Hammer Trinity, Part 3: The Excelsior King" -
        The House Theatre of Chicago
Kevin O'Donnell - "All Our Tragic" - The Hypocrites
Rick Sims - "Side Man" - American Blues Theater
Rick Sims - "Twisted Melodies" - Congo Square Theatre Company

SOUND DESIGN - LARGE
Joshua Horvath - "Native Son" - Court Theatre and American Blues Theater
Lindsay Jones - "King Lear" - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Lindsay Jones - "Marie Antoinette" - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Andre Pluess - "Iphigenia in Aulis" - Court Theatre
Josh Schmidt - "The Diary of Anne Frank" - Writers Theatre
Rick Sims - "Moby Dick" - Lookingglass Theatre Company in association with
        The Actors' Gymnasium

PROJECTIONS/VIDEO DESIGN
Smooch Medina - "The White Road" - Irish Theatre of Chicago
Aaron Rhyne - "Pericles" - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Jeff Sugg - "Marie Antoinette" - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Mike Tutaj - "Mary Poppins" - Paramount Theatre
Mike Tutaj - "Sondheim on Sondheim" - Porchlight Music Theatre
Mike Tutaj - "The Who's Tommy" - Paramount Theatre

FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHY
David Blixt - "Macbeth" - The Artistic Home
Ryan Bourque - "All Our Tragic" - The Hypocrites
Matt Hawkins - "West Side Story" - Drury Lane Productions
John Tovar - "Camelot" - Drury Lane Productions

ARTISTIC SPECIALIZATION
Dave Bova - Hair and Makeup Design - "Marie Antoinette" - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Jesse Mooney-Bullock - Puppet Design - "The Hammer Trinity, Part 3: The Excelsior King" -
        The House Theatre of Chicago
Marco Ramirez and Stephanie Paul - Rhythm and Percussion - "The Royale" -
        American Theater Company
Isaac Schoepp - Rigging Design - "Moby Dick" - Lookingglass Theatre Company in association with
        The Actors' Gymnasium


Follow Us On Twitter