Love Letters! 2014

Anonymous love letters sent through the 2014 Gregory Awards People's Choice ballot.

 

I always LOVE the student productions at Cornish College, and youth productions at Seattle Public Theater!!!!   
CHEF NORDO!

Encore! Bravo! Hats off!

Three cheers for Henrietta's second flight!

<3

Yours truly...

(the writer gave no name, but seems to have left a "dot", using what looks like red wine...)
Montana Tippett's set design for A SMALL FIRE with Sound Theatre -- extraordinary work.  Beautiful, evocative, and supported the essence of the play so effectively.  Magical.

Michael Mowery's set design for FIFTH OF JULY with Theatre22-- Truly transformed the space so that we stepped into the world of the play along with the characters.  Beautiful use of color and detail, and amazingly functional.  A joy to look at.
Victoria "Tori" Thompson, stage manager extraordinaire!
I want to give some love to Snoqualmie's Theatre Black Dog: with Laramie Project, Hatful of Rain, etc., you have been showing that challenging, timely theatre can succeed outside of Seattle and picking some under-produced gems.

Congratulations to GreenStage on your completion of Shakespeare's canon!
Terre Haute (Bridges Stage Company) was one of the very best productions this year.  I'm very surprised to have it not included among the nominations, but want to send my congratulations to the company for producing such an important play so simply and so well.  Looking forward to seeing what's next for Aaron Levin and his theater.
Jeff Church in "La Cage aux Folles" at SecondStory Rep.  A moving, MOVING performance.  Brilliantly acted, and gorgeously sung.  Just marvelous.
MY GOOD FRIEND JEFFERY WEAVER (LAKEWOOD PLAYHOUSE) DOES AN AMAZING JOB WITH HIS EFFORTS ON PROPS MOST MEMORABLE FOR ME WAS 12 ANGRY MEN
Andrew Smith's lighting design in BETHANY was stunning.

Carey Wong is tireless: his sets are always inventive, beautiful, heightened, and ultimately work of art that speaks to the heart of a play.

John Langs' direction is fierce.
Adding Beth De Vries (Fantine, Les Mis) for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical.  Saw the show many times and she moved me with her performance every time.  Beautiful.  She was a spectacular part in a spectacular show.
Shout out to Carrie Foster scenic artist at Lakewood Playhouse and local Tacoma, fine artist. Truly amazing!
BPA's Kentucky Cycle was outstanding.
Gavin Sakae Mclean, Tee Dennard, Anthony Phillips, Eric Smiley, Rik Deskin, John Ruoff, and Brad Walker. All in Of Mice And Men.

Elizabeth Stasio and Elizabeth Steele, Stage Manager and Lighting Designer for Of Mice And Men.
Zach Sanders, Don Juan in Chicago
Love em all!
Shana Bestok of Seattle Public Theater, you are a treasure. Your open heart is on display with each interaction, whether it's audience or actor, young or old.

As a parent, I especially want to thank you for giving so much of yourself to kids. You keep them mentally active and engaged, and give them a safe place to explore and experiment and just be goofy amid the inherent drama that comes with being a teenager.
Mandy Price - Your work in the Underneath was amazing. It was humbling to see someone just NAIL something I couldn't even try to do.

Megan Ahiers - Your performance in Buckshot destroyed my heart.  I'm still upset about it. Thank you.

Michael Mowrey.  Theater 22.  EVERYONE WHO WORKS THEIR ASSES OF TO MAKE THIS CITY'S THEATER SCENE AS FANTASTIC AS IT IS!  
Maggie Larrick for set design of Beauty of the Father: beautiful and detailed on a low budget.

Kristin Holland for Funny Girl: the sharpest and most inventive, made this a dancing show all the way.
Kyle Thompson's sound design in Marisol was truly incredible. He should have been nominated. Biggest overlook of the year.
Shana Bestock, Artistic Director at Seattle Public Theater has provided a wonderful place for budding actors to hone their craft with the theater's education program. The resulting productions are so impressive, but more importantly it has created a great community for teens to learn and create together. Many of them continue on to study theater in college because of the great experiences they have at Seattle Public Theater. It is all due to Shana Bestock and her tireless and loving contribution to Seattle Public Theater.
Spamalot at the Lakewood Playhouse
Karen Ledger for Costumes on Funny Girl at Village Theatre - Outstanding
SPT "Gidion's Knot" has really stayed with me. Powerful exploration of timely subject. Sympathy develops for both of the co- leading actresses, whom Id like to see more of: Rebecca Olson and Heather Hawkins .

Azeotrope in tiny space at ACT: "25 Saints", and also  "Red lite Winter" seared into my memory both Tim Gouran and Richard Nguyen Sloniker
- Julie Briskman in "The Servant of Two Masters" - eloquent, funny, screwball, and perfect. Ti adoro, La Briskman!

- John Langs, the cast, and everyone involed on "Middletown" for bringing this ferocious piece of contemporary art to the forefront of prof
in memorial....Jerry Manning
Kyle Thompson -- I wish I wish I WISH we could give you the People's Choice nomination for your Sound Designs!!  Most notably for Marisol, but in general because you have created half a dozen AMAZING designs in the last year all around town.  I hope you continue to inspire the theatre-makers and audiences of Seattle and beyond, and I hope you get publicly recognized for your artistry some time very soon!!
All of Seattle Public Theater's productions are praiseworthy!  They should have been nominated already.  The youth programs as well deserve kudos for do so many so fast and so well.
Zhenya Lavy should be recognized for her outstanding direction of the music in Uncle Vanya. The music--sung all in Russian, mostly acapella, in rich 3 & 4 part harmonies, was exquisite and brought so much depth and texture to the production as a whole. Brilliant work!
To every stage manager and assistant stage manager, thank you. 
Doug Staley for navigating the rough waters of moving Theater Schmeater from Capital Hill to Belltown with great success.
I loved ARCADIA produced by Seattle Public Theatre (I think) at the Bathhouse. Perfectly cast, crafted and directed. 
Seattle Public continues to get better Every. Single. Show.!
Kyle Thompson sound designer for Marisol. Best design all year.
The lighting designer for Frankenstein at Book-It Repertory theatre did an outstanding job playing with the lights and set. Absolutely stunning.

Sound design on The Underneath. Kyle Thompson did an AMAZING job blending multiple sounds to create a brand new crazy creature.

Theatre22 has had a wonderful kick off to a first season. I mean DANG look at those two sets and all those outstanding actors in the two shows. Also, they know how to throw a party.

Also, Stage Management. Kaeline Kine. She is up and coming and is doing marvelous work out there. Go get 'em girl!
Elizabeth Stasio - best stage manager - "of mice and men"
Hannah Mootz was absolutely amazing in Bo-Nita. 
Bob Wright- you blew me away in A Great Wilderness. Masterful work!

Sara Porkalob- you deserve every award for Shelia you were amazing.

Jeff Orton- you were a pleasure to play best friends with in Hair, you channeled Berger every night. Love ya baby.

Stacie Calkins- Saaaaang girl! You were a joybto share the stage with in Hair. I'll inhale your smoke anytime!
Tori Thompson - An amazing and dedicated stage manager who works hard to make everyone else look good!
Favorite play of the year: "The Underneath" by Kelleen Conway Blanchard. Favorite actor: Daniel Christensen as George Bailey in the It's a Wonderful Life production by Theater Anonymous.
Black Like Us by Rachel Atkins was deft and original and took a subject that could so easily be buried under it's politics and kept it human.
Karen Ann Ledger's amazing costumes for Funny Girl at Village Theatre deserve some serious recognition and kudos!  There were about 180 costumes in that show, and all of them were absolutely beautiful.  Well done, Karen!
Eclectic Theater cast Of Mice and Men
Robin Macartney, Dave Baldwin, Joceylin Fowler, Ian Johnston, Emily Leong, Emily Shershon, Ashley Rolph, Patti West, Maggie Lee (and all the Pork Filled Players), Lisa Koch and Peggy Platt, Pamela Mijatov, Kyle Thompson, All hard working professionals and talented to boot. 
Gruesome Playground Injuries (Azeotrope) brought me to tears, and caused my boyfriend to declare afterward, "I'm a 'shipper!" regarding the two characters.

Attempts on Her Life (The Horse in Motion) was easily the most exciting, surprising, invigorating piece I saw all year -- and probably sits in my top 5 performance experiences of the last few years.
Theater Off Jackson housed some fabulous shows this past year, including the Naked Show (the second most powerful show I saw). 
Suzi Tucker, Scenic Design for "Soft Click of a Switch" with MAP Theatre!

Sarah Bixler, performer for "Quickies 15" with LIVEGIRLS! Theatre=

Candace Frank, Costume Designer for "Passing Strange" with Sidecountry Theatre!
RJ Tancioco is the most amazingly inspiring music director. There should be a music director category in the Gregory's. Really there should. Music Directors are integral to setting the tone and feel of an entire production since they are usually in charge of the first week or so of rehearsals for any musical. RJ is the best in Seattle, hands down. 
Roy Arauz deserves mention as artistic director of Arouet for his bold artistic choices over the past 3 years.

Seattle Public Theater's production of Gidion's Knot hit me deeply as an educator, and the entire team behind it deserves recognition (especially Heather Hawkins as the mother).

Meg McLynn has been doing fantastic work all year long, from 5th of July to A New Brain to her most recent turn in Julius Caesar and deserves recognition as one of Seattle's best actresses.

Daniel Stoltenberg is such a wonderful actor and simply an awesome human being.
Seattle theater scene in general, you never fail to innovate. You entertain, amaze, delight, and never fail to impress me. Thank you!
The Wild Party at Sound Theatre Company was one of the best shows I've seen. Ever. Troy's performance as a "bad guy" gave me chills, and every one of the rest of the cast was indescribable. Great show, great cast, great production. So glad I got to see it!
Crystal Dawn Munkers- your work on Passing Strange was amazing, and you deserved a nomination!

Billie Wildrick- keep directing, girl!

Ryan McCabe- excellent job in Kiss of the Spider Woman! 
Let's face it, Grayson J. Smith killed it during the holidays at The 5th with his Artful Dodger!  We can't wait to see him again!  
Sound Design - Kyle Thompson for Marisol - The Collision Project.

He created a world that was unqiue and eerie.  It was scary and beautiful.
I have never been so moved as I was by Heather Hawkins' performance in Gideon's Knot 
Blood Ensemble's production "Barn Show" was exceptional.
Kyna Shilling, Technical Director at Seattle Public Theater, consistently raises the bar on what technical design can be on a very limited budget. And she does it all; she has designed sets (often painting gorgeous scenery), sound, lighting, and props for innumerable productions. In addition, she mentors young designer and stage crew in the youth program with the patience and attention to detail and eye for encouraging talent of a true teaching artist. She deserves high praise and recognition for her excellent work. 
The 14/48 projects are the best, holding our community together and mixing us up with one another. Hooray for them!
Set design for Much Ado About Nothing, Seattle Shakespeare
Jeffery Weaver Props on 12 angry men were spot on good job
My dad Jeffery Weaver works hard on the props at Lakewood play house and makes sure he has them right his shows go with out flaws and more people should use him
The props on 12 angry men were superb!!!
Louise Butler is one of the hardest working stage managers in this city.  Her dedication and charm are only a couple of the amazing things that make up this woman.  Thank you, Lou, for making us look as good as you make us feel!  You're wonderful!
The women I've had the joy to audition with all year. It's a true honor to be at an audition with talented women like Shannon Campbell, Keiko Green, Gina Marie Russell, and Jackie Miedema to name a few. KEEP ME SHARP, LADIES! KEEP ME GOOD!
"The Elephant Man" from stageRight deserves a mention as well. Compelling and well done.
Sara Coates was phenomenal in " small fire". She is simply THE BEST.
Anyone viewing my ballot will realize that I had very positive feelings about Sound Theater's production of A Small Fire, directed by Julie Beckman. (Any category for which I could write in a nomination, I did.)

What those viewing my ballot won't realize is exactly how profound of an effect said production had on me. All of the performances were stunning, particularly that of Teri Lazzara, who approached the character with such strength and vulnerability (two adjectives that aren't obvious comrades), and displayed a heartwringing degree of raw emotion, that I was shaken through to the core of my being. Needless to say I cried, nay - bawled, through much of the show.

Additionally, I'd like to applaud Montana Tippett for her set design. Her use of the available space was creative and - dare I say - brilliant. Seeing how she took advantage of the stage space (i.e. very narrow, very deep) to create set 'layers', for lack of a better word, is something I will remember for a long time.

This is the first play directed by Julie Beckman that I've ever seen, but I long to see more if she was able to helm the beautifully gut-wrenching production i witnessed.

Many congratulations to all involved on this wonderful show.
Brenda Joyner in Tails of Wasps opened the show with crisp, direct, clear lines. Excellent performance!
Annex continues to produce new and exciting work and to nurture local artists. Yay Annex!
The Underneath script by Kelleen Conway Blanchard was excellent.  A great mix of terror, pathos, and wonderfully fucked up humor.

The Hound of the Baskervilles set design was dynamic and kept me fully engaged.
Theatre22 made an incredible debut with Fifth of July. I'm a huge fan.
THIS LOVE LETTER IS FOR SHANE REGAN AND TPS:

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Seattle's theatre community
Would be lost without you!
All saints (ASTRA) production of Once Upon a Mattress had a costume designer Diana Scott whom organized and created all 15th century period costumes from scratch and it was skilled and every detail accurate. 
brandon ryan is beyond the actor anyone imagines him to be. my only dream is that he be cast in something that allows him to play outside his body's capabilities and hair. Then we will have art. 
I am constantly amazed but what Sara Coates does in stage, screen and behind the scenes! And Her Dog is God.  
The Banyan tree was awesome. every story moved me and touched me. So diverse, so real... I felt it.
Gordon Carpenter in Small Fire:  Complemented his co-lead perfectly.  Perfectly understated and powerful. Could see the "why" behind it all."

Shane Regan's sound design for Soft Click:  I fucking loved it.  Best sound design I heard anywhere.
Great Job, Agastya Kohli, directing superb plays!
Amontaine Aurore Woods for your beautiful one-woman show, Free Desiree! I love you!
Passing Strange
I love the 5th Avenue Theater.  I appreciate their commitment to all aspects of musical theater- from the past, present, and future.  Although my favorite shows are usually the world premieres that the 5th Ave does so well, last season, Little Shop of Horrors stole my heart.  All of the actors and actresses played their parts earnestly while the situation itself made the show the campy laugh/ horror fest that it is.  I was especially smitten with Jessica Skerritt, who played Audrey as the three dimensional character that she is- an abused and hopeless woman who is trying so hard not to let the world know about her troubles and come to work in the morning, making the audience root for her, sympathize for her, and laugh with her at the incredibly odd situation she finds herself in.
Aaron and amy from woolf at the rep were also exceptional. They balanced out bob and pamela perfectly and made the whole play sing.
Sorry to see that Book-It's FRANKENSTEIN didn't get any nods.  I thought Connor Toms, Jim Hammerlink, the lighting and set, direction/adaptation by David Quicksall were all worthy of consideration for some of the best work of 2014.
The cast of A Small Fire blew me away. They were a family and they opened their lives to me. Bravo. 
L.B. Morse is the unsung hero of the Seattle Repertory Theatre. His insights as an advisor in the season planning and production process, his work in the theatres as multifactied designer, and his general work ethic and awesomeness are part of what make the Rep great. And he's a dad now!
The Hound of The Baskervilles was a jewel of a production: I savored all the details and the whole ride.
"The Suit" at the Seattle Rep  was delicate, simple and moving.
The ladies. All the ladies. Teri Lazarra and Sara Coates in A Small Fire and Heather Hawkins and Rebecca Olsen in Gidion's Knot to name just 4 who were not nominated! The entire company of Holiday of Errors. Every gosh darn stage manager in town. And John freaking Bradshaw.
Book Of Mormon, off-the-charts fantastic, at the Paramount. But that's National vs local. 
I loved Ernest Shackleton. I know both the actors were from out of town, but the show was really interesting, technically awesome, and musically beautiful. 
To say Andrew McGinn blew me away in Freehold's Engaged Theatre Program is a massive understatement. He all at once made the theatre still with each breath and vibrate with each line of text. 
Kyle Thomson for Marisol. I've never heard a better sound design in my life. It's was absolutely transporting.
Tori Thompson is a paragon of stage management excellence.

Middletown was one of the most affecting shows I saw last year. Great performances, striking design, funny, moving, creative, and an all around beautiful show.

Thank you to everyone who attended the discussion at Seattle Rep about Artistic Freedom and Artistic Responsibility. Great to see how many people care about these issues, and looking forward to seeing how everyone puts their caring into action going forward.

Trouble in Mind was one of the best shows I've ever seen in Seattle. Pitch-perfect in every way. Hats off to Val and the whole cast for causing some TROUBLE!
Matt Smucker, Your set for "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Wolf" was AMAZING.

It was the fifth character in that play and should be nominated for an award.

The heaviness, the pressing weight of all the history, the expectation, the name, the legacy... the burden for both George and Martha of trying to live up to it - was so perfectly represented in that room.

Thank you for being so good.
Angels in America.  Everything at Seattle Rep. Everything at Seattle Shakes. So much good theater in this town.
Julia Nardin's excellent Seattle debut - "Starling" showed that she is definitely a playwright to watch in this town.
Akropolis Performance Laboratory's "Uncle Vanya" - an exquisite experience.
Montana Tippet is a wonderful set designer and her work on A Small Fire should be recognized.  

Frank Lawler and Daniel Flint wrote a wonderful comedy with Holiday of Errors (Or Much Ado about Nothing).   Their clever wit will be appreciated by this terrific holiday play for a long time to come.
Michael Paul is THE best stage manager in town. He is a kind professional who does it all with ease, grace, and a wicked sense of humor. He is top notch. Any production and stage management team is lucky to have him!

Denise Martel should be recognized for all her work at SCT and support for her community. Seattle is fortunate to have her back with us. Denise you are #1!

Nobody will give more support and love to a festival or production that Ciera Iveson. Ciera you are appreciated! She has a kind heart and encouraging spirit that is infectious. Love her!

Angela DiMarco- what a talent! I was blown away w/her onstage work and how she conducts herself as a professional. She is amazing.

Frederick Hagreen can do it all! He is somebody to watch. He has a beautiful voice and is a hella of a swing. Watch out Seattle!
Saw a wonderful production of "Into the Woods" in Shoreline by brand new Aurora Theatre Company in August.  Absolutely marvelous!  Look forward to more wonderful productions from them.
SIS Productions: Impenetrable