Nominees and Recipients - 2010

The 13th Annual Gregory A. Falls Sustained Achievement Award

The Gregory A. Falls Sustained Achievement Award honors individuals in our theatrical community who have given their time, energy and talents over a number of years. In particular, this award honors people who have had a widespread positive effect on the community.  NOTE: The recipient is determined by a process separate from the rest of the awards, and so does not appear in either the nomination or the voting ballots.

Recipient Bio
M Burke Walker A freelance director in Manhattan since 1999, M. Burke Walker lived and worked in Seattle from 1966-1999. He was the Founding Artistic Director of The Empty Space Theatre which he led for twenty years. An entire generation of late 20th century playwrights received their first professional productions in the Northwest at The Empty Space Theatre under Mr. Walker’s tenure. Nearly two dozen actors and directors who worked at the Space went on to become artistic directors in their own right.

 

A native of Virginia, Mr. Walker was raised overseas, first in Morocco and Spain, then in Turkey and Lebanon. He did his undergraduate work at Middlebury College, and is a double alum of the University of Washington: MA (Drama/Directing, 1970). Through most of the nineties he headed the MFA Directing Program at the University of Washington. Mr. Walker is also a member of the Ensemble Studio. Regional directing credits include Seattle Repertory Theatre, Intiman Theatre, ACT, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Delaware Theatre Company, TheatreVirginia, Syracuse Stage, Merrimack Rep, Origin Theatre (NYC), Tacoma Actor’s Guild, theatre simple, Seattle Shakespeare Festival (now Company), Buffalo Studio Arena, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, American Stage Festival, Sundance Playwrights Festival, Actors Repertory Theatre (Portland), and the Ensemble Studio Theatre.

Since the eighties, Mr. Walker has worked with the NEA as a panelist and on-site reporter. He is also an established actor, translator and adapter, currently working on editing an anthology of never-before-published,”lost”, late 19th/early 20th century, American, urban crime, pulp, “tabloid” melodramas.

Click here for a comprehensive bio of Mr. Walker (PDF format).

Outstanding Actor

2010 eligibility for nomination: Any male performer, lead or supporting, regardless of union status, in a 2009-2010 Season production taking place in Washington State.

Nominee Highlights / Summary of Comments and Reviews
Eric Ankrim The Gypsy King, Village Theatre

 

The most phenomenal work I’ve seen possibly EVER… Pitch perfect in his approach and singing… Eric was a whirling dervish of energy… A great feat.

Charles Leggett The Trip to Bountiful and Yankee TavernACT; Opus and Glengarry Glen RossSeattle Rep

 

Charles is always surprising in each new role… Intense, compelling storytelling at its best. He just gets better and better. Every character is so meticulously crafted and thoroughly embodied that his technique is invisible and only the raw humanity is on display.

MJ Sieber Glengarry Glen RossSeattle Rep

 

MJ Sieber is always excellent and always authentic. A consummate artist at the height of his power.

Ray Tagavilla Elephant’s Graveyard and Zastrozzi: The Master of DisciplineBalagan;Clubfoot: Or Tales from the Back of an AmbulanceAnnex TheatreMaking of a MonsterThe Satori Group

 

Ray’s intensity and commitment to the craziest of characters makes him a joy to watch. In every performance Ray gives the depth of his soul to the audience. With sensitivity and compassion few others possess he gives us characters that truly change us. Subtle, great character work, and emotionally grounded. Simple and powerful, he never gave it all away.

Recipient:
Hans Altwies

(Members’ Voice)
An IliadSeattle RepMuch Ado About NothingSeattle Shakespeare Company

 

Hans is a powerhouse. There’s nothing he can’t do. Great to see an already respected actor take it to the next level. Brilliant performance. Stunning work. As part of a wave of creativity, Altwies sustained a riveting evening of solo theater that distilled the essence of Homer’s epic, underlining its ever-relevant humanity. An extraordinary solo performance in which a timeless storyteller carries a cultural artifact through history, bringing it to life on a Seattle stage.

Daniel Berryman
(People’s Choice)
The Yellow WoodContemporary Classics

 

Totally standout performance… This young man was phenomenal in a role that was vocally, physically and emotionally heavy. What an amazing talent in such a young performer. Young focused energy. Great audience connection. Fabulous voice.

Outstanding Actress

2010 eligibility for nomination: Any female performer, lead or supporting, regardless of union status, in a 2009-2010 Season production taking place in Washington State.

Nominee Highlights / Summary of Comments and Reviews
Anne Allgood Rock ‘n RollACTCandide, 5th AvenueGetting Near to BabySeattle Children’s Theatre

 

We don’t care where she pops up next, just as long as she’s there. One of Seattle’s great treasures, delivering firecracker performance after firecracker performance. Allgood is all things an actress/singer should be.

Maria Glanz* The Belle of Amherst, Sound Theatre Company

 

Maria embodied the grace and intellectual piquancy of Emily Dickinson in this piece, making the audience feel like they had really gotten to know this historic poet. Beautiful and subtle. She brings an openness to the stage that is rarely experienced.

Terri Weagant The Cider House Rules, Part OneBook-ItThe Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the UniverseBalagan

 

Search is a challenging play for even multiples of actors, much less one. Terri made this character her own and had to play many more small parts. She mastered the art of solo performance pieces and made it look effortless.

Portia RuinedIntiman

 

A once-in-a-lifetime theatre experience, as delicate and severe as the human body and spirit itself. Beautiful [acting]… a harsh story [filled] with love, humor and pathos.

Recipient:
Marya Sea Kaminski*
(Members’ Voice)
ElectraSeattle Shakespeare Company

 

A fabulous, honest, heartbreaking performance! So captivating to watch on stage! Her performance was raw, painfully real, and driven from the heart. An actress who always leaves everything on stage, and touches us on a profound level. Virtuosic.

Marianne Owen

(People’s Choice)
The Trip to BountifulACT

 

Marianne was amazing. A veteran actress in peak form. Beautiful and sensitive performance.

Outstanding Director

2010 eligibility for nomination: The director of any show produced in Washington State in the 2009-2010 Season.

Nominee Highlights / Summary of Comments and Reviews
David Armstrong* Candide, 5th Avenue

 

You cannot deny the artistic vision that stemmed from having Mr. Armstrong at the helm. David Armstrong took a musical that was notably difficult to stage throughout the years and made of it one of the best pieces of theatre in Seattle for years. No one in this town loves musicals more than David, and nobody understands them better.

Kurt Beattie* Rock ‘n RollACT

 

Luminous staging of this challenging, rewarding elegy for the political and cultural tumult of the 1960s. [Kurt] keeps the pace brisk through the ideological battles… This production is alive with interesting characters, real meaning, and – let’s face it – really awesome music.

Greg Carter* The Laramie ProjectStrawberry Theatre Workshop

 

This was a fantastic, well acted, well-directed show.  One of the best shows of the year.
Laramie was seamless in its transitions and the way each talented actor’s energy was focused into portraying their multiple characters with great sensitivity and honesty.

Victor Pappas* The Trip to BountifulACTTwo By PinterShadow and Light Theatre;Follies in ConcertShowtunes Theatre Company

 

Just the right man for the The Trip to Bountiful, an actors’ director too long absent from Seattle.

Recipient:
Sheila Daniels
(Members’ Voice)
Electra and Much Ado About NothingSeattle Shakespeare CompanyAbe Lincoln in Illinois, Intiman

 

She is a staple in the industry and is constantly creating new works and new ways to enjoy a performance. Easily one of the finest directors in the region – her shows are always strongly visionary and yet collaborative treats. Daniels always brings intelligence, expertise and insight to her productions. Daniels is one of Seattle’s best directors, and she did a phenomenal job with these shows, demonstrating both a higher intellectual commitment to the theatre, as well as the ability to find the humanity in complex socio-political drama.

Jane Jones*
(People’s Choice)
The Cider House Rules, Part OneBook-It

 

The show was tight, flowed beautifully, and leapt off the stage. It was clear to see the director embodied the show but also made it her own, with whimsical scene changes and a great sense of humor. Jane Jones is a master storyteller. She used the magic of the medium of the theatre as the genesis for most “effects” in the show, and the result was powerful and memorable.

Person To Watch

2010 eligibility for nomination: Any Theatre Practitioner involved in any show produced in Washington State in the 2009-2010 Season. This category is intended to honor excellent emerging work in a variety of theatrical disciplines.

Nominee Highlights / Summary of Comments and Reviews
Trick Danneker Actor: 13th of ParisSeattle Public TheaterSpeech and DebateSeattle RepAs You Like ItHarlequin Productions.

 

Trick was incredible in Speech and Debate as well as in The 13th of Paris.

Angela DiMarco* Actress:13th of ParisSeattle Public TheaterThe Taming of the Shrew,Seattle Shakespeare CompanyTrout StanleyBalaganAbe Lincoln in IllinoisIntiman

 

No matter when or where I watch Angela perform, she breathes energy, life and originality into her roles. She is a truly versatile and dynamic actress.

Marc ‘Waxie Moon’ Kenison Burlesque Performer: SPF #4Theatre Off Jackson

 

Marc takes the neo-burlesque world by storm as Miss(ter) Waxie Moon, a gender-bending queer boylesque lady performer sensation. Classically trained in ballet, modern dance, and acting at Juilliard and the University of Washington, he entertains and thrills audiences, while challenging their notions of gender, sexuality, and art.

Patrick Lennon* Actor: Titus AndronicusGreenStageArcadiaDriftwood Players;Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean,Woman Seeking…a theatre company

 

Patrick manages a variety of roles, and in each one he has a compelling presence. He’s one of the few actors I’ve seen who can just “be there” on stage.

Recipient:
Brandon Ivie
*

(Members’ Voice)
Director, Producer: Zanna, Don’t!The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Yellow WoodContemporary Classics

 

Brandon is single-handedly bringing contemporary musical theatre to Seattle. His company, Contemporary Classics, has consistently introduced high-quality productions of contemporary musicals. Goes to show that the musical is alive and well. Loved everything he did this year.

Jager Weatherby*
(People’s Choice)
Actress: ArcadiaDriftwood Players

 

The perfect person to nominate for this award. This young woman is constantly putting everything she has into her theatre work.

Outstanding Production

2010 eligibility for nomination: Any show produced by a TPS Organizational Member in the 2009-2010 Season.

Nominee Summary of Comments and Reviews
42nd Street, Village Theatre* Outstanding dancing and staging. Fantastic casting and a wonderful show overall. Didn’t realize tap dancing feet could move that fast… wow!
Candide, 5th Avenue* Simply a perfect production of a challenging and daunting musical. Expertly crafted, exquisite performances, and beautifully played. The perfect cornerstone to a city-wide Bernstein celebration. This will never be an easy musical to produce, but the 5th proved it was a worthwhile one.
ElectraSeattle Shakespeare Company* A brilliantly conceived collaboration of direction, design and acting. I assume Sheila Daniels knew exactly what she was doing with this, and with Marya Sea Kaminski in the lead role, Daniels had an amazing actor to play out our contemporary national psychodrama onstage.
The Laramie Project,Strawberry Theatre Workshop* All around an amazing show. All elements were fabulous. Became greater than the sum of its parts. Ultimately and best of all, the result was that it told the story well and clearly.
RuinedIntiman* (Members’ Voice) This piece was spectacular from start to finish. Kate Whoriskey’s vision for theater is new and exciting and I am glad she is now calling Seattle and the Intiman her home. It does exactly what theater should and can do. It made me proud to be from Seattle. Moving. Beautiful. Haunting. Relevant.
Recipient:
The Cider House Rules, Part One
,Book-It*

(People’s Choice)
Engaging and complex subject matter, extraordinary actors, great text, and outstanding direction. So good I saw it twice, and will go back in the fall to do it all over again.

Theatre of the Year

2010 eligibility for nomination: Any TPS Organizational Member which has produced at least one show during the 2009-2010 season.

Nominee Summary of Comments and Reviews
Balagan* Fringe theaters keep the blood pumping in our city and this is one of the best! I’m more and more impressed by the ambition and energy of this bright young group. They are fearless and are continuing to grow.
Book-It Repertory Theatre* Unique, big-hearted, great supporters of local talent. If Book-It was a baseball team, they would be in the World Series this year. They fielded hit after hit this season, with stand-outs like
Confederacy of Dunces, smoothly likable classics like Emma, and even a return of a greatest hit: Cider House Rules Part 1.
Contemporary Classics* This company had as busy a year as any small theatre, and has give Seattle three premieres, two readings of new musicals and two concerts of new work. The most exciting musical theatre in Seattle, bar none. It’s so great to see a company run with so much passion. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up for these guys!
Village Theatre* Always a great season. Fabulous work developing new works. And best kids’ theatre education in town. As a developer of new musicals… they are keeping alive that great American invention, the musical, by letting the next generation create new work.
Recipient:
ACT*
(Members’ Voice)
While doing outstanding productions, and staying true to their historical “voice” under Kurt Beattie, they have also embraced numerous emerging companies, turning their space into a true artistic home. No theater does more to support local theater artists. You can feel their love of theater the moment you walk in the door. ACT is doing so much to support the community and local artists at every level, and make themselves a true center for the arts. Something is always happening there.
Seattle Repertory Theatre*
(People’s Choice)
Consistently turning out good show after good show. The wonderful consistency of their season went unmatched this year. Consistently puts on the most challenging and professional shows in the area. Everything I see there is absolutely excellent; they’re on the cutting edge of theatre in the greater Seattle area. They hired the right choice in Jerry Manning, who as acting AD put together an amazing season. New leadership. New horizons.

Outstanding Costume Designer (NEW)

2010 eligibility for nomination: Any costume designer, regardless of union status, who designed the costumes for a 2009-2010 Season production taking place in Washington State.

Nominee Highlights / Summary of Comments and Reviews
Recipient:
Melanie Burgess
Abe Lincoln in Illinois, Intiman42nd St. and Chasing Nicolette, Village TheatreTwelfth NightSeattle Shakespeare Company

 

Best costumes I’ve seen in a long time.

Julia Evanovich* Pageant PlayTwilight Zone LiveCreation of the World, Theater SchmeaterTrout StanleyBalagan

 

Schmeater has a teeny tiny budget… Julia worked miracles. The costumes absolutely seemed authentic…

Lynda L. Salsbury Candide5th Avenue Theatre;

 

Swoon-worthy 1950s style costumes turned a musical based on a Voltaire novel into a high fashion statement… It was a beautiful show. Elegant yet simple design that accomplished exactly what it
set out to do.

Paul Tazewell RuinedIntiman

 

Magnifique!

Sarah Burch Gordon
(Members’ Voice)
Man of La Mancha, Charley’s Aunt and Enchanted AprilTaproot

 

The costumes were glorious. Truly every show Sarah has done in Taproot’s 2010 season has been magnificent, but add the details of the dresses, original hats (designed and built by Sarah), the gloves, and the corsetting for [Charley's Aunt], and you get a clear picture of a designer possessed with skill, artistry, and a delightful whimsy!

Frances Kenny
(People’s Choice)
The Trip to Bountiful, ACT

 

Gorgeous subtle period details in a gorgeous subtle play.

Outstanding Lighting Designer (NEW)

2010 eligibility for nomination: Any lighting designer, regardless of union status, who designed lights and lighting effects for a 2009-2010 Season production taking place in Washington State.

Nominee Highlights / Summary of Comments and Reviews
Recipient:
Andrew D. Smith
Emma and The Cider House Rules Part IBook-It;
ElectraSeattle Shakespeare CompanyThe 13th of ParisSeattle Public Theater
Peter Kaczorowski RuinedIntiman
Tom Sturge Candide5th Avenue TheatreLost in YonkersChasing NicoletteVillage Theatre

 

His use of light [in Candide]… made for a radiant and transporting design. That show has so many locations and shifts, and Tom managed to do it all with grace and artistry.

Donald Holder South Pacific5th Avenue Theatre

 

Holder’s beautiful lighting shifts helped make this show — a homecoming of sorts for former Intiman head Bart Sher — a breath of fresh air: rich and full, without feeling over-produced.

L.B. Morse
(Members’ Voice)
Abe Lincoln in Illinois and Paradise Lost,  IntimanOpusSeattle RepThe Laramie ProjectStrawberry Theatre Workshop

 

Every design he does is appropriate, subtle and drives the action. L.B. Morse masterfully moves the audience from location to location and through time with subtle shifts of light, color and texture.

Robert Aguilar
(People’s Choice)
The Yellow Wood and 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,Contemporary ClassicsOn The Nature Of DustNew Century Theatre Company; Speech and Debate,  Seattle Rep

 

This man designed lights but he also designed shadows, which must be 10 times as hard. His designs are not intrusive and only add to the stories each show tells. He has a great ability of taking a hole-in-the-wall space and making the design look great!

Outstanding Music and Sound Designer (NEW)

2010 eligibility for nomination: Any music director or sound designer, regardless of union status, responsible for the sound and music of a 2009-2010 Season production taking place in Washington State.

Nominee Highlights / Summary of Comments and Reviews
Edd Key The Cider House Rules, Part OneBook-It and Man of La ManchaTaproot

 

Edd is a versatile, talented musician who can also be a likeable presence on stage as he plays. As musical director for
Man of La Mancha, Edd Key did a remarkable job transforming the usually large-scale musical into something intimate and even acoustic at times. Bravo!

John Osebold The Laramie ProjectStrawberry Theatre Workshop

 

Eerie, very limited soundscape gave just the right audio touches to this production. Breathtaking and beautifully done. His original score was moving and thought-provoking as the play unfolded.

Recipient:
RJ Tancioco
The Yellow WoodContemporary ClassicsThe Gypsy King and Chasing NicoletteVillage Theatre

 

RJ is an amazing musician and we are lucky he is staying in Seattle and not rushing away to a big career in New York.

Robertson Witmer On The Nature Of DustNew Century Theatre CompanyTwo Gentlemen of VeronaSeattle Shakespeare CompanyDead Man’s Cellphone,ArtsWest

 

Acoustic talent at its finest! So adaptable and creative — really understands how to support the productions he works on. Awesome!

Brendan Patrick Hogan
(Members’ Voice)
Yankee TavernACT and Robopop!Washington Ensemble Theatre

 

Everything Brendan does with sound and music adds to the productions he works on dramatically. In RoboPop! his original score told the story in a play without words. In Yankee Tavern his sound design evoked a New York bar so strongly it became the fifth character. Brendan’s work is always top of the line.

Matt Starritt
(People’s Choice)
Opus and Speech and DebateSeattle Rep

 

In a play that revolves so closely around music (Opus), the sound designer is vastly important, and Matt Starritt rises to the challenge. Inventive, fun, and added so much to the overall production.

Outstanding Scenic Designer (NEW)

2010 eligibility for nomination: Any set or scenic designer, regardless of union status, who was responsible for the scenic design of a 2009-2010 Season production taking place in Washington State.

Nominee Highlights / Summary of Comments and Reviews
William Bloodgood FencesSeattle Rep

 

Beautifully done.

Steven Capone Meet Me In St. LouisVillage Theatre

 

This elaborate 19th century drawing room set had to move on and off stage and make room for the trolley and outdoors… big and beautiful.

David Gignac When I Come To My Senses, I’m AliveAnnex TheatreThe Adventures of Herculina and Nancy, Frank and Joe, Macha Monkey

 

Annex does great things on an almost non-existent budget, so this set
[in Senses] with sleek boardroom morphing into underground lab was amazing and actually moved! David’s set was remarkable in a small space with a small budget; it revealed two entirely separate, detailed environments.

Derek McLane RuinedIntiman

 

I am so glad and thankful that Seattle was able to be home (even if for a short time) to this wonderful piece of theater. It does exactly what theater should and can do. Beautiful set… and a deeply moving story.

Recipient:
Andrea Bryn Bush

(Members’ Voice)
Robopop!Washington Ensemble TheatreElectraSeattle Shakespeare CompanyZanna Don’t! and The Yellow WoodContemporary Classics;Emma and The Cider House Rules Part IBook-ItThe 13th of Paris,Seattle Public Theater

 

Andrea is creative and edgy and we should look for great things from her. The surreal futurism [of the set of Robopop!] was at once album cover, street scape, battlefield, and love nest; and each beautiful and terrible. All this, while leaving room for a dozen dancing actors on a rather small stage!

Matthew Smucker 

(People’s Choice)
The Trip to Bountiful and Rock n RollACTCandide5th Avenue Theatre;Speech and DebateSeattle Rep

 

First of all, Smucker’s characteristic clean lines, planes and angles were a suprising and refreshing change from the often filled-up stages we see at musicals. I like everything I see of Mr. Smuckers’… Designing for the round is a challenge, but this scenic design [at ACT] surpassed that challenge.

Outstanding Playwright (NEW)

2010 eligibility for nomination: Any Washington State based playwright, regardless of union status, who has had his/her play fully mounted in Washington State during the 2009-2010 season.

Nominee Highlights / Summary of Comments and Reviews
Rachel Atkins EmmaBook-It; Various shows, Living VoicesJohnny AppleseedBook-It All Over

 

Her adaptation brought the book
Emma to life and mirrored the insouciant heroine that Austen wrote about. Terrific.

Recipient:
Steven Dietz
Yankee TavernACT

 

This latest effort is ambitious and well-crafted and confirms Dietz’s ability to address significant issues of contemporary American life in an entertaining format. It was compelling, funny, heartbreaking.

Scotto Moore When I Come To My Senses, I’m AliveAnnex Theatre

 

Scotto writes really interesting pseudo science fiction plays and this one postulates a future easy-to-imagine would come true. Intriguing and enjoyable subjects that challenge. A fresh, imaginative and accomplished work.

Kristina Sutherland & Desiree Prewitt Nancy, Frank and JoeMacha Monkey

 

Exploring the author of Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys and the empire they built was much more interesting and deep than one might originally think. The subject of women’s suffrage was successfully woven in and explored.

Scot Augustson
(Members’ Voice)
PenguinsAnnex TheatreTeenspoitationPrinter’s Devil Theater

 

Scot is one among dozens of extremely talented and under-appreciated local playwrights. His wicked sense of humor and that certain heartbreak that accompanies it keeps him at the top of my list always.

Stephanie Timm 
(People’s Choice)
On The Nature Of DustNew Century Theatre Company

 

Great play that makes me excited for what else she has up her sleeve. She has wonderful ideas and brings them to fruition with what appears to be ease and elegance. Brilliant! A Seattle treasure!