6 from metro-east nominated for St. Louis Theater Circle awards

For the News-DemocratJanuary 31, 2014 

Outstanding achievements in live professional theater during 2013 are being recognized by the St. Louis Theater Circle for the second year, and six metro-east residents are included in this year's nominations, which were announced Friday afternoon.

The awards ceremony will take place Monday, March 17, at COCA (Creative Center of the Arts), 524 Trinity Avenue in University City.

Ben Watts of Belleville received his second nomination in a row, this time for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy as the multiple personality-stricken Chicklet Forrest in the loopy spoof "Psycho Beach Party," a Stray Dog Theatre show.

Collinsville native Anna Skidis, who played Chicklet's best friend Berdine, was also nominated for the show, as Outstanding Supporting Actress. She won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical at the inaugural awards, for "Spring Awakening."

Belleville native Whit Reichert, who has been a professional actor since the 1970s, is nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy for his portrayal of the clueless father Arthur in "Pterodactyls," a St. Louis Actors Studio production.

Marshall Jennings of East St. Louis was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor for his work as murder suspect Jim Conley in the musical "Parade," presented by R-S Theatrics.

Choreographer Jamie Lynn Eros of Belleville, a local voice teacher, was nominated for Outstanding Choreography in a Musical her work in "Little Shop of Horrors" for Stray Dog Theatre. She also appeared in the show.

Rob Lippert of O'Fallon, who designs sets and lighting for a number of theater companies, was recognized for Outstanding Lighting Design in a Musical for his work on New Line Theatre's "Night of the Living Dead."

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis received the most nominations, with 26, with The Muny Opera and St. Louis Actors Studio tied for second with 18. In all, 54 productions performed by 20 theater companies were eligible.

Two special awards will be given out during the ceremony -- to the Fringe Festival, for its Unique Contribution to Theatre; and to Scott Miller, founder of New Line Theater, for his Body of Work.

This year's nominees are as follows:

DRAMA

Outstanding Production: "Fly," The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis; "An Iliad," Upstream Theatre; "Our Town," Insight Theatre; "Venus in Fur," The Repertory Theatre; "The Whipping Man," Black Rep.

Outstanding Lead Actor: Jerry Vogel "An Iliad," St. Louis Actors Studio; John Contini "King Lear,";Ron Himes, "The Whipping Man," Black Rep; Chauncy Thomas, "Topdog/Underdog," St. Louis Actors Studio; Joneal Joplin, "Our Town," Insight Theatre.

Outstanding Lead Actress: Sarah Nedwick "Venus in Fur ," The Repertory Theatre; Nancy Bell "The Goat," St. Louis Actors Studio; Shanara Gabrielle "Hannah Senesh," New Jewish Theatre; Sarah Cannon "Jane Eyre," Mustard Seed Theatre; Denise Cormier "Good People," The Repertory Theatre.

Outstanding Supporting Actor: Bobby Miller "King Lear,"; Ronald Connor and Justin Ivan Brown "The Whipping Man," Black Rep; Aaron Orion Baker "Good People," The Repertory Theatre; Robert Mitchell, "The Piano Lesson," Black Rep.

Outstanding Supporting Actress: Elizabeth Townsend "Good People," The Repertory Theatre; Julia Crump "Time Stands Still,"; Taylor Pietz "Our Town," Insight Theater; Magan Wiles "Diary of a Madman," Upstream Theatre; Donna Weinsting "Jane Eyre," Mustard Seed Theatre.

Outstanding Director: Seth Gordon "Venus in Fur," The Repertory Theatre; Elizabeth Helman "Top Dog/Underdog," St. Louis Actors Studio; Ricardo Kahn "Fly," The Repertory Theatre; Tom Martin "Our Town," Insight Theatre; Wayne Salomon "The Goat," St. Louis Actors Studio.

Outstanding Ensemble: "Fly," the Rep; "King Lear," SLAS Studio; "Our Town," Insight Theatre Company; "The Piano Lesson," the Black Rep; "The Whipping Man," the Black Rep.

COMEDY

Outstanding Production: "As You Like It," St. Louis Shakespeare; "Maple and Vine," HotCity; "Psycho Beach Party," Stray Dog; "Twelfth Night," Shakespeare Festival; "Waiting for Godot," SLAS.

Outstanding Supporting Actress: Emily Baker, "Boeing Boeing," Dramatic License Productions; Betsy Bowman, "Pterodactyls," SLAS; Teresa Doggett, "The Good Doctor," New Jewish; Michelle Hand, "Maple and Vine," HotCity; Anna Skidis, "Psycho Beach Party," Stray Dog.

Outstanding Supporting Actor: Aaron Orion Baker, "The Good Doctor," New Jewish; Aaron Orion Baker, "Waiting for Godot," SLAS; William Grivna, "Entertaining Mr. Sloane," HotCity; Anderson Matthews, "Twelfth Night," Shakespeare Festival; Whit Reichert, "Pterodactyls," SLAS.

Outstanding Actress: Glynis Bell, "Talking Heads," SLAS; Lavonne Byers, "Entertaining Mr. Sloane," HotCity; Rita Gardner, "4000 Miles," Repertory Theatre of St. Louis; Judi Mann, "The Lyons," Max & Louie Productions; Donna Weinsting, "Mrs. Mannerly," Max & Louie.

Outstanding Actor: Gary Wayne Barker, "Waiting for Godot," SLAS; Terry Meddows, "Waiting for Godot," SLAS; Joshua Thomas, "Twelfth Night," Shakespeare Festival; David Wassilak, "The Good Doctor," New Jewish; Ben Watts, "Psycho Beach Party," Stray Dog.

Outstanding Director: Justin Been, "Psycho Beach Party," Stray Dog; Rick Dildine, "Twelfth Night," Shakespeare Festival; Bobby Miller, "Waiting for Godot," SLAS; Wayne Salomon, "The Lyons," Max & Louie; Brad Schwartz, "Boeing Boeing," Dramatic License.

Outstanding Ensemble: "Entertaining Mr. Sloane," HotCity Theatre; "The Good Doctor," New Jewish Theatre; "Psycho Beach Party," Stray Dog Theatre; "Twelfth Night," Shakespeare Festival St. Louis; "Waiting for Godot," St. Louis Actors' Studio.

Outstanding New Play: Nancy Bell, "Old Hearts Fresh," Shakespeare Festival; Daniel Damiano, "Day of the Dog," SLAS; Ken Page, "Cafe Chanson," Upstream; Lia Romano, "Connected," HotCity; Margaret Stamell, "Childcare," OnSite Theatre Company.

DESIGN - COMEDY AND DRAMA

Outstanding Set Design: Beowulf Borritt, "Fly," the Rep; Tim Case, "The Whipping Man," the Black Rep; John Ezell, "The Mousetrap," the Rep; Paul Shortt, "Double Indemnity," the Rep; Margery and Peter Spack, "Freud's Last Session," the Rep.

Outstanding Costume Design: Teresa Doggett, "King Lear," SLAS; JC Krajicek, "Jane Eyre," Mustard Seed; JC Krajicek, "Maple and Vine," HotCity; Patricia McGourty, "Sense and Sensibility," the Rep; David Kay Mickelsen, "Double Indemnity," the Rep.

Outstanding Lighting Design: Maureen Berry, "The Good Doctor," New Jewish; Rui Rita and Jake DeGroot, "Fly," the Rep; James Sale, "Double Indemnity," the Rep; Michael Sullivan, "Maple and Vine," HotCity; Mark Wilson, "The Whipping Man," the Black Rep.

Outstanding Sound Design: John Gromada, "Fly," the Rep; Ben Marcum, "Freud's Last Session," the Rep; Ellie Schwetye, "The Woman in Black," Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble; Rusty Wandall, "The Mousetrap," the Rep; Rusty Wandall, "Venus in Fur," the Rep.

DESIGN - MUSICALS

Outstanding Set Design: David Blake, "Little Shop of Horrors," Stray Dog; Robert Mark Morgan, "West Side Story," the Muny; Michael Schweikardt, "Cabaret," the Rep; Margery and Peter Spack, "Shlemiel the First," New Jewish; James Wolk, "Always . . . Patsy Cline," Stages St. Louis.

Outstanding Costume Design: Dorothy Marshall Englis, "My Fair Lady," Stages; Alexandra Scibetta Quigley, "Little Shop of Horrors," Stray Dog; James Schuette, "The Pirates of Penzance," Opera Theatre of St. Louis; Michelle Friedman Siler, "Shlemiel the First," New Jewish; Angela Wendt, "Cabaret," the Rep.

Outstanding Lighting Design: John Lasiter, "Cabaret," the Rep; Rob Lippert, "Night of the Living Dead," New Line Theatre; Sean Savoie, "Next to Normal," New Line; Nathan W. Scheurer, "Les Miserables," The Muny; Michael Sullivan, "All Is Calm," Mustard Seed.

MUSICALS

Outstanding Production: "All Is Calm," Mustard Seed; "Cafe Chanson," Upstream; "Les Miserables," the Muny; "South Pacific," the Muny; "West Side Story," the Muny.

Outstanding Musical Director: Lisa Campbell-Albert, "Always . . . Patsy Cline," Stages; Brad Haak, "South Pacific," the Muny; James Moore, "West Side Story," the Muny; Henry Palkes, "Shlemiel the First," New Jewish; Joe Schoen, "All Is Calm," Mustard Seed.

Outstanding Choreographer: Chris Bailey, "West Side Story," the Muny; Sean Curran, "The Pirates of Penzance," OTSL; Dana Lewis, "My Fair Lady," Stages; Jamie Lynn Marble Eros, "Little Shop of Horrors," Stray Dog; Cecil Slaughter, "The Wiz," the Black Rep.

Outstanding Ensemble: "All Is Calm," Mustard Seed; "Cafe Chanson," Upstream; "Les Miserables," the Muny; "My Fair Lady," Stages; "West Side Story," the Muny.

Outstanding Supporting Actress: Mary Beth Black, "Next to Normal," New Line; Natalie Cortez, "West Side Story," the Muny; Johanna Elkana-Hale, "Shlemiel the First," New Jewish; Mary Gordon Murray, "Cabaret," the Rep; Zoe Vonder Haar, "Always . . . Patsy Cline," Stages.

Outstanding Supporting Actor: Ryan Foizey, "Next To Normal," New Line; Marshall Jennings, "Parade," R-S Theatrics; Edward Juvier, "My Fair Lady" Stages; Rob McClure, "Shrek," the Muny; Antonio Rodriguez, "Cafe Chanson," Upstream.

Outstanding Actress: Pamela Brumley, "My Fair Lady," Stages; Laura Michelle Kelly, "South Pacific," the Muny; Jacqueline Petroccia, "Always . . . Patsy Cline," Stages; Deborah Sharn, "Gypsy," Stray Dog; Kimi Short, "Next to Normal," New Line.

Outstanding Actor: Ben Davis, "South Pacific," the Muny; Zachary Alan Farmer, "Bukowsical," New Line; Norm Lewis, "Les Miserables," the Muny; Hugh Panaro, "Les Miserables," the Muny; Peter Winfrey, "Parade," R-S.

Outstanding Director: Gordon Greenberg, "West Side Story," the Muny; Richard Jay-Alexander, "Les Miserables," the Muny; Deanna Jent, "All Is Calm," Mustard Seed; Scott Miller, "Next to Normal," New Line; Ken Page, "Cafe Chanson," Upstream.

Members of the St. Louis Theater Circle are local critics. Lynn Venhaus, who reviews theater for the Belleville News-Democrat, is one of the founding members. Judith Newmark, Andrea Braun, Mark Bretz, Bob Wilcox, Gerry Kowarsky, Harry Hamm, Chuck Lavazzi, Christopher Reilly, Tina Farmer, Andrea Torrence, Bob Cohn, Chris Gibson and Steve Allen are the other colleagues in the group.

Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased for $15 through COCA: https://orders.cocastl.org/single/eventDetail.aspx?p=1531

The COCA Box Office is open Tuesday-Fri day from 3-7 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. You can call 314-561-4877, go to www.cocastl.org, or come in person, 524 Trinity Av.

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