St. Louis Theater Circle Award Nominations Announced

Two productions spotlighting significant 20th-century events, “The Crime of the Century” and “The Fight of the Century,” were among the 52 shows receiving nominations for the sixth annual St. Louis Theater Circle Awards.

Stray Dog Theatre’s summer production of “Ragtime” led all musical nominations, with nine. The company was second with most nominations, 17, for five of their 2017 shows.

Nominations in 33 categories, as well as a special award, were announced today on KWMU (90.7FM) by Circle board members Judith Newmark and Ann Lemons Pollack.

The Theater Circle recognizes excellence in professional regional theater. It was founded in 2012 by local theater critics.

Among musicals, the Black Repertory Theatre’s “Crossin’ Over,” which is about the African-American experience in culture, and “Lizzie,” a rock musical about the notorious Lizzie Borden murder case, presented by New Line Theatre, each received six nominations.

The Circle features two opera categories. This year, Opera Theatre of St. Louis’ “The Grapes of Wrath” received four nominations. Seven productions by three opera companies were recognized.

In drama categories, New Jewish Theatre’s “Intimate Apparel,” about an African-American seamstress and her friendship with an Orthodox Jewish man in 1905, led the way with eight nominations, followed by “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” at The Rep with seven.

Max and Louie’s Souvenir

In comedy, Max and Louie Production’s “Souvenir,” about Florence Foster Jenkins as told by her pianist Cosme McMoon, received seven nominations, as did Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble’s original “First Impressions.”

St. Louis Shakespeare’s farce “Is He Dead?” and Shakespeare Festival St. Louis’ “The Winter’s Tale” landed six.

Receiving five were “August: Osage County” at St. Louis Actors Studio, “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberton” at The Rep, and “The Royale,” which is about Jack Johnson’s epic fight, received five. The Muny’s production of “A Chorus Line” received five.

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis topped the 24 theater companies honored, with 23 nominations for six of its nine productions last year. Stray Dog came in second, with 17, followed by The Muny at third, with 16 for five of its seven shows. New Line Theatre earned 11, with The Black Rep and  Stages St. Louis tied with 10.

First-time nominees included The Inevitable Theater Company, Rebel and Misfits Productions, Tesseract Theatre Ensemble and Theatre Macabre.

Six multiple nominees included Kari Ely, as dramatic actress in “August: Osage County” and supporting actress in “9 to 5 The Musical”; Ron Himes, for acting in “Seven Guitars” and directing “Crossin’ Over”; Rachel Tibbetts, for acting in “Little Thing, Big Thing” and directing “First Impressions;” Gary Glasgow, in drama and comedy supporting actor roles, for “Dancing at Lughnasa” and “The Winter’s Tale;” Denis Jones, for directing and choreography in “A Chorus Line”; and Sean Savoie for lighting designs in “South Pacific” and “Intimate Apparel.”

The sixth annual St. Louis Theater Circle Awards will take place on Monday, March 26, at at the Loretto-Hilton Center on the Webster University campus (home of The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis). Tickets are $15 and may be purchased at www.brownpapertickets.com 

Lara Teeter and Jan Albus of the Variety Children’s Theatre will be recognized with a special award. VCT brings together professional actors and a full orchestra with an inclusive children’s ensemble featuring talented kids with special needs, ages 7 to 21.

Last fall’s musical production, “The Wizard of Oz,” was the ninth annual. Twenty-four children with disabilities were included in the cast and 12 others were behind the scenes as production assistants, all learning theater craft from experienced professionals.

The objective of VCT is to help children with disabilities achieve their full potential, encouraging those who have a passion for the arts and creative expression.

Variety the Children’s Charity of St. Louis is a resource for kids with disabilities and their families. They focus on four core areas to help kids reach their full potential: providing medical equipment; the therapy to use it, developing unique educational and recreational programs. For more information, visit www.varietystl.org.

Stray Dog’s Production of “Ragtime”

The Theater Circle includes founding members Judith Newmark of St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Gerry Kowarsky and Bob Wilcox of HEC-TV’s “Two on the Aisle,” Mark Bretz of Ladue News, Harry Hamm of KMOX, Bob Cohn of St. Louis Jewish Light, Chuck Lavazzi of KDHX, Chris Gibson of Broadway World, Steve Allen of blog St. Louis Stage Door and Lynn Venhaus, formerly reviewer at Belleville News-Democrat and now managing editor of St. Louis Limelight, with Ann Pollack of blog St. Louis Eats, Tina Farmer of KDHX, and Michelle Kenyon of blog Snoop’s Theatre Thoughts current members. Eleanor Mullins is the group administrator.

The Full List of Nominees:
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy
Heather Beal, Dot, The Black Rep
Rachel Christopher, The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis
Andra Harkins, Steel Magnolias, Stray Dog Theatre
Larissa White, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Theatre Macabre
Gwen Wotawa, Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, Insight Theatre Company

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy
John Bratkowski, Sweet Revenge, Upstream Theater
Gary Glasgow, The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis
Andrew Kuhlman, First Impressions, Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble
Ben Ritchie, Is He Dead?, St. Louis Shakespeare
William Roth, A Behanding in Spokane, St. Louis Actors’ Studio

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy
Sophia Brown, The Way We Get By, St. Louis Actors’ Studio
Thomasina Clarke, Dot, The Black Rep
Debby Lennon, Souvenir, Max & Louie Productions
Justine Salata, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, The Rep
Rachel Tibbetts, Little Thing, Big Thing, The Midnight Company

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy
Paul Cereghino, Souvenir, Max & Louie Productions
Miles G. Jackson, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, The Rep
Jason Meyers, Stones in His Pockets, West End Players Guild
Jared Sanz-Agero, Stones in His Pockets, West End Players Guild
John Wolbers, First Impressions, Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble

Outstanding Lighting Design in a Play
Brian Sidney Bembridge, The Royale, The Rep
Patrick Huber and Tony Anselmo, Souvenir, Max & Louie Productions
Bess Moynihan, Title and Deed, The Midnight Company
Peter Sargent, All My Sons, The Rep
Sean M. Savoie, Intimate Apparel, The New Jewish Theatre

Outstanding Sound Design in a Play
David Bullard, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The Rep
Mikhail Fiksel, The Royale, The Rep
Mark Kelley, The Flick, R-S Theatrics
Ellie Schwetye, First Impressions, Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble
Rusty Wandall, The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis

Outstanding Costume Design in a Play
Teresa Doggett, Souvenir, Max & Louie Productions
JC Krajicek, Is He Dead?, St. Louis Shakespeare
Michael Alan Stein, Seven Guitars, The Black Rep
Jane Sullivan, Remnant, Mustard Seed Theatre
David Toser, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, The Rep

Outstanding Set Design in a Play
Kyra Bishop, Dancing at Lughnasa, Mustard Seed Theatre
Kristin Cassidy, Oedipus Apparatus, West End Players Guild
Dunsi Dai, Souvenir, Max & Louie Productions
Narelle Sissons, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The Rep
Peter and Margery Spack, Intimate Apparel, The New Jewish Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama
Kim Furlow, August: Osage County, St. Louis Actors Studio
Rachel Hanks, A Doll’s House, Stray Dog Theatre
Linda Kennedy, Intimate Apparel, The New Jewish Theatre
Andrea Purnell, Intimate Apparel, The New Jewish Theatre
Kathleen Wise, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The Rep

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama
Jim Butz, Uncle Vanya, Rebel and Misfits Productions
Gary Glasgow, Dancing at Lughnasa, Mustard Seed Theatre
Ron Himes, Seven Guitars, The Black Rep
Stephen Peirick, A Doll’s House, Stray Dog Theatre
Chauncy Thomas, Intimate Apparel, The New Jewish Theatre

Outstanding Actress in a Drama
Nicole Angeli, A Doll’s House, Stray Dog Theatre
Kari Ely, August: Osage County, St. Louis Actors’ Studio
Alexis J. Roston, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, Max & Louie Productions
Jacqueline Thompson, Intimate Apparel, The New Jewish Theatre
Donna Weinsting, Unsuspecting Susan, Inevitable Theatre Company

Outstanding Actor in a Drama
Christopher Harris, A Human Being Died That Night, Upstream Theater
Nick LaMedica, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The Rep
Andrew Michael Neiman, Uncle Vanya, Rebel and Misfits Productions
Carl Overly Jr., Of Mice and Men, Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble
Jim Poulos, Hamlet, The Rep

Outstanding New Play
First Impressions, SATE Ensemble Theatre
Honor Student, Michael Erickson, Tesseract Theatre
Oedipus Apparatus, Lucy Cashion, West End Players Guild
Percentage America, Carter Lewis, St. Louis Actors’ Studio
twelfth period, or not another twelfth night, Equally Represented Arts

Outstanding Achievement in Opera
Katharine Goeldner, The Grapes of Wrath, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
Ricky Ian Gordon & Michael Korie, The Grapes of Wrath, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
Stephen Lord, Titus, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
Benedetta Orsi, Carmen, Winter Opera Saint Louis
James Robinson, The Grapes of Wrath, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis

Outstanding Production of an Opera
Carousel, Union Avenue Opera
The Grapes of Wrath, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
Albert Herring, Union Avenue Opera
The Student Prince, Winter Opera Saint Louis
The Trial, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis

Outstanding Musical Director
Jennifer Buchheit, Ragtime, Stray Dog Theatre
Jeffrey Richard Carter, The Sweet Smell of Success, New Line Theatre
Charles Creath, Crossin’ Over, The Black Rep
Sarah Nelson, Lizzie, New Line Theatre
Ben Whiteley, A Chorus Line, The Muny

Outstanding Choreographer
Chris Bailey, Newsies, The Muny
Sam Gaitsch, Spring Awakening, Stray Dog Theatre
Denis Jones, A Chorus Line, The Muny
Stephanie Paul, The Royale, The Rep
Taylor Pietz, The Sweet Smell of Success, New Line Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical
Evan Addams, Ragtime, Stray Dog Theatre
Kari Ely, 9 to 5 the Musical, Stages St. Louis
Carmen Garcia, In the Heights, R-S Theatrics
Emily Skinner, The Little Mermaid, The Muny
Marcy Wiegert, Lizzie, New Line Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical
Ben Davis, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Muny
John Flack, Next to Normal, Insight Theatre Company
Matthew Hydzik, South Pacific, Stages St. Louis
Dominique Scott, Million Dollar Quartet, The Rep
John Tartaglia, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Muny

Outstanding Lighting Design in a Musical
Rob Denton, A Chorus Line, The Muny
Rob Lippert, The Sweet Smell of Success, New Line Theatre
Sean M. Savoie, South Pacific, Stages St. Louis
Nathan W. Scheuer, The Little Mermaid, The Muny
Mark Wilson, Crossin’ Over, The Black Rep

Outstanding Set Design in a Musical
David Blake, Ragtime, Stray Dog Theatre
Jim Burwinkel, Crossin’ Over, The Black Rep
Adam Koch, Million Dollar Quartet, The Rep
Michael Schweikardt and video designer Matthew Young, The Little Mermaid, The Muny
James Wolk, South Pacific, Stages St. Louis

Outstanding Costume Design in a Musical
Garth Dunbar, Seussical, Stages St. Louis
Eileen Engel, Ragtime, Stray Dog Theatre
Robin L. McGee and Puppet Kitchen Productions, The Little Mermaid, The Muny
Brad Musgrove, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Stages St. Louis
Sarah Porter, Lizzie, New Line Theatre

Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Leah Berry, South Pacific, Stages St. Louis
Kay Love, Ragtime, Stray Dog Theatre
Beth Malone, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, The Muny
Kirsten Scott, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Stages St. Louis
Skidis Vargas, Lizzie, New Line Theatre

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Jon Hey, Sweeney Todd, Stray Dog Theatre
Jay Armstrong Johnson, Newsies, The Muny
Omega Jones, Ragtime, Stray Dog Theatre
Matt Pentecost, The Sweet Smell of Success, New Line Theatre
Jeffrey Schecter, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Muny

Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy
The AFI’s Top 100 Greatest American Films of All Time: A Parody, Magic Smoking Monkey Theatre
First Impressions, Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble
Is He Dead?, St. Louis Shakespeare
Sweet Revenge, Upstream Theater
The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis

Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama
August: Osage County, St. Louis Actors’ Studio
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The Rep
Dancing at Lughnasa, Mustard Seed Theatre
Intimate Apparel, The New Jewish Theatre
twelfth period, or not another twelfth night, Equally Represented Arts

Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical
A Chorus Line, The Muny
Crossin’ Over, The Black Rep
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Muny
Lizzie, New Line Theatre
Ragtime, Stray Dog Theatre

Outstanding Director of a Comedy
Edward Coffield, Is He Dead?, St. Louis Shakespeare
Bruce Longworth, The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis
Sydnie Grosberg Ronga, Souvenir, Max & Louie Productions
Rachel Tibbetts, First Impressions, Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble
Jenn Thompson, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, The Rep

Outstanding Director of a Drama
Paul Mason Barnes, Hamlet, The Rep
Gary F. Bell, A Doll’s House, Stray Dog Theatre
Stuart Carden, The Royale, The Rep
Marcia Milgrom Dodge, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The Rep
Wayne Salomon, August: Osage County, St. Louis Actors’ Studio

Outstanding Director of a Musical
Justin Been, Ragtime, Stray Dog Theatre
Stephen Bourneuf, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Stages St. Louis
Mike Dowdy-Windsor, Lizzie, New Line Theatre
Ron Himes, Crossin’ Over, The Black Rep
Denis Jones, A Chorus Line, The Muny

Outstanding Production of a Comedy
First Impressions, SATE Ensemble Theatre
Is He Dead?, St. Louis Shakespeare
Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, The Rep
Souvenir, Max & Louie Productions
The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis

Outstanding Production of a Drama
August: Osage County, St. Louis Actors’ Studio
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The Rep
Hamlet, The Rep
Intimate Apparel, The New Jewish Theatre
The Royale, The Rep

Outstanding Production of a Musical
Crossin’ Over, The Black Rep
Lizzie, New Line Theatre
Ragtime, Stray Dog Theatre
South Pacific, Stages St. Louis
Spring Awakening, Stray Dog Theatre

Special Award
Jan Albus and Lara Teeter, Variety Theatre

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