Photo Flash: Kelsey Companies Score at NJACT Perry Awards

Community theater companies that perform at Mercer County Community College's Kelsey Theatre continued to garner accolades at this year's annual Perry Awards competition, hosted by the New Jersey Association of Community Theatres (NJACT). Award winners were announced at a banquet in September. Scroll down for photos!

Selected from New Jersey community Theater Productions that were performed during the 2012-13 season, Kelsey Theatre companies and actors received 24 nominations; four were selected as winners of the highly competitive awards.

The Pennington Players, which mounts two productions annually at Kelsey Theatre, received the coveted Community Theatre of the Year Award, chosen from more than 150 theater companies that perform throughout the state. The company's president is Kyrus Keenan Westcott, a 2008 graduate of the MCCC Theatre program.

Other awardees included Isabel Kinney, of Cranbury, as Outstanding Youth Actress in a Play for her portrayal of Helen Keller in "The Miracle Worker" (The Pennington Players); Eliza Burwell as Outstanding Stage Manager of a Play, also for "The Miracle Worker"; and Alycia Bauch and John Maurer for Outstanding Properties of a Musical for "Avenue Q" (Maurer Productions OnStage).

Accomplished actress and singer Elizabeth Rzasa, a staff member in the MCCC Music Department, won Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical for "Scrooge" with Shore Repertory Theater Company, a role she performed at Algonquin Arts Theatre in Manasquan. Rzasa performs frequently at Kelsey Theatre, most recently in September as Philia in "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum."

In congratulating the nominees and the winners, Kelsey Theatre Artistic Director M. Kitty Getlik said, "We are so proud of the companies and actors who contribute to the quality offerings at our theater. Their passion for the performing arts is apparent in each and every production mounted on our stage. Each year, we see them pushing the envelope with challenging shows that require not only top-notch acting, but also set design, props and costuming that are increasingly creative and sophisticated. Our audiences have come to expect a lot and these groups deliver."

Members of Maurer Productions' "Avenue Q" cast, which had a two-week run at Kelsey Theatre last March and earned multiple nominations, reprised some of the show's hilarious numbers as part of the entertainment at the awards ceremony.

Other Kelsey nominees included: Calvin Tobias as Outstanding Youth Actor in a Play for "On Golden Pond" (PinnWorth Productions); Wayne Irons and Judi Parrish for Outstanding Sound Design of a Play for "The Miracle Worker" (The Pennington Players); Judi Parrish for Outstanding Direction of a Play for "The Miracle Worker" (The Pennington Players); E. Nicole Spadafino for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical for "Avenue Q" (Maurer Productions OnStage); Shannan Gonzalez for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical for "Avenue Q" (Maurer Productions OnStage); Michael Schiumo for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical for "Avenue Q" (Maurer Productions OnStage); Kyrus Keenan Westcott for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical for "Avenue Q" (Maurer Productions OnStage); Dottie Farina for Outstanding Properties of a Musical for "Sunday in the Park with George" (PinnWorth Productions); Kate Pinner for Outstanding Scenic Design of a Play for "On Golden Pond" (PinnWorth Productions); John M. Maurer and Amy Bessellieu for Outstanding Scenic Design of a Musical for "Avenue Q" (Maurer Productions OnStage); Kathy Slothower for Outstanding Costume Design of a Play for "The Miracle Worker" (The Pennington Players); Kate Pinner for Outstanding Costume Design of a Musical for "Sunday in the Park with George" (PinnWorth Productions); Laurie Gougher for Outstanding Musical Direction for "Avenue Q" (Maurer Productions OnStage); John M. Maurer for Outstanding Direction of a Musical for "Avenue Q" (Maurer Productions OnStage); Jennifer Nasta Zefutie for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play for "The Miracle Worker" (Pennington Players); and Maurer Productions for Outstanding Production of a Musical for "Avenue Q" (Maurer Productions Onstage).

Kelsey Theatre offers year-round theatrical events including family and adult musicals, dramas and the Kelsey Kids Series. The schedule includes special holiday shows for the whole family. More information is available at www.kelseytheatre.net.

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Photo Flash: Kelsey Companies Score at NJACT Perry Awards
Kyrus Keenan Westcott, president of the Pennington Players, accepts the Community Theatre of the Year Award on behalf of The Players. Westcott is an MCCC Theatre alumnus ('08). Pictured in the background: Pennington Players' Judi Parrish, left, who was nominated for Outstanding Direction of a Play for "The Miracle Worker," and actress Elizabeth Rzasa, who performs regularly at Kelsey Theatre and won Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical for "Scrooge" with Shore Repertory Theater Company, a role she performed at Algonquin Arts Theatre in Manasquan.

Photo Flash: Kelsey Companies Score at NJACT Perry Awards
Pictured at the NJACT Perry Awards Ceremony, from left, Judi Parrish, nominated for her direction of "The Miracle Worker," Outstanding Youth Actress award winner Isabel Kinney, of Cranbury, for her portrayal of Helen Keller, and Kelsey Theatre Artistic Director Kitty Getlik.

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