Billy Porter, Kristine Nielsen, Shoshana Bean & More Earn Elliot Norton Nominations; Diane Paulus Receives Prize for Sustained Excellence
Two dozen nominations of outstanding actors, directors, designers and ensembles were announced today by The Boston Theater Critics Association (BTCA), with winners to be revealed at the 35th Annual Elliot Norton Awards on Monday, May 15, 2017 at 7 PM, at Huntington Theatre Company's BU Theatre.
This year's recipient of the Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence is Diane Paulus, the Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director of the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University. Paulus was selected for the 2014 TIME 100, TIME Magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Two-time Tony Award-winning actress Cherry Jones will be the Guest of Honor at the much-anticipated annual event. Cherry last appeared on Broadway in THE GLASS MENAGERIE which originated at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she is a founding member and where earlier in her career she appeared in more than 25 productions.
The 35th annual Elliot Norton Awards will feature the theme ALTERNATIVE ACTS, celebrating the Boston area's theater community, future artists, and the importance of the arts in our country. The ceremony will feature musical performances by nominees and the Boston Arts Academy, the awarding of The Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence, surprise appearances and a post-ceremony party. A portion of the evening's proceeds will be donated to the Boston Arts Academy to support the region's next generation of artists.
Awards for visiting productions, actor and actress will be announced on May 15. There are no nominees in those categories this year.
Joyce Kulhawik, President of the BTCA, stated, "It is not only a milestone year for the Elliot Norton Awards-- our 35th Anniversary-- but also a crucial year for the arts/artists. As a woman speaking truth to power, Diane has extended the conversation and the reach of Boston area theater to Broadway and the world. Our theme this year, 'Alternative Acts,' is a call to art, to the fundamental role 'the creative' plays in EVERY part of our lives.
"Cherry Jones's roots are right here in this community and she has always been an extraordinary voice for freedom of expression. This is especially important now in a climate where the contributions of artists are being devalued and the NEA is being threatened with extinction.
"We are also inviting our musical nominees to perform in a way that addresses the importance of art in our world. Finally we believe that it is crucial to nurture future artists, so this year we are making a donation to support the Boston Arts Academy, whose students will take the stage along with our professional performers! Get ready for terrific musical performances from our nominees and a fabulous after party in the Huntington Theatre's Stewart Lane and Bonnie Comley Studio 210! "
The 2017 awards are presented with the support of the Huntington Theatre Company, and The Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center is sponsoring the 35th Anniversary reception after the ceremony.
The Elliot Norton Awards are presented annually by The Boston Theater Critics Association (Don Aucoin, Jared Bowen, Terry Byrne, Carolyn Clay, Iris Fanger, Jeremy D. Goodwin, Joyce Kulhawik, Kilian Melloy, Bob Nesti, and Ed Siegel) to honor the outstanding productions, directors, designers, and performers that audiences have seen on Greater Boston stages throughout the year.
The Elliot Norton Awards are named for the eminent Boston theater critic Elliot Norton, who remained an active supporter of drama, both locally and nationally, until his death in 2003 at the age of 100. The Boston theater community carries on his legacy and can be proud of its remarkable growth at a time in our nation's history when the arts are struggling to survive.
Special and honored guests at the awards in past years comprise a Who's Who of distinguished artists who have graced Boston's stages, including: Lea DeLaria, Mary Louise Wilson, Olympia Dukakis, Chita Rivera, Tommy Tune, Al Pacino, Edward Albee, Brian Dennehy, August Wilson, Julie Harris, Sir Ian McKellen, Lynn Redgrave, and Jason Robards.
The 35th annual Elliot Norton Awards will be held at the Huntington Theatre Company's BU Theatre, 264 Huntington Ave., Boston, on Monday, May 15 at 7 PM. Tickets are priced at $35.00; savvy shoppers will take advantage of $10 off the regular ticket price (available through May 1), using the code NORTIES10. Tickets are on sale at the Boston Theatre Scene Box Office, at www.bostontheatrescene.com or by calling (617) 933-8600.
Diane Paulus is the Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director of the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University, and was selected for the 2014 TIME 100, TIME Magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Paulus is the 2013 recipient of the Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical (Pippin). A.R.T.: Eve Ensler's In the Body of the World, Waitress (currently on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theater), Crossing (a new American opera with music and libretto by Matt Aucoin), Finding Neverland (currently on US National Tour), Witness Uganda, Pippin (Tony Award, Best Revival and Best Director), The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess (Tony Award, Best Revival, NAACP Award, Best Direction), Prometheus Bound, Death and the Powers: The Robots' Opera, Best of Both Worlds, Johnny Baseball, The Donkey Show. Her other recent work includes Cirque du Soleil's Amaluna, currently on tour in Europe, Invisible Thread at Second Stage, The Public Theater's Tony Award-winning revival of HAIR on Broadway and London's West End. As an opera director, her credits include The Magic Flute, the complete Monteverdi cycle, and the trio of Mozart-Da Ponte operas, among others. Diane is Professor of the Practice of Theater in Harvard University's English Department. She was selected as one of Variety's "Trailblazing Women in Entertainment for 2014" and Boston Magazine's "50 Thought Leaders of 2014."
Cherry Jones most recently made her West End debut in the triumphant revival of Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie which has garnered seven Olivier Award nominations, including a nomination for Cherry for Best Actress. Cherry last appeared on Broadway also in THE GLASS MENAGERIE which originated at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she is a founding member and where earlier in her career she appeared in more than 25 productions including Twelfth Night, The Three Sisters and The Caucasian Chalk Circle. Broadway and Off-Broadway: Doubt (Tony, Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle and Obie Awards), Lincoln Center Theater's production of The Heiress (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards); Pride's Crossing (Drama Desk Award); When We Were Young and Unafraid; The Baltimore Waltz (Obie Award); Faith Healer; Flesh and Blood; Imaginary Friends; A Moon for the Misbegotten (Tony Award nomination); Angels in America; Our Country's Good (Tony Award nomination); and Roundabout Theatre Company's productions of Mrs. Warren's Profession, Major Barbara and The Night of the Iguana. Television: President Allison Taylor in "24" (Emmy Award), "What Makes a Family," "Awake," season two and three of "Transparent" on Amazon, "Mercy Street," the mini-series 11/22/63, and the upcoming Sally Potter film THE PARTY." Film: Ocean's Twelve, Cradle Will Rock, The Horse Whisperer, The Perfect Storm, Erin Brockovich, Signs, The Village, Mother and Child, Swimmers, I Saw the Light, and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot opposite Tina Fey.
Boston Theater Critics Association 35th Anniversary Elliot Norton Awards
Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence
This year's recipient of the ENP for Sustained Excellence is Diane Paulus, Artistic Director of the American Repertory Theater, for expanding the boundaries of Boston-area theater and its role in the national conversation.
The 2017 Elliot Norton Award nominees
Awards for visiting productions, actor and actress will be announced on May 16. There are no nominees in those categories this year.
Outstanding Production, Large Theater
Fingersmith (American Repertory Theater)
Topdog/Underdog (Huntington Theatre Company)
Love's Labour's Lost (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company)
Outstanding Production, Midsize Theater
Hand to God (SpeakEasy Stage Company)
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Lyric Stage Company of Boston)
Edward II (Actors' Shakespeare Project)
Outstanding Production, Small Theater
Oh God (Israeli Stage)
Lettice and Lovage (Gloucester Stage Company)
We're Gonna Die (Company One Theatre)
Outstanding Production, Fringe Theater
Blasted (Off the Grid Theatre Company)
Silent Sky (Flat Earth Theatre)
The Little Dog Laughed (Take Your Pick Productions)
Outstanding Design, Large Theater
Fingersmith (American Repertory Theater) Set design by Christopher Acebo, costumes by Deborah Dryden, lighting by Jen Schriever, composer/sound designer Andre Pluess, projection design by Shawn Sagady, wig and makeup design by Rachel Padula Shufelt
Outstanding Design, Midsize, Small or Fringe Theater
The School for Scandal (Actors' Shakespeare Project) Set design by J. Michael Griggs, costumes by Tyler Kinney and Jen Bennett, lighting by Karen Perlow, hair and makeup design by Amber Vonner, sound design by Darby Smotherman, props master Misaki Nishimiya
Edward II (Actors' Shakespeare Project) Set design by Sara Brown, lighting by Jeff Adelberg, costumes by Rachel Padula Shufelt, sound design by David Wilson, violence design by Omar Robinson, props master Elizabeth Rocha
The Atheist (Boston Playwrights' Theatre) Scenic design by Ronan Noone, lighting by Matthew Breton, sound design by Phil Schroeder, costume design by Georgia Lyman, media advisor Zachary Dyer
Outstanding Actor, Large Theater
Outstanding Actor, Midsize Theater
Maurice Emmanuel Parent, Edward II (Actors' Shakespeare Project)
Eliott Purcell, Hand to God (SpeakEasy Stage Company)
Outstanding Actor, Small or Fringe Theater
Christopher James Webb, Blasted (Off the Grid Theatre Company)
Barlow Adamson, The Honey Trap (Boston Playwrights' Theatre)
Will Lyman, Oh God (Israeli Stage)
Outstanding Actress, Large Theater
Kristine Nielsen, Fingersmith (American Repertory Theater)
Amanda Plummer, The Night of the Iguana (American Repertory Theater)
Karen MacDonald, Finish Line (Boch Center in association with Boston Theater Company)
Outstanding Actress, Midsize Theater
Celeste Oliva, Stage Kiss (Lyric Stage Company of Boston)
Outstanding Actress, Small or Fringe Theater
Maureen Keiller, Faithless and The Honey Trap (Boston Playwrights' Theatre) and Oh God (Israeli Stage)
Kippy Goldfarb, Really (Company One Theatre in partnership with Matter & Light Fine Art)
Erin Eva Butcher, Silent Sky (Flat Earth Theatre)
Outstanding New Script
Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education, by Anna Deavere Smith (American Repertory Theater)
Outstanding Solo Performance
Obehi Janice, We're Gonna Die (Company One Theatre)
Anna Deavere Smith, Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education (American Repertory Theater)
Georgia Lyman, The Atheist (Boston Playwrights' Theatre)
Outstanding Director, Large Theater
Bill Rauch, Fingersmith (American Repertory Theater)
Outstanding Director, Midsize Theater
Paul Daigneault, Dogfight, Significant Other and The Scottsboro Boys (SpeakEasy Stage Company)
David R. Gammons, Hand to God (SpeakEasy Stage Company) and Edward II (Actors' Shakespeare Project)
Outstanding Director, Small or Fringe Theater
Guy Ben-Aharon, Oh God (Israeli Stage) and Dog Paddle (Bridge Repertory Theater)
Danielle Fauteux Jacques, Brilliant Adventures (Apollinaire Theatre Company)
John Kuntz, Blasted (Off the Grid Theatre Company)
Outstanding Musical Production, Large Theater
Sunday in the Park with George (Huntington Theatre Company)
Show Boat (Fiddlehead Theatre Company)
Spamalot (North Shore Music Theatre)
Outstanding Musical Production, Midsize, Small or Fringe Theater
Fiddler on the Roof (New Repertory Theatre)
The Scottsboro Boys (SpeakEasy Stage Company)
Billy Elliot (Wheelock Family Theatre)
Outstanding Musical Performance by an Actor
De'Lon Grant, The Scottsboro Boys (SpeakEasy Stage Company)
Seth Judice, Billy Elliot (Wheelock Family Theatre)
Outstanding Musical Performance by an Actress
Shoshana Bean, Funny Girl (North Shore Music Theatre)
Alejandra M. Parrilla, Dogfight (SpeakEasy Stage Company)
Regular Singing (New Repertory Theatre and Stoneham Theatre)
The Scottsboro Boys (SpeakEasy Stage Company)
The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Druid Theatre Company presented by ArtsEmerson