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14th Annual Suzi Awards Gala Announced At The Conant Performing Arts Center 

Atlanta professional theatre artists, producers and patrons gather to celebrate the 2017-2018 season of plays and musicals at the 14th Annual Suzi Bass Awards on Monday, November 5, 2018, at 7pm, doors open at 6pm. The event is being held at the Conant Performing Arts Center at Oglethorpe University, 4484 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30319.

Winners from among the nominated artists in this year's thirty-three (33) categories will take home the coveted award. Judges and Suzi Members have chosen recipients in performance, direction and design categories for plays, musicals, and theatre productions for young audiences. The Ceremony will honor the recipients of the Gene-Gabriel Moore Playwriting Award, and the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The ceremony will include live performances from the musicals nominated in the Production-Musical category. Performances will include numbers from Blackberry Daze at Horizon Theatre; Cabaret at Serenbe Playhouse; Candide at the Alliance Theatre; The Color Purple at Actor's Express; and The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Aurora Theatre/Theatrical Outfit. This year, for the first time, the ceremony will also include live performances of scenes from the plays nominated in the Production/Play category. Those are Abigail/1702 at Aurora Theatre; Angels in America at Actor's Express; Boy at Theatrical Outfit; Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley at Theatrical Outfit; and, Perfect Arrangement at Theatrical Outfit.

Tickets to the ceremony may be purchased online at www.suziawards.org for $50 per adult and $20 per student under 16. Discounts apply for Suzi Members and 2017 Nominees. All tickets are $60 at the door. The catered after-party is included in the ticket price. This year, guests are able to become a member and receive the discounted "Member Ticket" in one transaction. Visit www.suziawards.org.

The award, named after the primary founder of the Suzi Awards organization, recognizes an Atlanta-based playwright whose work (written or adapted) was produced by a professional Atlanta theatre in the preceding season. A committee of area educators, playwrights and theatre professionals read each of the plays and chose the recipient. Unlike the other production and achievement awards given at the ceremony, the Gene Gabriel Moore Playwriting Award is a literary one assessing the play "on the page" and not as it was produced. After a production, playwrights often revise their scripts based on that experience, and the award committee considers the very latest draft of the play. Developing local works remains a priority within the professional Atlanta theatre community. This year there are eleven (11) nominees for the Gene-Gabriel Moore Playwriting Award.

The nominees, the writer, and the theatre that produced it, are:

Alice Between, by Steve Coulter & Neely Gossett (Alliance Theatre)

Black Nerd, by Jon Carr (Dad's Garage)
Built to Float, by Rachel Graf Evans (Essential Theatre)
Empty Rooms, by Annie Harrison Elliott (Found Stages)

Hospice & Pointing at the Moon, by Pearl Cleage (Alliance Theatre)

Morningside, by Topher Payne (Georgia Ensemble Theatre)
The Dancing Granny, by Jireh Breon Holder (Alliance Theatre)
The Flower Room, by Daryl Lisa Fazio (Actor's Express)

The Followers, by Margaret Baldwin (7 Stages)
Three Ladies of Orpington, by Daniel Guyton (Onion Man Productions)

Woke, by Avery Sharpe (Essential Theatre)

From time to time, the Board of Directors of the Suzi Bass Awards may choose to recognize a member of the Metro Atlanta theatre community with a Lifetime Achievement Award. This award focuses on a body of work having a significant and long-term effect on the theatre community. This year, there was such compelling information on two nominees, that the Board decided to Award each with the honor. Both Liz Lee and Rosemary Newcott will receive a 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award. Both of these deserving recipients have resumes too long to include, but here is a snippet from each nomination communique:

Liz Lee:

Liz began her career with the Center for Puppetry Arts in 1978. She was the Center's first production manager in 1983, and continued as Resident Lighting Designer from 1983 onward, being named Producer in 1998. Each year she coordinates the production and/or presentation of more than 15 productions by the Center's own artists, and by national and international guest artists performing at the Center. In addition to her work at the Center, Liz is a free-lance lighting designer and has received numerous Suzi Awards for her work. At the end of October, Liz will step away from her role as Producer at the Center for Puppetry Arts. Her "retirement" will allow her more time to design, and thankfully, she's therefore not really leaving the Atlanta theater scene, we can think of no better time to acknowledge her great accomplishments and the many contributions she has made to our community in her 40+ years of professional work in Atlanta.

Rosemary Newcott:

Rosemary, the Alliance Theatre's Sally G. Tomlinson Artistic Director of Theatre for Youth, has been an integral part of the luminous history of theatre in Atlanta, and has blissfully directed dozens of productions such as A Christmas Carol, Slur (premiere), Pearl Cleage's Tell Me My Dream (premiere),The Grimm Lives of the Inbetweens (premiere), Charlotte's Web, The Wizard of Oz, James and the Giant Peach, The Real Tweenagers of Atlanta (premiere), Suessical, Class of 3000 Live! (premiere), The Book of Ruth, The Hobbit, and more. Committed to inspiring the young, she annually directs an elementary school level production, and a middle school level production. She directed, pioneered, and for over 10 years, has executed The Alliance High School Collision Project, and more recently, the Alliance's nationally acclaimed, new and innovative, Theatre for the Very Young--theatre for children ages zero to five years old. Rosemary will retire from the Alliance next year and will then share her creative gifts with those suffering from dementia and will develop theatre to give their lives hope and meaning.

For more information on the Suzi Bass Awards and to purchase tickets, please visit www.suziawards.org.


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