Merrimack Repertory Theatre Earns 15 Nominations In The 2018 Irne Awards

By: Mar. 01, 2018
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Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) is proud to announce that it received 15 nominations from the Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) for its 22nd Annual IRNE Awards, including nominations in the Best Play and Best Director categories for Silent Sky and The Royale, and two nominations for My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend, including Best New Play.

"It is so gratifying to see the amazing talent MRT is bringing to Lowell being recognized by our friends at IRNE," said MRT Artistic Director Sean Daniels. "We're in the midst of an incredible season and I can't wait to share our plans for our 40th Anniversary Season of plays coming out later this year."

Of Marco Ramirez's The Royale, Megan Sandberg-Zakian added, "It feels really meaningful to have our production of Marco's beautiful play recognized. I've rarely seen a play affect audiences so much-people would often start out cheering and walk out sobbing. And this was a stunning ensemble of actors that left it all on the stage every night-like true athletes. Looking forward to celebrating this show, MRT's many noms, and the wonderful Boston theater community in April!" Sandberg-Zakian is the director-in-residence at MRT where her credits include the world premiere of Eleanor Burgess' Chill, The Royale, A Christmas Carol, and It's a Wonderful Life, and she is a recipient of the Princess Grace Theater Award.

The IRNE Awards honor the best of the previous year's actors, directors, choreographers, designers and companies across the full spectrum of large, mid-size and fringe theater companies. The winners will be announced on Monday, April 23, 2018, at 7:30 p.m., in the Ballroom of the Holiday Inn Brookline/Boston, at a free event.

The following are all of Merrimack Repertory Theatre's 2018 IRNE nominations in the large stage category:

Best New Play

My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend-Christian Duhamel and Edward Bell

Best Set Design

James J. Fenton-Silent Sky

Best Lighting Design

Brian J. Lilienthal-Silent Sky

Best Sound Design

David Keeton-Silent Sky

Best Solo Performance

Charissa Bertels-My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend

Best Ensemble

Silent Sky

Best Supporting Actress-Play

Ramona Lisa Alexander-The Royale

Julia Brothers-Silent Sky

Best Supporting Actor-Play

Mark W. Soucy-The Royale

Best Actress-Play

Alexis Bronkovic-Silent Sky

Best Actor-Play

Thomas Silcott-The Royale

Best Director-Play

Megan Sandberg-Zakian-The Royale

Sean Daniels-Silent Sky

Best Play

The Royale

Silent Sky

A full list of IRNE nominations is online at and the IRNE Awards facebook page.

About MRT's 2018 IRNE Award Nominations

My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend

Performance Dates: April 26 - May 21, 2017

Conceived and Performed by Charissa Bertels
Book and Lyrics by Christian Duhamel
Music and Lyrics by Edward Bell
Directed by Sean Daniels
Produced in association with Peilin Chou

Director Sean Daniels is joined by a creative team that includes Kevin David Thomas (Music Director), Neil Patel (Sets), Brian J. Lilienthal (Lighting), Gregory A. Poplyk (Costumes), and Daniel Erdberg (Sound).

The Royale

Performance Dates: Sep. 13 - Oct. 8, 2017

By Marco Ramirez

Directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian
The five-person cast includes local actors Ramona Lisa Alexander (Nina) and Mark W. Soucy (Max), as well as Thomas Silcott (Jay), Jeorge Bennett Watson (Wynton), and Toran White (Fish). The creative team includes Lawrence Moten (Sets), Miranda Kau Giurleo (Costumes), Karen Perlow (Lighting), David Remedios (Sound), and Kyle Vincent Terry (Fight Choreographer).
Press resources and images:

Silent Sky

Performance Dates: Oct. 18 - Nov. 12, 2017

By Lauren Gunderson

Directed by Sean Daniels

The five-person cast includes Alexis Bronkovic (Henrietta Leavitt), Julia Brothers (Williamina Fleming), Tom Coiner (Peter Shaw), Victoria Grace (Margaret Leavitt), and Polly Lee (Annie Cannon). The creative team headed by Director Sean Daniels (who also directed I and You) includes James J. Fenton (Sets), Anne Kennedy (Costumes), Brian J. Lilienthal (Lighting), and David Keeton (Original Composition and Sound).

Merrimack Repertory Theatre

Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) has been Merrimack Valley's professional theatre company since 1979 and is an integral part of Lowell's identity as the cultural heart of the region. MRT produces vibrant, contemporary plays that explore what it means to be alive today. A seven-show season runs from September through May in the intimate 279-seat Nancy L. Donahue Theatre. The company is known as a leader in producing new plays, especially world and regional premieres. MRT is one of 72 theatres nationwide (one of three in Massachusetts) with membership in LORT (the League of Resident Theatres).

Merrimack Repertory Theatre is funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Performance Space: The Nancy L. Donahue Theatre?
(In Liberty Hall, adjacent to Lowell Memorial Auditorium)
50 E. Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA 01852
Box Office: 978-654-4678


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