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Winners Announced for 28th Annual LA STAGE ALLIANCE OVATION AWARDS

Winners Announced for 28th Annual LA STAGE ALLIANCE OVATION AWARDSThe 28th Annual LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards, celebrating theatrical excellence and achievement throughout Los Angeles, were presented on Monday, January 29, at the Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown LA.

Thirty-five awards were bestowed upon 19 different Southern California theatre companies. The most honored companies of the year were Geffen Playhouse (The Legend of Georgia McBride, Actually); East West Players (Next to Normal); Actors Co-op (33 Variations); The Echo Theater Company (Dry Land [shared with Center Theatre Group], The Cake, Blueberry Toast); Center Theatre Group (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Archduke, Dry Land [shared with The Echo Theater Company]); and Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (The Encounter, For the Record: Scorsese - American Crime Requiem). Rogue Machine received the Best Season Award (Dutch Masters, Les Blancs, Still Life, The Super Variety Match Bonus Round!).

Ovation Honors, which recognize outstanding achievement in areas that are not among the standard list of nomination categories, were awarded to Noah Agruss (Music Composition for a Play, Bars and Measures at The Theatre @ Boston Court); Ahmed Best (Fight Choreography, The Echo Theater Company's Blueberry Toast); and Joe Seely (Puppet Design, Wicked Lit 2016, Unbound Productions).

Additionally, Center Theatre Group presented the 2017 Sherwood Award for innovative and adventurous artists to Hana Kim. This award is endowed by the Sherwood family and is accompanied by $10,000 to further Kim's artistic work.

For a complete list of winners, go to @ This Stage Magazine (ThisStage.LA).

The ceremony was hosted by Kirsten Vangsness, and this year's presenters included theatre notables (in alphabetical order) Malcolm Barrett, Alexandra Billings, Nathan Birnbaum, Melody Butiu, Crystal Diaz, Sheldon Epps, Larissa Fasthorse, Sam Harris, Russell Hornsby, Diarra Kilpatrick, Justin Kirk, Reggie Lee, Pam MacKinnon, Kelly Miller, Mitch O'Farrell, Rose Portillo, Armin Shimerman, J.K. Simmons, Miranda Wright, and Zakiya Young. Musical numbers were performed by Alexandra Billings, Melody Butiu, and Zakiya Young.

Founded in 1989, the LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards are the only peer-judged theatre awards in Los Angeles. Voters are Los Angeles theatre professionals who are chosen each year through an application process by the Ovation Rules Committee. This year's Ovation Awards eligibility period ran from August 29, 2016 through August 27, 2017.

Since 1975, LA Stage Alliance has been dedicated to building awareness, appreciation, and support for the performing arts in Greater Los Angeles. All of its initiatives aim to serve and strengthen the sector - both at individual and community levels - providing resources that facilitate audience engagement, collaborative marketing, community building, and professional development.

Sponsors for this year's Ovation Awards ceremony were Bakers Man Productions, Butcher Bird Studios, CBS, F&D Scene Changes Ltd., Footlights, KCET, Peter Konerko Photography, Malibu Family Wines, Ovation TV, Rose Brand, TheaterMania, Theatre Corner, UCLA School of Theater, Film & Television, USC School of Dramatic Arts, Variety, Venture Hill Entertainment, and Ken Werther Publicity.

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