First Night's Top Ten of 2018 Announced in Nashville Tonight

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First Night's Top Ten of 2018 Announced in Nashville Tonight

First Night's Top Ten of 2018 Announced in Nashville TonightIn anticipation of the gala 30th anniversary celebration of The First Night Awards, Tennessee's best and brightest in live theater were revealed tonight as First Night's Top Ten of 2018 - reviewer and critic Jeffrey Ellis' annual recognition for theater in the Volunteer State - were announced during a 7:30 p.m. Facebook Live presentation from Nashville.

Nominees in 22 different categories were announced during the Facebook Live event, with ultimate winners of the 2019 First Night Awards to be recognized during Midwinter's First Night, a raucous night of celebration and entertainment to be held in January. The history of First Night dates back to September 1989, when the first Dare Theatre Awards were presented - which subsequently became known as The First Night Awards in 1990 and which eventually grew to include The First Night Honors in 2010.

Assisting Ellis with the festivities tonight were a group of Nashville theater personalities including Midwinter's First Night hosts Rachel Potter (winner of the 2018 First Night Award for Leading Actress in a Musical for her performance in Chaffin's Barn Theatre's Mamma Mia) and Bradley Gale (2019 First Night Award nominee for Leading Actor in a Musical for Nashville Repertory Theatre's Avenue Q). They will be joined as co-hosts for the January event by Jeremy Benton, currently on tour with Irving Berlin's White Christmas.

Other presenters, who will also be featured during Midwinter's First Night, included Megan Blevins, Kristian Dambrino, Brooke Leigh Davis, Angela Gimlin, Elizabeth Golden, Candace-Omnira Lafayette, Amie Lara, Jon Rogers and David West.

First Night's Top Ten of 2018 (the number of nominees is not, however, limited to ten shows or individuals) in each category, are:

First Night's Top Ten of 2018 Announced in Nashville TonightTHE THEATERATI OF THE YEAR presented by Jon Rogers

Nancy Allen, Belmont University Musical Theatre

Rene D. Copeland, Nashville Repertory Theatre

Randy Craft, Street Theatre Company

Vali Forrister, Actors Bridge Ensemble

Denice Hicks, Nashville Shakespeare Festival

Nettie Kraft and Graham Mote, The Barbershop Theater

Jim Manning, Set Designer and Director

Bryce McDonald, Cumberland County Playhouse

Chase Miller, Actor

Cheryl White, Actor

Martha Wilkinson, Chaffin's Barn Theatre

Mark David Williams, Center for the Arts

First Night's Top Ten of 2018 Announced in Nashville TonightTHE MOST PROMISING ACTORS presented by Angela Gimlin

Sevon Askew; Lucas Beckett; Seth Bennett; Brooke Bethel; Samantha Blake; Kamryn Victoria Boyd; Seth Austin Brown; Alex Drinnen; Michael Dunaway; Isaiah Frank; Robin August Fritsch; Elizabeth Golden; Bobby Hogan; Jack Jones; Sam Kell; Jonathan Killebrew; Tori Kocher; Chamberlin Little; Lexie McEntire; Elisha McFarlin; Brianna Middleton; Charlie Munday; Daxton Patrick; Nate Paul; Kayla Petrille; Emma Puerta; Austin Querns; Abbey Rhyne; Virginia Richardson; Liam Searcy; Austin Jeffrey Smith; Nicholas True; Braden Wahl; and Lauren Yawn.

First Night's Top Ten of 2018 Announced in Nashville TonightTHE TOP PLAYS presented by Amie Lara

A Doll's House, Part 2, Nashville Repertory Theatre

Big Love, The Party

Eclipsed, Street Theatre Company

The Flick, Verge Theatre Company

Frankenstein, Studio Tenn

Hamlet, Nashville Shakespeare Festival

Kimberly Akimbo, Verge Theater Company

Mockingbird, Nashville Children's Theatre

Stupid F-ing Bird, ACT 1

Truth/Dare, Woven Theatre

The Wolves, Actors Bridge Ensemble

First Night's Top Ten of 2018 Announced in Nashville TonightTHE TOP MUSICALS presented by Elizabeth Golden

Avenue Q, Nashville Repertory Theatre

Brooklyn the Musical, Street Theatre Company

Elf the Musical, Chaffin's Barn Theatre

Hair, Circle Players

Heathers, Center for the Arts

The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Cumberland County Playhouse

The Little Mermaid, Nashville Children's Theatre

Newsies, Circle Players

Newsies, Chaffin's Barn Theatre

Side Show, Belmont University Musical Theatre

Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Cumberland County Playhouse

Titanic the Musical, Arts Center of Cannon County

Tuck Everlasting, Nashville Children's Theatre

First Night's Top Ten of 2018 Announced in Nashville TonightTHE TOP DIRECTORS OF A PLAY presented by Rachel Potter

Mark Cabus, Stupid F-ing Bird, ACT 1

Rene D. Copeland, A Doll's House, Part 2, Nashville Repertory Theatre

Alicia Haymer, Eclipsed, Street Theatre Company

Laramie Hearn, Kimberly Akimbo, Verge Theater Company

Denice Hicks, Hamlet, Nashville Shakespeare Festival

Jaclynn Jutting, The Flick, Verge Theater Company

Jaclynn Jutting, The Wolves, Actors Bridge Ensemble

Cori Anne Laemmel, You're Still Here, The Theater Bug

Matt Logan, Frankenstein, Studio Tenn

Ernie Nolan, Mockingbird, Nashville Children's Theatre

First Night's Top Ten of 2018 Announced in Nashville TonightTHE TOP DIRECTORS OF A MUSICAL presented by Bradley Gale

Darryl Deason and Rachel Jones, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Arts Center of Cannon County

Rachel Jones, Heathers, Center for the Arts

Bakari King, Brooklyn the Musical, Street Theatre Company

Jason Lewis, Hair, Circle Players

Jim Manning, Newsies, Circle Players

Bryce McDonald, Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Cumberland County Playhouse

Ernie Nolan, The Little Mermaid, Nashville Children's Theatre

Ernie Nolan, Tuck Everlasting, Nashville Children's Theatre

Martha Wilkinson, Elf the Musical, Chaffin's Barn Theatre

Mark David Williams, The Little Mermaid, Center for the Arts

First Night's Top Ten of 2018 Announced in Nashville TonightTHE TOP MUSICAL DIRECTORS presented by David West

Jo Lynn Burks, Side Show, Belmont University Musical Theatre

Randy Craft, Brooklyn the Musical, Street Theatre Company

Randy Craft, The Burnt Part Boys, Street Theatre Company

Kelsi Fulton, Godspell, Lipscomb University Theatre

Allison Hall, Titanic the Musical, Arts Center of Cannon County

DaJuana Hammonds, Newsies, Circle Players

Robert Hiers, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Arts Center of Cannon County

Stephen Kummer, Beauty and the Beast, Studio Tenn

Rollie Mains, Newsies, Chaffin's Barn Theatre

Ron Murphy, Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Cumberland County Playhouse

David Weinstein, Tuck Everlasting, Nashville Children's Theatre

First Night's Top Ten of 2018 Announced in Nashville TonightTHE TOP CHOREOGRAPHERS presented by Rachel Potter

Billy Ditty, Grease, Studio Tenn

Brittany Griffin, The Little Mermaid, Center for the Arts

Leila Jones, Holiday Inn, Cumberland County Playhouse

Tosha Pendergrast, Hair, Circle Players

Tosha Pendergrast, Newsies, Circle Players

Anna Perry, On The Town, Belmont University Musical Theatre

Ernie Nolan, The Little Mermaid, Nashville Children's Theatre

Kari Smith, Godspell, Lipscomb University Theatre

Everett Tarlton, Elf the Musical, Chaffin's Barn Theatre

Everett Tarlton, Newsies, Chaffin's Barn Theatre

First Night's Top Ten of 2018 Announced in Nashville TonightTHE TOP ENSEMBLES IN A PLAY presented by Brooke Leigh Davis

A Doll's House, Part 2, Nashville Repertory Theatre

Big Love, The Party

Eclipsed, Street Theatre Company

The Flick, Verge Theater Company

Hamlet, Nashville Shakespeare Festival

Hedda Gabler, Second Stage Student Theatre

Kimberly Akimbo, Verge Theater Company

A Midsummer Night's Dream, Nashville Shakespeare Festival

Steel Magnolias, The Larry Keeton Theatre

Stupid F-ing Bird, ACT 1

The Wolves, Actors Bridge Ensemble

First Night's Top Ten of 2018 Announced in Nashville TonightTHE TOP ENSEMBLES IN A MUSICAL presented by Candace-Omnira Lafayette

Avenue Q, Nashville Repertory Theatre

Beauty and the Beast, Studio Tenn

Elf the Musical, Chaffin's Barn Theatre

Godspell, Lipscomb University Theatre

Hair, Circle Players

Heathers, Center for the Arts

Holiday Inn, Cumberland County Playhouse

The Little Mermaid, Nashville Children's Theatre

Newsies, Chaffin's Barn Theatre

Newsies, Circle Players

Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Cumberland County Playhouse

First Night's Top Ten of 2018 Announced in Nashville TonightTHE TOP LEADING ACTRESSES IN A MUSICAL presented by Kristian Dambrino

Kamryn Victoria Boyd, Beauty and the Beast, Circle Players

Catherine Birdsong, The Little Mermaid, Nashville Children's Theatre

Megan Murphy Chambers, Avenue Q, Nashville Repertory Theatre

Brooke Leigh Davis, Brooklyn the Musical, Street Theatre Company

Diana DeGarmo, Grease, Studio Tenn

Kaylea Frezza, Heathers, Center for the Arts

Arden Guice and Macy Medford, Side Show, Belmont University Musical Theatre

Hatty Ryan King, Beauty and the Beast, Studio Tenn

Jamie London, Annie, The Larry Keeton Theatre

Melissa Silengo, Newsies, Circle Players

Weslie Webster, Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Cumberland County Playhouse

First Night's Top Ten of 2018 Announced in Nashville TonightTHE TOP LEADING ACTORS IN A MUSICAL presented by Megan Blevins

Seth Bennett, The Burnt Part Boys, Street Theatre Company

Chase Cooksey, Newsies, Chaffin's Barn Theatre

Bradley Gale, Avenue Q, Nashville Repertory Theatre

Ross Griffin, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Cumberland County Playhouse

Matthew Henry, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Arts Center of Cannon County

Terrell Hunt, Brooklyn the Musical, Street Theatre Company

Patriq James, Godspell, Lipscomb University Theatre

Chase Miller, Elf the Musical, Chaffin's Barn Theatre

Jason Ross, Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Cumberland County Playhouse

David West, Hair, Circle Players

First Night's Top Ten of 2018 Announced in Nashville TonightTHE TOP LEADING ACTRESSES IN A PLAY presented by David West

Brianna Booker, Eclipsed, Street Theatre Company

Tricia Cast, Kimberly Akimbo, Verge Theater Company

Rebecca Keeshin, Mockingbird, Nashville Children's Theatre

Marguerite Lowell, Doubt: A Parable, Studio Tenn

Kristin McCalley, Big Love, The Party

Tamara Scott, Stupid F-ing Bird, ACT 1

Helen Olaketi Shute-Pettaway, The Little Foxes, ACT 1

Virginia Richardson, You're Still Here, The Theater Bug

Tamiko Robinson Steele, The 12 Dates of Christmas, Tennessee Women's Theater Project

Rebekah Stogner, Truth/Dare, Woven Theatre

Cheryl White, A Doll's House, Part 2, Nashville Children's Theatre

First Night's Top Ten of 2018 Announced in Nashville TonightTHE TOP LEADING ACTORS IN A PLAY presented by Amie Lara

Chip Arnold, Inherit the Wind, Nashville Children's Theatre

Samuel Ashdown, Hamlet, Nashville Shakespeare Festival

Diego Gomez, Stupid F-ing Bird, ACT 1

David Ian Lee, Smart People, Nashville Repertory Theatre

Euriamis Losada and Jared Reinfeldt, Frankenstein, Studio Tenn

Brent Maddox, Doubt: A Parable, Studio Tenn

Bradley Moore, The Boys in the Band, Jeffrey Ellis Presents

Tony Nappo, The Flick, Verge Theater Company

Brian Russell, Inherit the Wind, Nashville Repertory Theatre

Eric Pasto-Crosby, Mockingbird, Nashville Children's Theatre

First Night's Top Ten of 2018 Announced in Nashville TonightTHE TOP SUPPORTING ACTRESSES IN A MUSICAL presented by Megan Blevins

Harli Cooper, Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Cumberland County Playhouse

Abby Docherty, On the Town, Belmont University Musical Theatre

Hannah Hays, Holiday Inn, Cumberland County Playhouse

Piper Jones, The Little Mermaid, Nashville Children's Theatre

Lauren Marshall, Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Cumberland County Playhouse

Melinda Paul, Avenue Q, Nashville Repertory Theatre

Kayla Petrille, The Burnt Part Boys, Street Theatre Company

Emma Puerta, Heathers, Center for the Arts

Haley Ray, Spamalot, Center for the Arts

Kelli Turner, The Little Mermaid, Center for the Arts

Jennifer Whitcomb-Oliva, Tuck Everlasting, Nashville Children's Theatre

Martha Wilkinson, Newsies, Chaffin's Barn Theatre

First Night's Top Ten of 2018 Announced in Nashville TonightTHE TOP SUPPORTING ACTORS IN A MUSICAL presented by Elizabeth Golden

Paul Baswell, Beauty and the Beast, Studio Tenn

Isaac Brotzman, The Little Mermaid, Nashville Children's Theatre

Teal Davis, Brooklyn the Musical, Street Theatre Company

Blake Graham, Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Cumberland County Playhouse

Chris Hallowes, Holiday Inn, Cumberland County Playhouse

Britt Hancock, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Cumberland County Playhouse

Bobby Hogan, Newsies, Chaffin's Barn Theatre

Jonah M. Jackson, Avenue Q, Nashville Repertory Theatre

Jack Jones, Hello, Dolly!, Arts Center of Cannon County

Elisha McFarlin, Titanic the Musical, Arts Center of Cannon County

Nicholas Page, Hair, Circle Players

Nick True, The Little Mermaid, Center for the Arts

First Night's Top Ten of 2018 Announced in Nashville TonightTHE TOP SUPPORTING ACTRESSES IN A PLAY presented by Jon Rogers

Lauren Berst, You're Still Here, The Theater Bug

Rona Carter, A Doll's House, Part 2, Nashville Repertory Theatre

Meredith Daniel, Steel Magnolias, The Larry Keeton Theatre

Corrie Green, A Doll's House, Part 2, Nashville Repertory Theatre

Denice Hicks, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Nashville Shakespeare Festival

Candace-Omnira Lafayette, Eclipsed, Street Theatre Company

CJ Tucker, The Wolves, Actors Bridge Ensemble

Sheleana Walden, Eclipsed, Street Theatre Company

Cheryl White, Hamlet, Nashville Shakespeare Festival

Melissa Williams, The Bad Seed, Towne Centre Theatre

Ashley Wolfe, Marian, or the True Adventures of Robin Hood, Actors Bridge Ensemble and Wild Card Productions

First Night's Top Ten of 2018 Announced in Nashville TonightTHE TOP SUPPORTING ACTORS IN A PLAY presented by Angela Gimlin

Lucas Beckett, Kimberly Akimbo, Verge Theater Company

Lee Daniel, Stupid F-ing Bird, ACT 1

Sam Douglas, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Nashville Shakespeare Festival

Taylor James Foster, The Pillowman, ACT 1

Galen Fott, A Doll's House, Part 2, Nashville Repertory Theatre

Isaiah Frank, You're Still Here, The Theater Bug

Mackenzie Smith, Marian, or the True Adventures of Robin Hood, Actors Bridge Ensemble and Wild Card Productions

David Wilkerson, Kimberly Akimbo, Verge Theater Company

Garris Wimmer, Frankenstein, Studio Tenn

Jacob York, Inherit the Wind, Nashville Repertory Theatre

First Night's Top Ten of 2018 Announced in Nashville TonightTHE TOP COSTUME DESIGNERS presented by Kristian Dambrino

Miriam Creighton, Elf the Musical, Chaffin's Barn Theatre

Colleen Garatoni, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Nashville Shakespeare Festival

Denese Evans Kelly, Newsies, Circle Players

Matt Logan, Frankenstein, Studio Tenn

Matt Logan, Grease, Studio Tenn

Robin L. McGee, The Little Mermaid, Nashville Children's Theatre

Lisa McLaurin, The Little Mermaid, Center for the Arts

Andy Wallach, Holiday Inn, Cumberland County Playhouse

Andy Wallach, Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Cumberland County Playhouse

Ashley Wolfe, Brooklyn the Musical, Street Theatre Company

First Night's Top Ten of 2018 Announced in Nashville TonightTHE TOP LIGHTING DESIGNERS presented by Brooke Leigh Davis

Aaron Braun, The Wolves, Actors Bridge Ensemble

Daniel DeVault, Hair, Circle Players

Annmarie Duggan, Holiday Inn, Cumberland County Playhouse

Katie Gant, Elf the Musical, Chaffin's Barn Theatre

Paul Gatrell, The Flick, Verge Theater Company

Mary Hankins, Newsies, Chaffin's Barn Theatre

Scott Leathers, The Little Mermaid, Nashville Children's Theatre

Scott Leathers, Mockingbird, Nashville Children's Theatre

Stephen Moss, Frankenstein, Studio Tenn

Stephen Moss, Godspell, Lipscomb University Theatre

Thom Roberts, Side Show, Belmont University Musical Theatre

Jeremiah Stuart, Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Cumberland County Playhouse

First Night's Top Ten of 2018 Announced in Nashville TonightTHE TOP SCENIC DESIGNERS presented by Candace-Omnira Lafayette

Andy Bleiler, Godspell, Lipscomb University Theatre

Will Butler, The Burnt Part Boys, Street Theatre Company

Gary C. Hoff, Inherit the Wind, Nashville Repertory Theatre

Nettie Kraft, The Flick, Verge Theater Company

Matt Logan, Frankenstein, Studio Tenn

Jim Manning, Newsies, Circle Players

Cutis Phillips, Holiday Inn, Cumberland County Playhouse

Tom Tutino, Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Cumberland County Playhouse

Court Watson, The Little Mermaid, Nashville Children's Theatre

Court Watson, Mockingbird, Nashville Children's Theatre

First Night's Top Ten of 2018 Announced in Nashville TonightTHE TOP SOUND DESIGNERS presented by Bradley Gale

Emilia Adams, The Wolves, Actors Bridge Ensemble

Matt Bundy, Holiday Inn, Cumberland County Playhouse

Matt Bundy, Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Cumberland County Playhouse

Corey Callis, Godspell, Lipscomb University Theatre

Randy Craft, Side Show, Belmont University Theatre

Eliza Garrity and Darin Pegram, Frankenstein, Studio Tenn

Kyle Odom, The Flick, Verge Theatre Company

Daxton Patrick, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Arts Center of Cannon Countyk

Ned Singh, Avenue Q, Nashville Repertory Theatre

Joanna Lynne Staub, Mockingbird, Nashville Children's Theatre



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