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Theatre Philadelphia Announces 2016 Barrymore Award Nominees

Theatre Philadelphia has announced the nominees for the 2016 Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre.

Now in its third season since its successful relaunch, the 2016 Barrymore Awards will celebrate and honor outstanding achievements in professional theatre throughout the Greater Philadelphia region during the 2015/16 season.

The 2016 Barrymore Awards Ceremony will be held Monday, October 24 at 7 p.m. at the Merriam Theater on Philadelphia's Avenue of the Arts. Tickets go on sale Tuesday, August 30 at noon at www.theatrephiladelphia.org, and will be priced at $50 for industry, $75 for the general public, and $125 for Honorary Committee members, which includes VIP seating and other donor benefits. The Ceremony will be followed by an After-Party at the University of the Arts' Dorrance Hamilton Hall, where guests will network with fellow artists, supporters, and theatregoers.

During the 2015/16 season, which ran July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016, an all-volunteer team of dedicated theatre artists, critics, and scholars saw 103 professional productions featuring the work of more than 600 artists. From the total pool of 60 Nominators, a team of 8 were randomly assigned to see each Barrymoreeligible production. Productions receiving a "yes" vote in any award category by a majority - at least 5 Nominators - were deemEd Barrymore Recommended, and moved on to the panel of 12 Judges for further consideration. The Judges met quarterly for in-depth discussions about the productions being considered. At the end of the theatre season, each of the Judges submitted their top choices in each award category, followed by a meeting to collaboratively narrow those choices down to a maximum of seven nominees in play categories and a maximum of four nominees in musical categories.

The 2016 nominees for Outstanding Overall Production of a Play are Disgraced at Philadelphia Theatre Company, The Invisible Hand at Theatre Exile, The Nether at InterAct Theatre Company, Stella and Lou at People's Light, Time Is On Our Side at Simpatico Theatre Project, and The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning and Spine, both at Inis Nua Theatre Company,

The 2016 nominees for Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical are Black Nativity at Theatre Horizon, I Will Not Go Gently at 1812 Productions, and The Secret Garden and The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, both at Arden Theatre Company.

The F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Philadelphia Theatre Artist is awarded annually to a rising talent in the Greater Philadelphia region. Funded by Carole Haas Gravagno through the CHG Charitable Trust, this award includes a $15,000 cash prize for the recipient and $2,000 for each finalist - reflecting a $9,000 increase in total prize money as of 2014. The only award of its kind in the nation, it is intended to support an artist's living expenses so they can focus on their craft, as well as to encourage the artist to remain in the Greater Philadelphia community. This year's multi-talented finalists showcase the depth of the Philadelphia theatre community: actor and composer/musician Alex Bechtel, playwright and Orbiter 3 co-founder Emma Goidel, actor and Berserker Resident Justin Jain, actor and teaching artist Bi Jean Ngo, and actor and director Mary Tuomanen.

The Virginia Brown Martin Philadelphia Award seeks to honor those plays that best lead audiences to a better understanding of the unique experience of particular segments of our global community. Through their accurate and insightful representation of perspectives unique to gender, ethnicity, religion, age and other categories of specialized experience, these plays enlighten us and help us to better appreciate different points of view without demanding that we agree with them. The award carries a $25,000 cash prize for the winner and $2,500 for each finalist, funded by the Virginia Brown Martin Fund of The Philadelphia Foundation. This year's nominees are Exit Strategy at Philadelphia Theatre Company, A Knee That Can Bend at Orbiter 3, Machinal at EgoPo Classic Theater, Time Is On Our Side at Simpatico Theatre Project, and White Guy on the Bus at Passage Theatre Company.

The June and Steve Wolfson Award for an Evolving Theatre recognizes, promotes, and rewards the creativity, growth, and excellence of evolving theatres within the Greater Philadelphia community. The award is intended to help foster interaction within the theatre community, increase the community's richness and diversity, and focus public awareness and accessibility to the most vibrant professional theatre community in the nation. The award carries a $10,000 prize and is sponsored by the June and Steve Wolfson Family Foundation. To be considered for the award, theatres must have a maximum annual budget of $400,000 and be current participants in the Barrymore Awards program. This year's nominees are Azuka Theatre, The Bearded Ladies Cabaret, EgoPo Classic Theater, and Simpatico Theatre Project.

Announced by Theatre Philadelphia at last year's Barrymore Awards Ceremony, the Victory Award for an Outstanding Theatre Education Program will be presented for the first time this fall. This new award recognizes the diverse, rich, and impactful education programs in the Philadelphia theatre community, and seeks to put arts education and the future of the field front and center. Generously funded by the Victory Foundation, this special Barrymore Award includes a $7,500 cash prize for the recipient. This year's nominees are 1812 Productions for their 1812 Outreach program, Arden Theatre Company for their Arden for All program, Lantern Theater Company for their Illumination program, New Freedom Theatre for their Performing Arts Training & Youth Leadership Development program, and People's Light for their Arts Discovery program.

The 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award will go to Sara Garonzik, who has led Philadelphia Theatre Company (PTC) for 35 years. Under Garonzik's leadership, PTC has introduced over 140 world and regional premieres, including new work by Terrence McNally, Bill Irwin, Anna Deavere Smith, Christopher Durang, Tracey Scott Wilson, John Henry Redwood, Naomi Wallace, Jeffrey Hatcher, Bruce Graham, and many others. PTC productions have garnered 59 Barrymore Awards and 189 Barrymore nominations, including the first-ever Barrymore Award for Outstanding Production of Play for its world premiere of Terrence McNally's Master Class in 1995, which went on to win the Tony Award for Best Play and has been produced around the world. In 2007, PTC opened the SuzAnne Roberts Theatre, a universally designed, fully accessible state- of the- art facility on the Avenue of the Arts that serves over 50,000 patrons each season. Garonzik served as president of the Philadelphia Cultural Fund (2009-2012) and serves on the Mayor's Cultural Advisory Council and on the Advisory Boards of the Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia and PlayPenn. Honors include the President's Award from Philadelphia Young Playwrights, the Achievement Award from the American Association of University Women, Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown's Arts Pioneer Award, and being named a Distinguished Daughter in the Court of Honor at Philadelphia High School for Girls.

A total of 35 professional theatre companies participated in the adjudication process during the 2015/16 season, including 11th Hour Theatre Company, 1812 Productions, Act II Playhouse, Arden Theatre Company, Azuka Theatre, The Bearded Ladies Cabaret, Bristol Riverside Theatre, Commonwealth Classic Theatre Company, Curio Theatre Company, Delaware Theatre Company, The Eagle Theatre. EgoPo Classic Theater, Flashpoint Theatre Company, Hedgerow Theatre Company, The Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium, Inis Nua Theatre Company, InterAct Theatre Company, Iron Age Theatre, Isis Productions, Lantern Theater Company, Mazeppa Productions, Montgomery Theater, New Freedom Theatre, Orbiter 3, Passage Theatre Company, People's Light, The Phenomenal Animals, Philadelphia Artists' Collective, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, Quintessence Theatre Group, Simpatico Theatre Project, Theatre Exile, Theatre Horizon, and The Wilma Theater.


The Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre - 2016 Nominees by Category

Outstanding Overall Production of a Play
Disgraced (Philadelphia Theatre Company)
The Invisible Hand (Theatre Exile)
The Nether (InterAct Theatre Company)
The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning (Inis Nua Theatre Company)
Spine (Inis Nua Theatre Company)
Stella and Lou (People's Light)
Time Is On Our Side (Simpatico Theatre Project)

Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical
Black Nativity (Theatre Horizon)
I Will Not Go Gently (1812 Productions)
The Secret Garden (Arden Theatre Company)
The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales (Arden Theatre Company)

Outstanding Direction of a Play
Deborah Block (Smoke, Theatre Exile)
James J. Christy, Sr. (A Great War, Iron Age Theatre)
Kip Fagan (Exit Strategy, Philadelphia Theatre Company)
Claire Moyer (Spine, Inis Nua Theatre Company)
Kittson O'Neill (A Knee That Can Bend, Orbiter 3)
Matt Pfeiffer (The Invisible Hand, Theatre Exile)
Tom Reing (The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning, Inis Nua Theatre Company)

Outstanding Direction of a Musical
Matthew Decker (The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, Arden Theatre Company)
Ozzie Jones (Black Nativity, Theatre Horizon)
Terrence J. Nolen (The Secret Garden, Arden Theatre Company)
Megan Nicole O'Brien (See What I Wanna See, 11th Hour Theatre Company)

Outstanding Leading Actor in a Play
Maboud Ebrahimzadeh (The Invisible Hand, Theatre Exile)
James Ijames (An Octoroon, The Wilma Theater)
Ian Merrill Peakes (The Invisible Hand, Theatre Exile)
Matteo Scammell (Smoke, Theatre Exile)
Pej Vahdat (Disgraced, Philadelphia Theatre Company)
Greg Wood (The Nether, InterAct Theatre Company)
Greg Wood (White Guy on the Bus, Passage Theatre Company)

Outstanding Leading Actress in a Play
E. Ashley Izard (Happy Days, Quintessence Theatre Group)
Emily R. Johnson (Spine, Inis Nua Theatre Company)
Jennifer Kidwell (A Knee That Can Bend, Orbiter 3)
Danielle Leneé (White Guy on the Bus, Passage Theatre Company)
Deirdre Madigan (Exit Strategy, Philadelphia Theatre Company)
Geneviève Perrier (Photograph 51, Lantern Theater Company)
Marcia Saunders (Stella and Lou, People's Light)

Outstanding Leading Actor in a Musical
Billy Bustamante (See What I Wanna See, 11th Hour Theatre Company)
Kingsley Ibeneche (Black Nativity, Theatre Horizon)
Scott McPheeters (Andy: A Popera, The Bearded Ladies Cabaret)
Sean Thompson (Kiss Me, Kate, Act II Playhouse)

Outstanding Leading Actress in a Musical
Sanchel Brown (Black Nativity, Theatre Horizon)
Jennifer Childs (I Will Not Go Gently, 1812 Productions)
Angelica Jackson (Black Nativity, Theatre Horizon)
Cailene Kilcoyne (Heathers: The Musical, The Eagle Theatre)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play
David Bardeen (Oscar Wilde: From the Depths, Lantern Theater Company)
Akeem Davis (Lobby Hero, Theatre Horizon)
Justin Jain (An Octoroon, The Wilma Theater)
Dave Johnson (The Explorers Club, Delaware Theatre Company)
Kenny Morris (Funnyman, Arden Theatre Company)
Christopher Patrick Mullen (Richard III, People's Light)
J. Paul Nicholas (The Invisible Hand, Theatre Exile)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play
Rachel Camp (Lobby Hero, Theatre Horizon)
Jaylene Clark Owens (An Octoroon, The Wilma Theater)
Aimé Donna Kelly (Disgraced, Philadelphia Theatre Company)
Teri Lamm (The Harassment of Iris Malloy, People's Light)
Danielle Leneé (A Knee That Can Bend, Orbiter 3)
Candace Moore (A Knee That Can Bend, Orbiter 3)
Ruby Wolf (As You Like It, Lantern Theater Company)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical
Jake Blouch (See What I Wanna See, 11th Hour Theatre Company)
Tim Rinehart (Heathers: The Musical, The Eagle Theatre)
Danny Rutigliano (Man of La Mancha, Bristol Riverside Theatre)
Scott Sheppard (The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, Arden Theatre Company)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical
Malgorzata Kasprzycka (Andy: A Popera, The Bearded Ladies Cabaret)
Elisa Matthews (The Secret Garden, Arden Theatre Company)
Nancie Sanderson (See What I Wanna See, 11th Hour Theatre Company)
Leah Walton (The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, Arden Theatre Company)

Outstanding Scenic Design
Jorge Cousineau (The Secret Garden, Arden Theatre Company)
Alexis Distler (The Explorers Club, Delaware Theatre Company)
David P. Gordon (Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates, Arden Theatre Company)
Christopher Haig (Time Is On Our Side, Simpatico Theatre Project)
Luke Hegel-Cantarella (Auctioning the Ainsleys, People's Light)
Colin McIlvaine (The Invisible Hand, Theatre Exile)
Jason Simms (Disgraced, Philadelphia Theatre Company)

Outstanding Costume Design
Olivera Gajic (The Secret Garden, Arden Theatre Company)
Marla Jurglanis (Sense and Sensibility, People's Light)
Jillian Keys (The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, Arden Theatre Company) Wade Laboissonniere (The Explorers Club, Delaware Theatre Company)
Rosemarie McKelvey (Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates, Arden Theatre Company)
Alison Roberts (Two Trains Running, Arden Theatre Company)
Linda Bee Stockton (Man of La Mancha, Bristol Riverside Theatre)

Earl Girls Award for Outstanding Lighting Design
Shon Causer (Oscar Wilde: From the Depths, Lantern Theater Company)
Alyssandra Docherty (Moth, Azuka Theatre)
Ryan O'Gara (Man of La Mancha, Bristol Riverside Theatre)
Maria Shaplin (The It Girl, Simpatico Theatre Project)
Maria Shaplin (The Nether, InterAct Theatre Company)
Masha Tsimring (The Invisible Hand, Theatre Exile)
Solomon Weisbard (The Secret Garden, Arden Theatre Company)

Clear Sound Award for Outstanding Sound Design
Damien Figueras (Moth, Azuka Theatre)
Lindsay Jones (Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates, Arden Theatre Company)
Michael Kiley (The Invisible Hand, Theatre Exile)
Michael Kiley (The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, Arden Theatre Company)
Zack McKenna (The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning, Inis Nua Theatre Company)
Luke Moyer (A Great War, Iron Age Theatre)
Adriano Shaplin (Saint Joan, Quintessence Theatre Group)

Outstanding Original Music
Heath Allen and Dan Visconti (Andy: A Popera, The Bearded Ladies Cabaret)
Jay Ansill (Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates, Arden Theatre Company)
Christopher Colucci (I Will Not Go Gently, 1812 Productions)
Michael Hahn (As You Like It, Lantern Theater Company)
Michael Kiley (The Invisible Hand, Theatre Exile)
Paul James Prendergast (Sense and Sensibility, People's Light)
Josh Totora (He Who Gets Slapped, Philadelphia Artists' Collective)

Outstanding Choreography/Movement
Maggie Anderson (Kiss Me, Kate, Act II Playhouse)
J. Alex Cordaro (Smoke, Theatre Exile)
Anthony Crosby, Peter Andrew Danzig, K.O. DelMarcelle, Brenna Geffers, Arlen Hancock, and Amanda Schoonover (The It Girl, Simpatico Theatre Project)
Justina Ercole (Heathers: The Musical, The Eagle Theatre)
Samantha Reading (Sense and Sensibility, People's Light)
Jenn Rose (Black Nativity, Theatre Horizon)
Jenn Rose (The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, Arden Theatre Company)

Outstanding Music Direction
Heath Allen (Andy: A Popera, The Bearded Ladies Cabaret)
Will Brock (Black Nativity, Theatre Horizon)
Dan Kazemi (See What I Wanna See, 11th Hour Theatre Company)
Ryan Touhey (The Secret Garden, Arden Theatre Company)

Outstanding Ensemble in a Play
Antigone (The Wilma Theater)
Exit Strategy (Philadelphia Theatre Company)
The Explorers Club (Delaware Theatre Company)
A Great War (Iron Age Theatre)
The Invisible Hand (Theatre Exile)
A Knee That Can Bend (Orbiter 3)
The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning (Inis Nua Theatre Company)

Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical
Black Nativity (Theatre Horizon)
Heathers: The Musical (The Eagle Theatre)
The Secret Garden (Arden Theatre Company)
The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales (Arden Theatre Company)

Independence Foundation Award for Outstanding New Play/Musical
A Great War by James J. Christy, Jr. (Iron Age Theatre)
Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates by Laura Eason (Arden Theatre Company)
A Knee That Can Bend by Emma Goidel (Orbiter 3)
Time Is On Our Side by R. Eric Thomas (Simpatico Theatre Project)

F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Philadelphia Theatre Artist
Alex Bechtel
Emma Goidel
Justin Jain
Bi Jean Ngo
Mary Tuomanen

Virginia Brown Martin Philadelphia Award
Exit Strategy (Philadelphia Theatre Company)
A Knee That Can Bend (Orbiter 3)
Machinal (EgoPo Classic Theater)
Time Is On Our Side (Simpatico Theatre Project)
White Guy on the Bus (Passage Theatre Company)

June and Steve Wolfson Award for an Evolving Theatre Company
Azuka Theatre
The Bearded Ladies Cabaret
EgoPo Classic Theater
Simpatico Theatre Project

Victory Foundation Award for Outstanding Theatre Education Program
1812 Outreach (1812 Productions)
Arden for All (Arden Theatre Company)
Arts Discovery (People's Light)
Illumination/Classroom Connections (Lantern Theater Company)
Performing Arts Training & Youth Leadership Development (New Freedom Theatre)

Lifetime Achievement Award
Sara Garonzik


Originally established in 1994 and successfully relaunched in 2013, the Barrymore Awards serve as Philadelphia's professional theatre awards program, recognizing artists for excellence and innovation while increasing public awareness of the richness and diversity of our city's thriving theatre community. A nationally recognized symbol of excellence for professional theatre in our region, the Barrymore Awards raise the bar for the work produced by local theatres and individual artists while providing cash awards that strengthen companies and individual artists' abilities to pursue artistic work of the highest caliber. Theatre Philadelphia also seeks to leverage the Barrymore Awards to provide high-value marketing exposure for all participating theatres and artists.

Founded in 2012 by a group of local artistic and managing theatre leaders, Theatre Philadelphia is a leadership organization that celebrates and promotes professional theatre in the Greater Philadelphia region, primarily via the Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre and related theatre marketing efforts. Theatre Philadelphia also seeks to identify and build upon opportunities that will strengthen the Philadelphia theatre community as a whole while engaging foundations, corporations, and individual donors who are invested in the health and vitality of theatre in our city.

More information about the Barrymore Awards and Theatre Philadelphia is available online at www.theatrephiladelphia.org.



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