Bay Area Theatre Critics Announce Gala Award Program, 5/6

Bay Area Theatre Critics Announce Gala Award Program, 5/6

"We've held the Awards in San Francisco for years, and the East Bay is past due," said Theatre Critics Circle President Barry Willis. "Award Galas can get tedious, so Vice President Linda Ayres-Frederick came up with the idea of a dance party," Willis said. "If you draw a line from north to south and east to west through the nine Bay Area counties we serve, the nexus falls in Oakland. And we found this true gem of a venue called the California Ballroom in the safe and accessible downtown business district of Oakland a half block from 19th St. BART with lots of street parking around, so everything fell into place!" Willis commented.

Sixty-four Awards will be bestowed on theatre artists from the nine Bay Area counties as well as three special achievement awards.

Entertainment for this night of food, drink, dancing, and awards will be the Tal Ariel Band; Tal won the Outstanding Music Director last year. The awards will take two half-hour breaks for dancing.

Hot Chinese food and a smorgasbord to sustain dancing energy is included, and will feature some gluten-free and vegetarian choices. Wine and beer will be served, with the first drink free.

A raffle of prizes will pepper the evening: including headshots from David Allen Studios, singing lessons from Scarlett Hepworth, audition coaching from Berkeley Rep's Amy Potozkin and Seydways' Bobbie Weinapple, a free subscription to Theatre Bay Area, tickets to Marin Theatre Company, Shotgun Players, and more.

The Gala Awards & Dance Party is sponsored in part by Actors Equity Association and Theatre Bay Area.

The uptown business district of Oakland is near the Paramount Theatre and upscale restaurants. The California Ballroom provides security personnel, and "The Ambassadors"--Oakland's security and hospitality organization--will be on patrol and available to walk guests to the cars till 11 pm.

"Oakland was chosen by the New York Times as one of the five choice "destination cities," so Bay Area denizens should visit Oak-town and this little jewel of a ballroom from the 1920's. Guests will sit at round tables with linen tablecloths, there is a great dance floor and stage, and the mirrors and chandeliers of that time make the place sparkle," Gala committee member John McMullen added.

Theatre Circle critics nominate and vote for awards to "outstanding" theatre artists for 2012 in these categories: Director; Designer of Costumes, Lighting, Set and Sound; Principal and Featured Male and Female Actors in both musical and straight plays: Musical Director; Choreographer; Original Script and Musical, Outstanding Ensemble and Entire Production; for Solo and Touring Shows, and for Specialties. Awards are given in these categories for theatres big and small, and broken down into theatres according to these three audience capacities: less than 100, 100-300, and more than 300. Two honorees will receive the Gene Price and Jerry Friedman awards, and an theatrical organization will be honored with Paine Knickerbocker Award.
SFBATCC members include Kedar K. Adour MD, Linda Ayres-Frederick, Charles Brousse, Ken Bullock, Adrianne Casey, Susan Cohn, Richard Connema, Nicole Gluckstern, John Angell Grant, Annette Lust, John A. McMullen II, Cari Lynn Pace, Jeffrey Smith, and Barry Willis. The Gala Committee is staffed by John McMullen, Linda Ayres-Frederick, and Barry Willis.
Seating is limited to approximately 300 attendees this year; tickets go on sale to the general public on March 15.

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