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Critics Circle Goes Virtual To Deliver This Year's SFBATCC Awards

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Critics Circle Goes Virtual To Deliver This Year's SFBATCC Awards

Thwarted in their attempt to hold their annual Spring Awards Gala by the Covid-19 pandemic, the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle took their Gala to cyberspace and held a virtual event in celebration of the excellent work produced by Bay Area theatre artists in 2019. The event was sponsored by Actors' Equity Association.

The recipients of their 44th Annual Excellence in Theatre Awards were announced via video presentations posted April 30 on the Critics Circle web site. (www.sfbatcc.org) Sixty-eight awards in twenty-six categories that cover technical, performance, and production excellence were announced in two video presentations. Following the ceremony's usual order of events, the videos reviewed the nominees by category and announced the recipients through displays of their award certificates.

The video presentations were accompanied by an original composition titled "And the Award goes to...." that was commissioned from and created and performed by Bay Area native Mike Bodulow.

The Circle's four Special Award recipients - Gene Price Professionalism Award recipient Loretta Greco of the Magic Theatre, Paine Knickerbocker Continuing Contribution Award recipient Carla Befera of Carla Befera & Co., Annette Lust Emerging Artist/Company Award recipients Bruce Coughran and Alexandra Frappier Coughran of Indra's Net Theater, and Jerry Friedman Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Carl Jordan - all provided prerecorded acceptance speeches for the virtual event.

San Francisco Playhouse received eleven awards, including five for its production of King of the Yees. Marin Theatre Company of Mill Valley and Custom Made Theatre Company of San Francisco each received eight awards for their respective productions, including seven for MTC's Mother of the Maid and six for Custom Made's Passion. The TheatreWorks Silicon Valley production of Pride & Prejudice accounted for four of their six awards and Berkeley Rep's Becky Nurse of Salem accounted for three of their six honors including Sarah Ruhl's original script.

Three theatre artists received double honors at this year's Awards. Choreographer Nicole Helfer was recognized for her work on the Ross Valley Players and Mountain Play co-production of She Loves Me as well as SF Playhouse's Cabaret. Actors Francis Jue and Heather Orth were recognized for both Principal and Featured Performances. Jue was recognized for his work in the plays King of the Yees and TWSV's The Language Archive, while Orth received awards for her work in the musicals Passion and Pride & Prejudice.

The SFBATCC is a private 501(c)(6) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and serving theatres of all types and sizes in the greater San Francisco Bay Area by recognizing excellence and outstanding achievement in the field. Active since 1976, the Circle consists of reviewers covering theatre in all nine Bay Area counties across various media.

To view the virtual Gala or for a complete list of the nominees and recipients, go to www.sfbatcc.org


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