San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Holds Annual Gala

San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Holds Annual GalaThe San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle celebrated theater excellence at its annual gala awards ceremony March 9, 2015 in San Francisco. Actor/comedian/playwright Reed Martin and dancer/choreographer/playwright Robert Henry Johnson served as hosts. Bryn Carlson, the reigning Miss Golden Gate, served as hostess for the event held at the Victoria Theatre, said to be the oldest continually operating theater in the city. More than 350 theater people attended the celebration, sponsored by the Actors' Equity Association.

The SFBATCC, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and recognizing excellence in theater arts in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area, celebrated its 39th consecutive year presenting awards to Bay Area theater companies for dramas, comedies and musicals. This year's awards program included 22 separate categories representing excellence in production, performance, music, choreography, design and technical and creative specialties for stage productions presented in 2014. Critics Circle awards are presented in three tiers, determined by size of theater.

There were 64 award recipients including "Ensemble" awards for "Of Mice and Men," presented by Cinnabar Theater in Petaluma; "Journey's End," presented by Ross Valley Players in Ross; and "The Taming of the Shrew," presented by the College of Marin Drama Department. "Entire Production" award recipients went to "Return to the Forbidden Plant," a collaborative production by Curtain Theatre and Marin Onstage in Novato; "American Buffalo," presented by Aurora Theatre Company in Berkeley; and "Show Boat," presented by the San Francisco Opera in San Francisco.

The SFBATCC also presented special achievement awards to the Pear Avenue Theatre of Mountain View; performance artist/playwright Marga Gomez of San Francisco; and playwright/actor/director Dezi Gallegos of Petaluma. Margie Belrose of San Rafael received a two-minute standing ovation when she accepted a lifetime achievement award honoring her contributions as dance and drama teacher, actress, director, producer and as owner and operator of The Belrose Theatre, located at 5th Avenue in San Rafael since 1962.

"This year's awards gala prompted nearly-universal praise from hundreds of attendees," said SFBATCC President Barry Willis. "We owe a huge debt to Critics Circle webmaster Harry Duke, who put in an ungodly number of hours organizing and promoting the event. Circle VP Linda Ayers-Frederick also went above and beyond with securing the theater and necessary licenses, and arranging the feast. The entire theater community is eager to see what we'll do next year, our 40th anniversary."

The SFBATCC has approximately two dozen members dedicated to promoting and recognizing excellence in theater arts in the San Francisco Bay Area.

For more about the SFBATCC and to read the entire list of 2014 nominations and award recipients visit

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