Wide Selection of Theater Groups Represented in Vermont Award Nominations

VT BroadwayWorld Award Nominee Heidi Blickenstaff

Broadway veterans Heidi Blickenstaff and Aaron Ramey, and Emmy Award Winner and Tony Nominee Gordon Clapp are among this year's Vermont BroadwayWorld Award nominees. Shows from a large cross-section of professional, semi-professional, and community theater groups are also represented in the 2012-2013 nominations. Let's take a look at some of the Vermont theater companies with BroadwayWorld Award Nominations:

Weston Playhouse, Vermont's oldest professional theater, is a living testament to a community's belief in the arts. In 1935, while the Great Depression was raging, Weston-born architect Raymond Austin was putting the finishing touches on a playhouse that one Boston Globe critic would dub "the most beautiful theater in New England." A former church renovated for the town's dramatic club, the Weston Playhouse quickly attracted the attention of director Harlan Grant, who produced the theater's first summer stock season in 1937. At the end of last summer's successful 75th anniversary season, Tropical Storm Irene brought flooding which devastated the lower level of The Playhouse. Thanks to the efforts of artists, staff, and friends from near and far, the WPTC rallied again to remount the final performances of its first world premiere musical, Saint-Ex, and to raise the funds to help restore the building. With flood repairs completed and upgrades made to all three of its stages, the Weston Playhouse Theatre Company continues to extend its deep roots into the soil of a faithful Vermont community and its branches into the theatrical firmament. Vermont BroadwayWorld Nominations: Dan DeLuca (Best Actor in a Musical), Aaron Ramey (Best Actor in a Musical), Heidi Blickenstaff (Best Actress in a Musical), Margo Seibert (Best Featured Actress in a Musical), Tyler Micoleau (Best Lighting Design), Next To Normal (Best Musical).

Northern Stage is a professional regional theater company that operates under a LORT-D contract with Actors' Equity Association and also maintains contractual relationships with the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and United Scenic Artists, Local USA-829 of IATSE. The company produces a six-show main stage season each year from October through May. Northern Stage also offers educational vacation and summer camps for children ages 6-14 as well as numerous outreach programs that seek to involve the greater community. Northern Stage is a member of Theater Communications Group. Since its founding in 1997 by Brooke Ciardelli, Northern Stage has offered over 100 productions, including World Premieres such as The Shrew Tamer, Ovid: Tales of Myth & Magic, Take Two, and A Christmas Carol: The Musical. American premieres include The Strange Passenger and Damascus, and regional premieres include Wit, Stones In His Pockets and Enigma Variations. Vermont BroadwayWorld Nominations: Charis Leos (Best Actress in a Musical), Nunsense (Best Musical).

Saint Michael's Playhouse, now in its 65th season, has been named "One of the best regional theater companies in America" by the NYC Drama League and hailed by Yankee Magazine as "The Best of New England." From its humble beginnings in 1947, Saint Michael's Playhouse has blossomed into an award-winning, highly regarded equity theater company. The Playhouse features talent from Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional theaters nationwide. Housed in one of the finest theater facilities in the state, The Playhouse attracts approximately 16,000 theatergoers each season to see live theater, produced, rehearsed, and performed in the beautiful green mountain state of Vermont. The Playhouse's nationally recognized internship program has been the springboard for countless successful careers in professional theater across the country. The Playhouse operates under contract with Actors' Equity Association as a member of the Council of Resident Stock Theaters and is a Constituent Member of Theatre Communications Group. Vermont BroadwayWorld Nominations: Fiddler on the Roof (Best Musical), Shout! The Mod Musical (Best Musical), Rumors (Best Play), Tuesdays with Morrie (Best Play).

Lost Nation Theater has been creating and presenting first-rate professional productions of contemporary plays, classics, and original works for more than twenty years. Company members are multi-faceted actors, directors, teachers, technicians, and managers. Guest artists join the ensemble for each project. Lost Nation believes that theater is an effective positive force for personal and community transformation. The company dedicates itself to nurturing and sustaining the rich possibilities of human interaction through creative performance events, education as a disciplined process of learning by doing, and community-building relationships and collaboration. Lost Nation Theater prides itself on being a professional theater committed to community. Named one of the best regional theaters in America by the NYC Drama League, LNT is located in Montpelier's City Hall. Vermont BroadwayWorld Nominations: Christopher Scheer (Best Actor in a Play), Ethan Bowen (Best Actor in a Play), Caleb Probst (Best Actor in a Play), Gordon Clapp (Best Actor in a Play), Kate Kenney (Best Actress in a Play), Emme Erdossy (Best Actress in a Play), Jude Milstein (Best Actress in a Play), Maura O'Brien (Best Actress in a Play), Cora Fauser (Best Costume Design), Kathleen Keenan (Best Direction), Kim Bent (Best Direction), Tara Lee Downs (Best Direction), Eric Love (Best Featured Actor in a Play), Christopher Scheer (Best Featured Actor in a Play), Robert Nuner (Best Featured Actor in a Play), Marsha Gillett (Best Featured Actress in a Play), Wendy Stevens (Best Lighting Design), Ransom (Best Musical), Hamlet (Best Play), The Mystery of Irma Vep (Best Play), My Buddy Bill (Best Play), This Verse Business (Best Play), The Cemetery Club (Best Play).

Stowe Theatre Guild is a non-profit volunteer community theater organization, pledged to present the best local theater experience in New England and offering diverse, quality productions in a premier facility. For over fifty years, Stowe Theatre's mission has included drawing from and giving back to the community. Community members serve on the Board of Directors, which is responsible for all aspects of the theater - from soliciting, scheduling and supporting shows to ticket sales, advertising and community outreach. Sponsors support the theater with a wide variety of private and company Sponsorships. Finally, each show consists of a production team and an army of Volunteers. Vermont BroadwayWorld Nominations: Mark Cranmer (Best Actor in a Musical), Jo Caycedo (Best Costume Design), Sharon Walsh (Best Costume Design), Margaret Garofalo (Best Direction), George Walker (Best Featured Actor in a Musical), Nick Caycedo (Best Featured Actor in a Musical), Brice Guerriere (Best Featured Actor in a Musical), Patrick Clow (Best Featured Actor in a Musical), RuthAnn Pattee (Best Featured Actress in a Musical), Bryan Moreau (Best Lighting Design), The Drowsy Chaperone (Best Musical), The Pirates of Penzance (Best Musical).

The Valley Players is in its thirty-fourth consecutive year of successful community theater, including the company's annual Vermont Playwrights Award, and its community variety show, Cabin Fever Follies. Located in Vermont's beautiful Mad River Valley, the Valley Players Theater is surrounded by many wonderful places to stay and play. Vermont BroadwayWorld Nominations: Joseph Laston (Best Actor in a Musical), Emma Golbe (Best Actress in a Musical), Rachel Sanguinetti (Best Actress in a Musical), Talia Glass (Best Actress in a Musical), Shannon Pitonyak (Best Direction), Jasmine White (Best Direction), Dave DeRosia (Best Featured Actor in a Musical), Todd Jones (Best Featured Actor in a Musical), Rosemarie Smith (Best Featured Actress in a Musical), Julie Atchinson (Best Featured Actress in a Play), Heather Pagel (Best Featured Actress in a Play), Nina LeMieux (Best Featured Actress in a Play), Young Frankenstein (Best Musical), The Vagina Monologues (Best Play).

The Skinner Barn Theater Company was founded by Peter Boynton in 2000. Each season it presents a series of Sunday musical cabaret evenings featuring Broadway composers and a 'book' musical in August. Cast members include both members of Actors Equity Association working under the 'Special Appearance' contract and non-union talent from the NE area. Vermont BroadwayWorld Nominations: Peter Boynton (Best Actor in a Musical, Best Direction), Alexa Cepeda (Best Actress in a Musical), The Fantasticks (Best Musical).

QuarryWorks Theater stages three shows each year: a musical, a children's play, and a drama. Auditions are held in the spring, and each show is created - from start to finish - in two to three weeks. All performances free thanks to the generosity and enthusiasm of QuarryWorks supporters and the Adamant Community Cultural Foundation. On performance days, playgoers are invited to come early and picnic on the grounds against the dramatic backdrop of a granite quarry. Vermont BroadwayWorld Nominations: Amy Papineau (Best Featured Actress in a Musical), Two By Two (Best Musical).

Nestled in the picturesque hills of Marshfield, Unadilla Theater presents a summer repertory season of plays, operettas, operas, and musical theater pieces each year. Founded in 1983 with one performance space, Unadilla productions now occur in two spaces; the original Unadilla Theater, and the newer Festival Theater. Vermont BroadwayWorld Nominations: Mary Wheeler (Best Actress in a Play), Caroline Wheeler (Best Actress in a Play), Vincent Broderick (Best Featured Actor in a Play), Zephyr Teachout (Best Featured Actress in a Play), Heartbreak House (Best Play).

Plainfield Little Theater has been active in Plainfield since 1930, offering lectures, concerts, puppet shows, plays, one-acts, and musicals, including some original works by local playwrights. It has been best known over the years for staging the operettas of Gilbert & Sullivan. The company was active until 1956, presenting up to four plays each year. In 1974, the Plainfield Little Theater was revived with a production of George Bernard Shaw's Arms and the Man, and remained as one of only a handful of community theater groups in Central Vermont. Vermont BroadwayWorld Nominations: The Return of the Moose (Best Play).

The Essex Community Players began in 1958, the brainchild of Bess Cohen, Elinor Barr, Bill Devlin and their theater-minded friends. Each year ECP presents the best in live drama, comedy and musicals. ECP encourages the production of exceptional live theater in the Essex area and Chittenden County, and the development of skills in all areas of theater. Vermont BroadwayWorld Nominations: Roy Cutler (Best Actor in a Play), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Best Play).

Located in a 150-seat black-box style theater on Route 100 between Waterbury and Stowe, The Waterbury Festival Players are a semi-professional group offering non-musical productions for adult audiences. The theater and its production company are the realization of the dream of George and Ginger Pierce to make this type of theater available to the performers and theater-going community of central Vermont. Vermont BroadwayWorld Nominations: David DiLego (Best Actor in a Play), Scott Renzoni (Best Featured Actor in a Play).

Photo Credit: Walter McBride

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From This Author Erin McIntyre

Erin McIntyre is delighted to be writing about Vermont's rich performing arts scene. She spent a number of years in New York City singing, acting, (read more...)