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DCMetroTheaterArts: Best of 2016 #17: Special Awards/Best High School and University Performances/Best Community and Professional Theaters of 2016

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Here Are DCMetroTheaterArts Staff’s Best of 2016 Honorees:

BEST PERFORMANCES IN HIGH SCHOOL PRODUCTIONS:

Katie Abramowitz as Molly in Peter and the Starcatcher at Georgetown Day School.

Gabby Anifantis as Little Sally in Urinetown at Wilson Theater at Woodrow Wilson High School.

Stephen Berg as Bobby Strong in Urinetown at Wilson Theater at Woodrow Wilson High School.

Jonathan Barger as Greaseball in Starlight Express at West Potomac High School.

Rachel Cahoon as Julia in The Wedding Singer at Fairfax High School.

Emily Carbone as Pearl in Starlight Express at West Potomac High School.

Alex Carnot as Peter in Peter and the Starcatcher at Georgetown Day School.

Nick Daché as Nick in Godspell at W.T. Woodson High School.

 Adrianna DeLorenzo as Rosalie Mullins in School of Rock at Beyond the Page Theatre Company at West Potomac High School.

Simon Diesenhaus as Smee in Peter and the Starcatcher at Georgetown Day School.

Elliot Diner as Caldwell B. Cladwell in Urinetown at Wilson Theater at Woodrow Wilson High School.

Jessica Fisher in Sandrine in Almost, Maine at Quince Orchard Theatre at Quince Orchard High School.

Kit Flaherty as Adelaide in Guys and Dolls at Richard Montgomery High School.

Austin Gill as Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at James Hubert Blake High School.

Madyson Hanton as Cathy Hiatt in The Last Five Years at Robinson High School’s Rambunctious Theatre Company and West Potomac High School’s Beyond the Page Theatre Company.

Claire Havranek as Tomika in School of Rock at Beyond the Page Theatre Company at West Potomac High School.

Daniel Holten as East in Almost, Maine at Quince Orchard Theatre at Quince Orchard High School.

 Kyle Huott as Princeton in Avenue Q at Fairfax High School.

David Jarzen as Jamie Wellerstein in The Last Five Years at Robinson High School’s Rambunctious Theatre Company and West Potomac High School’s Beyond the Page Theatre Company.

David Jarzen as Rusty in Starlight Express at West Potomac High School.

Jaqueline Kempa as Elle in Legally Blonde at Thomas S. Wootton High School.

Elijah King as Robbie in The Wedding Singer at Fairfax High School.

Ian Kirkland as Rod in Avenue Q at Fairfax High School.  

Julie Kovach as Lucy in Avenue Q at Fairfax High School.

Jacob Lamb as Jesus in Godspell at W.T. Woodson High School.

Keegan Lauricella-Reed as Jimmy Almost, Maine at Quince Orchard High School.

Tony Lemus as Dewey in School of Rock at Beyond the Page Theatre Company at West Potomac High School.

Marjorie Long as Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls at Richard Montgomery High School.

John McFarlane as Electra in Starlight Express at West Potomac High School.

Josie Morgan as Kate Monster in Avenue Q at Fairfax High School.

Miranda Medugno as Puck Prime, Jane Enabore as Puck 2, and Paige Hawkins as Puck 3, in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Gallaudet University’s Theater and Dance Program.

Noah Montemarano as Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls at Richard Montgomery High School.

Joey Moore as Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls at Richard Montgomery High School.

Darya Malak Motiei as Glory in Almost, Maine at Quince Orchard Theatre at Quince Orchard High School.

Victoria Nelson and Allie Halleck as Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at James Hubert Blake High School.

Diana Park as Christmas Eve in Avenue Q at Fairfax High School.

Madi Sarlo as Madi in Godspell at W.T. Woodson High School.

Joey Schulman as Hope Cladwell in Urinetown at Wilson Theater at Woodrow Wilson High School.

Franny Sewell as Penelope Pennywise in Urinetown at Wilson Theater at Woodrow Wilson High School.

Andrew Spafford as Stache in Peter and the Starcatcher at Georgetown Day School.

Darien Weems as Glen in The Wedding Singer at Fairfax High School.

BEST PERFORMANCES IN UNIVERSITY PRODUCTIONS:

Monica Albizo as Queenie in The Wild Party at the University of Maryland School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies at The Clarice.

Julia Barrett as Pippin’s grandmother Berthe in Pippin at George Washington University.

The Cast of Big Love at American University.

The Cast of Bloody Poetry at Catholic University.

Aryssa Burrs as Kate in The Wild Party at the University of Maryland School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies at The Clarice.

Desiree Chappelle as Priss in Legacy Street at Catholic University.

The Cast of Cloud Nine at Gallaudet University Theatre and Dance Program.

The Cast of Clybourne Park at George Washington University.

The cast of The Conference of the Birds at Montgomery College.

Sam Dunn as Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The George Mason University School of Theater and The Mason Players.

Daniel Fanelli as Charlemagne in Pippin at George Washington University.

Lauren Farnell as Philia in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at American University.

Jessie Gilson as Catherine in Proof at The University of Maryland Baltimore County’s Department of Theatre.

Alicia Grace as Drea in The Call at University of Maryland’s School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies at The Clarice.

Christie Graham as The Witch in Into the Woods at Catholic University. 

Eric Gramatges as Uberto in La Serva Padrona at Catholic University.

Crossley Hawn as Serpina in La Serva Padrona at Catholic University.

Amanda Hopkins as Angela in Legacy Street at Catholic University.

Noah Israel as Troilus in Troilus and Cressida at the University of Maryland School of Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies.

Kevin Johnson as Gianni Schicchi in Gianni Schicchi at Catholic University.

Lashea Johnson as Pecola in The Bluest Eye at Towson University Department of Theatre Arts.

Danielle King as Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Howard University.

Simone Lewis as Cinderella in Into the Woods at Catholic University.

Sarah Doreen MacPhee as Playing Brenda Strong in Catch Me If You Can a Montgomery College’s Summer Dinner Theatre.

 Aaron O’Brien Mackisey as Stone in City of Angels at Catholic University.

The Cast of Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet at Howard University.

Jamaal Amir McCray as Alemu in The Call at University of Maryland’s School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies at The Clarice.

Nate McGraw as Puck and Philostrate A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The George Mason University School of Theater and The Mason Players.

Tori Meyers as Daisy Hilton in Side Show in Montgomery College Summer Dinner Theatre.

Christine Miyashiro as Nanette in No, No, Nanette at American University.

Montana Monardes as Aeneas in Troilus and Cressida at the University of Maryland School of Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies.

Da’Von Moody as Jake in Side Show at Montgomery College Summer Dinner Theatre.

Shilo Orr as Stine in City of Angels at Catholic University.

Shiloh Orr as Jack in Into the Woods at Catholic University.

The Cast of Radio Golf at Howard University.

The Cast of The Outcasts of Poker Flat at Catholic University.

Anna Phillips-Brown as Violet Hilton in Side Show at Montgomery College Summer Dinner Theatre.

Ashley Pugmire as Cressida in Troilus and Cressida at the University of Maryland School of Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies.

The Cast of Sarafina! at Howard University.

Camryn Shegogue as Oolie and Donna in City of Angels at Catholic University.

Samantha Shoop as Meredith Parker in Bat Boy: The Musical at Montgomery College.

Chad Short as Robert in Proof at The University of Maryland Baltimore County’s Department of Theatre.

David Singleton as Edgar/Bat Boy in Bat Boy: The Musical at Montgomery College.

Izzy Smelkinson as Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at American University.

Nicole Smith as Rosemary in Picnic at Catholic University.

The Cast of Speech and Debate at George Washington University.

Mallorie Stern as Pauline in No, No, Nanette at American University.

Alex Stone as Frank Abagnale Jr. in Catch Me If You Can  a Montgomery College’s Summer Dinner Theatre.

Jared Swain as Cholly in The Bluest Eye at Towson University Department of Theatre Arts.

Jared Swain as Sun in The Good Person of Setzuan at Towson University Department of Theatre Arts.

Addison Switzer as Matthew in Br’er Cotton at Catholic University.

Dylan Toms as Macheth in The Three Penny Opera at George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Kyle Travers as Burrs in The Wild Party at the University of Maryland School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies at The Clarice.

Emma Vollmer as Fastrada in Pippin at George Washington University.

The Cast of Wake Me Up, Maria! A Go-Go Musical at Georgetown University.

Kathleen West as Polly Peacham The Three Penny Opera at George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Matt Winton as Hero in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at American University.

Mani Yangilmau as Shen Te and Shui Ta in The Good Person of Setzuan at The Towson University Department of Theatre Arts.

Best Community Theatres of 2016:

Colonial Players of Annapolis

Damascus Theatre Company

Dominion Stage

Fells Point Corner Theatre

 Kensington Arts Theatre

Laurel Mill Playhouse

Little Theatre of Alexandria

McLean Community Players

Providence Players of Fairfax

Reston Community Players

2nd Star Productions

Silhouette Stages

Silver Spring Stage

Spotlighters Theatre

Vagabond Players

Wolf Pack Theatre Company

BEST PROFESSIONAL THEATRES OF 2016

Arena Stage 

 Baltimore Center Stage

Cohesion Theatre

Everyman Theatre

First Stage

Folger Theatre

Iron Crow Theatre

Mosaic Theater Company of DC

Olney Theatre Center

Riverside Center for the Performing Arts

Shakespeare Theatre Company

Signature Theatre

Synetic Theatre

The Studio Theatre

Toby’s The Dinner Theatre of Columbia

Theater J

SPECIAL AWARDS:

We salute the Shakespeare Theatre, and Artistic Director Michael Kahn, for its innovative, wide-ranging 2015-16 season.

Salome, a feminist reworking of the ancient myth, directed by Yaël Farber, was a highlight of the Women’s Theater Festival. It won 7 Helen Hayes Awards; one for outstanding director and one for outstanding play.  It moved to the National Theater in London.

Kiss Me, Kate, in November, was critically acclaimed; Nelson Pressley called it “vintage Broadway-style entertainment.”.  With a spectacular cast, this was a musical sensation.  It also won 2 Helen Hayes Awards, one for Michele Lynch’s choreography, and one for Robyn Hurder’s superb turn as Supporting Actress.  Director was Alan Paul.

The Critic/The Real Inspector Hound. A hilarious evening of two plays, one by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, one by Tom Stoppard.  Eric Minton in Shakespearances said: “[B]oth plays are great fun, from the clever scripts to the comic performances. STC Artistic Director Michael Kahn steers the same cast through both plays, and he gets the actors to walk along the cliff’s edge of absurdist humor, firmly footed in silliness without slipping into a chasm of ridiculous.”

Othello directed by Ron Daniels with Faran Tahir, in psychologically rich performance. Patrick Burnett in The Huffington Post said that Tahir’s performance humanized Islam and helped to bridge the gap between the West and the Muslim World.

The Taming of the Shrew directed by young director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, in which the audience was invited on to the stage at intermission. (Some were taking pictures!)  and a breakout performance as Katherine by Maulik Pancholy.

We Salute Ari Roth and the Staff of Mosaic Theater Company of DC

Still in only the second season of its courageous existence, Mosaic Theater Company of DC has singularly raised the bar for creating consistently conscientious theater in this town. The body of work it has thus far produced has remarkable scope, reach, and depth. Still too young to qualify for the prestigious Helen Hayes John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company, Mosaic is actually beyond emerging. It has arrived

Artistic Director Ari Roth leads a staff whose uniform commitment to the company’s mission is evidenced in countless details. Perhaps most notably, diversity at Mosaic is not cosmetic. Diversity is in the company’s DNA. Typically plays at Mosaic are not only about differing communities; they come with distinctive communities—constituencies of urgent shared concern that Mosaic has reached out to and been responsive to with an uncommon passion for inclusion and social justice.

To connect with Mosaic as a theatergoer over time from performance to performance is to have one’s very consciousness of connectedness expanded. And that today may be the truest measure of a theater fulfilling the call to artistic citizenship.

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The DC Metro Area’s Children’s Theatres

A big thank you to all the children’s theatres in the MD, VA, and DC area that entertained and inspired young theatre goers and their families in 2015.

Adventure Theatre MTC

Black Rock Center for the Arts

Charm City Players

The Children’s Playhouse of Maryland

Children’s Theatre of Annapolis

Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts

Creative Cauldron

Discovery Theater

Educational Theatre Company

Encore Stage & Studio

Imagination Stage

InterAct Story Theatre

Kennedy Center’s Performances for Young Audiences

Maryland Ensemble Theatre

Mount Vernon Community Children’s Theatre

Pied Piper Theatre

Pumpkin Theatre

The Puppet Company

The Washington County Playhouse Dinner Theater and Children’s Theater

Riverside Center Dinner Theater’s Children’s Theater

Roanoke Children’s Theatre

Saturday Morning at The National

Virginia Rep’s Children’s Theatre at Willow Lawn

Way Off Broadway

Wolf Trap’s Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods

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This is the 5th  straight year that we have honored Don Michael Mendoza and Regie Cabico’s La-Ti-Do. Now performing every other week on their usual Monday nights, La-Ti-Do continues to offer a place for local talent to strut their stuff at La-Ti-Do’s weekly cabaret performances of music and spoken word. It’s the place be on Monday nights to see the abundance of talent that fills our local stages and music venues. Because of La-Ti-Do, dozens of talented artists have found a home where they can share their talent with all of us. They have spread their wings to The Big Apple and now they are off to Pittsburgh.

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TRAINING SCHOOLS/PROGRAMS:

Act Two at Levine, Arts Collective@HCC, Lumina Studio Theatre, The National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, The Theatre Lab School of The Dramatic Arts, and Young Artists of America are training  actors, singers, musicians, and the stars of the future. The staff of DCMetroTheaterArts would like to honor their work and their dedication to their students and to the arts in 2015.

Act Two at Levine

Arts Collective@HCC

Lumina Studio Theatre

The National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts 

Theatre Lab School of the Dramatic Arts

Young Artists of America at Strathmore

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