Oh What a Night at The 2015 Barrymores!

0
2

“It’s been a big year for me.”

That was quite an understatement coming from Scott Greer. The veteran Philadelphia actor had just won his fifth Barrymore Award, named Outstanding Leading Actor in a Play for his role as a 600-pound man in Theatre Exile’s The Whale.

Kate Czajkowski and Scott Greer in Theatre Exile's 'The Whale.' Photo by Paola Nogueras.
Kate Czajkowski and Scott Greer in Theatre Exile’s ‘The Whale.’ Photo by Paola Nogueras.

And he’d been nominated in the same category for another play, To the Moon; together these marked his 16th and 17th Barrymore nominations. (And he’s sure to be a nominee next year for playing the title role in Exile’s Rizzo.)

But it was a big year for Philadelphia theatre in general, and this year’s Barrymore Awards, held Monday night at the Merriam Theatre, celebrated all sorts of big accomplishments, from big companies and small companies alike. And acting awards went both to newcomers (Campbell O’Hare for her first professional gig in Rapture, Blister, Burn) and veterans (Catharine Slusar as Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?)

The Whale was the big winner in the drama category, winning not just for Greer but for Overall Production of a Play, Direction (Matt Pfeiffer) and Sound Design (Christopher Colucci). In his acceptance speech, Pfeiffer mentioned that Samuel D. Hunter’s play, one of the most frequently-produced titles in the country this year, got its start in Philadelphia with a reading at the PlayPenn conference.

The big winner in the musical categories was Norristown’s Theatre Horizon for its stripped-down production of Into the Woods. It won four awards – Overall Production of a Musical, Direction (Matthew Decker), Music Direction (Amanda Morton), and Outstanding Ensemble.

he cast of 'Field Hockey Hot' at 11th Hour. Photo by Chrissy K Photography.
he cast of ‘Field Hockey Hot’ at 11th Hour. Photo by Chrissy K Photography.

11th Hour Theatre Company’s original musical Field Hockey Hot also drew multiple honors, with wins in the supporting acting categories for Michael Philip O’Brien and Leah Walton.

Excerpts from both shows were performed during Monday night’s ceremony, along with songs from the other two musical nominees, Ragtime (Bristol Riverside Theatre) and Herringbone (Flashpoint Theatre). Herringbone’s sole performer, Ben Dibble, won the Leading Actor in a Musical prize for the second year in a row (last year’s win was for the Arden Theatre’s Parade).

philartscollect (1)

Philadelphia Artists’ Collective (PAC), a small company dedicated to underperformed classics, won the June and Steve Wolfson Award for an Evolving Theatre Company, while the group’s co-Founding Artistic Director Dan Hodge won Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play for his role in PAC’s The Fair Maid of the West.

Aimé Donna Kelly (left) and Lynnette R. Freeman in InterAct Theatre Company's 'The Dangerous House of Pretty Mbane. Photo by Kate Raines/Plate3Photography.
Aimé Donna Kelly (left) and Lynnette R. Freeman in InterAct Theatre Company’s ‘The Dangerous House of Pretty Mbane. Photo by Kate Raines/Plate3Photography.

InterAct Theatre won the Virginia Brown Martin Philadelphia Award – honoring plays which “illuminate the ways we live and interact with others as we seek to build community” – for its production of the South African-set drama The Dangerous House of Pretty Mbane. In his speech, InterAct’s Founder and Producing Artistic Director Seth Rozin noted that this award’s focus on the way theatre affects the community makes Philadelphia “a model for other cities.”

Johnnie Hobbs Jr.
Johnnie Hobbs Jr.

This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award went to Johnnie Hobbs Jr., veteran actor and mentor, who spent thirty years as a professor in the acting program at the University of the Arts. In his emotional acceptance speech, Hobbs paid tribute to his own mentors at Freedom Theatre, John Allen and Bob Leslie.

Akeem Davis. Photo courtesy of Phillymag.com.
Akeem Davis. Photo courtesy of Phillymag.com.

Later, in another moving speech, when Akeem Davis (currently one of the stars of Rizzo) was awarded the F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Philadelphia Theatre Artist, he paid tribute to Hobbs, whose guidance was crucial to Florida native Davis choosing Philadelphia as a place to make a living as an actor five years ago.

220px-05BarrymoreAward (1)

Here are the 2015 Barrymore Awards Recipients:

Outstanding Overall Production of a Play
Caught (InterAct Theatre Company)
The Dangerous House of Pretty Mbane (InterAct Theatre Company)
In the Blood (Theatre Horizon)
Rapture, Blister, Burn (The Wilma Theater)
To The Moon (1812 Productions)
The Whale (Theatre Exile)
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Theatre Exile)

______

Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical
Field Hockey Hot (11th Hour Theatre Company)
Herringbone (Flashpoint Theatre Company)
Into the Woods (Theatre Horizon)
Ragtime (Bristol Riverside Theatre)

______

Outstanding Direction of a Play
Joe Canuso (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Theatre Exile)
Matt Pfeiffer (To The Moon, 1812 Productions)
Matt Pfeiffer (The Whale, Theatre Exile)
Joanna Settle (Rapture, Blister, Burn, The Wilma Theater)
Rick Shiomi (Caught, InterAct Theatre Company)
Pirronne Yousefzadeh (The Dangerous House of Pretty Mbane, InterAct Theatre Company)
Pirronne Yousefzadeh (In the Blood, Theatre Horizon)

______

Outstanding Direction of a Musical
Keith Baker (Ragtime, Bristol Riverside Theatre)
Matthew Decker (Into the Woods, Theatre Horizon)
Bill Fennelly (Herringbone, Flashpoint Theatre Company)
Megan Nicole O’Brien (Field Hockey Hot, 11th Hour Theatre Company)

______

Outstanding Leading Actor in a Play
Pearce Bunting (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Theatre Exile)
Peter DeLaurier (QED, Lantern Theater Company)
Charlie DelMarcelle (The Glass Menagerie, Act II Playhouse)
Michael Genet (Fences, People’s Light)
Scott Greer (To The Moon, 1812 Productions)
Scott Greer (The Whale, Theatre Exile)

______

Charlotte Cushman Award for Outstanding Leading Actress in a Play
Carla Belver (The Glass Menagerie, Act II Playhouse)
Kim Carson (Nora, Delaware Theatre Company)
Melanye Finister (Fences, People’s Light)
Eleanor Handley (Lost in Yonkers, Bristol Riverside Theatre)
Aimé Donna Kelly (The Dangerous House of Pretty Mbane, InterAct Theatre Company)
Mary McDonnell (The Cherry Orchard, People’s Light)
Catharine Slusar (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Theatre Exile)

______

Outstanding Leading Actor in a Musical
Derrick Cobey (Ragtime, Bristol Riverside Theatre)
Ben Dibble (Herringbone, Flashpoint Theatre Company)
Michael Thomas Holmes (Ragtime, Bristol Riverside Theatre)
Steve Pacek (Into the Woods, Theatre Horizon)

______

Outstanding Leading Actress in a Musical
Rachel Camp (Into the Woods, Theatre Horizon)
Kim Carson (Arthur and the Tale of the Red Dragon, People’s Light)
Liz Filios (Passion, Arden Theatre Company)
April Woodall (Souvenir, Montgomery Theater)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play
Akeem Davis (In the Blood, Theatre Horizon)
Charlie DelMarcelle (The Jungle Book, Arden Theatre Company)
Dan Hodge (The Fair Maid of the West, Philadelphia Artists’ Collective)
Dave Johnson (The Taming of the Shrew, Lantern Theater Company)
Anthony Lawton (To The Moon, 1812 Productions)
Graham Smith (The Cherry Orchard, People’s Light)
Ed Swidey (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, The Wilma Theater)

______

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play
K.O. DelMarcelle (Detroit, Philadelphia Theatre Company)
K.O. DelMarcelle (The Taming of the Shrew, Lantern Theater Company)
Lynette R. Freeman (The Dangerous House of Pretty Mbane, InterAct Theatre Company)
Emilie Krause (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Theatre Exile)
Campbell O’Hare (Rapture, Blister, Burn, The Wilma Theater)
Campbell O’Hare (The Whale, Theatre Exile)
Susan Riley Stevens (Nora, Delaware Theatre Company)

______

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical
Alex Bechtel (Into the Woods, Theatre Horizon)
Charlie DelMarcelle (Into the Woods, Theatre Horizon)
Michael Doherty (Into the Woods, Theatre Horizon)
Michael Philip O’Brien (Field Hockey Hot, 11th Hour Theatre Company)

______

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical
Liz Filios (Into the Woods, Theatre Horizon)
Leigha Kato (Into the Woods, Theatre Horizon)
Ciji Prosser (Ragtime, Bristol Riverside Theatre)
Leah Walton (Field Hockey Hot, 11th Hour Theatre Company)

______

Outstanding Scenic Design
Scott Bradley (brownsville song (b-side for tray), Philadelphia Theatre Company)
Brian Dudkiewicz (In the Blood, Theatre Horizon)
Melpomene Katakalos (Caught, InterAct Theatre Company)
Lance Kniskern (The Taming of the Shrew, Lantern Theater Company)
Kristen Robinson (Rapture, Blister, Burn, The Wilma Theater)
Jason Simms (Lost in Yonkers, Bristol Riverside Theatre)
Jason Simms (Ragtime, Bristol Riverside Theatre)

______

Earl Girls Award for Outstanding Costume Design
Esther Arroyo (Nora, Delaware Theatre Company)
Maggie Baker (Penelope, Inis Nua Theatre Company)
Marie Anne Chiment (Arthur and the Tale of the Red Dragon, People’s Light)
Marla Jurglanis (Bach at Leipzig, People’s Light)
Marla Jurglanis (The Cherry Orchard, People’s Light)
Rosemarie McKelvey (La Bête, Arden Theatre Company)
Lauren Perigard (Into the Woods, Theatre Horizon)

______

Outstanding Lighting Design
Russell H. Champa (brownsville song (b-side for tray), Philadelphia Theatre Company)
Cecilia Durbin (In the Blood, Theatre Horizon)
Dennis Parichy (The Cherry Orchard, People’s Light)
Thom Weaver (Passion, Arden Theatre Company)
Thom Weaver (Rapture, Bister, Burn, The Wilma Theater)
Thom Weaver (The Whale, Theatre Exile)
Yi Zhao (Hamlet, The Wilma Theater)

______

Clear Sound Award for Outstanding Sound Design
Christopher Colucci (The Hound of the Baskervilles, Lantern Theater Company)
Christopher Colucci (Uncanny Valley, InterAct Theatre Company)
Christopher Colucci (The Whale, Theatre Exile)
Jorge Cousineau (Bach at Leipzig, People’s Light)
Daniel Perelstein (The Dangerous House of Pretty Mbane, InterAct Theatre Company)
Daniel Perelstein (Passion, Arden Theatre Company)
Ryan Rumery (brownsville song (b-side for tray), Philadelphia Theatre Company)

______

Outstanding Original Music
Alex Bechtel (To The Moon, 1812 Productions)
Christopher Colucci (The Whale, Theatre Exile)
ILL DOOTS (Hands Up: 6 Playwrights, 6 Testaments, Flashpoint Theatre Company)
Michael Ogborn (Arthur and the Tale of the Red Dragon, People’s Light)
Michael Ogborn (Field Hockey Hot, 11th Hour Theatre Company)
Daniel Perelstein (The Dangerous House of Pretty Mbane, InterAct Theatre Company)
Stew (Rapture, Blister, Burn, The Wilma Theater)

______

Outstanding Choreography/Movement
Stephen Casey (Ragtime, Bristol Riverside Theatre)
Michael Cosenza (The Fair Maid of the West, Philadelphia Artists’ Collective)
Dann Dunn (Catch Me If You Can, The Eagle Theatre)
Ellie Mooney (Field Hockey Hot, 11th Hour Theatre Company)
Samantha Reading (Bach at Leipzig, People’s Light)
Ian Rose (As You Like It, Quintessence Theatre Group)
Ian Rose (The Three Musketeers, Quintessence Theatre Group)

______

Outstanding Music Direction
Dan Kazemi (Field Hockey Hot, 11th Hour Theatre Company)
Dan Kazemi (Herringbone, Flashpoint Theatre Company)
Amanda Morton (Into the Woods, Theatre Horizon)
Ryan Touhey (Ragtime, Bristol Riverside Theatre)

______

Outstanding Ensemble in a Play
Bach at Leipzig (People’s Light)
The Fair Maid of the West (Philadelphia Artists’ Collective)
The Hound of the Baskervilles (Lantern Theater Company)
In the Blood (Theatre Horizon)
The Jungle Book (Arden Theatre Company)
Little Rock (Passage Theatre Company)
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Theatre Exile)

______

Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical
Arthur and the Tale of the Red Dragon (People’s Light)
Field Hockey Hot (11th Hour Theatre Company)
Into the Woods (Theatre Horizon)
Ragtime (Bristol Riverside Theatre)

______

Independence Foundation Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical
Caught by Christopher Chen (InterAct Theatre Company)
The Dangerous House of Pretty Mbane by Jen Silverman (InterAct Theatre Company)
Hands Up: 6 Playwrights, 6 Testaments by The New Black Fest (Flashpoint Theatre Company)
To The Moon by Jennifer Childs (1812 Productions)

_______

F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Philadelphia Theatre Artist
Alex Bechtel
Benjamin Camp
Akeem Davis
Katherine Fritz
Bi Jean Ngo

______

Virginia Brown Martin Philadelphia Award
The Dangerous House of Pretty Mbane (InterAct Theatre Company)
The Gun Show (Passage Theatre Company)
In the Blood (Theatre Horizon)
Speech & Debate (Azuka Theatre)
The Whale (Theatre Exile)

______

June and Steve Wolfson Award for an Evolving Theatre Company
The Berserker Residents
EgoPo Classic Theater
Flashpoint Theatre Company
Philadelphia Artists’ Collective
Quintessence Theatre Group
Simpatico Theatre Project

______

Lifetime Achievement Award
Johnnie Hobbs, Jr.