The 46th Annual Theatre Arts Guild Awards showcased the parity of a vibrant theatre community making progress year after year. When awards night was over, 31 awards were spread out amongst 14 shows. The assortment of award winning shows reflected the quality of productions seen across the Omaha area from venues large and small.
August: Osage County took home Best Drama and Best Director (Amy Lane), as well as numerous comedy/drama acting awards including Lead Actress (Susie Bear Collins), Supporting Actor (Randy Vest), and Featured Actor (Bill Hutson). Another Playhouse show, Legally Blonde: The Musical, won musical awards for Choreographer (Melanie Walters), Supporting Actress (Theresa Sindelar), Featured Actress (Angela Jensen Frye), and Featured Actor (Matthew Pyle).
Other Playhouse shows taking home honors included Ellen Struve’s Recommended Reading for Girls winning Best Supporting Actress (Laura Leininger), Youth Actress (Mika Caplan), and New Script. The Wizard of Oz nabbed 3 honors for Costume Design (Georgiann Regan), Sound Design (Tim Burkhart), and Youth Actress (Charlotte Hedican). Brian Zealand won Best Actor for Evil Dead: The Musical and the 21 & Over series reading of Enron won best Special Event.
Best Comedy went to SNAP Productions’ Clybourne Park which also won Best Actor (Noah Diaz) and Scene Design (Bill Van Deest). SNAP also took home the award for Best Musical with its production of next to normal, also winning Best Actress (Echelle Childers) and Music Director (Keith Hart). SNAP’s musical Avenue Q took home Best Director (Daena Schweiger) and Supporting Actor (Homero Vela).
The BLUEBARN Theatre’s production of The 39 Steps took home Best Ensemble (The Train Scene) and Best Lighting Design (Carol Wisner) while Red won for Best Prop Design (Amy Reiner).
Other awards included Beaufield Berry winning Best One-Act for The Shelterbelt Theatre’s Sloppy Seconds, Max Hauze winning Youth Actor for Joseph at The Rose Theater, and Sherry Josand Fletcher taking home Best Featured Actress for Bellevue’s Little Theatre’s Leaving Iowa.
The highlight of the evening was Barb Ross, who honored the late Anne Shaughnessy with the Lifetime Achievement Award. After giving a poignant and moving speech about Anne, including quotes from area theatre members about her wonderful spirit and dedication to the community she loved so much, the entire room gave Anne the standing ovation to beat all standing ovations.
Anne, you will be missed, but never forgotten.
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