The 2015 Ovation Award Winners Announced

Categories: news, ovation awards, past events, press release

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The 2015 LA STAGE Alliance Ovation Awards,
celebrating theatrical excellence and achievement
during the past 12 months, were presented on
Monday, November 9 at the Ahmanson Theatre
at The Music Center.

Thirty-five awards were bestowed upon 18 different Southern California theatre companies. The most honored companies of the year were The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts/Deaf West Theatre/Cody Lassen (Spring Awakening); Center Theatre Group (Chavez Ravine: An L.A. Revival, The Price, Luna Gale); Circle X Theatre Company (Trevor); Ebony Repertory Company (The Gospel at Colonus); Sacred Fools Theater Company (The Behavior of Broadus, a co-production with Burglars of Hamm and Center Theatre Group); Four Larks (The Temptation of St Antony); and Loft Ensemble (She Kills Monsters).

Other companies honored were 3-D Theatricals, Actors Co-op, Cabrillo Music Theatre, Coeurage Theatre Company, Los Angeles Performance Practice, The Pasadena Playhouse, Rogue Machine, Unbound Productions, and VS. Theatre Company. The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts received the Best Season Award (Enter Laughing, Love, Noël: The Letters and Songs of Noël Coward, Spring Awakening).

LA STAGE Alliance Board Chair Brian Kite said, “What a night! It is always a thrill to gather the Los Angeles theatre community together to honor excellence. The work on our stages this year was invigorating, riveting, thought provoking, and daring. Congratulations to all the artists that keep LA theatre among the best in the world. Bravo!”

Sarah Lyding, Senior Program Officer for The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation, presented the BEST Awards, including checks totaling $105,000 to the following LA theatre companies: Casa 0101 (also won in 2012), Center Theatre Group, East West Players (also won in 2013 and 2014), The Pasadena Playhouse, and Watts Village Theater Company.

Additionally, Center Theatre Group presented the 2015 Sherwood Award for innovative and adventurous artists to Miwa Matreyek. This award is endowed by the Sherwood family and is accompanied by $10,000 to further Matreyek’s artistic work.

The ceremony was hosted by French and Vanessa Claire Stewart, and this year’s presenters included LA theatre luminaries (in alphabetical order) Keith Allan, Bekah Brunsetter, Lap Chi Chu, Guillermo Cienfuegos, Tim Dang, Abigail Deser, Robert Egan, Christina Elmore, Ann Closs Farley, Shirley Jo Finney, Brighid Fleming, David and Kiki Gindler, Harry Groener, Sofia Klatzker, Michael Kricfalusi, Deborah Lawler, Alan Mandell, Terence McFarland, Stephen Sachs, Oz Scott, Madhuri Shekar, Trent Steelman, Seema Sueko, Jose Luis Valenzuela, and Kirsten Vangsness.

Founded in 1989, the LA STAGE Alliance Ovation Awards are the only peer-judged theatre awards in Los Angeles. Voters are Los Angeles theatre professionals who are chosen each year, through an application process, by the Ovation Rules Committee. The list of nominees is determined by a tabulation of scores conducted by Green Hasson Janks. This year’s Ovation Award eligibility period ran from September 1, 2014 through August 31, 2015.

Since 1975, LA STAGE Alliance has dedicated to building awareness, appreciation, and support for the performing arts in Greater Los Angeles. All of its initiatives aim to serve and strengthen the sector — both at an individual and community level — providing resources that facilitate audience engagement, collaborative marketing, community building, and professional development.

Sponsors for this year’s Ovation Awards ceremony were The Sheri & Les Biller Family Foundation, TheaterMania, Goldstar, Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment, USC School of Dramatic Arts, UCLA School of Theater, Film & Television, Green Hasson Janks, Bakers Man Productions, Performances Magazine, City Tavern, Peter Konerko Photography, and Ken Werther Publicity. Variety was the media sponsor.


Best Season

WALLIS ANNENBERG CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
ENTER LAUGHING – THE MUSICAL
LOVE, NOËL: THE LETTERS AND SONGS OF NOËL COWARD
SPRING AWAKENING


Best Production of a Play (Intimate Theatre)

TREVOR
Circle X Theatre Company


Best Production of a Play (Large Theatre)

CHAVEZ RAVINE: AN L.A. REVIVAL
Center Theatre Group


Best Production of a Musical (Intimate Theatre)

SPRING AWAKENING
Deaf West Theatre


Best Production of a Musical (Large Theatre)

SPRING AWAKENING
Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Deaf West Theatre & Cody Lassen


Best Presented Production

LUNA GALE
Center Theatre Group


Acting Ensemble of a Play

THE TEMPTATION OF ST ANTONY
Four Larks


Acting Ensemble of a Musical

SPRING AWAKENING
Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Deaf West Theatre & Cody Lassen


Choreography

SPENCER LIFF
SPRING AWAKENING
Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Deaf West Theatre & Cody Lassen


Music Direction

ABDUL HAMID ROYAL
THE GOSPEL AT COLONUS
Ebony Repertory Theatre


Book for an Original Musical

CAROLYN ALMOS, MATT ALMOS, JON BEAUREGARD & ALBERT DAYAN
THE BEHAVIOR OF BROADUS
Sacred Fools Theater Company, Burglars of Hamm & Center Theatre Group


Lyrics/Composition for an Original Musical

BRENDAN MILBURN, MATT ALMOS & BURGLARS OF HAMM
THE BEHAVIOR OF BROADUS
Sacred Fools Theater Company, Burglars of Hamm & Center Theatre Group


Playwriting for an Original Play

NICK JONES
TREVOR
Circle X Theatre Company


Direction of a Musical

MICHAEL ARDEN
SPRING AWAKENING
Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Deaf West Theatre & Cody Lassen


Direction of a Play

MICHAEL MATTHEWS
FAILURE: A LOVE STORY
Coeurage Theatre Company


Lead Actor in a Musical

TODD ADAMSON as Huey
MEMPHIS
Cabrillo Music Theatre


Lead Actress in a Musical

CHRISTANNA ROWADER as Mother
RAGTIME
3-D Theatricals


Lead Actor in a Play

JIMMI SIMPSON as Trevor
TREVOR
Circle X Theatre Company


Lead Actress in a Play

LAURIE METCALF as Sandra
TREVOR
Circle X Theatre Company


Featured Actor in a Musical

SAMUEL BUTLER as Balladeer
THE GOSPEL AT COLONUS
Ebony Repertory Theatre


Featured Actress in a Musical

NICOE POTTS as Soloist
THE GOSPEL AT COLONUS
Ebony Repertory Theatre


Featured Actor in a Play

ALAN MANDELL as Gregory Solomon
THE PRICE
Center Theatre Group


Featured Actress in a Play

REBECCA MOZO as W
COCK
Rogue Machine


Lighting Design (Intimate Theatre)

JARED SAYEG
PICNIC
The Antaeus Company


Lighting Design (Large Theatre)

BEN STANTON
SPRING AWAKENING
Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Deaf West Theatre & Cody Lassen


Scenic Design (Intimate Theatre)

DARCY SCANLIN
COMPLETENESS
VS. Theatre Company & Firefly Theater & Films


Scenic Design (Large Theatre)

TOM BUDERWITZ
THE WHIPPING MAN
Pasadena Playhouse


Sound Design (Intimate Theatre)

JOHN ZALEWSKI
THE DAY SHALL DECLARE IT
Los Angeles Performance Practice


Sound Design (Large Theatre)

DREW DALZELL & NOELLE HOFFMAN
WICKED LIT 2014
Unbound Productions


Costume Design (Intimate Theatre)

VICKI CONRAD
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD
Actors Co-op


Costume Design (Large Theatre)

CHRISTOPHER ACEBO
CHAVEZ RAVINE: AN L.A. REVIVAL
Center Theatre Group


Video/Projection Design

JASON THOMPSON
CHAVEZ RAVINE: AN L.A. REVIVAL
Center Theatre Group


Ovation Honors Recipients

Composition for a Play:

MAT SWEENEY & ELLEN WARKENTINE
THE TEMPTATION OF ST ANTONY
Four Larks

Fight Choreography:

MIKE MAHAFFEY
SHE KILLS MONSTERS
Loft Ensemble

Puppet Design:

TED BLEGEN
SHE KILLS MONSTERS
Loft Ensemble

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