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Marquee Theater Journalists Awards

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Marquee Theater Journalists Awards
Honors 15 Sonoma County Theater Artists

By David Templeton

On November 14, a gathering of Sonoma County actors, directors and designers took place at the Local Barrel taproom in Santa Rosa for the inaugural awards presentation of the newly formed Marquee Theater Journalists Association

The MTJA is currently made up of four founding members: Rohnert Park’s Alexa Chipman, creator of the Imagination Lane blog; Santa Rosa’s Harry Duke, reviewer for the Sonoma County Gazette and KSRO’s The Drive with Steve Jaxon; Petaluma’s David Templeton, reviewer for the North Bay Bohemian and KRCB radio; and Sebastopol’s Barry Willis, reviewer for the Marin Independent Journal

Between September 1, 2015 and August 30, 2016, the MTJA attended a combined total of 61 theater performances in Sonoma County.

The membership nominated a total of 75 artists in fourteen categories, announced via the group’s Facebook page on November 3. During the casual event, the members stood together to announce fifteen winners in the fourteen categories (the award for Outstanding Musical Production is presented to the director and musical director of the production, while the awards for Outstanding Drama Production and Outstanding Comedy Production are presented to the director of the shows). In a refreshing break with awards show tradition, the MTJA has eliminated gender distinctions for performances, instead offering awards for Outstanding Lead and Supporting Performance in the three categories of Musical, Drama, and Comedy.

Nominees from fifteen Sonoma County companies included theaters in Sonoma, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Healdsburg, Monte Rio, and Cloverdale. 

All Nominees & awardees:

Outstanding Musical Production

Assassins with Direction by Trevor Hoffman and Skylar Evans,

Musical Direction by Sherill Peterson (Narrow Way Stage Company/Sonoma Arts Live)

Kismet with Direction by Gene Abravaya, Musical Direction by Diego Garcia and Lucas Sherman (Spreckels Theatre Company)

The Light in the Piazza with Direction by Gene Abravaya, Musical Direction by Diego Garcia (Spreckels Theatre Company) 

Disney’s The Little Mermaid with Direction by Gene Abravaya, Musical Direction by Tina Lloyd Meals (Spreckels Theatre Company) 

Into the Woods with Direction by Marty Pistone, Musical Direction by Lynne Morrow (Sonoma State University)

Awardee: The Light in the Piazza

Outstanding Comedy Production

Bob: A Life in Five Acts with Direction by Sheri Lee Miller (Main Stage West) 

It’s a Wonderful Life: A Radio Play with Direction by Sylvia Jones (Raven Players)

One Man, Two Guvnors with Direction by Carl Jordan (6th Street Playhouse)

Seminar with Direction by Argo Thompson (Left Edge Theatre)

Treasure Island with Direction by David Yen (Spreckels Theatre Company)

Awardee: Bob: A Life in Five Acts

Outstanding Drama Production

All My Sons with Direction by Carl Hamilton (Raven Players)

Anna In The Tropics with Direction by Marty Pistone (6th Street Playhouse) 

The Road to Mecca with Direction by Elizabeth Craven (Main Stage West) 

A Steady Rain with Direction by Argo Thompson (Left Edge Theatre)

Time Stands Still with Direction by Sheri Lee Miller (Cinnabar Theater)

Awardee: Bob: A Steady Rain

Outstanding Lead in a Musical

Julianne Bretan as Ariel in ‘Disney’s The Little Mermaid’ (Spreckels Theatre Company)

Jacob Bronson as Fabrizio in ‘The Light in the Piazza’ (Spreckels Theatre Company)

Jennifer Mitchell as Clara in ‘The Light in the Piazza’ (Spreckels Theatre Company

Eileen Morris as Margaret in ‘The Light in the Piazza’ (Spreckels Theatre Company)

David Yen as Henry Higgins in ‘My Fair Lady’ (6th Street Playhouse)

Awardee: Eileen Morris as Margaret in ‘The Light in the Piazza’

Outstanding Lead in a Comedy

Mark Bradbury as Bob in ‘BOB: A Life in Five Acts’ (Main Stage West)

Bill Garcia as Petruchio in ‘Taming of the Shrew’ (Raven Players)

Craig Miller as Francis Henshall in ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’ (6th Street Playhouse) 

Jon Rathjen as Long John Silver in ‘Treasure Island’ (Spreckels Theatre Company)
Ron Severdia as Leonard in ‘Seminar’ (Left Edge Theatre)

Awardee: Mark Bradbury as Bob in ‘BOB: A Life in Five Acts’

Outstanding Lead in a Drama

Laura Lowry as Sarah in ‘Time Stands Still’ (Cinnabar Theater)

Mike Schaeffer as Denny in ‘A Steady Rain’ (Left Edge Theatre) 

Nick Sholley as Joey in ‘A Steady Rain’ (Left Edge Theatre) 

Steve Thorpe as Joe Keller in ‘All My Sons’ (Raven Players) 

Steven David Martin as Emil in ‘Three Viewings’ (Theatre Anew

Awardee: Laura Lowry as Sarah in ‘Time Stands Still’

Outstanding Support in a Musical

Adam Blankenship as The Balladeer in ‘Assassins’ (Narrow Way Stage Company/Sonoma Arts Live)

Jacinta Gorringe as Mrs. Rittenhouse in ‘Animal Crackers’ (6th Street Playhouse)

Shirley Nilsen-Hall as Mrs. Higgins in ‘My Fair Lady’ (6th Street Playhouse)

Abbey Lee as Arabella Rittenhouse/Mrs. Whitehead in ‘Animal Crackers’ (6th Street Playhouse)

Fernando Siu as Flounder in ‘Disney’s The Little Mermaid’ (Spreckels Theatre Company)

Awardee: Abbey Lee as Arabella Rittenhouse/Mrs. Whitehead in ‘Animal Crackers’

Outstanding Support in a Comedy

Sheila Lichirie as Gabrielle in ‘When the Rain Stops Falling’ (Roustabout Theater Company)

Ivy Rose Miller as Mandy in ‘Time Stands Still’ (Cinnabar Theater)

Joseph Potter as Father Jack in ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ (Curtain Call Theater)

Bronwhen Shears as Conchita in ‘Anna in the Tropics’ (6th Street Playhouse)

John Shillington as Richard in ‘Time Stands Still’ (Cinnabar Theater)

Awardee: Ivy Rose Miller as Mandy in ‘Time Stands Still’

Outstanding Program/Poster Design

4000 Miles – design by Elizabeth Craven (Main Stage West)

Animal Crackers – design by Ty Donaldson (6th Street Playhouse)

Puss In Boots – design by Rob Wilson (Cloverdale Performing Arts Center)

Seminar – design by Ron Severdia (Left Edge Theatre)

Wait Until Dark – design by Chelsea Smith (Spreckels Theatre Company)

Awardee: Seminar – design by Ron Severdia

Outstanding Set Design

Animal Crackers – set by Joe Klug (6th Street Playhouse)

A Christmas Carol – set by Jesse Dreikosen (6th Street Playhouse)

Time Stands Still – set by Jesse Dreikosen (Cinnabar Theater)

Twelfth Night – set by Peter Crompton (Santa Rosa Junior College)

Wait Until Dark – set by Eddy Hansen, Elizabeth Bazzano, David L. Yen (Spreckels)

Awardee: A Christmas Carol – set by Jesse Dreikosen

Outstanding Costume Design

A Christmas Carol – costumes by Pat Fitzgerald (6th Street Playhouse)

Disney’s The Little Mermaid – costumes by Pamela Enz (Spreckels Theatre Company)

Kismet – costumes by Pamela Enz (Spreckels Theatre Company)

My Fair Lady – costumes by Tracy Hinman (6th Street Playhouse)

Twelfth Night – costumes by Maryanne Scozzari (Santa Rosa Junior College)

Awardee: Disney’s The Little Mermaid – costumes by Pamela Enz (Spreckels Theatre Company)

Outstanding Light Design

All My Sons – lights by Robin DeLuca (Raven Players)

Anna in the Tropics – lights by April George (6th Street Playhouse)

The Creature – lights by Jon Tracy (Cinnabar Theater)

A Steady Rain – lights by April George (Left Edge Theatre)

Twelfth Night – lights by April George (Left Edge Theatre)

Awardee: A Steady Rain – lights by April George

Outstanding Sound Design

A Christmas Carol – sound by Craig Miller and John Gromada (6th Street Playhouse) 

The Hummingbird Wars – sound by Liam Robertson (Sonoma State University)

Polar Bears – sound by Elizabeth Craven (Main Stage West)

A Steady Rain – sound by Argo Thompson (Left Edge Theatre)

Wait Unitl Dark – sound by Jessica Johnson (Spreckels Theatre Company)

Awardee: A Steady Rain – sound by Argo Thompson