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director vickie washington presiding over a rehearsal for <em>Mississippi Goddamn</em>

The Envelope Please

The 2015 Dallas-Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum Awards are in. Uptown and Undermain are the big winners, and Mississippi Goddamn was a clear favorite. Here's the complete list.



published Monday, September 14, 2015

Photo: Karen Almond
Sally Nystuen Vahle in Medea at Dallas Theater Center

 

Dallas — The voices of 11 members of the Dallas-Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum could be heard arguing—occasionally loudly and over one anotherabout the work that just ended the 2014-15 theater season. (Eligible productions opened between Sept. 1, 2014 and Aug. 31, 2015.) Many of us probably walked away from the annual meeting, graciously hosted by Martha Heimberg in her beautiful Lakewood home, sad that some of our choices narrowly missed the cut, but also glad that we thwarted others' picks that we vehemently opposed.

For me personally, I'm still astounded that the world premiere of Gordon Dahlquist's Tomorrow Come Today at Undermain Theatre didn't make the Outstanding New Play category (it just won a major award, after all), and don't understand why no one else could get behind a vote for the terrific costume and georgeous mask designs of Mr. Burns, a post-electric play at Stage West.

That's the way it goes. Logrolling is the name of the game...and besides, we each have our year-end lists to look forward to.

New this year was the choice to merge the categories of the best acting performances for both men and women, erasing gender lines. Note that 17 actors were listed this year, and five of them for more than one show. Jenny Ledel was listed for four outstanding turns.

Among the big winners: Undermain Theatre and Uptown Players, each of which had three productions listed for outstanding direction. Jubilee Theatre had a pretty good year, too. Local playwright Jonathan Norton, who has grown tremendously as a writer, received several mentions for his February play Mississippi Goddamn at the South Dallas Cultural Center. Some favorites of the past, such as Theatre Three, WaterTower Theatre, Kitchen Dog Theater and Dallas Theater Center, only received a few mentions.

And where national tours were concerned, we were less interested in the big shows presented by the major touring presenters, and more into smaller-scale tours at the Eisemann Center and in the AT&T Performing Arts Center's Off-Broadway on Flora Series.

For special citations, we gave out three: To Lyric Stage, the Dallas Solo Fest and the folks behind the always-exciting Shakespeare in the Bar.

Below is the complete list. Let us know how we did. What were your favorite performances, productions and creative contribution?

 


OUTSTANDING DIRECTION

Photo: Robert Hart/TheaterJones
Akín Babatundé

 

Photo: Robert Hart/TheaterJones
Jeremy Dumont

 

Akín Babatundé, Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope and The Color Purple, Jubilee Theatre

Bruce R. Coleman, The Nance, Uptown Players

Cheryl Denson, Catch Me If You Can, Uptown Players

Jeremy Dumont, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Uptown Players

Blake Hackler, The Flick, Undermain Theatre

Katherine Owens, Tomorrow Come Today and The Testament of Mary, Undermain Theatre

Matthew Posey, The Egg Salesman, The Ochre House

vickie washington, Mississippi Goddamn, South Dallas Cultural Center

 

 

OUTSTANDING NEW PLAY OR MUSICAL

Photo: Danielle Deraleau/TheaterJones
From left: director vickie washington, actor Tyrees Allen and playwright Jonathan Norton of Mississippi Goddamn

 

Mississippi Goddamn by Jonathan Norton, South Dallas Cultural Center

The Show About Men by Danielle Georgiou, Justin Locklear and Trey Pendergrass, DGDG, Festival of Independent Theatres

Standing Eight Count by Van Quattro, Rite of Passage Theatre Company, WaterTower Theatre's Out of the Loop Fringe Festival and Dallas Solo Fest

 

 

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCES

Photo: Cara Mia Theatre
Stephanie Cleghorn Jasso in Lydia at Cara Mía Theatre Company

 

 

Stephanie Cleghorn Jasso, Lydia, Cara Mía Theatre Company

B.J. Cleveland, The Nance, Uptown Players

David Coffee, King Lear, Trinity Shakespeare Festival

Hassan El-Amin, Radio Golf and A Soldier's Play, African American Repertory Theater

Anthony Fortino, Catch Me If You Can, Uptown Players

Kyle Igneczi, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Uptown Players

Shannon Kearns, The Testament of Mary, Undermain Theatre

Photo: Mike Morgan
B.J. Cleveland in The Nance

Jenny Ledel

  • The Arsonists, Kitchen Dog Theater
  • Belleville, Second Thought Theatre
  • Othello, Second Thought Theatre
  • Wilde/Earnest, Kitchen Dog Theater

David Lugo, Catch Me If You Can, Uptown Players

Janelle Lutz, Lady in the Dark and South Pacific, Lyric Stage

Ebony Marshall Oliver, In Real Life and The Color Purple, Jubilee Theatre

Sally Nystuen Vahle, Medea, Dallas Theater Center

Allison Pistorius, The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence, Stage West

Paul Taylor, Mr. Burns, a post-electric play, Stage West; and The Hot Mikado, Theatre

Three

Lulu Ward, The Two-Character Play, WingSpan Theatre Company

Sherry Jo Ward, Precious Little, Echo Theatre

Pat Watson, Streamers, L.I.P. Service

 

 

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ENSEMBLE CAST

Photo: Buddy Myers
Mr. Burns, a post-electric play at Stage West

 

 

The Brothers Size, Jubilee Theatre

The Egg Salesman, The Ochre House

The Flick, Undermain Theatre

Hands on a Hardbody, Theatre Three

Mississippi Goddamn, South Dallas Cultural Center

Mr. Burns, a post-electric play, Stage West

The Nance, Uptown Players

 

 

OUTSTANDING DESIGN OR CREATIVE CONTRIBUTION

Photo: Karen Almond
Joshua L. Peugh took a mention for his choeography in Colossal at Dallas Theater Center

 

 

Robin Armstrong, fight choreography, Lovers and Executioners, Circle Theatre

Clare Floyd DeVries, set design, The Explorers Club, Stage West and WaterTower Theatre

Danielle Georgiou, choreography, NICE and The Show About Men, DGDG

Bob Lavallee, set design, The Rocky Horror Show, Dallas Theater Center

Joshua L. Peugh, choreography/movement, Colossal, Dallas Theater Center

Adam C. Wright, original composition, The Nance, Uptown Players

 

 

OUTSTANDING TOURING PRODUCTION

Photo: Paul Kolknik
Mandy Patinkin and Taylor Mac in The Last Two People on Earth: An Apocalyptic Vaudeville at the Eisemann Center

 

 

Buyer & Cellar, AT&T Performing Arts Center

Endurance, Split Knuckle Theatre, The Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts

The Last Two People on Earth: An Apocalyptic Vaudeville, The Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts

Once, AT&T Performing Arts Center and Performing Arts Fort Worth

Pippin, Dallas Summer Musicals and Performing Arts Fort Worth

 

 

SPECIAL CITATIONS

Photo: Michael C. Foster
Janelle Lutz and Kelly Silverthorn in Lady in the Dark at Lyric Stage

 

 

To Lyric Stage and musical director Jay Dias for their contributions to the musical restoration of The Golden Apple and Lady in the Dark, and for the first cast recording of the complete score of The Golden Apple.

To Audacity Theatre Lab and Brad McEntire for bringing quality local and national performances to the second annual Dallas Solo Fest at the Margo Jones Theatre, and for advancing the art of solo performance in North Texas.

To the producers of Shakespeare in the Bar for attracting new and large audiences to non-traditional spaces and reminding us that Shakespeare can be unexpected and fun.

 

 

Participating Critics:

 

Alexandra Bonifield, CriticalRant.com

Nancy Churnin, The Dallas Morning News

Jan Farrington, TheaterJones.com

Martha Heimberg, The Dallas Weekly and TheaterJones.com

Arnold Wayne Jones, Dallas Voice

Elaine Liner, The Dallas Observer

Mark Lowry, TheaterJones.com and Fort Worth Star-Telegram

David Novinski, TheaterJones.com

Punch Shaw, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Lauren Smart, The Dallas Observer

Lindsey Wilson, Culture Map Thanks For Reading





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The 2015 Dallas-Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum Awards are in. Uptown and Undermain are the big winners, and Mississippi Goddamn was a clear favorite. Here's the complete list.
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