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<em>Inherit the Wind</em>&nbsp;at Dallas Theater Center

The Critics Weigh In

Here are the results from the Dallas-Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum awards for the 2016-17 season.



published Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Dallas — The Dallas Theater Center won the Regional Theater Tony Award this year, and it also picked up the most votes from the Dallas-Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum for the 2016-17 season. Nine critics voted on our favorite shows, performances and creative elements while lunching on fried chicken and fixins at the lovely Junius Heights home of Martha Heimberg.

Dallas Theater Center received a dozen nods in all but one category (tour), including Kevin Moriarty for all three of the shows he directed in the season: The outdoor promenade of Electra, the inventively updated Inherit the Wind, and the first national Public Works production outside of New York's Public Theater, The Tempest. That was followed by Kitchen Dog Theater with eight and Second Thought Theatre with seven.

The new artistic directors Jeffrey Schmidt (Theatre Three) and Joanie Schultz (WaterTower Theatre) each received a nod for their first shows in those roles. The tiny Risk Theater Initiative took three nods for Sherry Jo Ward's incredible Stiff at the Festival of Independent Theatres. The individuals with the most nods were Christie Vela for directing shows at Second Thought and Echo Theatre, and for performing in shows at Second Thought and Kitchen Dog. Blake Hackler was singled out for his new play The Necessities, and for performances in three productions.

In case you're wondering, there's a lot of logrolling at the affair, and because not every critic can see every eligible show, it's weighted by percentage of agreement. For instance, if only three critics saw a show, but all three of them are adamant about honoring some aspect of it, it's in—and might beat out something that six critics saw but had mixed reactions, ranging from enthusiasm to outright dissension. (You'll get some idea of this when the critics do their year-end lists.)

To be eligible for an award, the shows must have had an official press opening between Sept. 1, 2016 and Aug. 31, 2017. The winners are below, listed alphabetically in each category.

 

 

OUTSTANDING DIRECTION

 

Photo: Jason Anderson
Hit the Wall at WaterTower Theatre

 

Robin ArmstrongRipcord, Circle Theatre

Emily Scott BanksStupid Fucking Bird, Stage West; The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens, and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord, WaterTower Theatre

Cheryl DensonAngels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches, Uptown Players

Marianne GallowayStiff, Risk Theater Initiative (Festival of Independent Theatres)

Kevin MoriartyElectraThe Tempest, and Inherit the Wind, Dallas Theater Center

Jeffrey SchmidtThe Minotaur, Theatre Three

Joanie SchultzHit the Wall, WaterTower Theatre

Christie Vela'night, Mother, Echo Theatre; Straight White Men, Second Thought Theatre

 

 

OUTSTANDING NEW PLAY OR MUSICAL

 

Photo: Matt Mzorek
Br'er Cotton at Kitchen Dog Theater

 

Br'er Cotton by Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm, Kitchen Dog Theater

Hood: The Robin Hood Musical Adventure by Douglas Carter Beane and Lewis Flinn, Dallas Theater Center

The Necessities, by Blake Hackler, Second Thought Theatre

Stiff by Sherry Jo Ward, Risk Theater Initiative (Festival of Independent Theatres)

 

 

OUTSTANDING TOURING PRODUCTION

 

Photo: Joan Marcus
An American in Paris was at Dallas Summer Musicals and Bass Performance Hall

 

An American in Paris, Dallas Summer Musicals and Performing Arts Fort Worth

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, AT&T Performing Arts Center Broadway Series

Hedwig and the Angry Inch, AT&T Performing Arts Center Broadway Series

Into the Woods, AT&T Performing Arts Center Broadway Series

Tina Packer's Women of Will, Eisemann Center Presents

 

 

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR

 

Photo: Cecil Fuqua
Selmore Haines III in Thurgood at Jubilee Theatre

 

Christopher CarlosPaper Flowers, Kitchen Dog Theater

Cameron CobbTrevor, Kitchen Dog Theater

Blake HacklerRichard III and Measure for Measure, Trinity Shakespeare Festival; so go the ghosts of méxico, part one: a brave woman in méxico, Undermain Theatre

Selmore Haines IIIThurgood, Jubilee Theatre

Max HartmanTrevor, Kitchen Dog Theater

Bob HessLa Cage aux Folles, Uptown Players

Alex OrganThe Tempest, Dallas Theater Center

Randy PearlmanFunnyman, Circle Theatre

Thomas WardStraight White Men, Second Thought Theatre

 

 

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS

 

Photo: Mark Oristano
Sherry Jo Ward in Stiff from Risk Theater Initiative at the Festival of Independent Theatres

 

Deborah BrownRipcord, Circle Theatre

Whitney LaTrice CoulterThe Submission, Proper Hijinx Productions

Steph GarrettThe Great Dictator, Audacity Theatre Lab (Festival of Independent Theatres); Waiting for Lefty, Upstart Productions

Julie JohnsonMame, Lyric Stage

Jenny LedelGrounded, Second Thought Theatre

Kelsey MilbournRichard III and Measure for Measure, Trinity Shakespeare Festival

Sally Nystuen VahleElectra and A Christmas Carol, Dallas Theater Center

Christie VelaPaper Flowers, Kitchen Dog Theater; The Necessities, Second Thought Theatre

Sherry Jo WardStiff, Risk Theater Initiative (Festival of Independent Theatres)

 

 

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ENSEMBLE CAST

 

Photo: Buddy Myers
The cast of Stupid Fucking Bird at Stage West

 

Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches, Uptown Players

Hood: The Robin Hood Musical Adventure, Dallas Theater Center

Inherit the Wind, Dallas Theater Center

'night, Mother, Echo Theatre

Richard III and Measure for Measure, Trinity Shakespeare Festival

Stupid Fucking Bird, Stage West

Photo: Karen Almond
The Prince John puppet in Hood at Dallas Theater Center

 

 

OUTSTANDING DESIGN OR CREATIVE CONTRIBUTION

 

Design teamBr'er Cotton, Kitchen Dog Theater

Stefany Cambra, properties design, Feathers and Teeth, Kitchen Dog Theater

Jay Dias, musical direction, Camelot, Lyric Stage

John M. Flores, sound design, Feathers and Teeth, Kitchen Dog Theater

Pam Holcomb-McLain, musical direction, The Light in the Piazza, Brick Road Theatre 

Design teamJesus Christ Superstar, Casa Mañana

Brian McDonald, set and sound design, Grounded, Second Thought Theatre

Aaron Johansen, lighting design, Grounded, Second Thought Theatre

Michael B. Moore, wigs and makeup design, La Cage aux Folles, Uptown Players

Lauren Morgan, a season of costume design for Stolen Shakespeare Guild

James Ortiz, puppet design, Stefano Brancato, associate puppet design, Hood: The Robin Hood Musical Adventure, Dallas Theater Center

Design team, Richard III and Measure for Measure, Trinity Shakespeare Festival

Sean J. Smith and Rhonda Jones, choreography, Fly, African American Repertory Theater

Trigg Watson, magic consultation, Midas, Prism Movement Theater

 

 

SPECIAL CITATIONS

 

Photo: Courtesy
Denise Lee

 

Dallas Theater Center, for engaging the city with its Public Works production of The Tempest, which used 200 members of the community in its cast, and for committing to continue the program in future seasons.

Denise Lee, for starting Community Conversation, following the Dallas Police shootings, as an ongoing, free, inclusive program that gives theater audiences an opportunity to discuss tense issues and create fellowship across different cultures, races, orientations and/or social-economic statuses in a safe, judgment-free setting. The program is held every fourth Monday at the Dallas Children's Theater, alternates every other month at Circle Theatre and Stage West in Fort Worth and has been offered after Second Thought Theatre's Straight White Men, Kitchen Dog Theater's Br'er Cotton and WaterTower Theatre's Hit the Wall.

 

 

PARTICIPATING CRITICS

 

Alexandra Bonifield, CriticalRant.com

Nancy Churnin, Dallas Morning News

Jan Farrington, TheaterJones.com

Janice Franklin, TheaterJones.com

Martha Heimberg, TheaterJones.com and Dallas Weekly

Arnold Wayne Jones, Dallas Voice

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

Punch Shaw, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Lindsey Wilson, CultureMap

 

Dallas-Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum is an organization of professional, paid critics that recognizes outstanding theatrical contributions in North Texas. Members see 45 or more productions per season (Sept. 1-Aug. 31) and are not practicing theater artists. Thanks For Reading





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The Critics Weigh In
Here are the results from the Dallas-Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum awards for the 2016-17 season.
by Mark Lowry

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