Members of the cast of the Acting Against Cancer production of Heathers, the Musical.
By Keith Waits
Photos by Zachary Burrell Photography
Entire contents copyright © 2018 Arts-Louisville.com. All rights reserved.
On February 19, Arts-Louisville presented the 4th Annual Arts-Louisville/Broadway World Theatre Awards at the Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center. An audience of over 150 attended the event.
For the 4th year, Broadway World and its Regional Editor, Arts-Louisville.com, hosted an awards ceremony honoring excellence in local theatre. For 2018, Jon Huffman presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Monte Pride. Priddy has been a mainstay of local stages, particularly Kentucky Shakespeare for more than 50 years.
The Theatre Educator’s Award was awarded to Charlie Sexton, who has been the Artistic Director of Commonwealth Theatre Center (formerly Walden Theatre/Blue Apple Players) for many years. A select committee of individuals from the Louisville theatrical community chose these honorees.
For the second year, two awards were granted that recognize excellence in local playwrights. The 2017 Short Form Play Award went to Lexy Leuszler for Seep, which was produced by Actors Theatre of Louisville, and Brian Walker, who fosters local writers through his Derby City Playwrights group, for his play, The Last Party, accepted the 2017 Full-Length Play Award.
Winners in the competitive categories in three designations (local/professional/student) were also presented during the ceremony. These awards were voted on in an online poll through the Broadway World website.
Neill Robertson was selected in two categories, Best Actor in A Musical (local) for his memorable work in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and Best Actor in A Play (professional) for his performance as Renfield in Actors Theatre of Louisville’s production of Dracula.
Acting Against Cancer won for Best Musical (local) and Best Ensemble (local), both for their production of Heather, the Musical. Two of the cast members performed a number from that show, “Seventeen”, one of three musical performances representing winners in the Best Musical categories. The addition of live musical numbers was one of the opportunities afforded by the move to a different venue after Vault 1031, the previous location, closed in 2017.
A special recognition for Barbara Cullen and Jon Huffman, Artistic Directors of Vault 1031, the cozy performance and rehearsal space in the Old Louisville neighborhood, was made by Polina Shafran, Co-Artistic Director of The Chamber Theatre. Cullen and Huffman are now associated with Fleur de Lis Academy and remain co-producers of the awards ceremony.
The 2018 ceremony was a fundraiser for Arts-Louisville.com, a 501(c) 3 covering the Louisville arts community who also serves as a Local Editor for Broadway World.
The complete list of award recipients:
Best Youth (under 18) performance)
Katie West – Beauty and the Beast – New Albany Theatre Arts
Best Student Play
John Lennon and Me – New Albany Theatre Arts
Best Student Musical
Beauty and the Beast – New Albany Theatre Arts
Theatre Educator of the Year
Charlie Sexton, Artistic Director, Commonwealth Theatre Center
Best Actor in a Play (professional/national/touring)
Neill Robertson – Dracula – Actors Theatre of Louisville
Best Actress in a Play (professional/national/touring)
Abigail Maupin – Much Ado About Nothing – Kentucky Shakespeare
Best Actor in a Musical (professional/national/touring)
Bobby Conte – The Addams Family – Derby Dinner Playhouse
Best Actress in a Musical (professional)
Khadijah Rolle – Sister Act – Derby Dinner Playhouse
Best Director/Musical (professional)
Lee Buckholz – The Addams Family – Derby Dinner Playhouse
Best Director/Play (professional)
Matt Wallace – Much Ado About Nothing – Kentucky Shakespeare
Best Play (professional)
Much Ado About Nothing – Kentucky Shakespeare
Best Musical (professional)
The Addams Family – Derby Dinner Playhouse
Lifetime Achievement Award
Monte Priddy, Actor
Best Play by a Regional Company (outside 15 mile radius)
The Miracle Worker – The Theatre Downstream
Best Musical by A Regional Company (outside 15 mile radius)
Into the Woods – Shelby County Community Theatre
Megan Bliss – The Music Man – Derby Dinner Playhouse
Best Lighting Design
Alexa Holloway – The Addams Family – Derby Dinner Playhouse
Best Costume Design
Vicki Hays – My Fair Lady – Floyd Central Theatre Arts
Best Music Director
Angela Hampton – My Fair Lady – Floyd Central Theatre Arts
Best Scenic Design
Patrick Jump – Bonnie & Clyde – Floyd Central Theatre Arts
Best Sound Design
David Nelson – The Addams Family – Derby Dinner Playhouse
Best Director/Musical (local)
Chris Bundy – Big River – Theatreworks of Southern Indiana
Best Director/Play (local)
Michael J. Drury – The Nance – Pandora Productions
Best Actress in a Play (local)
Leila Toba – Elemeno Pea – Mind’s Eye Theatre Company
Best Actor in a Play (local)
Shayne Brakefield – Mothers & Sons – Pandora Productions
Best Actress in a Musical (local)
Stevie Griffin – Footloose – New Albany Riverstage
Best Actor in a Musical (local)
Neill Robertson – Hedwig and the Angry Inch – Pandora Productions
Best Ensemble Cast (Local)
Heathers, the Musical – Acting Against Cancer
Best Musical (local)
Heathers, the Musical – Acting Against Cancer
Best Play (local)
The Nance – Pandora Productions