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At heart, theatre is simply one group of people in a room trying to connect to another group of people in that same room. All around Louisville and the surrounding areas, this sacred exchange is taking place; in venues large and small, with extravagant production values or with the barest minimum of sets and costumes, executed by trained professionals or by amateurs driven by passion to devote long hours to it for little or no pay – it is ALL theatre. It is ALL theatre worth celebrating. – Arts-Louisville Managing Editor Keith Waits in his opening remarks.
On February 29, Arts-Louisville.com and Vault 1031 held a ceremony awarding excellence among Louisville theatre companies. The awards were nominated and selected through on-line voting by the general public through the Broadway World web site, for which Arts-Louisville.com is a regional Editor.
This year’s winners, who were notified in advance, represented the following companies: Kentucky Shakespeare, Derby Dinner Playhouse, The Theatre Downstream, Shelby County Community Theatre, Kentucky Country Day Theatre, and Silver Creek Theatre.
Categories included, among others: Best Play, Best Musical, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Choreographer, Best Costume Design, Lighting Design and Sound Design. Additionally there were awards for Best Student Play, Best Student Musical, and Best Youth (Under 18) Performance.
In addition, two new honorary awards were presented. A Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Adale O’ Brien, who was a company member at Actors theatre of Louisville for 36 seasons, by long-time friend Alice Baldwin, a theatre professional currently working with the Kentucky Opera; and Leah Michelle Roberts gave a heartfelt and emotional tribute in her presentation of the Theatre Educator’s Award to William P. Bradford II, who taught at Youth Performing Arts School (YPAS) for 33 years and Trinity High School for 44 years. A select committee of individuals drawn from the Louisville theatrical community chose these honorees.
As part of the festivities, Mayor Greg Fischer’s office issued a proclamation declaring February 29 Adale O’ Brien Day in Louisville.
A complete list if award recipients:
Best Youth (under 18 performance) – Caroline Siegrist – Bonnie & Clyde – Derby Dinner Playhouse
Best Student Play – Steel Magnolias – Silver Creek Theatre
Best Student Musical – Legally Blonde – Kentucky Country Day School
Best Music Director: Scott Bradley – Bonnie & Clyde – Derby Dinner Playhouse (DDP)
Best Sound Design: Mason Warren – Footloose – Shelby County Community Theatre
Best Lighting Design: Mason Warren – Footloose – SCCT
Best Costume Design – Jennifer Pusateri – The Crucible – SCCT
Best Scenic Design – James Russell Cooper – Beauty & the Beast – The Theatre Downstream
Best Director Musical (regional/national/touring): Lee Buckholtz – Bonnie & Clyde – DDP
Best Actress Musical (reg/nat/tour): Madeline Perrone – Bonnie & Clyde – DDP
Best Actor Musical (reg/nat/tour): Paul Kerr – Peter Pan – DDP
Best Musical (reg/nat/tour): Bonnie & Clyde – DDP
Best Director Play (reg/nat/tour): Matt Wallace – Macbeth – Kentucky Shakespeare
Best Actress Play (reg/nat/tour): Tina Jo Wallace – Social Security – DDP
Best Actor Play (reg/nat/tour): Jon Huffman – The Tempest – KY Shakes
Best Play (reg/nat/tour): Macbeth – Matt Wallace – Kentucky Shakespeare
Best Choreographer: Cyndi Powell-Skellie – Footloose – SCCT
Best Director Musical (local): Cyndi Powell-Skellie – Footloose –SCCT
Best Actress Musical (local): Elizabeth Irvin – Beauty & the Beast – TTD
Best Actor Musical (local): James Russell Cooper – Beauty & the Beast – TTD
Best Musical (local): Beauty & the Beast – TTD
Best Director (local): Jack Wann – The Crucible – SCCT
Best Actress Play (local): Kira Pusateri – The Miracle Worker – SCCT
Best Actor Play (local): Jake Waford – This Property is Condemned – SCCT
Best Play (local): The Crucible – SCCT
Theatre Educator Award: William P. “Billy” Bradford II
Lifetime Achievement Award: Adale O’ Brien