Paul Kerr, Tina Jo Wallace, Scott Bradley, Caroline Siegrist & Lee Buckholz, award recipients fro Derby Dinner Playhouse. Photo courtesy of Derby Dinner.


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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, 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 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.


Cast and crew of “Beauty and the Beast” picking up our awards for Best Scenic Design-James Russell Cooper, Best Actress in a Musical (Local)- Elizabeth Irvin, Best Actor in a Musical (Local)- James Russell Cooper, and Best Musical (Local). Photo courtesy of the Theatre Downstream.

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