Seattle Theatre is Big Winner in New Gypsy Rose Lee Awards

by on February 1, 2012

Yaegel T. Welch, Eddie R. Brown III, and Warren Miller in Seattle Rep's Gypsy-winning production of The Brothers Size

The weakness of Seattle theatre, if you ask me, is mainly that not enough people know about the extent of it, and how good and varied it is. In large part, you can correlate the size of a theatre’s audience with its marketing budget. It’s not easy to get a glimpse of Seattle theatre as a whole, then, just in media-parceled pieces as we crank out a review of this or that show.

That’s why I was excited to participate in the brainchild of Seattle Theater Writers founder, Miryam Gordon, the Gypsy Rose Lee Awards.

It’s not that there aren’t drama awards in Seattle–there are Misha Berson’s Footlight Awards in the Seattle Times, and the Gregory Awards, voted on by members of Theatre Puget Sound, but Seattle was missing a Drama-Desk-y entry, one that captured more of the passionately critical embrace in which theatre and reviewers are locked.

So Seattle Theater Writers, uniting 11 local theater writers and reviewers, goes a long way to generating a critical consensus (or something sufficient) for the year in review, and also for productions across the Equity (actors’ union) and non-Equity spectrum. Following are the 2011 winners of the first annual Gypsy Rose Lee Awards, 2011 also marking the centennial year of the entertainer’s birth in Seattle, just FYI.

It wasn’t easy, and I wish there were a convenient way to let you in on the reams of emailed backroom debate. I’ll quote Miryam on the epic battles and compromises:

Determining winners for the Gypsys was a difficult process. We had over 460 nominees across 32 categories and had to make some tough choices. This demonstrates the enormous variety of excellent theatrical performances last year in Seattle, as well as the variety of opinions from our writers!

And now…the envelopes, please:

Excellence in Production of a Play: Equity: The Brothers Size (Seattle Repertory Theatre). Also recognized: O Lovely Glowworm (Or Scenes of Great Beauty) (New Century Theatre Company). Non-Equity: Sick (New City Theater). Also recognized: Live from the Last Night of My Life (Theater Schmeater).

Excellence in Production of a Musical: Equity: Iron Curtain (Village Theatre). Non-Equity: The Drowsy Chaperone (Seattle Musical Theatre).

Excellence in Direction of a Play: Equity: Juliette Carrillo, The Brothers Size (Seattle Repertory Theatre). Also recognized: Valerie Curtis-Newton, All My Sons (Intiman Theatre). Non-Equity: Karen Lund, Brownie Points (Taproot Theatre Company). Also recognized: Wayne Rawley, Live from the Last Night of My Life (Theater Schmeater).

Excellence in Direction of a Musical: Equity: Steve Tomkins, Iron Curtain (Village Theatre). Non-Equity: Brandon Ivie, The Drowsy Chaperone (Seattle Musical Theatre).

Excellence in Performance as a Lead Actor: Equity: Michael Patten, O Lovely Glowworm (Or Scenes of Great Beauty) (New Century Theatre Company). Non-Equity: Jaryl Draper, How I Learned To Drive (Stone Soup Theater).

Excellence in Performance as a Lead Actress: Equity: Anne Allgood, Mary Stuart (ACT Theatre). Also recognized: Carolee Carmello, Saving Aimee (The 5th Avenue Theatre). Non-Equity: Elizabeth Kenny, Sick (New City Theater).

Excellence in Performance as a Supporting Actor – any non-lead: Equity: Todd Jefferson Moore, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Seattle Shakespeare Company). Also recognized: Joshua Carter, Mary Stuart (ACT Theatre). Non-Equity: Aaron Lamb, An Ideal Husband (Taproot Theatre Company). Also recognized: Nick Edwards, Shipwrecked (ArtsWest).

Excellence in Performance as a Supporting Actress – any non-lead: Equity: Bobbi Kotula, Iron Curtain (Village Theatre). Also recognized: Terri Weagant, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Seattle Shakespeare Company). Non-Equity: Stacie Calkins, Hairspray (Seattle Musical Theatre).

Excellence in Performance as an Ensemble: Equity: Cast of The Brothers Size (Seattle Repertory Theatre). Non-Equity: Cast of Brownie Points (Taproot Theatre Company). Also recognized: Cast of A Lie of the Mind (Collektor).

Excellence in Set Design: Equity: Roger Benington, O Lovely Glowworm (Or Scenes of Great Beauty) (New Century Theatre Company). Also recognized: Mikiko Suzuki MacAdams, The Brothers Size (Seattle Repertory Theatre). Non-Equity: Mark Lund, Something’s Afoot (Taproot Theatre Company). Also recognized: Michael Mowery, Live from the Last Night of My Life (Theater Schmeater), Richard Schaefer, Arms and the Man (Seattle Public Theater).

Excellence in Costume Design: Equity: Harmony Arnold, O Lovely Glowworm (Or Scenes of Great Beauty) (New Century Theatre Company). Also recognized: Catherine Hunt, In The Next Room, or The Vibrator Play (ACT Theatre). Non-Equity: Deborah Sorenson, Pygmalion (Sound Theatre Company). Also recognized: John Allbritton, Hairspray (Seattle Musical Theatre).

Excellence in Lighting Design: Equity: Geoff Korf, The Brothers Size (Seattle Repertory Theatre) . Non-Equity: Tess Malone, Duel of the Linguist Mages (Annex Theatre). Also recognized: Dave Hastings, Crooked (Theater Schmeater).

Excellence in Sound Design: Equity: Matt Starritt, The Brothers Size (Seattle Repertory Theatre). Also recognized: Matt Starritt, The K of D (Seattle Repertory Theatre). Non-Equity: Christopher Overstreet, Duel of the Linguist Mages (Annex Theatre). Also recognized: Larry A. Ryan, Live from the Last Night of My Life (Theater Schmeater).

Excellence in Musical Direction: Equity: RJ Tancioco, Iron Curtain (Village Theatre). Non-Equity: Josh Zimmerman, Hairspray (Seattle Musical Theatre).

Excellence in Choreography or Movement: Equity: Sonia Dawkins, The Brothers Size (Seattle Repertory Theatre). Also recognized: Noah Racey, Guys & Dolls (The 5th Avenue Theatre). Non-Equity: Lack of consensus.

Excellence in Local Playwriting: Elizabeth Kenny, Sick (New City Theater). Also recognized: Scotto Moore, Duel of the Linguist Mages (Annex Theatre).

Excellence in Local Composing: Lack of consensus.

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