Monday, April 6, 2015

Theatre UNO Brings Home Big Easy Award for Best University Production

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The University of New Orleans’ award-winning theatre program took home a Big Easy Entertainment Award in late March and saw about 40 alumni, students, faculty and staff nominated for awards in more than 20 categories.

Theatre UNO’s performance of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, written by Rajiv Joseph, won a Big Easy Award for Best University Production, said David Hoover, director of the UNO Film and Theater Department and director of the production. UNO Alumni also took home Big Easy Awards in four other categories, while a host of alumni, students and staff were nominees, sometimes several times.

The Big Easy Awards, which honor outstanding theater performances, were announced March 30 at the 27th annual Big Easy Theater Awards at Harrah’s New Orleans. The Gambit-affiliated Foundation for Entertainment, Development and Education announced special award recipients and nominees for theater performances in 2014.

About 40 alumni, students, faculty and staff were nominated for performances in dramas, comedies and musicals. Often they were nominated in several categories or competed against one another within the same category, a true testament to the success of the UNO theatre program and its actors, Hoover said.

Nominees are listed here. Members of the UNO family are highlighted in bold.

Big Easy Theater Nominations

Best Musical
• A Chorus Line, Summer Lyric Theatre at Tulane University
Shrek The Musical, Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts(directed by UNO Distinguished Alumnus Gary Rucker)
• Young Frankenstein, Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts
Zanna, Don’t!, See ’Em On Stage: A Production Company (starred UNO alumni, choreographed by UNO Alumni)

Best Drama
• Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The NOLA Project (directed by UNO alumni)
• The Night of the Iguana, Southern Rep (starred UNO alumni, directed by retired UNO faculty)
• Numb, Goat in the Road Productions
• One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The NOLA Project(the cast was filled with UNO alumni and current students)

Best Comedy
Adventures in Wonderland, The NOLA Project/New Orleans Museum of Art(Cast included UNO alumni)
• One Man, Two Guvnors, Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts (Cast included UNO alumni)
• The Totalitarians, Southern Rep
• Twelfth Night; or, What You Will, The NOLA Project/New Orleans Museum of Art (Cast included UNO alumni and UNO students)

Best Director of A Musical
Christopher Bentivegna Zanna, Don’t!, See ’Em on Stage: A Production Company
Ricky Graham Young Frankenstein, Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts
Sean Patterson The Mysterious Wisterias, The Stage Door Canteen, The National World War II Museum (UNO Alumnus)
Gary Rucker Shrek The Musical, Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts (UNO Distinguished Alumnus)

Best Director of A Drama
Beau Bratcher Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The NOLA Project (UNO Alumnus)
Chris Kaminstein Numb, Goat in the Road Productions
Nat Kusinitz Macbeth, Skin Horse Theater
Mark Routhier One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The NOLA Project

Best Director of A Comedy
A.J. Allegra Twelfth Night; or, What You Will, The NOLA Project/New Orleans Museum of Art
Beau Bratcher Peter and the Starcatcher, Le Petit Theatre Du Vieux Carre (UNO Alumnus)
Ricky Graham One Man, Two Guvnors, Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts
Andrew Larimer Adventures in Wonderland, The NOLA Project/New Orleans Museum of Art

Best Choreography

Angelle Hebert Macbeth, Skin Horse Theater
Karen Hebert Young Frankenstein, Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts
Diane Lala A Chorus Line, Summer Lyric Theatre at Tulane University
Lindsey Romig Zanna, Don’t!, See ‘Em On Stage: A Production Company(UNO Alumna)

Best Music Director
Tammy Mansfield Peter and the Starcatcher, Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre
Alan Payne Young Frankenstein, Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts
C. Leonard Raybon Les Miserables, Summer Lyric Theatre at Tulane University
Natalie True Zanna, Don’t!, See ‘Em on Stage: A Production Company

Best Set Design
Frank Oliva Shiner, The NOLA Project
Eric Porter The Ladies Of The Camellias, Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts
David Raphel Young Frankenstein, Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts
Bill Walker One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The NOLA Project

Best Lighting Design
Joan Long Numb, Goat in the Road Productions
Scott Sauber Young Frankenstein, Rivertown Theaters for the PerformingArts (UNO Alumnus)
Evan Spigelman Macbeth, Skin Horse Theater
Dan Zimmer One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The NOLA Project

Best Costume Design
Mignon Charvet Numb, Goat in the Road Productions (UNO Alumna)
Cecile Casey Covert/Chris Arthur Adventures in Wonderland, The NOLA Project/New Orleans Museum of Art
Linda Fried Shrek The Musical, Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts
Julie Winn Twelfth Night; or, What You Will, The NOLA Project/New Orleans Museum of Art

Best Sound Design
Brendan Connelly The Totalitarians, Southern Rep
Marcus Davis Shiner, The NOLA Project
Mike Harkins One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The NOLA Project (UNO Alumnus)
Kyle Sheehan Numb, Goat in the Road Productions

Best Supporting Actress in a Musical
Trina Beck A Chorus Line, Summer Lyric Theatre at Tulane University
Tracey E. Collins Young Frankenstein, Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts (UNO Alumna)
Dody Nolan Les Miserables, Summer Lyric Theatre at Tulane University
Kali Russell Zanna, Don’t!, See ‘Em on Stage: A Production Company

Best Supporting Actor in a Musical
Larry Johnson Zanna, Don’t!, See ‘Em on Stage: A Production Company (former UNO student)
Jermaine L. Keelan Shrek The Musical, Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts
Edward Simon Musical of the Living Dead, See ‘Em on Stage: A Production Company
Mason Wood Young Frankenstein, Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts

Best Actress in a Musical
Courtney Boe The Andrews Brothers, The Stage Door Canteen, The National World War II Museum
Kelly Fouchi Shrek The Musical, Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts
Jaune Buisson Hebert A Chorus Line, Summer Lyric Theatre at Tulane University(UNO alumna)
Katie Howe Cabaret, Summer Lyric Theatre at Tulane University

Best Actor in a Musical
Joshua Wayne Brewer Zanna, Don’t!, See ‘Em on Stage: A Production Company (UNO Alumnus)
Jason Dowies Les Miserables, Summer Lyric Theatre at Tulane University
Kevin Murphy Shrek The Musical, Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts
Gary Rucker Young Frankenstein, Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy
Idella Johnson Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre
Lynae LeBlanc Adventures in Wonderland, The NOLA Project/New Orleans Museum of Art
Cecile Monteyne Twelfth Night; or, What You Will, The NOLA Project/New Orleans Museum of Art
Jessica Podewell The Totalitarians, Southern Rep

Best Supporting Actor In A Comedy
Jake Bartush Twelfth Night; or, What You Will, The NOLA Project/New Orleans Museum of Art
Keith Claverie Twelfth Night; or, What You Will, The NOLA Project/New Orleans Museum of Art
Clint Johnson A Midsummer Night’s Dream, New Orleans Shakespeare Festival at Tulane University
Alex Martinez Wallace Peter and the Starcatcher, Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre

Best Actress in a Comedy
Jennifer Pagan Shoebox Lounge, Jennifer Pagan
Liann Pattison Broomstick, Southern Rep
Ashley Ricord Santos Peter and the Starcatcher, Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre(UNO Alumna)
Kyle June Williams Adventures in Wonderland, The NOLA Project/New Orleans Museum of Art

Best Actor in a Comedy
James Bartelle Twelfth Night; or, What You Will, The NOLA Project/New Orleans Museum of Art
Ross Britz The Ladies of the Camellias, Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts
Chris Marroy One Man, Two Guvnors, Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts
Nicholas Stephens Peter and the Starcatcher, Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama
Troi Bechet The Night of the Iguana, Southern Rep
Gail Glapion Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Anthony Bean Theater
Yvette Hargis Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The NOLA Project
Lisa Picone Love The Normal Heart, The Allways Theatre(UNO Alumna)

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama
A.J. Allegra One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The NOLA Project
Randy Cheramie Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The NOLA Project
Sam Dudley The Normal Heart, The Allways Theatre
Bob Edes Jr. The Night of the Iguana, Southern Rep

Best Actress in a Drama
Amy Alvarez One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The NOLA Project
Becca Chapman Enter Your Sleep, The Elm Theatre
Aimee Hayes The Night of the Iguana, Southern Rep
Cecile Monteyne Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The NOLA Project

Best Actor in a Drama
Mike Harkins The Night of the Iguana, Southern Rep(UNO Alumnus)
Ian Hoch Bug, The Allways Theatre
Dylan Hunter Macbeth, Skin Horse Theater
Alex Martinez Wallace One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The NOLA Project

Best Original Work of Theater, Scripted
• Adventures in Wonderland Peter McElligott, The NOLA Project
• Broomstick John Biguenet, Southern Rep
An Outopia for Pigeons Justin Maxwell, The Shadowbox Theatre(Current UNO faculty)
• Shoebox Lounge Jennifer Pagan

Best Original Work of Theater, Devised
• Numb Goat in the Road Productions
• Oxblood, New Noise (Justin Maxwell, current UNO Faculty)

Best Ensemble
• Maria Kizito, ArtSpot Productions/Soulographie
• Numb Goat in the Road Productions
• Orphans The Allways Theatre
• Oxblood, New Noise

Best Cabaret
• Last Dance — A Tribute to Donna Summer The Allways Theatre/Anais St. John
• Le Continental Bremner Duthie
Midsummer Nights Cabaret Sean Patterson/Jefferson Turner/Amanda Zirkenbach(Sean Patterson and Amanda Zirkenbach are UNO Alumni)
• True Blue Bayou — A Tribute to Linda Ronstadt The Allways Theatre/Dorian Rush

Best University Production
• Ain’t Misbehavin Timothy K. Baker, Delgado Community College
• Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo David W. Hoover, University of New Orleans
• The Golden Dragon Dmitry Troyanovsky, Tulane University
• The World Goes Round C. Patrick Gendusa, Loyola University