Sonoma County artists and theatres took five production awards and one Special Award at the 42nd Annual San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle (SFBATCC) Excellence in Theatre Awards Gala. The event was held on Monday, March 26th at San Francisco’s historic Victoria Theatre. Over 300 members of the community gathered as 67 production awards for theatre produced in 2017 and four Special Awards were presented. The evening was hosted by Walter Mayes with musical entertainment provided by The Lost Trio.
The SFBATCC utilizes a three-part separation of award categories between theatres with (1) fewer than 100 seats; (2) with 100 to 300 Seats; and (3) more than 300 seats. As such, theatre companies of similar sizes are under consideration for recognition of their outstanding work. Sonoma County theatres and artists received thirty nominations over thirteen categories for work produced in 2017.
Performance Awards of Excellence were presented to three Sonoma County artists. Rose Roberts received the award for Featured Actress in a Play with fewer than 100 seats for her work in the Main Stage West production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Daniela Innocenti-Beem was recognized for Lead Actress in a Musical in a House with 100 – 300 seats for the role of Mama Rose in the Sonoma Arts Live production of Gypsy. Sarah Wintermeyer took the award home for Lead Actress in a Musical in a House with more than 300 seats for her work in the Santa Rosa Junior College Theatre Arts production of In the Heights.
Eddy Hansen and Elizabeth Bazzano were recognized for their Set Design on the Spreckels Theatre Company production of The Sugar Bean Sisters.
The Santa Rosa Junior College Theatre Arts program took the Award for Entire Production – North Bay in a House with more than 300 seats for the musical In the Heights.
The Sonoma County highlight of the evening was David Templeton’s presentation of the Special Gene Price Professionalism Award to local photographer Eric Chazankin. The Award is named for the former arts editor and long-time theatre critic of the San Francisco Bay Times and honors a person who embodies superlative professionalism and passion for Bay Area theatre. Chazankin is one of the most respected members of the North Bay theatre community. He expresses his passion for theatre through his photographic skills which are called upon regularly by theatre companies, large and small, who wish to bring the most professional look in advertising and publicity to their shows. He devotes and donates countless hours in the service of the theatre community and brings the same skill set to each production, whether it be on a forty-foot stage in a 500-seat house or the small space of a storefront theatre.
The SFBATCC is a private 501(c)(6) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and serving theatres of all types and sizes in the greater region by recognizing excellence and outstanding achievement in the field. Active since 1976, the Circle consists of reviewers covering theatre in all nine Bay Area counties across various media. Local members include David Templeton, Alexa Chipman, Barry Willis, Jeanie K. Smith, and this writer.
For a complete list of nominations and recipients, please go to www.sfbatcc.org
Photos by Colin Hussey