Marquee Theater Journalists Association Announces Award Nominees for 2018

The Marquee Theater Journalists Association has released the list of nominees for its 3rd Annual MTJA Awards. The Association recognized the exemplary work of Sonoma County theater artists with nominations in seventeen categories that were culled from the sixty-six productions attended by MTJA members. Recipients will be announced at the 2018 MTJA Awards – A Celebration of Sonoma County Theater which will be held October 22nd at the Juncture Taproom and Lounge in Santa Rosa.

The MTJA was founded in 2015 by Sonoma County-based theater journalists with the intent of developing a critically-based awards program to acknowledge outstanding work done by the local theater community. Current members include the North Bay Bohemian‘s Harry Duke, Sonoma County Gazette‘s Alexa Chipman, Talkin’ Broadway‘s Jeanie K. Smith, and Aisle Seat Review‘s Barry Willis and Nicole Singley.

From its inception, the Marquee Theater Journalists Association took a decidedly different approach to its awards system than most other programs. It recognizes three types of plays – comedy, drama, and musical – and is the first theater awards program to have gender-inclusive performance categories. The MTJA opted to not have the standard male/female divisions and instead acknowledges Outstanding Lead and Outstanding Supporting Performances in Comedy, Drama, and Musical productions. The MTJA also acknowledges the importance of publicity and promotion and recognizes such with an Outstanding Poster/Program Design Award.

Here is the complete list of nominees for the 2018 MTJA Awards:

Outstanding Poster/Program Design

Elizabeth Craven – Blackbird – Main Stage West
Marla Goodman – Constellations – 6th Street Playhouse
Elizabeth Craven – Eurydice – Main Stage West
Richard Sheppard – I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change – Raven Players
Richard Sheppard – Water by the Spoonful – Raven Players

Outstanding Costume Design

Michael Ross – Always… Patsy Cline – Sonoma Arts Live
Tracy Hinman – Death of a Salesman – 6th Street Playhouse
Maryanne Scozzari – Into the Woods – Santa Rosa Junior College
Pamela Johnson – Peter Pan – Spreckels Theatre Company
Jeanine Gray, Michael Mingoia  – Shrek, the Musical – Raven Players

Outstanding Lighting Design

Missy Weaver – Blackbird – Main Stage West
Missy Weaver – Buried Child – Main Stage West
Eddy Hansen – By the Water – Spreckels Theatre Company
April George – Disgraced – Left Edge Theatre
April George – The Realistic Joneses – Left Edge Theatre

Outstanding Sound Design

Jessica Johnson – By the Water – Spreckels Theatre Company
Doug Faxon – Eurydice – Main Stage West
Doug Faxon – Grace – Main Stage West
Argo Thompson – Honky – Left Edge Theatre
Carla Spindt, Argo Thompson – Women in Jeopardy! – Left Edge Theatre

Outstanding Set Design

David Lear – Blackbird – Main Stage West
Eddy Hansen, Elizabeth Bazzano – By the Water – Spreckels Theatre Company
Peter Crompton – Into the Woods – Santa Rosa Junior College
Michael Ross, Theo Bridant – Always… Patsy Cline – Sonoma Arts Live
Elizabeth Bazzano, Eddy Hansen – Peter Pan – Spreckels Theatre Company

Outstanding Choreography

Katie Watts-Whitaker – I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change – Raven Players
Craig Miller and Amanda Morando – Illyria – 6th Street Playhouse
Joseph Favalora – La Cage aux Folles – 6th Street Playhouse
Michella Snider – Peter Pan – Spreckels Theatre Company
Katie Watts-Whitaker – Shrek, the Musical – Raven Players

Outstanding Musical Direction

Ellen Patterson – Always… Patsy Cline – Sonoma Arts Live
Dave MacNab – Daddy Long Legs – Main Stage West
Lucas Sherman – Illyria – 6th Street Playhouse
Ginger Beavers – La Cage aux Folles – 6th Street Playhouse
Timothy Eisman – Peter Pan – Spreckels Theatre Company

Outstanding Ensemble

By the Water – Spreckels Theatre Company
Equus – 6th Street Playhouse
Good People – Cinnabar Arts
Grace – Main Stage West
The Realistic Joneses – Left Edge Theatre

Outstanding Musical Production

Always… Patsy Cline – Directed by Michael Ross – Sonoma Arts Live
Daddy Long Legs – Directed by Elly Lichenstein – Main Stage West
Illyria – Directed by Craig Miller – 6th Street Playhouse
Peter Pan – Directed by Sheri Lee Miller – Spreckels Theatre Company
Shrek, the Musical – Directed by Kerry Duvall – Raven Players

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical

Danielle DeBow – Always… Patsy Cline – Sonoma Arts Live
Madison Genovese – Daddy Long Legs – Main Stage West
Carmen Mitchell – Illyria – 6th Street Playhouse
Michael Conte – La Cage aux Folles – 6th Street Playhouse
Sarah Wintermeyer – Peter Pan – Spreckels Theatre Company

Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Musical

Karen Pinomaki – Always… Patsy Cline – Sonoma Arts Live
Gillian Eichenberger – Illyria – 6th Street Playhouse
Bill Garcia – Shrek, the Musical – Raven Players
Tim Setzer – Illyria – 6th Street Playhouse
Joseph Favalora – La Cage aux Folles – 6th Street Playhouse

Outstanding Comedy Production

Good People – Directed by Michael Fontaine – Cinnabar Arts
Quartet – Directed by Jereme Anglin – Cinnabar Arts
The Realistic Joneses – Directed by Argo Thompson – Left Edge Theatre
Sideways – Directed by Argo Thompson – Left Edge Theatre
Women in Jeopardy! – Directed by Carla Spindt – Left Edge Theatre

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Comedy

Trey G. Riley – Honky – Left Edge Theatre
Chris Ginesi – The Realistic Joneses – Left Edge Theatre
Chris Schloemp – The Realistic Joneses – Left Edge Theatre
Shannon Rider – Women in Jeopardy! – Left Edge Theatre
Laura Jorgensen – Quartet – Cinnabar Arts

Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Comedy

Liz Rogers Beckley – Honky – Left Edge Theatre
Dorian Lockett – Inspecting Carol – Sonoma Arts Live
Richard Pallaziol – Women in Jeopardy! – Left Edge Theatre
Jazmine Pierce – Sideways – Left Edge Theatre
Zane Walters – Women in Jeopardy! – Left Edge Theatre

Outstanding Drama Production

Blackbird – Directed by David Lear – Main Stage West
By the Water – Directed by Carl Jordan – Spreckels Theatre Company
Death of a Salesman – Directed by Craig Miller – 6th Street Playhouse
Disgraced – Directed by Phoebe Moyer – Left Edge Theatre
Grace – Directed by John Craven – Main Stage West

Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Drama

Mark Bradbury – By the Water – Spreckels Theatre Company
Mary Gannon Graham – By the Water – Spreckels Theatre Company
Mike Schaeffer – Disgraced – Left Edge Theatre
Jill K. Wagoner – Steel Magnolias – 6th Street Playhouse
Ariel Zuckerman – Death of a Salesman – 6th Street Playhouse

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Drama

Illana Niernberger – Grace – Main Stage West
Mike Pavone – By the Water – Spreckels Theatre Company
Sharia Pierce – Blackbird – Main Stage West
James Rowan – The Elephant Man – Curtain Call Theatre
Jared Wright – Disgraced – Left Edge Theatre

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