MTJA Announces Award Winners at Fourth Annual Celebration of Sonoma County Theater

San Francisco North Bay theater artists gathered Monday night at 3 Disciples Brewing in downtown Santa Rosa for the Fourth Annual Marquee Theater Journalists Association Awards. Eighteen awards were given to local theatre artists and productions whose nominations were culled from the sixty-eight Sonoma County productions attended by members from September 1, 2018 through August 31, 2019.

Santa Rosa’s Left Edge Theatre took home four awards, including three for its production of Hand to God. It swept the comedy category with awards for Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Comedy (Chandler Parrott-Thomas), Outstanding Lead Performance in a Comedy (Dean Linnard), and Outstanding Comedy Production (direction by Chris Ginesi). Left Edge’s production of Every Brilliant Thing was recognized as Outstanding Solo Performance/Production (performance by Ron Severdia, direction by Argo Thompson).

Sebastopol’s Main Stage West also took home four awards, including Outstanding Ensemble and Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Drama (John Craven) for its production of Heathen Valley. The House of Yes was recognized for Outstanding Lighting Design (Missy Weaver) while After Miss Julie was named the Outstanding Drama Production (direction by Elizabeth Craven and David Lear). 

Rohnert Park’s Spreckels Theatre Company received four awards for two shows. Cinderella was recognized for Outstanding Costume Design (Pamela Johnson) and Musical Direction (Paul Smith) while The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time was recognized for Sound Design (Jessica Johnson) and Lead Performance in a Drama (Elijah Pinkham).

Petaluma’s Cinnabar Theater had their production of Cabaret recognized with the Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Musical Award (Mary Gannon Graham) and Outstanding Musical Award (direction by Elly Lichenstein). Jon Tracy’s set design work on The Great God Pan was recognized for Outstanding Set Design.

6th Street Playhouse, Sonoma Arts Live, and Transcendence Theatre Company each took home one award. 

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, the Petaluma Argus-Courier‘s Alexa Chipman, the Sonoma County Gazette‘s Jeanie K. Smith, and Aisle Seat Review’s Barry Willis and Nicole Singley. All are members of the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle (SFBATCC) and/or the American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA).

The MTJA Awards have the distinction of being the first theatre awards program in California to eliminate gender distinction in the performance categories by simply recognizing outstanding lead and supporting performances by genre.

Here is the complete list of nominees with the winners noted in red:

Outstanding Poster/Program Design

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Spreckels Theatre Company – Artwork by Colton Bell, Design by Jennifer Griego

Heathen Valley – Main Stage West – Design by Elizabeth Craven

Polar Bears – Left Edge Theatre – Design by David Templeton

The Revolutionists – 6th Street Playhouse – Concept by Siga Weber, Design by Marla Goodman

A Streetcar Named Desire – 6th Street Playhouse – Design by Marla Goodman

Outstanding Costume Design

Kate Graham – The Revolutionists – 6th Street Playhouse

Pamela Johnson – The Addams Family Musical – Spreckels Theatre Company

Pamela Johnson – Cinderella – Spreckels Theatre Company

Pamela Johnson – Hamlet – Spreckels Theatre Company

Barbara McFadden – My Fair Lady – Sonoma Arts Live

Outstanding Lighting Design

April George – Drumming with Anubis – Left Edge Theatre

Yavé Guzman – Of Mice and Men – Cloverdale Performing Arts Center

Eddy Hansen – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Spreckels Theatre Company

Jon Tracy – The Great God Pan – Cinnabar Theater

Missy Weaver – The House of Yes – Main Stage West

Outstanding Sound Design

Jeff Basham – Every Brilliant Thing – Left Edge Theatre

Kristoffer Barrera – The Great God Pan – Cinnabar Theater

Albert Casselhoff, Branice McKenzie – To Kill a Mockingbird – 6th Street Playhouse

Jessica Johnson – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Spreckels Theatre Company

Joe Winkler – The Nether – Left Edge Theatre

Outstanding Set Design

Elizabeth Craven – After Miss Julie – Main Stage West

Elizabeth Craven – The House of Yes – Main Stage West

Argo Thompson – Drumming with Anubis – Left Edge Theatre

Argo Thompson – Hand to God – Left Edge Theatre

Jon Tracy – The Great God Pan – Cinnabar Theater

Outstanding Choreography

Sergia Louise Anderson – The Naked Truth – Left Edge Theatre

Staci Arriaga – My Fair Lady – Sonoma Arts Live

Jim Cooney – A Chorus Line – Transcendence Theatre Company

Dana Seghesio – After Miss Julie – Main Stage West

Michella Snider – Cabaret – Cinnabar Theater

Outstanding Musical Direction

Ginger Beavers – Guys and Dolls – 6th Street Playhouse

Mary Chun – Cabaret – Cinnabar Theater

Janis Dunson-Wilson – Jesus Christ Superstar – SRJC Theatre Arts

Lucas Sherman – The Addams Family Musical – Spreckels Theatre Company

Paul Smith – Cinderella – Spreckels Theatre Company

Outstanding Ensemble

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Spreckels Theatre Company

Drumming with Anubis – Left Edge Theatre

Heathen Valley – Main Stage West

The House of Yes – Main Stage West

This Random World – Left Edge Theatre

Outstanding Solo Performance/Production

 Jessica Headington – The 12 Dates of Christmas – 6th Street Playhouse – Directed by Juliet Noonan

 Jennifer King – The Belle of Amherst – Sonoma Arts Live – Directed by Sharon Winegar

 Chris Schloemp – Polar Bears – Left Edge Theatre – Directed by David Templeton

 Ron Severdia – Every Brilliant Thing – Left Edge Theatre – Directed by Argo Thompson

 John Shillington – Underneath the Lintel – Cinnabar Theater – Directed by John Craven

Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Musical

Mary Gannon Graham – Cabaret – Cinnabar Theater

Daniela Innocenti Beem – Annie – 6th Street Playhouse

Nick Kenrick – Million Dollar Quartet – 6th Street Playhouse

Randy Nazarian – Guys and Dolls – 6th Street Playhouse

Tim Setzer – My Fair Lady – Sonoma Arts Live

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical

Daniela Innocenti Beem – Hello, Dolly! – Sonoma Arts Live

Isiah Carter – Shrek the Musical – Santa Rosa Junior College Theatre Arts

Michael McGurk – Cabaret – Cinnabar Theater

Sarah Wintermeyer – My Fair Lady – Sonoma Arts Live

Ariel Zuckerman – Guys and Dolls – 6th Street Playhouse

Outstanding Musical Production

Cabaret – Cinnabar Theater – Directed by Elly Lichenstein

Cinderella – Spreckels Theatre Company – Directed by Sheri Lee Miller

A Chorus Line – Transcendence Theatre Company – Directed by Amy Miller

Million Dollar Quartet – 6th Street Playhouse – Directed by Michael Ray Wisely

My Fair Lady – Sonoma Arts Live  – Directed by Michael Ross

Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Comedy

Laura Jorgensen – The House of Yes – Main Stage West

Chandler Parrott-Thomas – Hand to God – Left Edge Theatre

Lydia Revelos – The Revolutionists – 6th Street Playhouse

Lyndsey Savilingam – Barbecue Apocalypse – Spreckels Theatre Company

Nick Sholley – Drumming with Anubis – Left Edge Theatre

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Comedy

Sam Coughlin – The House of Yes – Main Stage West

Dean Linnard – Hand to God – Left Edge Theatre

Sharia Pierce – The House of Yes – Main Stage West

Ilana Niernberger – Savage Wealth – Main Stage West

Chris Schloemp – Drumming with Anubis – Left Edge Theatre

Outstanding Comedy Production

Drumming with Anubis – Left Edge Theatre – Directed by David L. Yen

Hand to God – Left Edge Theatre – Directed by Chris Ginesi

The House of Yes – Main Stage West – Directed by Elizabeth Craven

Savage Wealth – Main Stage West – Directed by John Shillington

Sex with Strangers – Left Edge Theatre – Directed by Diane Bailey

Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Drama

Kevin Bordi – The Night Alive – Main Stage West

Jennifer Coté – After Miss Julie – Main Stage West

John Craven – Heathen Valley – Main Stage West

Elijah Pinkham – Heathen Valley – Main Stage West

Nick Sholley – The Great God Pan – Cinnabar Theater

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Drama

Keith Baker – Hamlet – Spreckels Theatre Company

Elijah Pinkham – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Spreckels Theatre Company

Ilana Niernberger – Faceless – 6th Street Playhouse

Aaron Wilton – The Great God Pan – Cinnabar Theater

David L. Yen – Faceless – 6th Street Playhouse

Outstanding Drama Production

After Miss Julie – Main Stage West – Directed by Elizabeth Craven & David Lear

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Spreckels Theatre Company – Directed by Elizabeth Craven

Faceless – 6th Street Playhouse – Directed By Craig A. Miller

The Great God Pan – Cinnabar Theater – Directed by Taylor Korobow

Hamlet – Spreckels Theater Company – Directed by Sheri Lee Miller

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