Thwarted in their attempt to hold their annual Spring awards Gala by the Covid-19 pandemic, the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle took their Gala to cyberspace and held a virtual event in celebration of the excellent worked produced by Bay Area theatre artists in 2019. The event was sponsored by Actors’ Equity Association.
The recipients of their 44th Annual Excellence in Theatre Awards were announced via video presentations posted April 30 on the Critics Circle web site. (www.sfbatcc.org) Sixty-eight awards in twenty-six categories that cover technical, performance, and production excellence were announced in two video presentations. Following the ceremony’s usual order of events, the videos reviewed the nominees by category and announced the recipients through displays of their award certificates.
The video presentations were accompanied by an original composition titled “And the Award goes to…” that was commissioned from and created and performed by North Bay native Mike Bodulow.
The Circle’s four Special Award recipients – Gene Price Professionalism Award recipient Loretta Greco of the Magic Theatre, Paine Knickerbocker Continuing Contribution Award recipient Carla Befera of Carla Befera & Co., Annette Lust Emerging Artist/Company Award recipients Bruce Coughran and Alexandra Frappier Coughran of Indra’s Net Theater, and Jerry Friedman Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and North Bay resident Carl Jordan – all provided prerecorded acceptance speeches for the virtual event.
Seven North Bay productions received sixteen awards at the virtual Gala. Marin Theatre Company’s Mother of the Maid was recognized for Principal Performance in a Play (Sherman Fracher), Scenic Design (Sean Fanning), Lighting Design (Chris Lundahl), Costume Design (Sarah Smith), Direction (Jasson Minadakis), Ensemble, and Entire Production – North Bay. All awards were in the division of a house size of 100 – 300 seats. Stephen Anthony Jones was recognized for Solo Performance in MTC’s How I Learned What I Learned.
The Ross Valley Players/Mountain Play co-production of She Loves Me was recognized for its choreography (Nicole Helfer) and for Anthony Maglio’s Featured Performance in a Musical, both for a production in a house with fewer than 100 seats.
Rohnert Park’s Spreckels Theatre Company production of Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley received awards for Pamela Johnson’s costuming and for Entire Production – North Bay in a house with fewer than 100 seats.
A Chorus Line, the Transcendence Theatre Company’s first foray into full book musical production, was recognized for Daniel Weidlein’s Musical Direction and for Entire Production – North Bay in a house with more than 300 seats.
The Sonoma Arts Live production of Merman’s Apprentice was recognized for its Original Music by David Evans (music) and Stephen Cole (lyrics).
The Left Edge Theatre production of David Templeton’s Drumming with Anubis was recognized for its Ensemble.
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 San Francisco Bay Area 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.
To view the virtual Gala or for a complete list of the nominees and recipients, go to www.sfbatcc.org