Marquee Theater Journalists Association announces 2020 MTJA Award nominations

Despite a severely truncated theater season, the Marquee Theater Journalists Association has decide to move forward with its 2020 awards program and has released its list of nominees for the 5th Annual MTJA Awards.  The Association recognized the exemplary work of Sonoma County theater artists with nominations in eighteen categories that were culled from the thirty-five pre-pandemic productions attended by MTJA members. The qualifying season for the awards program usually runs from September of the previous year through August of the current year. Award recipients will be announced in an on-line presentation on a date still to be determined.

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 Jeanie K. Smith, and Aisle Seat Review‘s Nicole Singley and Barry Willis. All are also members of the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle as well as the American Theatre Critics Association.

From its inception, the Marquee Theater Journalists Association took a different approach to its awards system than most other programs. It originally recognized three types of plays – comedy, drama, and musical – and was the first theater awards program in California to have non-gender-specific performance categories. The MTJA opted to not use the traditional and somewhat-outdated binary divisions and instead acknowledge Outstanding Lead and Outstanding Supporting Performances in Comedy, Drama, and Musical productions as well as an Outstanding Solo Performance/Production. A ranked-choice voting system is used to determine all the nominees.

Here is the complete list of nominees for the 2020 MTJA Awards:

Outstanding Poster/Program Design

Daddy Long Legs – Sonoma Arts Live – Design by Sue Martin with Moira McGovern

Eureka Day – Spreckels Theatre Company – Design by Jennifer Griego

Ripcord – Cinnabar Theater – Design by Elly Lichenstein

Urinetown – Spreckels Theatre Company – Design by Jennifer Griego

The Wolves – Raven Players – Design by Richard Sheppard

Outstanding Costume Design

Sandra Ish – Escanaba in Da Moonlight – Left Edge Theatre

Pamela Johnson – Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley – Spreckels Theatre Company

Pamela Johnson – Urinetown – Spreckels Theatre Company

Jolie O’Dell – Little Shop of Horrors – Cinnabar Theater

Skipper Skeoch – A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder  – Spreckels Theatre Company

Outstanding Lighting Design

April George – Escanaba in Da Moonlight – Left Edge Theatre

Eddy Hansen – Eureka Day – Spreckels Theatre Company

Eddy Hansen – Urinetown – Spreckels Theatre Company

Wayne Hovey – Little Shop of Horrors – Cinnabar Theater

Missy Weaver – The Seafarer – Main Stage West

Outstanding Sound Design

Doug Faxon – Boom – Main Stage West

Doug Faxon – The Seafarer – Main Stage West

Jessica Johnson – Eureka Day – Spreckels Theatre Company

Jessica Johnson – Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley – Spreckels Theatre Company

Jessica Johnson – Urinetown – Spreckels Theatre Company

Outstanding Scenic Design

Elizabeth Bazzano & Eddy Hansen – Eureka Day – Spreckels Theatre Company

Elizabeth Bazzano – Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley – Spreckels Theatre Company

David Lear – The Seafarer – Main Stage West

Peter Q. Parish – Little Shop of Horrors – Cinnabar Theater

Argo Thompson – Escanaba in Da Moonlight – Left Edge Theatre

Outstanding Choreography

Bridget Codoni – Little Shop of Horrors – Cinnabar Theater

Joseph Favalora – Gypsy – 6th Street Playhouse

Lisa Ferreira – Merman’s Apprentice – Sonoma Arts Live

Michella Snider –  A Christmas Story (tap sequence) – Sonoma Arts Live

Michella Snider –  A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder – Spreckels Theatre Company

Outstanding Musical Direction

John Bannister – Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story – 6th Street Playhouse

Mary Chun – Little Shop of Horrors – Cinnabar Theater

Jim Coleman – A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder – Spreckels Theatre Company

Sherrill Peterson – Daddy Long Legs – Sonoma Arts Live

Lucas Sherman – Urinetown – Spreckels Theatre Company

Outstanding Ensemble

Eureka Day – Spreckels Theatre Company

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder – Spreckels Theatre Company

The Laramie Project – Raven Players

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley – Spreckels Theatre Company

The Seafarer – Main Stage West

Outstanding Solo Performance/Production

  Mark Bradbury – Polar Bears – Left Edge Theatre – Directed by David Templeton 

Patrick Varner – Fully Committed – 6th Street Playhouse – Directed by Lennie Dean

 Outstanding Musical Production

Daddy Long Legs – Sonoma Arts Live – Directed by Michael Ross

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder – Spreckels Theatre Company – Directed by Michael Ross

Little Shop of Horrors – Cinnabar Theater – Directed by Nathan Cummings

Merman’s Apprentice – Sonoma Arts Live  – Directed by Jaime Love & Larry Williams

Urinetown – Spreckels Theatre Company – Directed by Jay Manley

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical

Daniela Innocenti Beem – Merman’s Apprentice – Sonoma Arts Live

Madison Genovese – Daddy Long Legs – Sonoma Arts Live

Kyle Jurrasic – Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story – 6th Street Playhouse

Michael McGurk – Little Shop of Horrors – Cinnabar Theater

Tim Setzer –  A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder – Spreckels Theatre Company

Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Musical

Keith Baker – Little Shop of Horrors – Cinnabar Theater

Denise Elia-Yen – Urinetown – Spreckels Theatre Company

Schary Pearl Fugitt – A Christmas Story – Sonoma Arts Live

Madison Genovese – A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder – Spreckels Theatre Company

Roger Michelson – Gypsy – 6th Street Playhouse

Outstanding Comedy Production

Body Awareness  – Main Stage West – Directed by John Shillington

Escanaba in Da Moonlight – Left Edge Theatre – Directed by Argo Thompson

Eureka Day – Spreckels Theatre Company – Directed by Elizabeth Craven

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley – Spreckels Theatre Company – Directed by Sheri Lee Miller

Ripcord – Cinnabar Theater – Directed by James Pelican

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Comedy

Kate Brickley – Ripcord – Cinnabar Theater

Sarah McKereghan – Eureka Day – Spreckels Theatre Company

Karina Pugh – Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley – Spreckels Theatre Company

Lydia Revelos – Body Awareness – Main Stage West

Val Sinckler – Eureka Day – Spreckels Theatre Company

Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Comedy

Jeff Coté – Eureka Day – Spreckels Theatre Company

Taylor Diffenderfer – Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley – Spreckels Theatre Company

Kimberly Kalember – Escanaba in Da Moonlight – Left Edge Theatre

Elijah Pinkham – Body Awareness – Main Stage West

Kyle Stoner – Ripcord – Cinnabar Theater

Outstanding Drama Production

Between Riverside and Crazy – Left Edge Theatre – Directed by Argo Thompson

Heisenberg – Left Edge Theatre – Directed by Carla Spindt

Luna Gale – Cinnabar Theater – Directed By Jessica Litwak

Mary’s Wedding – Main Stage West – Directed by Missy Weaver

The Seafarer – Main Stage West – Directed by David Lear

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Drama

Keith Baker – The Seafarer – Main Stage West

John Craven – Heisenberg – Left Edge Theatre

Corey Jackson – Between Riverside and Crazy – Left Edge Theatre

Liz Jahren – Luna Gale – Cinnabar Theater

Edward McCloud – The Seafarer – Main Stage West

Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Drama

Sam Ademola – Between Riverside and Crazy – Left Edge Theatre

Kevin Bordi – The Seafarer – Main Stage West

John Craven – The Seafarer – Main Stage West

Kellie Donnelly – Luna Gale – Cinnabar Theater

Pilar Gonzalez – Between Riverside and Crazy – Left Edge Theatre

**********

Award recipients will be announced in an on-line presentation on a date still to be determined.

One thought on “Marquee Theater Journalists Association announces 2020 MTJA Award nominations

  1. Thank you so much for nominating me I’m so very very honored. The first time I have ever been nominated for an award for my acting I’m so ecstatic !! Thank you Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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