Audience Choice Awards – 2008/09 Season

Audience Choice Awards Winners 2009 Announced

Favorite Play . Dante (Synetic Theater)

Favorite Actor in a Play . Alex Mills as Puck . A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Synetic Theater)

Favorite Actress in a Play . Valerie Harper as Tallulah Bankhead . Looped (Arena Stage)

Favorite Musical . Next to Normal (Arena Stage)

Favorite Actress in a Musical . Alice Ripley as Diana . Next to Normal (Arena Stage)

Favorite Actor in a Musical . Antonio Soto as Juan Peron . Mummy in the Closet (GALA)

Favorite Ensemble . Dante (Synetic Theater)

Favorite Family Show . Zomo the Rabbit (Imagination Stage)

Favorite Touring Show . Spring Awakening (Kennedy Center)

Now we invite you to step into the world of radio drama, to hear the winners accept their awards.


The night of the big Audience Choice Awards Show is finally here. A huge crowd of DC Theatre fans have gathered, hoping to catch a glimpse of their favorite nominees. Television cameras are trained on reporter Rona Slivers at the head of the red carpet, ready to give her usual biting fashion commentary…But what’s this?

No taxis? No limos? No stars? Where are all the nominees?

No Hedman, no Hicken, no Hemmingsen?

And what’s that whispering??? Nancy Robinette has skipped town!?!?

Something doesn’t smell right here–and the situation is also strange….

Will the curtain on the Audience Choice Awards Show ever go up?

Is this the end of theatre in Washington, DC?

Get comfy and listen in as Hashell Dammitt solves


Created by The Audible Group


Here’s your program.

BONUS: Be an Audiodetective yourself! There is ONE show title of ALL the 2009 Audience Choice Awards shows which did not make it (referenced or named outright) into The Case Of The Red Carpet. First person to name it correctly in the comments section will win a prize from the Audible Group. Tune in and Good Luck!



This year, DCTS writers nominated 128 performers and productions and Washington audiences cast over 12,000 votes to choose this year’s Audience Choice Awards winners.  Thanks to everyone for a great season.

The nominees are:


  • A Delicate Balance (Arena Stage)
  • Antebellum (Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company)
  • Blackbird (Studio Theatre)
  • Blue Door (African Continuum Theatre Company)
  • Dante (Synetic Theater)
  • dark play, of Stories for Boys (Forum Theatre)
  • Elizabeth Rex (Keegan Theatre)
  • Glengarry Glen Ross (Keegan Theatre)
  • Honey Brown Eyes (Theater J)
  • Krapp’s Last Tape (Keegan Theatre)
  • King Lear (Shakespeare Theatre)
  • Maria/Stuart (Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company)
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Round House Theatre)
    Pig Farm (1st Stage)
  • Radio Golf (Studio Theatre)
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll (Studio Theatre)
  • Seascape (American Century Theater)
  • The Aging of the Plum (GALA)
  • The Heavens Are Hung in Black (Ford’s Theatre)
  • The Legacy of Light (Arena Stage)
  • The Lieutenant of Inishmore (Signature Theatre)
    The Seafarer (Studio Theatre)


  • Terry Beaver as Tobias . A Delicate Balance (Arena Stage)
  • Lucas Beck as Gidger . The Violet Hour (1st Stage)
  • Ben Cunis . Living Dead in Denmark (Rorschach Theatre)
  • Mike Daisey . How Theater Failed America (Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company)
  • John Dow as Phillipe . Heroes (MetroStage)
  • Brian Hemmingsen as Krapp . Krapp’s Last Tape (Keegan Theatre)
  • Carter Jahncke as Krapp . Krapp’s Last Tape (Spooky Action Theatre)
  • Derrick Lemont in various roles . Blue Door (African Continuum Theatre Company)
  • Eric Lucas as Ned . Elizabeth Rex (Keegan Theatre)
  • Alex Mills as Puck . A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Synetic Theater)
  • Paul Morella as Lior . The Accident (Theater J)
  • Paul Morella as Clarence Darrow . A Passion for Justice (American Century Theater)
  • Bruce Rauscher in multiple roles . Love, Peace and Robbery . (Keegan Theatre)
  • Mark Rhea as McMurphy . One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Keegan Theatre)
  • Mel Rocher as Don Tello . The Best Judge, The King (GALA)
  • David Selby as Abraham Lincoln . The Heavens Are Hung in Black . Ford’s Theatre
  • Tom Story as Prince Hal . Henry IV, Part 1 (Folger Theatre)
  • Ted van Griethuysen as Max . Rock ‘n’ Roll (Studio Theatre)
  • Jerry Whiddon as Ray . Blackbird (Studio Theatre)
  • David Winkler as Aristarkh . The Suicide . 1st Stage


  • Lise Bruneau as Arkadina . Seagull on 16th Street (Theater J)
  • Valerie Harper as Tallulah Bankhead . Looped (Arena Stage)
  • Lisa Harrow as Eleanor . Rock ‘n’ Roll (Studio Theatre)
  • Carla Harting as Julia . A Delicate Balance (Arena Stage)
  • Helen Hedman as Joan . The Year of Magical Thinking (Studio Theatre)
  • Tana Hicken as Helen . The Road to Mecca (Studio Theatre)
  • Naomi Jacobson as Sylvia . Maria/Stuart (Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company)
  • Kerry Waters Lucas as Queen Elizabeth I . Elizabeth Rex (Keegan Theatre)
  • Kim Martin-Cotton as Goneril . King Lear (Shakespeare Theatre Company)
  • Sarah Marshall as Ruthie . Maria/Stuart (Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company)
  • Sarah Marshall as Barbara . Boom! (Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company)
  • Ellen McLaughlin as Clare . A Delicate Balance (Arena Stage)
  • Jennifer Mendenhall as Woman . Woman & Scarecrow (Solas Nua)
  • Nancy Paris as Beverly . The Receptionist (Studio Theatre)
  • Lynn Redgrave . Rachel and Juliet (Folger Theatre)
  • Nancy Robinette as Mother Courage . Mother Courage and Her Children (Scena Theatre)
  • Holly Twyford as Elsa . The Road to Mecca (Studio Theatre
  • Jjana Valentiner as Vivian . Funeral Potatoes (Flashpoint)


  • A Christmas Carol (Toby’s Dinner Theatre, Baltimore)
  • Closer Than Ever (Limelight Theatre)
    Crowns (Arena Stage)
  • Grey Gardens (Studio Theatre)
  • Iolanthe (Washington Savoyards)
  • Les Miserables (Signature Theatre)
  • Momia en el Closet (GALA)
  • Next to Normal (Arena Stage)
  • Oklahoma! (Toby’s Dinner Theatre, Columbia)
  • Ragtime (Kennedy Center)
  • The Music Man (Washington Savoyards)


  • E. Faye Butler as Mother Shaw . Crowns (Arena Stage)
  • Laura Comforte as Eva Peron . Mummy in the Closet (GALA)
  • Felicia Curry as Eponine . Les Miserables (Signature Theatre)
  • Elizabeth A. Hester . Closer Than Ever (Limelight Theatre)
  • Channez McQuay as The Medium and Aunt Monica . See What I Wanna See (Signature Theatre)
  • Christiane Noll as Mother . Ragtime (Kennedy Center)
  • Karen Olivo as Anita . West Side Story (National Theatre)
  • Belen Oyola-Rebaza as Isabel Peron . Mummy in the Closet (GALA)
  • Alice Ripley as Diana . Next to Normal (Arena Stage)
  • Judy Simmons as Mrs. Paroo . The Music Man (Washington Savoyards)
  • Katie Thompson as Vashti . Giant (Signature Theatre)
  • Roz White as Pearl Bailey . Pearl Bailey .. By Request (MetroStage)
  • Brittany Williams as Maia . Walmartopia (Landless Theatre Company)


  • Kurt Boehm as Snoopy . You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Adventure Theatre)
  • David Bosley-Reynolds as Scrooge . A Christmas Carol (Toby’s of Baltimore)
  • Phillip Boykin as Man . Crowns (Arena Stage)
  • John Dellaporta as Man 1 . Closer than Ever (Limelight Theatre)
  • Manoel Felciano as Tateh . Ragtime (Kennedy Center)
  • Jase Parker as Lord Chancellor . Iolanthe (Washington Savoyards)
  • Stephen Schmidt as Prof Hill . The Music Man (Washington Savoyards)
  • Bobby Smith as Janitor & Priest . See What I Wanna See (Signature Theatre)
  • Antonio Soto as Juan Peron . Mummy in the Closet (GALA)
  • J. Robert Spencer as Dan . Next to Normal (Arena Stage)
  • Aaron Tveit as Gabe Goodman . Next to Normal (Arena Stage)


  • A Christmas Carol (Toby’s of Baltimore)
  • Chicago (National Theatre)
  • Closer Than Ever (Limelight Theatre)
  • Crazyface (Constellation Theatre Company)
  • Dante (Synetic Theater)
  • Hell Meets Henry Half Way (Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company)
  • Les Miserables (Signature Theatre)
  • Oklahoma! (Toby’s of Columbia)
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Round House Theatre)
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll (Studio Theatre)
  • The Best Judge, The King (GALA)
  • The Dog in the Manger (Shakespeare Theatre Company)
  • Shakespeare’s R & J (1st Stage)
  • The Music Man (Washington Savoyards)
  • The Suicide (1st Stage)


  • Heidi (Imagination Stage)
  • Holes (Adventure Theatre)
  • Lyle the Crocodile (Imagination Stage)
  • Miss Nelson Is Missing! (Imagination Stage)
  • Playing from the Heart (Imagination Stage)
  • Story Theatre (Open Circle Theatre)
  • The Butterfingers Angel (Rep Stage)
  • You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Adventure Theatre)
  • Zomo the Rabbit (Imagination Stage)


  • A Chorus Line (National Theatre)
    Chicago (National Theatre) (8%, 67 Votes)
  • Frost/Nixon (Kennedy Center)
  • Jesus Christ Superstar (Warner Theatre)
  • Rachel and Juliet (Folger Theatre)
  • Rent (Warner Theatre)
  • Spring Awakening (Kennedy Center)
  • The Color Purple (Kennedy Center)
  • The Playboy of the Western World (Kennedy Center)West Side Story (National Theatre)


Related Articles:

timaboutus Best Plays and Performances
by Tim Treanor

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joelbio2 Favorite Musicals and Musical Performances
by Joel Markowitz

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Favorite New Plays Debuted in DC
by Steven McKnight

Lorraine Treanor About Lorraine Treanor

Lorraine Treanor has been editor of DC Theatre Scene since 2006. She has produced plays and concerts in her hometown of Chicago, and twice in the Capital Fringe festival. Her daughter Nina Norris is an artist working in Chicago. Life's a blast because she shares it with writer Tim Treanor.


  1. Please provide transcriptions of posted podcasts!!! How can you forget about DC’s hearing impaired theater going community?

  2. Without readable transcriptions of posted podcasts, this site is a diservice to the hearing-impaired theater community.

  3. Is there a way of seeing the “winners” without listening to the audio recording?

  4. Jo-Ann Neuhaus says:

    I am totally stunned that Stoppard’s “Arcadia,” which I found so compelling that I saw twice during the last weeks of the run, was not nominated for best play, nor were Holly Twyford, Erin Weaver, or anyone else in the cast nominated. Did no one see this production? I added it to my very brief list of best modern plays I have ever seen, that started with the original London production of “Whose Life Is It Anyway” with Tom Conte in 1978.

  5. Wow, the tension is rising!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Lorraine Treanor lorraine treanor says:

    We are very excited about this year’s show which will be heard here next week (will let everyone know as soon as we set the day and time.) It’s top secret, of course, but I can leak a few details – Dashell Hammet returns, and some DC critics reveal skills we didn’t know they had.

  7. Elizabeth Toperzer says:

    When’s the podcast? Can we listen LIVE? Very excited…can’t wait to find out how my favorites fared!

  8. “Playboy of the Western World” was presented by DRUID Theatre Company. I realize it took place at the Kennedy Center, but shouldn’t the producing company be the one listed? Synetic Theatre performed “Midsummer” at the Kennedy Center but they are listed under their name, not the venue they performed at.

  9. Shannon Ford says:

    Next To Normal rocks!

  10. william thomas says:

    looking forward to the show

  11. Maca, Genial!!

  12. Mel Rocher es uno de los mejores actores de teatro. Nos fascinó la primera vez que lo vimos actuar. Le deseo lo mejor. Lo merece.

  13. Antonio you are the best

  14. the best season i’ve seen at the theater

  15. marcela Canas says:


  16. Floyd & Evelyn Burgess says:

    We live on the West Coast and was in the Marine Corps with this young lady’s father and I hope our single vote helps her.

  17. Go ZOMO!!!

  18. I saw Zomo with my son when it was in DC – VERY entertaining. My son loved it and he enjoyed meeting the casting afterwards.

  19. Deborah Bowles says:

    What a great season of Theater

  20. Jay Hardee says:

    I appreciate all this website does to support DC theatre and think this is just another fun example of that. I also think it is hilarious that anywould would speak about the qualifications and professionalism of HH judges. We had a judge who was offended by the use of a hazer and smoking in “Small Craft Warnings” actually yell at an actor who was directed to silently interact with audience preshow. It wasn’t the actors fault there was smoke and haze in the play nor was this actor one of the characters smoking but she was totally rattled by this joke of a judge before the show. So don’t suggest to me that HH judges meet any standard of professionalism.

  21. And also, Go Ben Cunis! Having worked with him for just over a year now I can testify to the talent and effort he brings to the Synetic crew.

  22. Thank you Joel for the nomination (and DCTS reviewers). It’s an honor to be nominated with so many talented people (I know that sounds cliche but true). I appreciate all the support from the community, it’s rewarding to see an audience’s positive response to your work. Thanks! – Alex

  23. maurice werness says:

    go girl

  24. Jackie Bigio says:

    GO KURT !!!

  25. Paul Allen says:


  26. Theatre Fan says:

    Where is STACY KEACH among the nominees for best actor??? Are you f’ing kidding me? That was hands-down the best acting performance in DC in the past 3 years!!!

  27. DIna Patton says:

    Kurt Boehm in/as Snoopy

  28. Meg Collins says:

    Loved!!!! Next to Normal

  29. np

  30. Joel Markowitz says:

    Voting ends on Tuesday, September 8th at 10 AM. The Audience Choice Awards Show will be presented Thursday, September 10th. Listen in as the winners are announced in a radio theatre show brought to you by The Audible Group.

  31. Richard J. Summers says:

    When does voting end?

  32. I appreciate the opportunity for the audience to vote, even if the nominating process doesn’t include all our favorites.

    Potomac Stages used to ask ushers to select favorites each month while the performances were fresh in their minds.


  34. Erin Mahon says:

    oops typo on my last name! haha But Kurt is the best!!!!!!

  35. Erin Mahin says:

    kurt is the greatest!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. josh deane says:

    Kurt was awesome

  37. Monkey doesn’t have to stoop to cheap tricks. :p

  38. Bill Aitken says:


    Yeah but Monkey the cat had an advantage.It IS a cat. Lets see it play something that stretchs it… a dog. 🙂

  39. gg –
    I love that you find us quirky, though I’m not sure how we’re unbalanced – but okay.

    Just wanted you to know there isn’t someone with deep pockets who owns and controls us. We’re a registered non-profit, tax-exempt DC corporation and take pleasure in our independent spirit to express our unabashed love and support for theatre and call it as we see it.

  40. In response to Mr. Aitken, I do not see a need for a “Best Bear” category. There should however be a Best Nonhuman Actor category — at least this year. Monkey the cat surely deserves recognition for his consistent and well-acted performance in Lieutenant of Inishmore at Signature Theatre.

  41. Martin Roth says:

    In my opinion the Keagan Thatre Group is the most under-rated group in DC and most deserving of your support.

  42. As a nominee, I just want to say thanks for the honor. Also I feel that any judgement of talent is biased, be it the Oscars, Tonys, Helen Hayes, or DC Theatre Scene’s Audience Choice. I see no need to cry foul just because the nominations didn’t go the way you feel they should…but that could just be my biased opinion.
    Thanks again for the recognition.

  43. Bill Aitken says:

    Wow people getting upset about awards go figure. 🙂

    All awards are subjective and that’s it.

    The local critics and judges are no more or less qualified then the people on this board to be critics and write reviews. Its been stated by a local critic that the critics be the ones to judge the HH as they have a better theater education then some of the judges. I find that elitist and alarming.

    You know who the best judges are? The audience. If you do garbage they wont be back.

    And by the way where is the “Best Bear in a production” category? 🙂

  44. The lists make me realize how many great plays I didn’t see this past season. I guess I need to up my attendance.

  45. DCTheatreScene is privately owned and run – it’s not part of a newspaper or conglomerate.. I like that it’s a little quirky and unbalanced. Such is life.

    And for those of us squirming and bickering about our imaginary award that we may or may not be getting duped out of – I’d just like to point out that no amount of voting, either here or at the HH awards, is going to go back in time and put butts in seats.

  46. First, in response to LN: DC Theatre Scene and its reviewers see the same (more, really) productions as those from major media outlets. Their coverage of the total scene in this community is by far the most comprehensive. the fact that they will review, support, and comment on productions of ALL levels is a testament to their commitment to the community. I, of one, am grateful for the extensive coverage that they provide and regularly visit to see not only what they have to say but to use their links to see when and where the major outlets have commented on something.

    That being said, ALL awards processes are subjective. There is no way for them not to be. I’m pleased to see someplace where an understudy or a community production can be held up to just as high esteem as performances and productions from the largest companies in town. It’s a bit of apples and oranges, but I have to say I’m more impressed with someone who can create a stunning production or performance on $10,000 than one who can do it for $100,000.

  47. We fell in love with iMusical: The Improvised Musical. Just wondering why they are not a nominee. You’re missing the boat on this one for sure. Please accept them as a write in vote.

  48. You know, this is fun way to end a very long and hot summer with some audience participation for shows that they saw along with the DCTS staff. It’s great to see our friends and Theater’s nominated and voted for. Lighten up, this is no way meant to be anything like the HH awards. Every time something is written about a theatre, it’s a good for business, plus it rev’s us up for the fall season.

    We should all thank DCTS for all they do for us in the DC Theatre community!!!

    Bravo DCTS.

  49. John Dellaporta says:

    I’m really honored to be included as a nominee for Favorite Actor, and second the motion that next year, designers get catagories as well!

  50. I would love to see production included in these awards. Sets, props, costumes, direction… all contribute to making good theater too, it’s not just the actors!

  51. I think the attacking on this board is a tad on the ridiculous side. In the end there is no way, either here nor at the Helen Hayes awards, to fairly judge the “best” because there is just too much amazing work being produced in this town. Few people that vote have seen every show, most barely a handful, that is why the categories here are listed as “favorite” and Helen Hayes lists them as “outstanding”. Both are just trying to find the best ways to recognize some of the great talent and productions around the DC area. I give kudos to DCTS for always reaching to recognize both well known and attended productions as well as lesser known and attended productions and to nominate them equally. My hope that comes from this is people who are voting will see a name or company they don’t recognize, look them up, and maybe attend next time. Isn’t that the best we can ask for? To spread the love of theatre around?

  52. Are we allowed write-in votes? I can’t fathom how “Arcadia” is not listed for best play, or in any acting category either. Holly Twyford and Erin Weaver were stand outs in it!

  53. Are you really saying that critics at major papers and the helen hayes judges don’t have biases? Giving nominations based on how much money was spent on a fairly regular basis seems like a bias to me and the fact that HH judges are nominated by theatre companies tells me that they must have one or two theatre companies they are biased for as well. As for whether the critics on DCTS have credentials or not, I wasn’t aware that a degree in theatre criticism was a pre-requisite for judging the quality of theatre they are seeing. LN thanks for reminding me how elitist this theatre community is and how much we rely on major newspapers and the arbitrary nature of the HH awards to tell us what is good an what isn’t.

  54. I agree, I think this system is bizarre. We do have to take into account that these awards mean absolutely nothing and the so-called “critics” on DCTS are have very few credentials and are indeed fairly biased – unlike the Helen Hayes critics or professional critics that write for DC’s papers. This system leads to a very odd selection of performers and shows. There should be more categories – perhaps more similar to the Helen Hayes.

  55. Maurin Roberts says:

    I agree with Joel that this seems like the most random (and possibly biased) assortment of nominations, based on this past year’s season of productions. How can an understudy be nominated and not the lead?? I agree that we need an alternate awards process in the DC theatre scene in relation the HH awards (which is great and evolving), but this DCTS Audience Choice process reminds me of nothing more than high school superlatives balloting.

    How many actual theatre-goes are voting here as opposed to cast members of these shows, who are forwarding a link to fellow cast members and other friends who didn’t even seen the work? Really, there has to be a better way to accurately nominate and vote. I found this summer’s DCTS Fringe voting to be very interesting, to say the least, but this selection tops that.

  56. Hi, Joel –
    For each category, our writers were asked to submit their top 3 nominations along with their 4th & 5th selection in case of duplication. Since only one writer is assigned to each production, and our writers reviewed a total of 170 professionally produced plays and 40 musicals (and personally saw more), their ‘favorites’ lists, not surprisingly, included not just the most heavily attended shows.

    I am pleased that the work of an understudy is nominated. Surely those performances are worthy of praise, and so rarely receive it.

    These awards aren’t meant as an alternative to the Helen Hayes Awards, whose nominations process is much more demanding. Ours is much more personal and subjective.

    I am hoping that as people vote, they will consider which plays and performances remain in their heart at season’s end.

  57. joel reuben ganz says:

    HOw do you make the determinations for each category? i am very curious. It seems like the most random assortment ever. YOu have people nominated who understudied roles, plays that were not seen by many, etc, etc.
    I am very interested in knowing how you come up with the categories and choose the nominees.
    i like that this is an alternative in a way to the HH awards, and offers more direct feedback from theatre-goers(if there is a way to reach them with this).
    thanks so much



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