In addition to having a large professional theatre community, the DC area also has a robust community theatre scene. The 30-member Washington Area Theatre Community Honors (WATCH), the overseeing association for the region, announced the winners of its 9th Annual WATCH awards on Sunday, March 1st at The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA.
The Master of Ceremonies was actor Mike Baker Jr. Songs from each of the five Best Musical nominations were performed to great acclaim. The ceremony opened with a heart-warming performance of William Finn’s “Heart and Music”, performed by the cast of Kensington Arts Theatre’s A New Brain. Steve Block then sang a gorgeous rendition of “At The Fountain” from The Arlington Player’s production of Sweet Smell of Success. After a brief intermission, Act Two began with the opening number from Reston Community Player’s production of Urinetown. It was a real pisser! The loudest applause of the evening was earned by Ryan Manning, Malinda Ellerman, and Aaron Reader, who performed a sped-up rendition of “Fast” from KAT’s production of Zanna, Don’t! and John Loughney, Kristen Garrafo and Josh Doyle ended the evening singing Jonathan Larson’s gorgeous harmonies in “Louder Than Words” from Elden Street Players’ tick, tick… Boom!.
The stats: 114 eligible productions (30 musicals, 84 plays) produced 136 nominations. The awards went to 32 recipients in 28 categories – 4 categories ended in ties: Director of a Musical, Lead Actress Play, and Special Effects award, and the Properties Award was a triple tie.
Kensington Arts Theatre (KAT) was the big winner in the musical categories. A New Brain won 4 awards for Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical for Andy Izquierdo, who played Gordon Schwinn, Outstanding Direction of a Musical went to David Rohde, who shared the award with The Arlington Players’ (TAP) John K. Monnett, who directed Sweet Smell of Success. A New Brain also won Outstanding Music Direction (David Rohde), while KAT’s production of 110 In The Shade earned 3 awards. Katie McManus, who played Lizzie, was honored as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical. Ryan Manning, who played Lizzie’s little brother Jim, was named Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical. John Decker, who made it rain on the KAT stage, shared the award for Outstanding Achievement in Special Effects with Tel Monks, Jerry Skene, Robb Hunter, Karen Schlumpf, Brian Farrell & Greg Steele won for RCP’s production of An Experiment with an Air Pump.
TAP won its 2nd and 3rd musical awards of the evening for Outstanding Cameo in a Musical for Albert Coia’s hilarious performance as Erronius in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and for Mary Ayala-Bush & Lori Levitt’s costume design for Sweet Smell of Success. Outstanding Makeup Design went to Eric Jones & Denise A. Levien for The Rocky Horror Show at The Greenbelt Arts Center.
Reston Community Players (RSP) won 3 musical awards. Matt Anderson & Catherine Oh won for choreography, and June Schreiner won Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical for her role as pig-tailed Little Sally- both awards for Urinetown, and Sue Pinkman, Mark Bartyczak & Anna Michelle Jackson won for their hair design work on Forbidden Broadway.
In the play categories, The Port Tobacco Players won 8 technical awards, which 3 of its productions shared. Dracula: The Case of the Silver Scream won for John Merritt’s set design and David Standish and Jeff Hitaffer’s sound design. Hotbed Hotel was honored for Kim Moore Bessler and Lynne O’Meara’s outstanding properties and set decorations, and for John Bilton and John Merritt’s set construction and for Sarah Ann Carlson and John Merritt’s set painting. Karen Kleyle won for her properties and David Timmermann and Randy Tusing’s stage combat choreography for Noises Off. The Outstanding Properties award was shared with Donna Reynolds for her work on The Dresser at Port City Playhouse.
The Colonial Players’ production of Hauptmann was honored as Outstanding Play and for Beth Terranova’s direction. It also won awards for featured actor Jim Reiert (who played Dr. Condon), and for lead actor Pat Reynolds, who played Bruno Richard Hauptmann, who was accused, tried, and sentenced to death for the kidnapping the Lindberg baby.
Elden Street Players (ESP) won three in play performance awards. Jane MacFarlane, who played Sister Aloysius in Doubt, a Parable, shared the Lead Actress In A Play Award with Karen Jadlos Shotts, who played Hedda Gabler in ESP’s production of Hedda Gabbler. Lolita-Marie won the Outstanding Cameo in a Play award playing Mrs. Muller in Doubt, a Parable. Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play went to Rebecca Lenehan as Rosemary Sydney in Little Theatre of Alexandria’s (LTA) production of Picnic. Ken & Patti Crowley won for their lighting design for Picnic.
. For a complete list of this year’s nominees and winners, click here.
. Read a DCTS interview with WATCH Award winner Andy Izquierdo on this year’s Best Musical KAT’s A New Brain.
. Read about DCTS Scene Stealers and WATCH winners Katie McManus and Ryan Manning in KAT”S 110 In The Shade.
Here is the list of this year’s winners by theatre company:
(1) Outstanding Set Design – John Merritt – Dracula: The Case of the Silver Scream
(2) Outstanding Sound Design – David Standish & Jeff Hitaffer – Dracula: The Case of the Silver Scream
(3) Outstanding Properties – Kim Moore Bessler & Lynne O’Meara – Hotbed Hotel
(4) Outstanding Set Construction – John Bilton & John Merritt – Hotbed Hotel
(5) Outstanding Set Decoration – Kim Moore Bessler & Lynne O’Meara –Hotbed Hotel
(6) Outstanding Set Painting – Sarah Ann Carlson & John Merritt – Hotbed Hotel
(7) Outstanding Properties – Karen Kleyle – Noises Off
(8) Outstanding Stage Combat Choreography – David Timmermann & Randy Tusing – Noises Off
(1) Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical – Ryan Manning as “Jim” – 110 in the Shade
(2) Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical – Katie McManus as “Lizzie” –110 the Shade
(3) Outstanding Special Effects – John Decker – 110 in the Shade
(4) Outstanding Direction of a Musical – Jeffrey R. Breslow – A New Brain
(5) Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical – Andy Izquierdo as “Gordon Michael Schwinn” – A New Brain
(6) Outstanding Music Direction – David Rohde – A New Brain
(7) Outstanding Musical – – A New Brain
(1) Outstanding Direction of a Play – Beth Terranova – Hauptmann
(2) Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play – Jim Reiter as Dr. Condon,
Alexander Woolcott, HL Mencken, Albert Osborne, Arthur Koehler, Guard
& Policeman” – Hauptmann
(3) Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play – Pat Reynolds as “Bruno Richard
Hauptmann” – Hauptmann
(4) Outstanding Play – – Hauptmann
(1) Outstanding Special Effects – Tel Monks, Jerry Skene, Robb Hunter, Karen
Schlumpf, Brian Farrell & Greg Steele – An Experiment with an Air Pump
(2) Outstanding Hair Design – Sue Pinkman, Mark Bartyczak & Anna Michelle
Jackson – Forbidden Broadway
(3) Outstanding Choreography – Matt Anderson & Catherine Oh – Urinetown
(4) Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical – June Schreiner as “Little Sally”-Urinetown
(1) Outstanding Cameo in a Musical – Albert Coia as “Erronius” – A Funny
Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
(2) Outstanding Costume Design – Mary Ayala-Bush & Lori Levitt – Sweet
Smell of Success
(3) Outstanding Direction of a Musical – John K. Monnett – Sweet Smell of Success
(1) Outstanding Cameo in a Play – Lolita-Marie as “Mrs. Muller” – Doubt, a Parable
(2) Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play – Jane MacFarlane as “Sister Aloysius” – Doubt, a Parable
(3) Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play – Karen Jadlos Shotts as “Hedda Gabler” – Hedda Gabler
(1) Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play – Rebecca Lenehan as “Rosemary Sydney” – Picnic
(2) Outstanding Light Design – Ken & Patti Crowley – Picnic
(1) Outstanding Makeup Design – Eric Jones & Denise A. Levien – The Rocky Horror Show
(1) Outstanding Properties – Donna Reynolds – The Dresser
Written by Joel Markowitz