2012 Jeff Awards Gives Theo Ubique More ‘Light’

At the Non-Equity Jeff Awards held at Park West on Monday, June 4, Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre took most awards with 6 honors for their jewel box production of “A Light in the Piazza” including Production-Musical, Director-Musical for Fred Anzevino and Brenda Didier, Principal Actress for Kelli Harrington, Supporting Actor for Justin Adair, Music Director for Jeremy Ramey and, in a new award recognition, Dialect Coach for Eva Breneman.

The Hypocrites’ avant-garde play “Sophocles: Seven Sicknesses” accrued 4 awards for Production-Play,
Director and New Adaptation for Sean Graney, and Lighting Design for Jared Moore. “Punk Rock” by Griffin Theatre Company collected the Ensemble award, Director-Play for Jonathan Berry, and Principal Actor-Play for Joey DeBettencourt.

An audience of over 600 enjoyed the gala evening featuring musical production numbers from
Bailiwick Chicago’s “Passing Strange” and “Violet,” Griffin Theatre’s “Spring Awakening,” and
Theo Ubique’s “Pump Boys and Dinettes” and “The Light in the Piazza.” Emcees Vanessa
Greenway, an artistic associate at Griffin Theatre, and Terry Hamilton, an associate artist at
TimeLine Theatre Company, presided over an evening that recognized 141 nominations in 25
categories from 49 productions and ultimately honored 34 recipients from 15 theatres with 31
awards celebrating excellence in all aspects of Chicago Non-Equity theatre. Director for the
ceremony was Ronna Kaye, and Non-Equity Chair Doug Bradburd produced the event.

The Building Stage claimed 3 awards for “Moby-Dick” with New Adaptation honors going to
Blake Montgomery, Original Incidental Music to Kevin O’Donnell, and an award for Percussion
(Artistic Specialization) to Casey Baker, Kevin O’Donnell and Mike Przygoda. “Urinetown The
Musical” from Circle Theatre took awards for Choreography by Artistic Director Kevin Bellie and
Costume Design of Jesus Perez, while Chuck Sisson received the Principal Role-Musical nod in
Circle’s “The Baker’s Wife.” Redtwist Theatre took home 2 honors for “Opus” with Sound Design
by three-time nominee Christopher Kriz and Music Coach (Artistic Specialization) for Zhanna
Bullock, and Jacqueline Grandt received Principal Actress-Play award for her gritty role as Agnes
in “Bug.”
The New Work awards, an integral part of the fabric of Chicago theatre, went to Shepsu Aakhu for
his play “Speaking in Tongues: The Chronicles of Babel” produced by MPAACT, where he is a
founding member, and to New Yorker Deirdre O’Connor for “Assisted Living,” which played in a
much extended run at Profiles Theatre.
Additional acting awards were presented to Melanie Keller for Principal Role-Actress in “East of
Berlin & The Russian Play” at Signal Ensemble Theatre, to Aaron Kirby for Actor in a Supporting
Role-Play in “Dark Play or Stories for Boys” at Collaboraction, to Sasha Gioppo for Actress in a
Supporting Role-Play in “Red Light Winter” at Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company, and to Dana Tretta
for Actress in a Supporting Role – Musical in “Pippin” at Bohemian Theatre Ensemble.
On behalf of the Jeff Awards, Chair Diane Hires welcomed the audience and presented the Special
Award to Chicago Park District’s Theater on the Lake, which celebrates its 60th Anniversary this
month. Theater on the Lake was honored for developing new audiences for Non-Equity theaters and
artists and expanding theater opportunities throughout the Chicago community. In the early years of
this Park District program, Chicago’s up-and-coming talent participated in neighborhood theatre
programs, and the best plays were honored in a showcase of amateur community theatre
performances on the lake. In recent years, the Theater on the Lake Program has grown in scope,
remounting a cross section of the city’s most outstanding plays from both Non-Equity and Equity
theaters.
The Jeff Awards has been honoring outstanding theatre artists annually since it was established in
1968. With an active contingent of 50 members representing a wide variety of backgrounds in
theatre, the Jeff Awards is committed to celebrating the vitality of Chicago area theatre by
recognizing excellence through its recommendations, awards, and honors. The Jeff Awards fosters
the artistic growth of area theatres and theatre artists and promotes educational opportunities,
audience appreciation, and civic pride in the achievements of the theatre community. The Jeff
Awards evaluates over 250 theatrical productions and holds two awards ceremonies annually.
Originally chartered to recognize only Equity productions, the Jeff Awards established the Non-Equity Wing in 1973 to celebrate outstanding achievement in non-union theatre. The next
Equity Awards Ceremony, honoring productions presented under union contracts, will be held on
Monday, October 15, 2012, at the Drury Lane Oakbrook in Oakbrook Terrace

Production — Play

Opus  — Redtwist Theatre
Punk Rock  — Griffin Theatre Company
Red Light Winter  — Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co.
Sophocles: Seven Sicknesses  — The Hypocrites
Superior Donuts  — Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co.
The Word Progress on My Mother’s Lips Doesn’t Ring True  — Trap Door Theatre

Production — Musical

The Light in the Piazza  — Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
Passing Strange  — Bailiwick Chicago
Pump Boys and Dinettes  — Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
Spring Awakening  — Griffin Theatre Company
Violet  — Bailiwick Chicago

Director — Play

Jonathan Berry —  Punk Rock  — Griffin Theatre Company
Seth Bockley —  The Ugly One  — Sideshow Theatre Company
Jason W. Gerace —  Opus  — Redtwist Theatre
Sean Graney —  Sophocles: Seven Sicknesses  — The Hypocrites
Halena Kays —  Six Characters in Search of an Author  — The Hypocrites
Blake Montgomery —  Moby-Dick  — The Building Stage

Director — Musical

Fred Anzevino —  Pump Boys and Dinettes  — Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
Fred Anzevino and Brenda Didier —  The Light in the Piazza  — Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
Jonathan Berry —  Spring Awakening  — Griffin Theatre Company
Lili-Anne Brown —  Passing Strange  — Bailiwick Chicago
Elizabeth Margolius —  Violet  — Bailiwick Chicago

Ensemble

Moby-Dick  — The Building Stage
Opus  — Redtwist Theatre
Pump Boys and Dinettes  — Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
Punk Rock  — Griffin Theatre Company
Shakespeare’s R&J  — Idle Muse Theatre Company
Sophocles: Seven Sicknesses  — The Hypocrites

Principal Actor — Play

Dan Behrendt (Matt) —  Red Light Winter  — Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co.
Joey DeBettencourt (William Carlisle) —  Punk Rock  — Griffin Theatre Company
Brian Grey (Ned Lawrence) —  The Oxford Roof Climber’s Rebellion  — Caffeine Theatre
Peter Oyloe (Kjell) —  Elling  — Redtwist Theatre
Brian Plocharczyk (Stephen) —  Farragut North  — Stage Left
Andrew Burden Swanson (Gerry) —  The Last Duck  — Jackalope Theatre Company
Preston Tate, Jr. (Franco Wicks) —  Superior Donuts  — Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co.

Principal Actor — Musical

Jayson  “JC”  Brooks (Narrator) —  Passing Strange  — Bailiwick Chicago
Courtney Crouse (Jim) —  Pump Boys and Dinettes  — Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
Steven Perkins (Youth) —  Passing Strange  — Bailiwick Chicago
Creg Sclavi (Bobby Strong) —  Urinetown the Musical  — Circle Theatre
Chuck Sisson (Aimable Castagnet) —  The Baker’s Wife  — Circle Theatre

Principal Actress — Play

Jacqueline Grandt (Agnes) —  Bug  — Redtwist Theatre
Katherine Keberlein (Jan) —  Fifty Words  — Profiles Theatre
Melanie Keller (Sonya/Sarah) —  East of Berlin & The Russian Play  — Signal Ensemble Theatre
Eileen Niccolai (Lady) —  Orpheus Descending  — Shattered Globe Theatre
Stacy Stoltz (Anne) —  Assisted Living  — Profiles Theatre

Principal Actress — Musical

Harmony France (Violet) —  Violet  — Bailiwick Chicago
Kelli Harrington (Margaret Johnson) —  The Light in the Piazza  — Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
Rachel Klippel (Clara Johnson) —  The Light in the Piazza  — Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

Supporting Actor — Play

Barth Bennett (Jefferson) —  A Lesson Before Dying  — Lincoln Square Theatre
Eric Burgher (Mervyn) —  A Behanding in Spokane  — Profiles Theatre
Dereck Garner (Davis) —  Red Light Winter  — Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co.
Ryan Heindl (Chadwick Meade) —  Punk Rock  — Griffin Theatre Company
Aaron Kirby (Adam) —  Dark Play or Stories for Boys  — Collaboraction
J.P. Pierson (Bunce) —  One Flea Spare  — Eclipse Theatre Company

Supporting Actor — Musical

Justin Adair (Fabrizio Naccarelli) —  The Light in the Piazza  — Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
Michael Kingston (Charlemagne) —  Pippin  — Bohemian Theatre Ensemble
Evan Tyrone Martin (Flick) —  Violet  — Bailiwick Chicago
Jeremy Rill (Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm) —  A Little Night Music  — Circle Theatre

Supporting Actress — Play

Sasha Gioppo (Christina) —  Red Light Winter  — Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co.
Vanessa Greenway (Rosaura/Astrea) —  Life Is A Dream  — Premiere Theatre & Performance i/a/w Vitalist Theatre
Susan Monts-Bologna (Lady Boyle) —  Superior Donuts  — Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co.
Caroline Neff (Helen) —  Under the Blue Sky  — Steep Theatre Company

Supporting Actress — Musical

Anita Hoffman (Denise) —  The Baker’s Wife  — Circle Theatre
Khaki Pixley (Petra) —  A Little Night Music  — Circle Theatre
Danni Smith (Rhetta) —  Pump Boys and Dinettes  — Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
Dana Tretta (Catherine) —  Pippin  — Bohemian Theatre Ensemble

New Work

Shepsu Aakhu —  Speaking in Tongues: The Chronicles of Babel  — MPAACT
Keith Josef Adkins —  The Last Saint on Sugar Hill  — MPAACT
Scott Barsotti, Molly Each, Laura Eason, Brian Golden, Kristin Idaszak, Kim Morris, Nick Ward and Doug Whippo —  We Live Here  — Theatre Seven of Chicago
Lucas Neff —  The Last Duck  — Jackalope Theatre Company
Deirdre O’Connor —  Assisted Living  — Profiles Theatre

New Adaptation

Sean Graney —  Sophocles: Seven Sicknesses  — The Hypocrites
Matt Hawkins —  Cyrano  — The House Theatre of Chicago
John Hildreth —  Watership Down  — Lifeline Theatre
Blake Montgomery —  Moby-Dick  — The Building Stage
Steve Moulds —  Six Characters in Search of an Author  — The Hypocrites

Choreography

Kevin Bellie —  Urinetown the Musical  — Circle Theatre
Brenda Didier —  Pippin  — Bohemian Theatre Ensemble
Nicole Pellegrino —  Spring Awakening  — Griffin Theatre Company

Original Incidental Music

Andrew Hansen —  Hunger  — Lifeline Theatre
Michael Huey —  The Spirit Play  — The Strange Tree Group
Ovidiu Iloc —  The Word Progress on My Mother’s Lips Doesn’t Ring True  — Trap Door Theatre
Christopher Kriz —  The Count of Monte Cristo  — Lifeline Theatre
Kevin O’Donnell —  Moby-Dick  — The Building Stage
Kevin O’Donnell, Shawn Pfautsch and Matt Hawkins —  Cyrano  — The House Theatre of Chicago

Music Direction

Jim DeSelm —  Pump Boys and Dinettes  — Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
Allison Kane —  Spring Awakening  — Griffin Theatre Company
James Morehead —  Passing Strange  — Bailiwick Chicago
Jeremy Ramey —  The Light in the Piazza  — Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
Andra Velis Simon —  Violet  — Bailiwick Chicago

Scenic Design

Bob Knuth —  The Women  — Circle Theatre
Jack Magaw and Kimberly Senior —  Bug  — Redtwist Theatre
Amanda Rozmiarek —  The Price  — Raven Theatre
Ray Toler —  Bus Stop  — Raven Theatre
Adam Veness —  The Light in the Piazza  — Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

Lighting Design

Kevin D. Gawley —  Hunger  — Lifeline Theatre
Lee Keenan —  Spring Awakening  — Griffin Theatre Company
Lee Keenan —  The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek  — Eclipse Theatre Company
Jared Moore —  Lighthousekeeping  — New Leaf Theatre
Jared Moore —  Sophocles: Seven Sicknesses  — The Hypocrites
Mac Vaughey —  The Ugly One  — Sideshow Theatre Company

Costume Design

Aly Renee Amidei —  The Count of Monte Cristo  — Lifeline Theatre
Jacqueline Firkins —  Cyrano  — The House Theatre of Chicago
Jesus Perez —  Urinetown the Musical  — Circle Theatre
Elizabeth Wislar —  A Little Night Music  — Circle Theatre
Elizabeth Wislar —  The Women  — Circle Theatre

Sound Design

Thomas Dixon —  The Sea  — Theatre Mir
Mikhail Fiksel —  Watership Down  — Lifeline Theatre
Christopher Kriz —  Bug  — Redtwist Theatre
Christopher Kriz —  The Count of Monte Cristo  — Lifeline Theatre
Christopher Kriz —  Opus  — Redtwist Theatre

Fight Design

Matt Hawkins —  Cyrano  — The House Theatre of Chicago
R&D Choreography —  Watership Down  — Lifeline Theatre
David Woolley —  Superior Donuts  — Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co.

Dialect Coaching

Eva Breneman —  The Light in the Piazza  — Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
Anita Deely —  Old Times  — Strawdog Theatre Company
Elise Kauzlaric —  Punk Rock  — Griffin Theatre Company

Artistic Specialization (non-competitive)

Casey Baker, Kevin O’Donnell and Mike Pryzgoda — Percussion —  Moby-Dick  — The Building Stage
Zhanna Bullock — Music Coach —  Opus  — Redtwist Theatre
Joanna Iwanicka — Puppet, Mask and Video Design —  Watership Down  — Lifeline Theatre
Mary O’Dowd — Properties/Set Dressing —  The Price  — Raven Theatre
Brett Schneider — Magic Design —  The Spirit Play  — The Strange Tree Group
Mary Williamson and Christine Conley — Makeup/Gore Design —  Sophocles: Seven Sicknesses  — The Hypocrites
Nivan Yahaghi — Video Design and Cinematography —  We Live Here  — Theatre Seven of Chicago

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