47th Annual Non-Equity JEFF AWARD Nominations Announced

47th Annual Non-Equity JEFF AWARD Nominations Announced 1 With the conclusion of the 2019-2020 Chicago non-Equity theater season, the Jeff Awards announces the nominees for the 47th annual awards for theater excellence that include 120 theater artists across 21 categories. During this past season, which ended a few weeks early in mid-March due to government guidelines on public gatherings related to the COVID19 virus, Jeff Awards members attended the openings of 126 productions. From these, 52 productions became “Jeff Recommended” and therefore eligible for award nominations.This year, the work of 31 non-Equity theater companies is showcased with 44 productions receiving one or more nominations. Four productions tied for most nominations including “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “The Ballad of Lefty & Crabbe,” “Big Fish,” and “P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle,” which each received seven nominations. Among theater companies, Griffin Theatre garnered the most nominations with 10, followed by Jackalope Theatre Company (9), Lifeline Theatre (8) and BoHo Theatre, Pride Films and Plays, Red Tape Theatre and Underscore Theatre (all with 7).
BoHo's Production of "Big Fish" Catches 7 Non-Equity Jeff Nominations

With the conclusion of the 2019-2020 Chicago non-Equity theater season, the Jeff Awards announces the nominees for the 47th annual awards for theater excellence that include 120 theater artists across 21 categories. During this past season, which ended a few weeks early in mid-March due to government guidelines on public gatherings related to the COVID19 virus, Jeff Awards members attended the openings of 126 productions. From these, 52 productions became “Jeff Recommended” and therefore eligible for award nominations.This year, the work of 31 non-Equity theater companies is showcased with 44 productions receiving one or more nominations. Four productions tied for most nominations including “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “The Ballad of Lefty & Crabbe,” “Big Fish,” and “P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle,” which each received seven nominations. Among theater companies, Griffin Theatre garnered the most nominations with 10, followed by Jackalope Theatre Company (9), Lifeline Theatre (8) and BoHo Theatre, Pride Films and Plays, Red Tape Theatre and Underscore Theatre (all with 7).

A virtual celebration will be held Monday, June 8, 2020 to recognize theater excellence over the past non-Equity season, announce recipients and honor the dedicated theater companies so significantly impacted during these challenging times. Details on accessing the free online program will be available in early June.

2020 NON–EQUITY JEFF AWARD NOMINEES

PRODUCTION – PLAY
“All Quiet on the Western Front” – Red Tape Theatre
“First Love is the Revolution” – Steep Theatre Company
“Middle Passage” – Lifeline Theatre
“Mlima’s Tale” – Griffin Theatre Company
“P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle” – Jackalope Theatre Company
“The Undeniable Sound of Right Now” – Raven Theatre

PRODUCTION – MUSICAL
“The Ballad of Lefty & Crabbe” – Underscore Theatre Company
“Big Fish” – BoHo Theatre
“Ghost Quartet” – Black Button Eyes Productions
“Head Over Heels” – Kokandy Productions
“Hedwig and the Angry Inch” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

ENSEMBLE
“All Quiet on the Western Front” – Red Tape Theatre
“The Ballad of Lefty & Crabbe” – Underscore Theatre Company
“Blue Stockings” – Promethean Theatre Ensemble
“Emma” – Lifeline Theatre
“Ghost Quartet” – Black Button Eyes
“P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle” – Jackalope Theatre Company

NEW WORK
Larry Todd Cousineau & Cindy O’Connor- “All That He Was”
– Pride Films and Plays
Matt Foss – “All Quiet on the Western Front” – Red Tape Theatre
Sam Kebede – “Ethiopian America” -Definition Theatre Company
Jillian Leff & Joe Lino – “Small World” – The New Colony
Kenneth Lin – “Life On Paper” – Jackalope Theatre Company

DIRECTOR – PLAY
Lili-Anne Brown – “P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle”
– Jackalope Theatre Company
Spenser Davis – “Blue Stockings” – Promethean Theatre Ensemble
Spenser Davis – “Labyrinth” – Broken Nose Theatre
Matt Foss- “All Quiet on the Western Front” – Red Tape Theatre
Jerrell L. Henderson – “Mlima’s Tale” – Griffin Theatre Company

DIRECTOR – MUSICAL
Donterrio Johnson – “A Man of No Importance” – Pride Films and Plays
Ed Rutherford – “Ghost Quartet” – Black Button Eyes Productions
Stephen Schellhardt – “Big Fish” – BoHo Theatre
Rusty Sneary – “The Ballad of Lefty & Crabbe” – Underscore Theatre Company
Derek Van Barham & Elizabeth Swanson – “Head Over Heels” – Kokandy Productions

PERFORMER IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY
Laura Berner Taylor (Grace) – “Out of Love” – Interrobang Theatre Project
Dennis Bisto (Bèrenger) – “The Killer” – Trap Door Theatre
Elaine Carlson (Mrs. Kitty Warren) – “Mrs. Warren’s Profession”
– Promethean Theatre Ensemble
Bailey Castle (Barbara, Barbara’s Mom, Barbara’s Dad) – “Iron Kisses”
– Theatre Above the Law
Bilal Dardai (Samir) – “Language Rooms” – Broken Nose Theatre
Eric Gerard (Blacky Blackerson) – “P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle”
– Jackalope Theatre Company
David Goodloe (Mlima) – “Mlima’s Tale” – Griffin Theatre Company
Jacqueline Grandt (Du) – “Keely and Du” – Redtwist Theatre
Tracey Greenwood (Vivie Warren)- “Mrs. Warren’s Profession”
– Promethean Theatre Ensemble
Brookelyn Hébert (Ada Byron Lovelace) – “Ada and the Engine” – The Artistic Home
Mary Williamson (Ida) – “Life on Paper” – Jackalope Theatre Company

PERFORMER IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL
Jeremiah Alsop (Musidorus) – “Head Over Heels” – Kokandy Productions
Amanda Giles (Elizabeth) – “If/Then” – Brown Paper Box Co.
Ryan Lanning (Alfie Byrne) – “A Man of No Importance” – Pride Films and Plays
Will Lidke (Hedwig) – “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
Amanda Raquel Martinez (Pearl, The Victim, Lady Usher, Soldier, Scheherazade)
– “Ghost Quartet” – Black Button Eyes Productions
Shea Pender (James “Crabbe” Hathaway) – “The Ballad of Lefty & Crabbe”
– Underscore Theatre Company
Kyle Ryan (Theodore “Lefty” Childs) – “The Ballad of Lefty & Crabbe”
– Underscore Theatre Company
Tommy Thurston (Edward Bloom) – “Big Fish” – BoHo Theatre

SOLO PERFORMANCE
Scott Gryder (Alex More) – “Buyer & Cellar” – Pride Films and Plays
Scott Sawa (Henry) – “Here Lies Henry” – Interrobang Theatre Project
Megan Wells (Atina Diffley) – “Turn Here – Sweet Corn” – Saltbox Theatre Collective

PERFORMER IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY
Lynne Baker (Charlotte) – “Beyond Therapy” – Eclipse Theatre Company
Shenise Brown (Michilla Thomas) – “Spoken Word” – MPAACT
Elaine Carlson (Luella) – “Why Torture Is Wrong and the People Who Love Them”
– Eclipse Theatre Company
Renee Lockett (Aunt Mama) – “Sugar In Our Wounds” – First Floor Theater
Marika Mashburn (Eva Ardsley) – “For Services Rendered” – Griffin Theatre Company
John Mossman (Charles Babbage) – “Ada and the Engine” – The Artistic Home
Krystal Ortiz (Lois Ardsley) – “For Services Rendered” – Griffin Theatre Company
Madeline Pell (Actor 4/Harriet Smith and others) – “Emma” – Lifeline Theatre
Shariba Rivers (Candylady) – “Hoodoo Love” – Raven Theatre
Michael Turrentine (Geedi, Wamwara, Hassan Abdulla) – “Mlima’s Tale”
– Griffin Theatre Company
Kevin Webb (Èduoard) – “The Killer” – Trap Door Theatre

PERFORMER IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL
Bridget Adams-King (Kate) – “If/Then” – Brown Paper Box Co.
Kyrie Anderson (Sandra Bloom) – “Big Fish” – BoHo Theatre
Brittney Brown (The Girlfriend) – “All That He Was” – Pride Films and Plays
Parker Guidry (Pythio) – “Head Over Heels” – Kokandy Productions
Parker Guidry (Lucas) – “If/Then” – Brown Paper Box Co.
Brian Huther (Gene Sherman) – “The Ballad of Lefty & Crabbe”
– Underscore Theatre Company
Jeff Pierpoint (Will Bloom) – “Big Fish” – BoHo Theatre

SCENIC DESIGN
Alan Donahue – “Middle Passage” – Lifeline Theatre
Alan Donahue – “Whose Body?” – Lifeline Theatre
Jeffrey D. Kmiec – “The Undeniable Sound of Right Now” – Raven Theatre
Sotirios Livaditis – “For Services Rendered” – Griffin Theatre Company
Manuel Ortiz – “Last Night in Karaoke Town” – The Factory Theater
Sydney Lynne Thomas – “Hoodoo Love” – Raven Theatre

COSTUME DESIGN
Aly Renee Amidei – “For Services Rendered” – Griffin Theatre Company
Stefani Azores-Gococo – “P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle”
– Jackalope Theatre Company
Robert S. Kuhn – “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
Uriel Gomez – “Head Over Heels” – Kokandy Productions
Rachel M. Sypniewski – “Blue Stockings” – Promethean Theatre Ensemble
Mieka van der Ploeg – “First Love is the Revolution” – Steep Theatre Company

SOUND DESIGN
Barry Bennett – “Middle Passage” – Lifeline Theatre
Sam Clapp – “Sugar In Our Wounds” – First Floor Theater
L.J. Luthringer- “Mlima’s Tale” – Griffin Theatre Company
Dan Poppen – “All Quiet on the Western Front” – Red Tape Theatre
Erik Siegling – “Small World” – The New Colony

LIGHTING DESIGN
Michelle Benda – “Out of Love” – Interrobang Theatre Project
Simean “Sim” Carpenter & Scott Tobin – “Middle Passage” – Lifeline Theatre
Jared Gooding – “Mlima’s Tale” – Griffin Theatre Company
Stephen Sakowski – “All Quiet on the Western Front” – Red Tape Theatre
Eric Watkins – “Sugar in Our Wounds” – First Floor Theater

CHOREOGRAPHY
Breon Arzell – “Head Over Heels” – Kokandy Productions
Megan Farley – “Big Fish” – BoHo Theatre
Jesse Hoisington – “The Killer” – Trap Door Theatre
Jenna Schoppe – “The Ballad of Lefty & Crabbe” – Underscore Theatre Company
Leah Urzendowski – “All Quiet on the Western Front” – Red Tape Theatre

ORIGINAL MUSIC IN A PLAY
Ben Chang – “The Hound of the Baskervilles” – City Lit Theatre
Jeffrey Levin – “Hoodoo Love” – Raven Theatre
Jeffrey Levin – “Kiss” – Haven Theatre
Aaron Stephenson – “P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle”
– Jackalope Theatre Company
Shawn Wallace and Desta Sound – “Spoken Word” -MPAACT

MUSICAL DIRECTION
Michael McBride – “Big Fish” – BoHo Theatre
Robert Ollis – “A Man of No Importance” – Pride Films and Plays
Jeremy Ramey – “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
Jeremy Ramey – “Hello Again” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
Nick Sula – “Ghost Quartet” – Black Button Eyes Productions

FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHY
Rachel Flesher & Zack Payne – “First Love Is the Revolution” – Steep Theatre Company
Maya Vinice Prentiss – “Ethiopian America” – Definition Theatre Company
Maureen Yasko & Chris Smith – “Non-Player Character” – Red Theater Chicago

PROJECTION DESIGN
Clare Brennan, Aaron Sawyer, & Beth Wolf – “Non-Player Character”
– Red Theater Chicago
Paul Deziel – “P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle”
– Jackalope Theatre Company
Paul Deziel & Alex J. Gendal – “Middle Passage” – Lifeline Theatre
Yeaji Kim – “The Effect” – Strawdog Theatre Company
G. “Max” Maxin IV – “Ghost Quartet” – Black Button Eyes Productions

ARTISTIC SPECIALIZATION
Uriel Gomez (Make-up Design) – “Small World” – The New Colony
Keith Ryan (Wig Design) – “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”
– Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
Robert-Eric West (Wig and Makeup Design) – “Casa Valentina”
– Pride Films and Plays

ABOUT THE JEFF AWARDS
Promoting excellence in Chicago theater, The Jeff Awards began its annual recognition program in 1968. In 1973, it expanded its scope to establish the Non–Equity Wing to celebrate outstanding achievement in non union theater. Members include 55 individuals representing a wide variety of backgrounds in theater (including producers, directors, actors, playwrights, designers, professors of theater, entertainment lawyers and agents, and theater lovers), the Jeff Awards is committed to celebrating the vitality of Chicago area theatre by recognizing excellence through its recommendations, awards, and honors. Opening night judges include both the members as well as Artistic and Technical theater volunteers (the “AT Team”), representing Artistic Directors, producers, directors and artists from Chicago theaters. The Jeff Awards fosters the artistic growth of area theater companies and artists, and promotes educational opportunities, audience appreciation, and civic pride in the achievements of the theater community. Each year, the Jeff Awards judges over 300 theatrical productions and hosts two awards ceremonies.

The 2020 Equity Jeff Awards program is scheduled to take place when it is traditionally held in the fall. Information on the date and format of this program will be announced in late August.