Craig Noel Awards Honor Best San Diego Theatre of 2012

by Jacob Coakley

 

The Craig Noel Awards are put on by the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle
The Craig Noel Awards are put on by the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle

A total of 22 productions from nine theatre companies were honored at the 2013 Craig Noel Awards, put on by the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle to celebrate the best of the San Diego theatre in 2012. An Iliad, a co-production between La Jolla Playhouse and Berkeley Rep was the big winner, taking home five awards, including Outstanding Dramatic Production (an award also given to Moxie Theatre’s production of A Raisin in the Sun), Outstanding Lighting Design (Scott Zielinski) and Outstanding Sound Design (Mark Bennett; a second Outstanding Sound Design award also presented to Shahrokh Yadegari’s design for Blood and Gifts, also at the La Jolla Playhouse), Outstanding Solo Performance (Henry Woronicz) and Outstanding Featured Musical Performance in a Play (Brian Ellingsen). Moxie Theatre won Braunagel Award for outstanding contribution to the San Diego arts scene by a small-budget theatre, while The Old Globe finished with the most awards for a theatre, garnering 10 for its productions.

2012 Craig Noel Award winners announced
'An Iliad,' 'Parade,' 'Scottsboro' and 'Raisin' win big; Moxie Theatre earns Braunagel small theater award

SAN DIEGO (Feb. 4, 2013) ---- A modern interpretation of a classic text swept its nominated categories to receive five Craig Noel Awards tonight.  Moxie Theatre parlayed three strong 2012 productions to take home the Braunagel Award for outstanding contribution to the San Diego arts scene by a small-budget theatre.

A total of 22 productions from nine theater companies were honored at the awards ceremony and reception, held Feb. 4 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, in La Jolla. Leading the way was the La Jolla Playhouse/Berkeley Repertory Theatre production of “An Iliad,” with five awards.  Other multiple-award productions were Cygnet Theatre’s production of the musical, “Parade,” The Old Globe’s musical, “Allegiance,” and that company’s co-production, with the American Conservatory Theatre, of “The Scottsboro Boys” with three awards each; and two of Moxie Theatre’s productions – “A Raisin in the Sun” and “Hickorydickory” – and Ion Theatre’s “The Little Flower of East Orange” with two awards each.

“An Iliad” swept the three categories in which it was nominated: Outstanding Dramatic Production (an award also given to “A Raisin in the Sun”), Outstanding Lighting Design (Scott Zielinski), and Outstanding Sound Design (Mark Bennett, an award also presented to Shahrokh Yadegari’s design for “Blood and Gifts,” another La Jolla Playhouse production). Also, the two performers in “An Iliad,” Henry Woronicz and Brian Ellingsen, received special awards for Outstanding Solo Performance and Outstanding Featured Musical Performance in a Play, respectively.

Moxie Theatre was honored for outstanding work on three of its 2012 productions: “A Raisin in the Sun,” which received eight nominations for Craig Noel Awards and received awards for Outstanding Dramatic Production and for Outstanding Ensemble; “The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek;” and “Hickorydickory,” which received Craig Noel Awards for Samantha Ginn’s featured performance and Jennifer Brawn Gittings’ scenic design. The cash award honors the memory of longtime San Diego theatre critic, Don Braunagel.

“Parade” and “The Scottsboro Boys” both received the Outstanding Resident Musical honor, while “Allegiance” received the award for Outstanding New Musical.  “Parade” was also honored for Sandy Campbell’s outstanding lead performance; “Allegiance” received awards for Lynne Shankel’s outstanding orchestrations and for Michael K. Lee’s featured performance; and Susan Stroman, “The Scottsboro Boys” director and choreographer, received awards for her work in both categories.  Gaby Altar and Itmar Moses received the Outstanding New Score award for their musical, “Nobody Loves You,” which was produced by The Old Globe.

Mark Christopher Lawrence was named Actor of the Year for outstanding performances in two productions: Moxie Theatre’s “A Raisin in the Sun,” and Ion Theatre’s “Topdog/Underdog.” The La Jolla Playhouse’s site-specific production of Moving Arts’ “The Car Plays” was honored as the outstanding special event.  Dylan Hoffinger, 17, was named Outstanding Young Artist for a body of 2012 work that included roles in “Parade,” Diversionary Theatre’s musical, “Harmony, Kansas,” and the San Diego Repertory Theatre’s revival of “Zoot Suit.”  Hoffinger also received the Sandra Ellis-Troy scholarship to assist his further development as a theater artist.

In other musical acting categories, the outstanding male leading performance in a musical was presented to Sean Murray for his portrayal of Don Quixote in Cygnet Theatre’s production of “Man of La Mancha.”  The outstanding female featured performance in a musical was presented to Eileen Bowman for her portrayal of Miss Adelaide in Lamb’s Players Theatre’s revival of “Guys and Dolls.”

In the dramatic acting categories, both of the lead performance awards, and one of the featured performance awards, went to ion theatre productions. The outstanding female leading performance in a play award was presented to Catalina Maynard for playing the title character in “Julia,” while the outstanding male leading performance in a play went to Jeffrey Jones for his portrayal of a recovering alcoholic struggling with family issues in “The Little Flower of East Orange.” In the featured acting category, Ion’s Executive Artistic Director, Claudio Raygoza, received the award for his portrayal of a hospital orderly in the same production, and Phil Johnson’s rendering of the title character in the Coronado Playhouse production of “The Man Who Came to Dinner” was also honored.

Moxie Theatre’s artistic director, Delicia Turner Sonnenberg, received a Craig Noel Award for her direction of “Topdog/Underdog,” at ion theatre. Jonathan Caren’s “The Recommendation,” which was produced by The Old Globe, received the award for Outstanding New Play.

In the technical categories, Deidre Clancy and Shirley Pierson each received a costume design award.  Clancy was recognized for her designs for The Old Globe’s production of “Inherit the Wind,” while Pierson was recognized for “Parade.”

Ian Wallace received the Outstanding Projection Design award for his work on the San Diego Repertory Theatre production of “Tortilla Curtain.” The La Jolla Playhouse production of “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots” received a special award for Outstanding Technical Achievement.  The award honored the entire creative team of  puppeteer Basil Twist, scenic designer Robert Brill, costumer Paul Tazewell, lighting designer Michael Walton, sound designer Steve Canyon Kennedy and projections designer Sean Nieuwenhuis.

Elan McMahan was presented with the award for Outstanding Musical Direction for a body of 2012 work that included nominations for three productions: “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Sweeney Todd,” both for Moonlight Stage Productions, and “As You Like It” at The Old Globe.

Critics Circle President Pam Kragen commented that she was pleased that half of the nominated productions received at least one award.  “I was also pleased that Moxie, a company that honors and promotes work by women theater artists, was honored for its best year yet.”

The award ceremony was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, before an audience of more than 450 people. A full listing of the awards may be found below and at www.sdcriticscircle.org.

Recipients of the 2012 Craig Noel Awards:

Outstanding Resident Musical

“Parade,” Cygnet Theatre

“The Scottsboro Boys,” The Old Globe

Outstanding New Musical

“Allegiance,” The Old Globe

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical, Female

Sandy Campbell, “Parade,” Cygnet Theatre

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical, Male

Sean Murray, “Man of La Mancha,” Cygnet Theatre

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Musical, Male

Michael K. Lee, “Allegiance,” The Old Globe

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Musical, Female

Eileen Bowman, “Guys and Dolls,” Lamb’s Players Theatre

Outstanding Direction of a Musical

Susan Stroman, “The Scottsboro Boys,” The Old Globe

Outstanding Musical Direction

Elan McMahan, for a body of work that included “As You Like It,” The Old Globe, “Fiddler on the Roof,” Moonlight Stage Productions, and “Sweeney Todd,” Moonlight Stage Productions

Outstanding Choreography

Susan Stroman, “The Scottsboro Boys,” The Old Globe

Outstanding New Score

“Nobody Loves You,” music by Gaby Alter; lyrics by Itamar Moses and Gaby Alter, The Old Globe

Outstanding Dramatic Production

“An Iliad,” La Jolla Playhouse

“A Raisin in the Sun,” Moxie Theatre

Outstanding Ensemble

“A Raisin in the Sun,” Moxie Theatre

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Play, Male

Jeffrey Jones, “The Little Flower of East Orange,” Ion Theatre

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Play, Female

Catalina Maynard, “Julia,” Ion Theatre

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Play, Female

Samantha Ginn, “Hickorydickory,” Moxie Theatre

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Play, Male

Phil Johnson, “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” Coronado Playhouse

Claudio Raygoza, “The Little Flower of East Orange,” Ion Theatre

Outstanding New Play

“The Recommendation,” Jonathan Caren, The Old Globe

Outstanding Direction of a Play

Delicia Turner Sonnenberg, “Topdog/Underdog,” Ion Theatre

Outstanding Sound Design

Mark Bennett, “An Iliad,” La Jolla Playhouse

Shahrokh Yadegari, “Blood and Gifts,” La Jolla Playhouse

Outstanding Costume Design

Deirdre Clancy, “Inherit the Wind,” The Old Globe

Shirley Pierson, “Parade,” Cygnet Theatre

Outstanding Lighting Design

Scott Zielinski, “An Iliad,” La Jolla Playhouse

Outstanding Scenic Design

Jennifer Brawn Gittings, “Hickorydickory,” Moxie Theatre

Outstanding Projection Design

Ian Wallace, “Tortilla Curtain,” San Diego Repertory Theatre

Actor of the Year

Mark Christopher Lawrence, for his outstanding performances in both “A Raisin in the Sun,” Moxie Theatre, and “Topdog/Underdog,” Ion Theatre

Don Braunagel Award for Outstanding Work by a Small Theater Company

Moxie Theatre for its 2012 productions of “A Raisin in the Sun,” “The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek,” and “Hickorydickory”

Outstanding Young Artist/Sandra Ellis-Troy Scholarship

Dylan Hoffinger, for a body of 2012 work that included roles in “Parade,” Cygnet Theatre; “Harmony, Kansas,” Diversionary Theatre; and “Zoot Suit,” San Diego Repertory Theatre

Outstanding Solo Performance

Henry Woronicz, “An Iliad,” La Jolla Playhouse

Outstanding Featured Musical Performance in a Play

Brian Ellingsen, “An Iliad,” La Jolla Playhouse

Outstanding Technical Achievement

“Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots,” La Jolla Playhouse. Team: Robert Brill, scenic design; Basil Twist, puppetry; Paul Tazewell, costumes; Michael Walton, lighting; Steve Canyon Kennedy, sound design; Sean Nieuwenhuis, projections

Outstanding Orchestrations

Lynne Shankel, “Allegiance,” The Old Globe

Outstanding Special Event

“The Car Plays,” La Jolla Playhouse, Without Walls series

About the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle:

Founded in 1983 and re-established in 2002, the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle is an independent, nonprofit organization of print and online theater critics dedicated to open and honest dialogue about theater in San Diego County and to honoring artistic excellence.

The members of our organization are professional critics writing for daily newspapers, magazines, entertainment trade publications and Web sites in San Diego, Riverside and Los Angeles counties.

The organization's major event is an awards program held each January, honoring the previous year's finest in theater production, direction, acting, playwriting, scoring and technical achievements. The event is presented free of charge to the theatrical community thanks to the gracious support of private underwriters.

In 2002, the awards were renamed in honor of Craig Noel, longtime artistic director at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre and the founding father of San Diego's theater community, who passed away in 2010.

The Craig Noel Awards program is underwritten by San Diego arts philanthropists, including Donald & Darlene Shiley, Danah H. Fayman, Audrey Geisel, The Harvey & Sheryl White Foundation, Osborn & Dea Hurston, Jay & Julie Sarno, Yolanda Braunagel and Ted & Trina Kaplan.

For more info about SDTCC, please visit www.sdcriticscircle.org

 

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