Jeff Awards 2012 non-Equity winners

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  • Photograph: David Heimann

    The Light in the Piazza at Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

  • Photograph: Matthew Gregory Hollis

    Sophocles: Seven Sicknesses at the Hypocrites

  • Photograph: Michael Brosilow

    Moby-Dick at the Building Stage

  • Photograph: Michael Brosilow

    Joey deBettencourt, Leah Karpel and Brandon Ruiter in Punk Rock at Griffin Theatre

  • Photograph: courtesy of MPAACT

    Andre Teamer in Speaking in Tongues: The Chronicles of Babel at MPAACT

  • Photograph: Wayne Karl

    Layne Manzer, Shannon Hollander and Stacy Stoltz in Assisted Living at Profiles Theatre

Photograph: David Heimann

The Light in the Piazza at Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre


This year's winners were named tonight in the non-Equity wing of the Joseph Jefferson Awards honoring Chicago theater. Theo Ubique's much-praised, downsized revival of The Light in the Piazza led the pack, taking six awards including Production—Musical, followed by four Jeff Awards for the Hypocrites' terrific Sophocles: Seven Sicknesses, which took Production—Play.

The Ensemble award was won by the young cast of Griffin Theatre Company's Punk Rock, whose Joey de Bettencourt also took home individual honors for best actor in a play. Punk Rock's Jonathan Berry shared the award for play direction with Seven Sicknesses's Sean Graney.

New work trophies went to Shepsu Aakhu's Speaking in Tongues: The Chronicles of Babel, an MPAACT production, and Deirdre O'Connor's Assisted Living, a Profiles Theatre premiere. Graney's Seven Sicknesses and Blake Montgomery's Building Stage Moby-Dick received Jeffs for new adaptation.

Unlike last year, there were no major hiccups in the presentation of the awards. And as in every year at this ceremony honoring theater artists many of whom keep day jobs, the atmosphere was largely buoyant and celebratory, with acceptance speeches featuring anecdotes like that of Dana Tretta, supporting actress—musical winner for Bohemian Theatre Ensemble's Pippin. After being carried onstage by costar Michael Kingston, Tretta gave a shout-out "to my family, who wanted me to be a lawyer and not to be here—thank you for supporting me anyway."

Chuck Sisson, winner for actor—musical in Circle Theatre's The Baker's Wife, used his speech "to try to save my marriage." Addressing his wife in the audience, he said, "Don't think for a minute I'm not thankful for living on wife support."

The hard work of low-budget theater artistry received plenty of respect. Musician Kevin O'Donnell, a winner both for composing and for performing (with Casey Baker and Mike Przygoda) his percussive score for Moby-Dick, thanked Montgomery for starting Building Stage, because "I think everyone in this room has either started a theater company or wanted to. It sucks. It really sucks." Lighting designer Jared Moore and sound designer Christopher Kriz, winners for the Hypocrites' S:SS and Redtwist's Opus respectively, made a point of thanking their stage managers.

Despite going in with ten and nine nominations, respectively, both Bailiwick Chicago and Lifeline Theatre went home empty-handed from the ceremony at Park West, which was emceed by actors Vanessa Greenway and Terry Hamilton. (The latter said, after dueting with Greenway on a modified version of "Tonight" at the show's start, "I just ended my career"). The complete list of nominees and winners is below.

Winners' names in bold (several categories had two winners):

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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