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‘At the Table,’ ‘High Fidelity’ took top honors at the Non-Equity Jeff Awards

Written by
Kris Vire
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Two storefront theater companies, both in their first year of eligibility for the Non-Equity Joseph Jefferson Awards, dominated the proceedings at Monday night’s ceremony at the Athenaeum Theatre.

Broken Nose Theatre’s production of At the Table, in a bare-bones but fiercely acted staging in the coach house at Berger Park, took home the most awards of the evening with four: best production of a play, best ensemble, best director of a play for first-time nominee Spenser Davis and best actress in a supporting role for Echaka Agba. (If you missed At the Table, act fast: The full original cast is returning for a remount at the Den Theatre at the end of the month.)

Refuge Theatre Project’s pop-up production of the musical High Fidelity in a vacant Wicker Park storefront was right behind it with three, including production—musical, director—musical for Christopher Pazdernik and scenic design for Michelle Manni’s modular record shop.

In the non-competitive categories for new work, which allow for multiple awards to be given, two were doled out for new play: Ike Holter’s Prowess, which premiered at Jackalope Theatre Company, and Alex Lubischer’s Bobbie Clearly, staged by Steep Theatre. Robert Kauzlaric and George Howe’s adaptation of Northanger Abbey at Lifeline Theatre took the single honor for new musical.

There was a tie in the category of principal actor in a play, which went to both George Seegebrecht for City Lit Theater’s Hauptmann and Gage Wallace for Red Theater Chicago’s Taste. And another actor took home two awards, with Colette Todd winning both categories in which she was nominated: principal actress in a musical for BoHo Theatre’s Next to Normal and actor or actress in a revue for Theo Ubique’s Honky Tonk Angels. As previously announced, Hell in a Handbag Productions artistic director David Cerda was given a special award.

The full list of winners follows (see the complete list of nominations here).

Production—Play
At the Table—Broken Nose Theatre

Production—Musical
High Fidelity—Refuge Theatre Project

Ensemble
At the Table—Broken Nose Theatre

Director—Play
Spenser Davis—At the Table—Broken Nose Theatre

Director—Musical
Christopher Pazdernik—High Fidelity—Refuge Theatre Project

Actor in a Principal Role—Play
George Seegebrecht (Hauptmann)—Hauptmann—City Lit Theater Company
Gage Wallace (Terry)—Taste—Red Theater Chicago

Actor in a Principal Role—Musical
Henry Mcginniss (Bat Boy/Edgar)—Bat Boy The Musical—Griffin Theatre Company

Actress in a Principal Role—Play
Amy Johnson (Tami)—Falling—Interrobang Theatre Project

Actress in a Principal Role—Musical
Colette Todd (Diana)—Next To Normal—Boho Theatre

Actor in a Supporting Role—Play
Justin Tsatsa (Josh)—Falling—Interrobang Theatre Project

Actor in a Supporting Role—Musical
Scott Danielson (Officer Lockstock)—Urinetown—Boho Theatre

Actress in a Supporting Role—Play
Echaka Agba (Lauren)—At The Table—Broken Nose Theatre

Actress in a Supporting Role—Musical
Veronica Garza (Nancy/Tonya's Mom)—Tonya and Nancy The Rock Opera—Underscore Theatre Company

Solo Performance
Philip Dawkins (Performer)—The Happiest Place On Earth—Greenhouse Theater Center and Sideshow Theatre Company

Actor/Actress in a Revue
Colette Todd (Angela)—Honky Tonk Angels—Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

New Play
Ike Holter—Prowess—Jackalope Theatre Company
Alex Lubischer—Bobbie Clearly—Steep Theatre Company

New Musical
Robert Kauzlaric and George Howe—Northanger Abbey—Lifeline Theatre

Choreography
Aubrey Adams—Urinetown—Boho Theatre

Original Music in a Play
Natasha Bogojevich—Gentle—Tuta Theatre Chicago

Music Direction
Jeremy Ramey—The Most Happy Fella—Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

Scenic Design
Michelle Manni—High Fidelity—Refuge Theatre Project

Lighting Design
Kevin D. Gawley—A Wrinkle In Time—Lifeline Theatre

Costume Design
John Nasca—Priscilla: Queen Of The Desert—Pride Films and Plays

Sound Design
Stephen Ptacek—How We Got On—Haven Theatre Company

Projection Design
Anthony Churchill—The Body Of An American—Stage Left Theatre

Fight Choreography
Ryan Bourque—Prowess—Jackalope Theatre Company

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