44th Annual Equity Jeff awards

“Iceman” and “Follies” take top honors

at the 44th Annual Jeff Awards

“The Pitmen Painters” and “Doyle & Debbie”
also win production awards

Actors’ Equity Association receives special Jeff Award
for century of service

October 15, 2012 – Chicago, IL. At the gala 44th Annual Equity Jeff Awards held at Drury Lane Oakbrook on Monday, October 15, Goodman Theatre’s “The Iceman Cometh” took top honors for a play in the large theatre tier with a total of six awards, including Production-Play, Director Robert Falls, Supporting Actor Brian Dennehy, Scenic Designer Kevin Depinet and Lighting Designer Natasha Katz. The all-star cast of Eugene O’Neill’s “Iceman,” a colossal production that played to sold-out audiences last spring, also received the coveted Ensemble award.

In musical categories for large theatres, Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s “Follies” won top awards for a musical with six statues, including Production-Musical, Director Gary Griffin, Music Director Brad Haak, Principal Actress Caroline O’Connor, Supporting Actress Hollis Resnik and Costume Designer Virgil C. Johnson. The Stephen Sondheim-James Goldman “Follies”, about a reunion of performers from the Follies, was a huge hit at CST’s Navy Pier theater.

In the midsize theatre tier, TimeLine Theatre Company won the top award for Production-Play with “The Pitmen Painters,” a drama by English writer Lee Hall about a group of miners who become unlikely artists. The Production-Musical Award for midsize theatres went to “The Doyle & Debbie Show,” a commercial production from lonesome road productions in association with Jim Jensen and Lisselan Productions, which played for several months at the Royal George Theatre. Bruce Arntson, the creator of the parody of country music duos, also took home the Principal Actor in a Musical statue. In the Production-Revue category, The Second City e.t.c. scored with “We’re All in This Room Together” as did Ryan Bernier for Director-Revue. Edgar Blackmon received the Actor in a Revue statue for “Who Do We Think We Are?” at The Second City mainstage.

A Special Award was presented to Actors’ Equity Association in celebration of their century of service to actors and stage managers in Chicago and across America. Dev Kennedy, Central Regional Vice President, and Nick Wyman, AEA’s President, received the award from Diane Hires, Chair of the Jeff Awards Committee. An engaging history of AEA was presented by AEA Central Regional Board Members and included modeling the legendary Gypsy Robe. AEA’s Central Regional Director Christine Provost and Christian Hainds, Senior Business Representative, presented the coveted Ensemble Award, which AEA sponsors annually.

Chicago continues to be the nurturing center for New Works, and top awards for New Work-Play went to Ayad Akhtar for his arresting drama “Disgraced” at American Theater Company in special arrangement with The Araca Group and to Sarah Gubbins for her thought provoking piece “The Kid Thing” produced by Chicago Dramatists and About Face Theatre. Aaron Thielen and Michael Mahler were honored with a New Work-Musical statue for their comedy “HERO the Musical” at Marriott Theatre, and Oren Jacoby won New Adaptation-Play honors for his incisive rendering of Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man” at Court Theatre in association with Christopher McElroen Productions.

Timothy Edward Kane took the top honor for Solo Performance for his performance in “An Iliad” at Court Theatre. In other acting categories, Larry Yando won Actor in a Principal Role-Play award as Roy Cohn in Court’s “Angels in America” while Diane D’Aquila took home Actress in a Principal Role-Play for the title role in “Elizabeth Rex” at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Comedic turns earned Supporting Role honors for Alex Goodrich in “HERO the Musical” at Marriott and for Natalie West in “The Butcher of Baraboo” at A Red Orchid Theatre.

Michael Weber, the Artistic Director of Porchlight Music Theatre, again directed the awards ceremony, with Colleen Tovar, stage manager, and Linda (Slein) Madonia, music director. Merril Prager, Equity Wing Chair of the Jeff Committee, served as producer for the evening. Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed a lavish Drury Lane buffet and dancing.

The Jeff Awards has been honoring outstanding theatre artists annually since it was established in 1968.  With 52 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.  Each year the Jeff Awards evaluates over 250 theatrical productions and holds two awards ceremonies. 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 Non-Equity Awards Ceremony will be held on June 3, 2013 at the Park West.

2012 Equity Jeff Award Recipients

PRODUCTION – PLAY – LARGE
“The Iceman Cometh” – Goodman Theatre

PRODUCTION – PLAY – MIDSIZE
“The Pitmen Painters” – TimeLine Theatre Company

PRODUCTION – MUSICAL – LARGE
“Follies” – Chicago Shakespeare Theater

PRODUCTION – MUSICAL – MIDSIZE
“The Doyle & Debbie Show” – lonesome road productions in association with
Jim Jensen and Lisselan Productions

PRODUCTION – REVUE
“We’re All in This Room Together” – The Second City e.t.c.

DIRECTOR – PLAY
Robert Falls – “The Iceman Cometh” – Goodman Theatre

DIRECTOR – MUSICAL
Gary Griffin – “Follies” – Chicago Shakespeare Theater

DIRECTOR – REVUE
Ryan Bernier – “We’re All in This Room Together” – The Second City e.t.c.

ENSEMBLE
“The Iceman Cometh” – Goodman Theatre

ACTOR IN A PRINICPAL ROLE – PLAY
Larry Yando – “Angels in America” – Court Theatre

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL
Bruce Arntson – “The Doyle & Debbie Show” – lonesome road productions
in association with Jim Jensen and Lisselan Productions

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY
Diane D’Aquila – “Elizabeth Rex” – Chicago Shakespeare Theater

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL
Caroline O’Connor – “Follies” – Chicago Shakespeare Theater

ACTOR OR ACTRESS IN A REVUE
Edgar Blackmon – “Who Do We Think We Are?” – The Second City

SOLO PERFORMANCE
Timothy Edward Kane – “An Iliad” – Court Theatre

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY
Brian Dennehy – “The Iceman Cometh” – Goodman Theatre

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL
Alex Goodrich – “HERO the Musical” – Marriott Theatre

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY
Natalie West – “The Butcher of Baraboo” – A Red Orchid Theatre

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL
Hollis Resnik – “Follies” – Chicago Shakespeare Theater

NEW WORK – PLAY
Ayad Akhtar – “Disgraced” – American Theater Company
in special arrangement with The Araca Group
Sarah Gubbins – “The Kid Thing” – Chicago Dramatists and About Face Theatre

NEW WORK – MUSICAL
Aaron Thielen and Michael Mahler – “HERO the Musical” – Marriott Theatre

NEW ADAPTATION – PLAY
Oren Jacoby – “Invisible Man” – Court Theatre in association with
Christopher McElroen Productions

CHOREOGRAPHY
Tammy Mader – “Hairspray” – Drury Lane Productions

ORIGINAL INCIDENTAL MUSIC
Lindsay Jones – “Timon of Athens” – Chicago Shakespeare Theater

MUSIC DIRECTION
Brad Haak – “Follies” – Chicago Shakespeare Theater

SCENIC DESIGN – LARGE
Kevin Depinet – “The Iceman Cometh” – Goodman Theatre

SCENIC DESIGN – MIDSIZE
Brian Prather – “Freud’s Last Session – Carolyn Rossi Copeland, Robert Stillman,
and Jack Thomas

LIGHTING DESIGN – LARGE
Natasha Katz – “The Iceman Cometh” – Goodman Theatre

LIGHTING DESIGN – MIDSIZE
Michael McNamara – “The Turn of the Screw” – First Folio Theatre

COSTUME DESIGN – LARGE
Virgil C. Johnson – “Follies” – Chicago Shakespeare Theater

COSTUME DESIGN – MIDSIZE
Branimira Ivanova – “Cloud 9” – The Gift Theatre

SOUND DESIGN – LARGE
Mikhail Fiksel – “Oedipus el Rey” – Victory Gardens Theater

SOUND DESIGN – MIDSIZE
Christopher Kriz – “The Turn of the Screw” – First Folio Theatre

PROJECTIONS / MEDIA DESIGN
Maya Ciarrocchi – “Crowns” – Goodman Theatre

ARTISTIC SPECIALIZATION
Dennis Watkins – Magic Design – “Death and Harry Houdini” –
The House Theatre of Chicago

SPECIAL AWARD
Actors’ Equity Association

2011-2012 EQUITY STATISTICS
In its 44th Equity season, August 1, 2011 through July 31, 2012, the Jeff Awards Committee judged the opening nights of 118 productions from 55 producing organizations.  Of these, 96 productions were “Jeff Recommended”, which made them eligible for award nominations.

MULTIPLE RECIPIENTS

THEATRES

Chicago Shakespeare Theater 8
Goodman Theatre 7
Court Theater (1 in association with
Christopher McElroen Productions)
3
First Folio Theatre 2
lonesome road productions in association with
Jim Jensen and Lisselan Productions
2
Marriott Theatre 2
The Second City e.t.c. 2

 

PRODUCTIONS
“Follies” 6
“The Iceman Cometh” 6
“The Doyle & Debbie Show” 2
“HERO the Musical” 2
“The Turn of the Screw 2
“We’re All in This Room Together” 2