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Richmond Theatre Critics Circle announces 'Artsie' nominees

Richmond Theatre Critics Circle announces 'Artsie' nominees

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The powerhouse Richmond theater company Virginia Rep leads the race for the 2016 “Artsies” theater awards, with 45 nominations across 20 categories, including one for its new artistic director, Nathaniel Shaw. The Richmond Theatre Critics Circle has recognized excellence in local theater since 2008 with the annual awards.

Nominations are spread widely among Richmond’s professional theater community, including actresses Emma Grace Bailey, who appeared in HATTheatre’s “Creating Claire,” and Margarette Joyner, in “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf,” co-produced by Heritage Ensemble Theatre and Firehouse Theatre.

The annual awards ceremony will be held Oct. 17 at Virginia Rep’s November Theatre, with local acting/singing star Desirée Roots hosting. The event’s theme is “Our Theater and Our Community.”

“Our local theaters do more than just ‘put on a play,’ ” said Jerry Williams, chair of the Richmond Theatre Critics Circle. “They use their skills and creativity to foster self-expression and appreciation for the arts in community outreach programs.”

The annual Liz Marks Award for Ongoing Contribution to Richmond Theater will honor longtime theater figures Marie Goodman Hunter and Frances Wessels. Proceeds from the evening’s ticket sales will benefit the Richmond Theatre Artist Fund, which provides financial support to members of the area theater community in times of need.

The nominations were voted on by members of the Richmond Theatre Critics Circle (Tony Farrell, Susan Haubenstock and Julinda Lewis from the Richmond Times-Dispatch; Rich Griset from Style Weekly; John Porter from WCVE-FM; and Jerry Williams of and WRIR) and, for the first time, by members of the Theatre Alliance Panel (Steve Murden, Karen Newton, Pat Vastano and Jack Welsh). All of the voters saw at least two-thirds of the 2015-16 season’s productions.

The Oct. 17 ceremony, which will feature performances from each of the nominated musicals, is open to the public. Ticket information can be found at

Best Musical

"Green Day's American Idiot" (Firehouse Theatre)

"The Boy From Oz" (Richmond Triangle Players)

"Croaker - The Frog Prince Musical" (Virginia Rep)

"Dreamgirls" (Virginia Rep)

"Little Shop of Horrors" (Swift Creek Mill Theatre)

Best Direction (Musical)

Debra Clinton, "Croaker - The Frog Prince Musical"

Adam Ferguson, "Green Day's American Idiot"

Deejay Gray, "Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill" (TheatreLAB)

Chase Kniffen, "Dreamgirls"

Tom Width, "Little Shop of Horrors"

Best Actor (Musical)

Denver Crawford, "Green Day's American Idiot"

Chris Hester, "The Boy From Oz"

Ian Page, "Little Shop of Horrors"

Alexander Sapp, "Croaker - The Frog Prince Musical"

Jerold Solomon, "Dreamgirls"

Best Actress (Musical)

Audra Honaker, "Little Shop of Horrors"

Jenna Kraynak, "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" (Firehouse Theatre)

Katrinah Carol Lewis, "Lady Day"

Robyn O'Neill, "Gypsy" (Virginia Rep)

Desirée Roots, "Dreamgirls"

Best Supporting Actor (Musical)

Billy Dye, "Dreamgirls"

Adam Mincks, "Little Shop of Horrors"

Mahlon Raoufi, "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers"

Durron Tyre, "Dreamgirls"

D. Jerome Wells, "Dreamgirls"

Best Supporting Actress (Musical)

Felicia Curry, "Dreamgirls"

Kathy Halenda, "Croaker - The Frog Prince Musical"

Anna Hogan, "The Boy from Oz"

Jeannie Rule, "The Boy from Oz"

Grey Garrett, "The Boy from Oz"

Best Musical Direction

Kim Fox, "The Boy from Oz"

Matt Koon, "Green Day's American Idiot"

Jose Simbulan, "Gypsy"

Travis West, "Little Shop of Horrors"

John Winn, "Dreamgirls"

Best Choreography

Justin Amellio, "The Boy from Oz"

Kate Belleman, "Green Day's American Idiot"

Debra Clinton, "Croaker - The Frog Prince Musical"

Leslie Owens-Harrington, "Dreamgirls"

Scott Putman, "Equus" (Cadence/Virginia Rep)

Best Play

"4000 Miles" (Cadence/Virginia Rep)

"American Buffalo" (Quill Theatre)

"The Mountaintop" (Cadence/Virginia Rep)

"Peter and the Starcatcher" (Virginia Rep)

"Stupid F*****g Bird" (Quill Theatre)

"Venus in Fur" (TheatreLab/Yes, And! Entertainment)

Best Direction – Play

Anna Johnson, "Equus"

Jon Kretzu, "Stupid F*****g Bird"

Daniel Moore, "American Buffalo"

Laine Satterfield, "The Mountaintop"

Nathaniel Shaw, "Peter and the Starcatcher"

Matt Shofner, "Venus in Fur"

Best Actor – Play

Matthew Radford Davies, "The Merchant of Venice" (Quill Theatre)

Joe Inscoe, "King Lear" (Quill Theatre)

Alan Sader, "American Buffalo"

Alexander Sapp, "Summer and Smoke" (Virginia Rep)

Jerold Solomon, "The Mountaintop"

Scott Wichmann, "Peter and the Starcatcher"

Best Actress – Play

Kimberly Jones Clark, "Christmas on the Rocks" (Richmond Triangle Players)

Kelsey Cordrey, "Bad Jews" (TheatreLAB/Weinstein JCC)

Katrinah Carol Lewis, "The Mountaintop"

Maggie Roop, "Venus in Fur"

Irene Ziegler, "4000 Miles"

Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Play

Jeff Clevenger, "Stupid F*****g Bird"

Larry Cook, "Equus"

Trevor Craft, "Brighton Beach Memoirs" (Virginia Rep)

Alan Sader, "Lazarus Syndrome" (Richmond Triangle Players)

Robert Throckmorton, "Peter and the Starcatcher"

Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Play

Megan Graves, "Peter and the Starcatcher"

Audra Honaker, "Stupid F*****g Bird"

Jessi Johnson, "Mr. Burns" (TheatreLAB)

Margarette Joyner, "For Colored Girls" (Heritage Ensemble Theatre/Firehouse Theatre)

Catherine Carol Walker, "Bad Jews"

Ernie McClintock Award for Best Ensemble Acting

"American Buffalo"

"Green Day's American Idiot"

"Bad Jews"

"Brighton Beach Memoirs"

"Mr. Burns"

"Stupid F*****g Bird"

Promising Newcomer

Emma Grace Bailey, "Creating Claire" (HATTheatre)

Tyler Stevens, "Brighton Beach Memoirs"

Adam Valentine, "Maple and Vine" (Firehouse Theatre)

Killian Winn, "King Lear"

Ben Wilson, "Green Day's American Idiot"

Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design

Sarah Grady, "Dreamgirls"

Sue Griffin, "Gypsy"

Jeanne Nugent, "Croaker - The Frog Prince Musical"

Jeanne Nugent, "Peter and the Starcatcher"

Mark Souza, "The Boy from Oz"

Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Design

Joe Doran, "The Little Lion" (Swift Creek Mill Theatre)

Joe Doran, "Dreamgirls"

Joe Doran, "Little Shop of Horrors"

Michael Jarrett, "The Boy from Oz"

BJ Wilkinson, "Summer and Smoke"

Outstanding Achievement in Set Design

Tennessee Dixon, "Stupid F*****g Bird"

Vinnie Gonzalez, "American Buffalo"

Ron Keller, "Dreamgirls"

Rich Mason, "Summer and Smoke"

Craig Napoliello, "Peter and the Starcatcher"

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design

Tad Burrell, "Green Day's American Idiot"

Kelsey Cordrey, "American Buffalo"

Derek Dumais, "Dreamgirls"

Joey Luck, "The Boy from Oz"

Jesse Senechal, "The Mountaintop"

Liz Marks Memorial Award for Ongoing Contribution to Richmond Theater

Marie Goodman Hunter

Frances Wessels

Susan Haubenstock is a Henrico County-based freelance writer and editor. Contact her at

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