Richmond Theater Celebrates at “Artsies”
“The Sound of Music” and “Rent” clean up at Richmond theater awards ceremony.
by Jason Roop
Barksdale Theatre’s production of “The Sound of Music” emerged as a critics’ favorite on Sunday, winning the lion’s share of accolades at a rollicking awards ceremony for local theater. The show, directed by Chase Kniffen, took home five awards, including best musical and best director.
The musical “Rent,” directed by Jase Smith at the Firehouse Theatre, was nominated for seven awards. It took home four, including best actor (Durron Tyre), best actress (Joy Newsome) and best supporting actor (Antonio Tillman) in a musical. Leilani Mork also won for best musical direction.
The scrappy Richmond Triangle Players won best play for its production of “Take Me Out,” a story about a baseball team dealing with issues of race, religion and one player’s coming-out as a gay man. It was directed by Scott Wichmann.
Eight theater critics from Style Weekly, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, WCVE public radio and the Hanover Herald-Progress, along with independent reviewer Joan Tupponce, make up the Richmond Theatre Critics Circle, which chose the winners.
A joint effort between the Barksdale and African-American Repertory theaters was recognized through a best choreography award to Willie Hinton for “Black Nativity.” And an independent collaboration, “Full Plate Collection,” received best locally-developed work.
The black-tie night, with mistress of ceremonies Melissa Chase and a variety of presenters, featured musical performances from nominated productions. Philanthropists Neil and Sara Belle November received the Liz Marks Memorial Award for ongoing contributions to Richmond area theater.
Other recipients were:
ƒ?› Best Actor (Play) — Joe Inscoe, Henley Street Theatre Company’s “Shining City.”
ƒ?› Best Actress (Play) — Kelly Kennedy, Barksdale’s “On Golden Pond.”
ƒ?› Best Supporting Actor — Jimmy Glidden, “Take Me Out” (Play).
ƒ?› Best Supporting Actress — Carmen Zilles, Barksdale’s “Boleros for the Disenchanted” (Play) and Susan Sanford, “The Sound of Music” (Musical).
ƒ?› Best Direction — Bo Wilson, Henley Street’s “Shining City” (Play).
ƒ?› Best Ensemble Acting — Swift Creek Mill Theatre’s “The Mystery of Irma Vep.”
ƒ?› Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design — Rebecca Cairns, Henley Street’s “Servant of Two Masters”; Lighting Design — Lynne Hartman, “The Sound of Music”; Set Design — Betsy Muller, Barksdale’s “Is He Dead?”; and Sound Design — Derek Dumais, “The Sound of Music.”