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CEA 2008 Theater Awards

2008 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards for Theater

• Click HERE for photos of the event on August 24, 2008 •

The 12th annual CEAs for Theater, celebrating the extraordinary 2007-08 theater season in Greater Cincinnati, have been handed out. The theater community gathered August 24 at Below Zero Lounge in Over-the-Rhine to eat, drink, mingle and catch up with each other, and Rick Pender's reports on the fun evening here.

Check out all the winners and nominees in 20 categories below. The public voted for the winners in 12 categories (casting the most votes in CEA Theater history), with the remaining eight "Critical Achievement" winners determined by a panel of local theater critics.

Local theater veterans Bill Hartnett and Ellie Shepherd were inducted into the CEA Hall of Fame, receiving the League of Cincinnati Theatres' 2008 "Continuing Achievement Award." See Rick Pender's interview with Hartnett and Shepherd here and his Curtain Call column on past CEA "best show" winners here.

Thank you for attending the CEAs, for voting and for supporting Cincinnati's vibrant theater community and arts institutions.


Theater Nominations

Publicly Voted Categories

LOCAL ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE (PLAY)


Hayley Clark as the star-crossed Juliet in Romeo & Juliet (Cincinnati Shakespeare Company)


Annie Fitzpatrick as Becca, a grieving mother who has lost a child, in Rabbit Hole (Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati)

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Sherman Fracher as crack-addled waitress Agnes White in Bug (New Stage Collective)

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Dale Hodges as lonely, angry Mary Tyrone, lost in a world of morphine addiction, in Long Day’s Journey into Night (Cincinnati Shakespeare Company)


Corinne Mohlenhoff as the spunky but put-upon princess Imogen in Cymbeline (Cincinnati Shakespeare Company)

 

LOCAL ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE (PLAY)

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Bruce Cromer as the tragic King Lear, spurned by two daughters and angry with the one who loves him,
in King Lear (Cincinnati Shakespeare Company)


Cary Davenport as spy-chaser Alan Turing in Breaking the Code (Northern Kentucky University)


Drew Fracher as repressed Howie, mourning his son’s death and his wife’s withdrawal, in Rabbit Hole
(Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati)


Chris Guthrie as unbalanced Peter Evans, convinced that he’s the object of military experimentation, in Bug
(New Stage Collective)


Michael Monks as the extremely unreliable Narrator in This Is How It Goes (Ovation Theatre Company)

LOCAL ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE (PLAY)


Lauren Ashley Carter as the impertinent fool Feste in Twelfth Night (University of Cincinnati/College-
Conservatory of Music)



Jennifer Dalton as Agnes’s friend and confidante R.C. in Bug (New Stage Collective)


k. j. Jones as Lois, one of three expired wives, in More Fun than Bowling (Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati)

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Sara Mackie as Izzy in Rabbit Hole (Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati)


Sara Clark as Romeo’s cousin and plain-spoken friend Benvolio in Romeo & Juliet
(Cincinnati Shakespeare Company)

 

LOCAL ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE (PLAY)

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Alex Brooks as Shane Mungitt, a redneck relief pitcher, in Take Me Out (New Stage Collective)


Chris Guthrie as the nervous Gentleman Caller in The Glass Menagerie (Cincinnati Shakespeare Company)


Michael Shooner as speed-talking real estate salesman Ricky Roma in Glengarry Glen Ross
(New Edgecliff Theatre)


Reggie Willis as Turnbo, an angry, philosophical gypsy cab driver in Jitney (Queen City Off Broadway)


Giles Davies as Cloten, a doltish courtier, in Cymbeline (Cincinnati Shakespeare Company)

LOCAL ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE (MUSICAL)


Julie Conuel as the repressed, unloved Fosca in Passion (University of Cincinnati/College-Conservatory of Music)


Jessica Hendy as Jeannie, an agoraphobic housewife, in The Great American Trailer Park Musical (ETC)


Taylore Mahogany Scott as laundry maid and moral compass Caroline Thibodeaux in Caroline, or Change
(New Stage Collective)


Lori Valentine as both Eve and Mama Noah in the biblically-based The Children of Eden (Footlighters)

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Julie Wacksman as Belle, the spunky heroine of Beauty and the Beast (Cincinnati Music Theatre)

 

LOCAL ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE (MUSICAL)


Justin Brown as Giorgio, a 19th-century Italian soldier trapped in a strange love affair, in Passion
(University of Cincinnati/College-Conservatory of Music)


Tim Hein as gay high-school student Peter in Bare (Know Theatre)


Mikhail Roberts as unbalanced murderer Richard Loeb in Thrill Me (Know Theatre)

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Nick Rose as talk-show host Jerry Springer in Jerry Springer: The Opera (New Stage Collective)



Kevin Stout as J. Pierpont Finch, who rises from window washer to president, in How to Succeed in Business (Showbiz Players)

 

LOCAL ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE (MUSICAL)


Aretta Baumgardner as misunderstood stepmother Rose Stopnick Gellman in Caroline, or Change
(New Stage Collective)


Piper Davis as Dotty Moffet, plain-spoken best friend of the title character, in Caroline, or Change (New Stage Collective)


Deb G. Girdler as Betty, the trailer park manager (and narrator) in The Great American Trailer Park Musical (Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati)

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Beth Kirkpatrick as Shawntel, an overweight woman who aspires to be a pole dancer, in Jerry Springer: The Opera (New Stage Collective)


Amanda Wilson as Nadia, a plain high school girl with a crush on a boy who’s not interested, in Bare: The Musical (Know Theatre)

 

LOCAL ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE (MUSICAL)


Preston Truman Boyd as Wreck in Wonderful Town (University of Cincinnati/College-Conservatory of Music)


Ryan Breslin as a young boy with Indiana roots in Giving Up Later (Cincinnati Fringe Festival)


Connor M. Muething as adolescent Noah Gellman, whose forgotten pocket change is a catalyst for conflict, in Caroline, or Change (New Stage Collective)


Michael Shawn Starks as Satan and the Warm-Up Man in Jerry Springer: The Opera (New Stage Collective)


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Wayne Wright as the animated Lumière in Beauty and the Beast (Cincinnati Music Theatre)

 

ACTING PERFORMANCE BY VISITING ACTOR


Ted Deasy as Father Flynn, whose actions with middle-school students is open to question, in Doubt
(Cincinnati Playhouse)


R. Ward Duffy as the manipulative Iago in Othello (Cincinnati Playhouse)

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Joneal Joplin as James Tyrone, a tyrannical one-time actor who dominates his family, in Long Day’s Journey into Night (Cincinnati Shakespeare Company)


Terrence Riggins as urban developer Harmond Wilks in Radio Golf (Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati)

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Even Zes as the humorous manservant Passepartout in Around the World in 80 Days (Cincinnati Playhouse)

 

ACTING PERFORMANCE BY A VISITING ACTRESS

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Annalee Jeffries in half-dozen different roles (including a man) in the one-woman show, The Blonde, the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead (Cincinnati Playhouse)


Carine Montbertrand as Desdemona’s faithful maid Emilia in Othello (Cincinnati Playhouse)


Caitlin O’Connell as the starchy school principal Sister Aloysius in Doubt (Cincinnati Playhouse)


Susan Louise O’Connor as Dr. Midge, a talkative shrink, in A Sleeping Country (Cincinnati Playhouse)

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Lourelene Snedeker as Nat, a grandmother who tries to help her daughter cope with a tragic loss, in Rabbit Hole (Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati)

 

ENSEMBLE ACTING PERFORMANCE


Five guys made up a boy band with a religious filter in Altar Boyz (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park)


The cast of five actors played dozens of characters in Around the World in 80 Days (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park)

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Some 25 actors portrayed talk-show guests and religious icons in Jerry Springer: The Opera (New Stage Collective)


The inhabitants of Athens and the woodland fairies came to humorous life in Midsummer Night’s Dream (Cincinnati Shakespeare Company)

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A family torn apart by the accidental death of a child comprised the cast of Rabbit Hole (Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati)

 

OUTSTANDING COMMUNITY THEATER PRODUCTION

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Children of Eden, a retelling of the biblical stories of Adam and Eve and Noah and the flood (Footlighters Inc.), directed by Jay Woffington


Weekend Comedy,
in which two very different couples share a cabin in the Catskills (Mariemont Players Inc.), directed by Norma Niinemets


Give ’Em Hell, Harry!
a one-man show that brought President Harry Truman back to life (Mariemont Players Inc.), directed by Ellie Shepherd

The Retreat from Moscow, the tragic story of a dissolving marriage (Stagecrafters), directed by Michael Morehead


Beauty and the Beast
(Cincinnati Music Theatre), the musical fairytale about looking beneath surfaces for character and love, directed by Dennis Murphy

CRITICAL ACHIEVEMENT CATEGORIES

ACHIEVEMENT IN SCENIC DESIGN (CRITICAL ACHIEVEMENT)


Anon(ymous) (University of Cincinnati/College-Conservatory of Music, scenic design by Tielor McBride) offered a magical world of seascapes and mythically-inspired moments created with silk and imagination.


Dracula (Cincinnati Playhouse, scenic design by Paul Shortt) inhabited an ancient mansion that felt like it was dropped right out of a 1930s horror flick.


Passion (University of Cincinnati/College-Conservatory of Music, scenic design by Mark Halpin) transported audiences to a sun-washed villa in Milan and a harsh military outpost in 19th-century Italy.

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Rabbit Hole (Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, scenic design by Brian c. Mehring) was set in a contemporary well-furnished home with evidence of a missing child and odd, disconcerting angles.


Long Day’s Journey into Night
(Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, scenic design by Will Turbyne) took place in a modest Connecticut seaside Victorian home, refined but shabby.

 

ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN (CRITICAL ACHIEVEMENT)


Around the World in 80 Days (Cincinnati Playhouse, costume design by David Kay MIckelson) outfitted dozens of roles (played by five actors) in Victorian British designs and costumes from around the world.

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Dracula (Cincinnati Playhouse, costume design by Wade Laboissoniere) featured a cast wearing tweedy British clothing from the 1930s — and a count with a flowing cape.


Follies
(Cincinnati Music Theatre, costume design by Elaine K. Michael) recreated the glamour and glitz of Broadway in the 1920s and 1930s as characters in 1974 reminisce about days gone by.


Great American Trailer Park Musical (Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, costume design by Reba Senske) dressed its players in discount store duds and tasteless trash.



Passion (University of Cincinnati/College-Conservatory of Music, costume design by Reba Senske) underscored the emotions of characters in frilly gowns and subdued dresses, plus crisp military uniforms.

 

ACHIEVEMENT IN LIGHTING, SOUND OR SPECIAL EFFECTS (CRITICAL ACHIEVEMENT)


The Blonde, the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead (Cincinnati Playhouse, lighting design by Thomas C. Hase, sound design by David Stephen Baker, video design by Peter Nigrini) used imaginative video and sound to underscore the story and lighting that let us see one actress morph into a half-dozen different roles.


Dracula (Cincinnati Playhouse, lighting design by Kirk Bookman; sound design by David B. Smith) made the title character more eerie with pale green lighting — and numerous gasp-inducing effects.


King Lear (Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, drumming and sound design by Christopher Guthrie) kept audience pulses pounding with a powerful sound design.

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Long Day’s Journey into Night (Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, lighting design by Sara Watson) captured the oblique daylight of seaside Connecticut and the emotions of a troubled family.


Othello (Cincinnati Playhouse, lighting design by Thomas C. Hase; original music by Douglas Lowry) underscored the play’s interaction of black and white with high-contrast lighting on a minimalist set.

 

CHOREOGRAPHY (CRITICAL ACHIEVEMENT)

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Altar Boyz (Cincinnati Playhouse, choreography by Christopher Gattelli) satirized “boy band” moves with an overlay of good natured religious parody.


Follies (Cincinnati Music Theatre,
choreography by JV Katz; additional choreography by Greg Underwood and Melody Thomas Nordmoe) recreated the elaborate dance routines of Broadway shows from the 1920s, plus specialty numbers that captured characters’ emotions.


Jerry Springer: The Opera (New Stage Collective; choreography by Alan Patrick Kenny) added dance elements to an already raucous tale of lowlifes and libidinous liars.


Wonderful Town (University of Cincinnati/College-Conservatory of Music; choreography by Patti James) was enhanced with dancing that injected the 1953 show with an air of upbeat optimism.

 

ALTERNATIVE SHOW (CRITICAL ACHIEVEMENT)


Don’t Make Me Pull This Show Over: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Parenting, composed and written by Richard Oberacker and Robert Taylor and directed by Richard Hess (2008 Fringe Festival), was a musical revue about interactions between parents and children.


The Factory, conceived, choreographed and directed by Kim Popa and Lindsay Jones (2008 Fringe Festival), was a multimedia dance and theater piece that explored the struggle for women’s rights.


Frankenstein ,The Modern Prometheus, a one-man show written by Jim Helsinger and performed by Giles Davies, retold Mary Shelley’s tragic tale...)


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fricative, directed by Brian Andrews-Griffin for Performance Gallery (2008 Fringe Festival) offered oral improvisation of “sound poetry,” an imitation of natural and onomatopoeic sounds that occur in all languages.


Striking 12 was an unusual holiday show, retelling Hans Christian Andersen’s sad story of “The Little Match Girl” with contemporary tunes by Groove Lily. (New Stage Collective, directed by Alan Patrick Kenny)

 

LOCAL PREMIERE (CRITICAL ACHIEVEMENT)


Bug by Tracy Letts (New Stage Collective) was the harrowing story of a desperate woman hiding from her abusive husband and paranoid man who sucks her into his demented world.

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Jerry Springer: The Opera by Richard Thomas and Stewart Lee (New Stage Collective)


The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh (Know Theatre of Cincinnati)


Radio Golf by August Wilson (Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati)


Recent Tragic Events by Craig Wright (UC College-Conservatory of Music)

 

OUTSTANDING PLAY (CRITICAL ACHIEVEMENT)


Anon(ymous), directed by Richard Hess, translated the story of Ulysses wandering the world in search of his life and his family. (University of Cincinnati/College-Conservatory of Music)


Around the World in 80 Days, directed by Michael Evan Haney, humorously presented Jules Verne’s classic adventure story using five actors playing multiple roles. (Cincinnati Playhouse)


Bug, directed by Alan Patrick Kenny, captured audiences with a frightening story of paranoia and dependency. (New Stage Collective)

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Brian Isaac Phillips, joyfully presented the story of mixed-up lovers and magic in the forest around Athens. (Cincinnati Shakespeare Company)


Rabbit Hole, directed by D. Lynn Meyers, drew audiences into the life of a couple turned upside-down by the loss of their only child in a traffic accident. (Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati)

 

OUTSTANDING MUSICAL (CRITICAL ACHIEVEMENT)


Altar Boyz, directed by Stafford Arima, ran an arena-music show through a religious filter with good-natured and humorous results. (Cincinnati Playhouse)

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Caroline, or Change, directed by Alan Patrick Kenny, explored events in 1963 around the life of an African-American woman in New Orleans as the world around her changed. (New Stage Collective)


The Great American Trailer Park Musical, directed by Aubrey Berg, entertained audiences with a silly story of wrong-headed love and shallow emotions in a Florida enclave of mobile homes. (Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati)


Passion, directed by Robert Wood, told the story of a soldier who abandons an affair with a beautiful woman for a relationship with withdrawn, unhappy and lonely Fosca. (University of Cincinnati/College-Conservatory of Music)


Thrill Me, directed by Jason Bruffy, portrays Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, two young men who in 1924 murdered a young boy in Chicago just to see how it would feel. (Know Theatre of Cincinnati)

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