2016-2017 Phindie Critics’ Awards

Phindie invited local theater writers to participate in its annual Critics’ Awards. Participants provided up to five ranked selections in twelve categories for work produced in Philadelphia and its environs between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017. Results were tallied using a points system, in which the highest vote-getter in each category was named the winner. The next highest vote-getters were deemed runners up. Honorable mention was given to any entry that received at least two votes or at least one first-place ranking. Within each of these bands, winners, runners up, and honorable mentions are listed in alphabetical order and do not necessarily reflect the number of votes each entry received.

Shitheads Douglas Williams Toby Zinman review

Harry Watermeier & Charlotte Northeast in Azuka Theatre’s production of SHITHEADS by Douglas Williams. Photo by Johanna Austin/AustinArt.org.

BEST NEW PLAY

WINNER:
Douglas Williams, Shitheads (Azuka Theatre)

RUNNERS UP:
Brenna Geffers/Members of the EgoPo Ensemble, Anna (EgoPo Classic Theater)
Jacqueline Goldfinger, The Arsonists (Azuka Theatre)
James Ijames, WHITE (Theatre Horizon)

HONORABLE MENTION:
Terry Brennan, School Play (Tribe of Fools)
Julius Ferraro, Parrot Talk (Julius Ferraro)
Karen Hartman, Project Dawn (People’s Light and Theatre Company)
Pete Pryor and Samantha Reading, Sleeping Beauty: A Musical Panto (People’s Light and Theatre Company)
Mary Tuomanen, Peaceable Kingdom (Orbiter 3)
Hannah Van Sciver, The Magnus Effect (Greenfield Collective)
Haygen Brice Walker, Birdie’s Pit Stop (FringeArts/On the Rocks)
Annie Wilson, At Home With the Humorless Bastard (FringeArts/Annie Wilson)

BEST OVERALL PRODUCTION

WINNER:
Shitheads (Azuka Theatre)

RUNNERS UP:
Anna (EgoPo Classic Theater)
Hand to God (Philadelphia Theatre Company)
The Seagull (EgoPo Classic Theater)

HONORABLE MENTION:
An Iliad (Lantern Theater Company)
The Chairs (Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium)
Delirium (EgoPo Classic Theater)
Guards at the Taj (Theatre Exile)
Intimate Apparel (McCarter Theatre Company)
Jesus Christ Superstar (Bristol Riverside Theater)
Mrs. Warren’s Profession (Lantern Theater Company)
Project Dawn (People’s Light and Theatre Company)
Stupid Fucking Bird (Arden Theatre Company)

BEST DIRECTOR

WINNER:
Brenna Geffers, Anna (EgoPo Classic Theater)

RUNNERS UP:
Allison Heishman, The Arsonists (Azuka Theatre)
Matt Pfeiffer, Hand to God (Philadelphia Theatre Company)
Lane Savadove, The Seagull (EgoPo Classic Theater)

HONORABLE MENTION:
Alexander Burns, The Broken Heart (Quintessence Theatre Group)
Tina Brock, The Chairs (Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium)
Matthew Decker, John (Arden Theatre Company)
Kevin Glaccum, Shitheads (Azuka Theatre)
James Ijames, The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens, and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord (Lantern Theater Company)
Kathryn MacMillan, Mrs. Warren’s Profession (Lantern Theater Company)
Malika Oyetimein, WHITE (Theatre Horizon)

BEST ACTOR (MALE)

WINNER:
Akeem Davis, Shitheads (Azuka Theatre)

RUNNERS UP:
Peter DeLaurier, An Iliad (Lantern Theater Company)
Aubie Merrylees, Hand to God (Philadelphia Theatre Company)
Matteo Scammell, The Legend of Georgia McBride (Arden Theatre Company)

HONORABLE MENTION:
Terry Brennan, School Play (Tribe of Fools)
Akeem Davis, All’s Well That Ends Well (Philadelphia Artists’ Collective)
Scott Greer, How to Use a Knife (InterAct Theatre Company)
Brian McCann, Waiting for Godot (Curio Theatre Company)
Steve Pacek, A New Brain (Theatre Horizon)
Steven Rishard, The Arsonists (Azuka Theatre)
James Whitford, Dutch Masters (FringeArts/AMH Productions)

BEST ACTOR (FEMALE)

WINNER:
Kirsten Quinn, Molly Sweeney (Irish Heritage Theatre)

RUNNERS UP:
Sarah Gliko, The Arsonists (Azuka Theatre)
Mary Martello, Mrs. Warren’s Profession (Lantern Theater Company)
Jaylene Clark Owens, WHITE (Theatre Horizon)

HONORABLE MENTION:
Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Intimate Apparel (McCarter Theatre Company)
Tina Brock, The Chairs (Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium)
Colleen Corcoran, Anna (EgoPo Classic Theater)
Janis Dardaris, Mother Courage and Her Children (Quintessence Theatre Group)
Alex Keiper, Lizzie (11th Hour Theatre Company)
Emilie Krause, Radiant Vermin (Inis Nua Theatre Company)
Kittson O’Neill, Grounded (InterAct Theatre Company)
Julianna Zinkel, Ironbound (Simpatico Theatre)

Alex Keiper and Dan Hodge in the Arden’s STUPID FUCKING BIRD (Photo credit: Mark Garvin).

Alex Keiper and Dan Hodge in the Arden’s STUPID FUCKING BIRD (Photo credit: Mark Garvin).

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (MALE)

WINNER:
Dan Hodge, Stupid Fucking Bird (Arden Theatre Company)

RUNNERS UP:
Brian McCann, Coriolanus (Lantern Theater Company)
Matteo Scammell, Hand to God (Philadelphia Theatre Company)

HONORABLE MENTION:
Dan Kern, Uncle Vanya (Quintessence Theatre Group)
Anthony Lawton, The Carols (1812 Productions)
Samy el-Noury, Swallow (Inis Nua Theatre Company)
Mikal Odom, To Kill a Mockingbird (Ritz Theatre Company)
David Pica, Shitheads (Azuka Theatre)
Jared Reed, The White Devil (Philadelphia Artists’ Collective)
Harry Watermeier, Shitheads (Azuka Theatre)
Greg Wood, Stupid Fucking Bird (Arden Theatre Company)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (FEMALE)

WINNER:
Charlotte Northeast, Shitheads (Azuka Theatre Company)

RUNNERS UP:
Corinna Burns, Swallow (Inis Nua Theatre Company)
Caroline Dooner, Gypsy (Arden Theatre Company)
Joilet F. Harris, Gypsy (Arden Theatre Company)

HONORABLE MENTION:
Nancy Boykin, John (Arden Theatre Company)
Taysha Marie Canales, When the Rain Stops Falling (Wilma Theater)
Jennifer Childs, Happy Birthday (1812 Productions)
Leigha Kato, Mother Courage and Her Children (Quintessence Theatre Group)
Laural Merlington, All’s Well That Ends Well (Philadelphia Artists’ Collective)
Campbell O’Hare, Mauritius (Act II Playhouse)
Tina Packer, Coriolanus (Lantern Theater Company)
Lori Tan Chinn, South Pacific (Walnut Street Theatre)
Hannah Van Sciver, Coriolanus (Lantern Theater Company)

BEST ENSEMBLE

WINNER (TIE):
Anna (EgoPo Classic Theaer)
Hand to God (Philadelphia Theatre Company)

RUNNERS UP:
The Seagull (EgoPo Classic Theater)
Shitheads (Azuka Theatre)

HONORABLE MENTION:
All’s Well That Ends Well (Philadelphia Artists’ Collective)
Coriolanus (Lantern Theater Company)
Gypsy (Arden Theatre Company)
Happy Birthday (1812 Productions)
How We Got On (Azuka Theatre)
Mrs. Warren’s Profession (Lantern Theater Company)
Project Dawn (People’s Light and Theatre Company)
Stupid Fucking Bird (Arden Theatre Company)

BEST SET DESIGN

WINNER:
Tim Mackabee, John (Arden Theatre Company)

RUNNERS UP:
Brian Sidney Bembridge, Hand to God (Philadelphia Theatre Company)
Aaron Cromie, Anna (EgoPo Classic Theatre)
Apollo Mark Weaver, Shitheads (Azuka Theatre)

HONORABLE MENTION:
Beowulf Borritt, Murder on the Orient Express (McCarter Theatre Company)
Jorge Cousineau, The Legend of Georgia McBride (Arden Theatre Company)
Alexis Distler, Intimate Apparel (McCarter Theatre Company)
Dirk Durossette, The Arsonists (Azuka Theatre)
Paul Kuhn, The Birds (Curio Theatre Company)
Colin McIlvaine, How to Use a Knife (InterAct Theatre Company)
Matt Saunders, Constellations (Wilma Theater)
Thom Weaver, The Seagull (EgoPo Theater Company)

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

WINNER:
Mark Mariani, The Importance of Being Earnest (Walnut Street Theatre)

RUNNER UP:
Olivera Gajic, The Legend of Georgia McBride (Arden Theatre Company)

HONORABLE MENTION:
Dede M. Ayite, Intimate Apparel (McCarter Theatre Company)
Katherine Fritz, The White Devil (Philadelphia Artists’ Collective)
Erica Hoelscher, The Enchanted (Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium)
Marla J. Jurglanis, The Matchmaker (People’s Light and Theatre Company)
Rebecca Kanach, Peaceable Kingdom (Orbiter 3)
Kayla Speedy, Lizzie (11th Hour Theatre Company)

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN

WINNER:
Maria Shaplin, John (Arden Theatre Company)

RUNNER UP:
Thom Weaver, The Seagull (EgoPo Classic Theater)

HONORABLE MENTION:
Drew Billiau, Guards at the Taj (Theatre Exile)
Joe Doran, Jesus Christ Superstar (Bristol Riverside Theatre)
Robin Stamey, The Birds (Curio Theatre Company)
Masha Tsimring, Bortle 8 (Tiny Dynamite)
Masha Tsimring, Constellations (Wilma Theater)
Thom Weaver, Lizzie (11th Hour Theatre Company)

BEST SOUND DESIGN

WINNER:
Liz Filios, The Matchmaker (People’s Light and Theatre Company)

RUNNER UP:
Lucas Fendley, How We Got On (Azuka Theatre)

HONORABLE MENTION:
Jorge Cousineau, Gypsy (Arden Theatre Company)
Michael Hahn & Liz Filios, An Iliad (Lantern Theater Company)
Robert Kaplowitz, Grounded (InterAct Theatre Company)
Mari Ma, All’s Well That Ends Well (Philadelphia Artists’ Collective)

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Participants:
Mark Cofta (Broad Street Review)
Henrik Eger (DC Metro Theater Arts, Drama Around the Globe, Phindie)
Jessica Foley (Foley Got Comped, Phindie)
David Fox (Philadelphia Magazine)
Cameron Kelsall (Broad Street Review, Phindie, Talkin’ Broadway)
Deb Miller (DC Metro Theater Arts)
Christopher Munden (Phindie)
Kathryn Osenlund (CurtainUp Philadelphia, Phindie)
Rebecca Rendell (Talkin’ Broadway)
Neal Zoren (NealsPaper, Phindie)
One vetted Philadelphia theater critic who wished to remain anonymous

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About the author

Cameron Kelsall

Cameron Kelsall has been writing about theater, classical music and the arts for more than ten years. He currently contributes to several Philadelphia-based publications, including Phindie, Broad Street Review and Talkin' Broadway, and reviews Broadway and Off-Broadway productions for Exeunt Magazine. Cameron also serves as a judge for the Barrymore Awards. You can follow him on Twitter @CameronPKelsall.