Barrymore Awards Nominations

Theatre Philadelphia has announced the nominees for the 2016 Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theater. If you’re reading Phindie you probably know that this is like the Tony’s or Olivier’s for Philadelphia theater: industry insiders vote on their favorite shows and artists in their community from the theater season running July 1 through June 30. The resulting awards seek to recognize the best that Philly stages have to offer, and also musicals.

The nominations produced few surprises for seasoned Barrymore-watchers, the Arden led the pack with 24, Theatre Exile got 13. The Wilma dropped back from its domination of previous years, with only 4 (including the noticeable omission of much-lauded The Octoroon from “best overall production”), less than several smaller companies: Simpatico with 7, Inis Nua with 7, and most-satisfyingly Orbiter 3 (a new playwrights collective) with 7. Continuing a trend from last year, out of town companies continue to steal much of the limelight: Noristown’s Theatre Horizon got 10, Malvern’s People’s Light 9, Eagle Theatre of New Jersey 6.

Below, the complete list of 2016 Barrymore Award nominees. Winners will be announced at the Merriam Theater on Monday, October 24th at 7 p.m. You can get tickets to the ceremony at theatrephiladelphia.org.

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Outstanding Overall Production of a Play
Disgraced (Philadelphia Theatre Company)
The Invisible Hand (Theatre Exile)
The Nether (InterAct Theatre Company)
The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning (Inis Nua Theatre Company)
Spine (Inis Nua Theatre Company)
Stella and Lou (People’s Light)
Time Is On Our Side (Simpatico Theatre Project)

Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical
Black Nativity (Theatre Horizon)
I Will Not Go Gently (1812 Productions)
The Secret Garden (Arden Theatre Company)
The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales (Arden Theatre Company)

Outstanding Direction of a Play
Deborah Block (Smoke, Theatre Exile)
James J. Christy, Sr. (A Great War, Iron Age Theatre)
Kip Fagan (Exit Strategy, Philadelphia Theatre Company)
Claire Moyer (Spine, Inis Nua Theatre Company)
Kittson O’Neill (A Knee That Can Bend, Orbiter 3)
Matt Pfeiffer (The Invisible Hand, Theatre Exile)
Tom Reing (The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning, Inis Nua Theatre Company)

Outstanding Direction of a Musical
Matthew Decker (The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, Arden Theatre Company)
Ozzie Jones (Black Nativity, Theatre Horizon)
Terrence J. Nolen (The Secret Garden, Arden Theatre Company)
Megan Nicole O’Brien (See What I Wanna See, 11th Hour Theatre Company)

Outstanding Leading Actor in a Play
Maboud Ebrahimzadeh (The Invisible Hand, Theatre Exile)
James Ijames (An Octoroon, The Wilma Theater)
Ian Merrill Peakes (The Invisible Hand, Theatre Exile)
Matteo Scammell (Smoke, Theatre Exile)
Pej Vahdat (Disgraced, Philadelphia Theatre Company)
Greg Wood (The Nether, InterAct Theatre Company)
Greg Wood (White Guy on the Bus, Passage Theatre Company)

Outstanding Leading Actress in a Play
E. Ashley Izard (Happy Days, Quintessence Theatre Group)
Emily R. Johnson (Spine, Inis Nua Theatre Company)
Jennifer Kidwell (A Knee That Can Bend, Orbiter 3)
Danielle Leneé (White Guy on the Bus, Passage Theatre Company)
Deirdre Madigan (Exit Strategy, Philadelphia Theatre Company)
Geneviève Perrier (Photograph 51, Lantern Theater Company)
Marcia Saunders (Stella and Lou, People’s Light)

Outstanding Leading Actor in a Musical
Billy Bustamante (See What I Wanna See, 11th Hour Theatre Company)
Kingsley Ibeneche (Black Nativity, Theatre Horizon)
Scott McPheeters (Andy: A Popera, The Bearded Ladies Cabaret)
Sean Thompson (Kiss Me, Kate, Act II Playhouse)

Outstanding Leading Actress in a Musical
Sanchel Brown (Black Nativity, Theatre Horizon)
Jennifer Childs (I Will Not Go Gently, 1812 Productions)
Angelica Jackson (Black Nativity, Theatre Horizon)
Cailene Kilcoyne (Heathers: The Musical, The Eagle Theatre)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play
David Bardeen (Oscar Wilde: From the Depths, Lantern Theater Company)
Akeem Davis (Lobby Hero, Theatre Horizon)
Justin Jain (An Octoroon, The Wilma Theater)
Dave Johnson (The Explorers Club, Delaware Theatre Company)
Kenny Morris (Funnyman, Arden Theatre Company)
Christopher Patrick Mullen (Richard III, People’s Light)
J. Paul Nicholas (The Invisible Hand, Theatre Exile)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play
Rachel Camp (Lobby Hero, Theatre Horizon)
Jaylene Clark Owens (An Octoroon, The Wilma Theater)
Aimé Donna Kelly (Disgraced, Philadelphia Theatre Company)
Teri Lamm (The Harassment of Iris Malloy, People’s Light)
Danielle Leneé (A Knee That Can Bend, Orbiter 3)
Candace Moore (A Knee That Can Bend, Orbiter 3)
Ruby Wolf (As You Like It, Lantern Theater Company)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical
Jake Blouch (See What I Wanna See, 11th Hour Theatre Company)
Tim Rinehart (Heathers: The Musical, The Eagle Theatre)
Danny Rutigliano (Man of La Mancha, Bristol Riverside Theatre)
Scott Sheppard (The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, Arden Theatre Company)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical
Malgorzata Kasprzycka (Andy: A Popera, The Bearded Ladies Cabaret)
Elisa Matthews (The Secret Garden, Arden Theatre Company)
Nancie Sanderson (See What I Wanna See, 11th Hour Theatre Company)
Leah Walton (The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, Arden Theatre Company)

Outstanding Scenic Design
Jorge Cousineau (The Secret Garden, Arden Theatre Company)
Alexis Distler (The Explorers Club, Delaware Theatre Company)
David P. Gordon (Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates, Arden Theatre Company)
Christopher Haig (Time Is On Our Side, Simpatico Theatre Project)
Luke Hegel-Cantarella (Auctioning the Ainsleys, People’s Light)
Colin McIlvaine (The Invisible Hand, Theatre Exile)
Jason Simms (Disgraced, Philadelphia Theatre Company)

Outstanding Costume Design
Olivera Gajic (The Secret Garden, Arden Theatre Company)
Marla Jurglanis (Sense and Sensibility, People’s Light)
Jillian Keys (The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, Arden Theatre Company)
Wade Laboissonniere (The Explorers Club, Delaware Theatre Company)
Rosemarie McKelvey (Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates, Arden Theatre Company)
Alison Roberts (Two Trains Running, Arden Theatre Company)
Linda Bee Stockton (Man of La Mancha, Bristol Riverside Theatre)

Earl Girls Award for Outstanding Lighting Design
Shon Causer (Oscar Wilde: From the Depths, Lantern Theater Company)
Alyssandra Docherty (Moth, Azuka Theatre)
Ryan O’Gara (Man of La Mancha, Bristol Riverside Theatre)
Maria Shaplin (The It Girl, Simpatico Theatre Project)
Maria Shaplin (The Nether, InterAct Theatre Company)
Masha Tsimring (The Invisible Hand, Theatre Exile)
Solomon Weisbard (The Secret Garden, Arden Theatre Company)

Clear Sound Award for Outstanding Sound Design
Damien Figueras (Moth, Azuka Theatre)
Lindsay Jones (Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates, Arden Theatre Company)
Michael Kiley (The Invisible Hand, Theatre Exile)
Michael Kiley (The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, Arden Theatre Company)
Zack McKenna (The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning, Inis Nua Theatre Company)
Luke Moyer (A Great War, Iron Age Theatre)
Adriano Shaplin (Saint Joan, Quintessence Theatre Group)

Outstanding Original Music
Heath Allen and Dan Visconti (Andy: A Popera, The Bearded Ladies Cabaret)
Jay Ansill (Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates, Arden Theatre Company)
Christopher Colucci (I Will Not Go Gently, 1812 Productions)
Michael Hahn (As You Like It, Lantern Theater Company)
Michael Kiley (The Invisible Hand, Theatre Exile)
Paul James Prendergast (Sense and Sensibility, People’s Light)
Josh Totora (He Who Gets Slapped, Philadelphia Artists’ Collective)

Outstanding Choreography/Movement
Maggie Anderson (Kiss Me, Kate, Act II Playhouse)
J. Alex Cordaro (Smoke, Theatre Exile)
Amanda Schoonover, Brenna Geffers, Anthony Crosby, Peter Andrew Danzig, KO DelMarcelle, Arlen Hancock (The It Girl, Simpatico Theatre Project)
Justina Ercole (Heathers: The Musical, The Eagle Theatre)
Samantha Reading (Sense and Sensibility, People’s Light)
Jenn Rose (Black Nativity, Theatre Horizon)
Jenn Rose (The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, Arden Theatre Company)

Outstanding Music Direction
Heath Allen (Andy: A Popera, The Bearded Ladies Cabaret)
Will Brock (Black Nativity, Theatre Horizon)
Dan Kazemi (See What I Wanna See, 11th Hour Theatre Company)
Ryan Touhey (The Secret Garden, Arden Theatre Company)

Outstanding Ensemble in a Play
Antigone (The Wilma Theater)
Exit Strategy (Philadelphia Theatre Company)
The Explorers Club (Delaware Theatre Company)
A Great War (Iron Age Theatre)
The Invisible Hand (Theatre Exile)
A Knee That Can Bend (Orbiter 3)
The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning (Inis Nua Theatre Company)

Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical
Black Nativity (Theatre Horizon)
Heathers: The Musical (The Eagle Theatre)
The Secret Garden (Arden Theatre Company)
The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales (Arden Theatre Company)

Independence Foundation Award for Outstanding New Play/Musical
A Great War by James J. Christy, Jr. (Iron Age Theatre)
Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates by Laura Eason (Arden Theatre Company)
A Knee That Can Bend by Emma Goidel (Orbiter 3)
Time Is On Our Side by R. Eric Thomas (Simpatico Theatre Project)

Lifetime Achievement Award
Sara Garonzik

F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Philadelphia Theatre Artist
Alex Bechtel
Emma Goidel
Justin Jain
Bi Jean Ngo
Mary Tuomanen
* Winner receives $15,000. Each finalist receives $2,000.

Virginia Brown Martin Philadelphia Award (plays that lead audiences to a better understanding of the experience of particular segments of our global community)
Exit Strategy (Philadelphia Theatre Company)
A Knee That Can Bend (Orbiter 3)
Machinal (EgoPo Classic Theater)
Time Is On Our Side (Simpatico Theatre Project)
White Guy on the Bus (Passage Theatre Company)
* Winner receives $25,000. Each finalist receives $2,500.

June and Steve Wolfson Award for an Evolving Theatre Company
Azuka Theatre
The Bearded Ladies Cabaret
EgoPo Classic Theater
Simpatico Theatre Project
* Winner receives $10,000.

Victory Foundation Award for Outstanding Theatre Education Program
1812 Outreach (1812 Productions)
Arden for All (Arden Theatre Company)
Arts Discovery (People’s Light)
Illumination/Classroom Connections (Lantern Theater Company)
Performing Arts Training & Youth Leadership Development (New Freedom Theatre)
* The winner in this new category receives $7,500.

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About the author

Christopher Munden

Your faithful correspondent and publisher Christopher Munden has written and edited for many publications, websites, and cultural institutions. He was an editor/publisher of the Philly Fiction book series, collections of short stories written by local writers and set in Philadelphia. He's also a soccer coach and a pretty good skier.