Performers, directors, production designers, and season ticket holders gathered Sunday at the North DeKalb Cultural Arts Center to celebrate the 2015-2016 season at Dunwoody’s Stage Door Players with the annual Woodie Awards. And what a wonderful season it was, filled with so many fine performances that voting for the best was truly a difficult task for the judges.

In addition to the awards presentation, there were other achievements to be celebrated at the close of the season.

Stage Door set a new record for total tickets sold as well as a new record for the number of season ticket subscribers. Stage Door’s first commissioned work, Topher Payne’s “Let Nothing You Dismay,” was presented this season. And the theatre continued to attract exceptional talent from the metro area in all areas for their productions

This year, the Woodie Awards panel of judges proclaimed the following as the cream of the crop:

Best Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Play (tie) – Tony Larkin (Clown) and John Markowski (Clown) in “The 39 Steps”

Best Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Play – Ann Wilson (Mother Regina) in “Hail Mary!”

Artistic Director Robert Egizio and Board of Directors Chair Debbie Fuse presented appreciation awards to this year’s sponsors, whose contributions to Stage Door make each performance possible. Those recognized included Susan Phelps (Coldwell Banker), Blooms of Dunwoody, Novo Cucina, Marlow’s Tavern, Capital Grille, Brio Tuscan Grille, the Dunwoody Crier, Portis Building and Interiors and Southern Comforts Consignments. Additionally, Alan and Susan Stiefel were recognized for the photography they have provided to cast members of every show.

Best Costume Design – Jim Alford for “Let Nothing You Dismay”

Best Lighting Design – J. D. Williams for “The 39 Steps”

Best Set Design – Chuck Welcome for “Kiss Me, Kate”

Best Sound Design – Rial Ellsworth for “Kiss Me, Kate”

Best Direction – Shannon Eubanks for “Let Nothing You Dismay”

Additional technical awards were presented to the following individuals:

Excellence in Wig Design – George Deavours

Excellence in Musical Direction – Nick Silvestri for “Kiss Me, Kate”

Excellence in Choreography – Jen MacQueen for “Kiss Me Kate”

Excellence in Stage Management –Hayley Brotherton, Bill Byrne, Jeanna Sargent, Julie Skryzpek and Julianne Whitehead. 

The winner of the Shayne Kohout Newcomer Award was Tyler Sarkis for his performance as Gremio in “Kiss Me, Kate.” This award, in memory of the actress for whom it is named, seeks to honor someone who made his/her debut at Stage Door during the past season and exhibits the type of spirit and attitude that epitomized Ms. Kohout and the gifts she brought to theatre and to life.

“We look for someone who embodies the soul and spirit of Shayne, who has a passion and respect for their craft, has a joy for theater and life, and who gives 150 percent on stage and off,” explained Egizio.

Best Performance by a Lead Actor in a Musical – Bryant Smith (Fred/Petruchio) in Kiss Me, Kate

Best Performance by a Lead Actress in a Musical – Lyndsey Ricketson (Lois/Bianca) in Kiss Me, Kate

Best Performance by a Lead Actor in a Play – Robin Bloodworth (Barrymore) in I Hate Hamlet

Best Performance by a Lead Actress in a Play – Gina Rickicki (Tawny, Deb, Linda) in Let Nothing You Dismay

Best Ensemble Cast –Bryan Brendle, Doyle Reynolds, Ben Silver, Mark Gray, Gina Rickicki, Emily Sams, Shelly McCook and Amanda Cucher for Let Nothing You Dismay

Best Show of the Season – Kiss Me, Kate

The winner of the Artistic Director’s Award this year was J. D. Williams.

“This award is given to publicly acknowledge the special impact that the recipient has had at Stage Door in the past year. Typically, it is given to someone who has gone above and beyond the call of duty, many times behind the scenes, providing great service to the theatre,” said Egizio.

Past winners of the Artistic Director’s Award include Beverly Powell, Chuck Welcome, Courtney Loner, Jim Redovian, R. Todd Fleeman, Linda Uzelac, Marcie Millard and Hampton Whatley. Egizio also recognized the long service of Don Womack. Womack has served on Stage Door Players’ Board of Directors since 1989, and has most recently been the theatre’s Treasurer.

Stage Door Players’ 2016-2017 season opens with the Neil Simon comedy “Barefoot in the Park” on Sept. 23. To purchase individual or season tickets, please visit stagedoorplayers.net or call (770) 396-1726.

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