Local theatre lovers gathered last Sunday evening to celebrate another season of excellence at Dunwoody’s Stage Door Players with the annual Woodie Awards.
The program was emceed by Artistic Director Robert Egizio. In addition to the awards presentation, there were other achievements to be celebrated at the close of the 2011-2012 season.
This year, Stage Door had more than 1,000 season ticket holders, an all-time high. Out of the 36 professionals in various roles during the season, 21 of them made their Stage Door debut this season. And during Stage Door’s first year of participating in the Suzi Bass Awards, three shows were “Suzi recommended,” confirmation of the high production values that are now standard fare at the theatre.
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 Musical – Robert Wayne (Uncle Willie) in “High Society”
Best Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Musical – Kathleen McCook (Margaret Lord) in “High Society”
Best Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Play – Doug Graham (Mickey Gorski) in “Greetings”
Best Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Play – Pat Bell (Rose) in “The Last Romance”
Bell praised the theatre and production team for the supportive environment they created for the cast. “I also must thank my wonderful Italian family for helping me to find the heart and soul of Rose.”
Best Costume Design – Jim Alford for “Same Time, Next Year”
Best Lighting Design – Michael Magursky for “High Society”
Best Set Design – Chuck Welcome for “Lend Me a Tenor”
Best Sound Design – Dan Bauman for “Same Time, Next Year”
Best Musical Direction – Linda Uzelac for “My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra”
Best Director – Robert Egizio for “Lend Me a Tenor”
Additional technical awards were presented directly by the Artistic Director:
Excellence in Wig Design – George Deavours
Excellence in Choreography – Jen MacQueen
Excellence in Stage Management – Whatley, Bill Byrne, Renee Jamieson, Courtney Loner and Marcie Millard
Best Performance by a Lead Actor in a Musical – Jeremy Wood (C.K. Dexter Haven) in "High Society"
Best Performance by a Lead Actress in a Musical – Galen (Tracy Lord) in “High Society”
Best Performance by a Lead Actor in a Play – John Markowski (Max) in “Lend Me a Tenor”
Best Performance by a Lead Actress in a Play – Joanna Daniel (Carol Reynolds) in “The Last Romance”
Best Ensemble Cast – John Markowski, Larry Ruth, Mark Gray, Charlie Bradshaw, Eliana Marianes, Megan Hayes, Karen Whitaker and Kelly Chapin Schmidt for their performances in “Lend Me a Tenor”
Best Show of the Season – “Lend Me a Tenor”
In accepting his Best Lead Actor award, Markowski praised his fellow cast members and director, Egizio. “There isn’t a better director of farce in Atlanta . It was a pleasure to work on this show.”
The winner of the Shayne Kohout Newcomer Award was Jeremy Varner for his performance as Mike Connor in High Society. 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 theatre and life, and who gives 150 percent on stage and off,” explained Egizio. “Jeremy came in here and there was just a special light in his eyes.”
The winner of the Artistic Director’s Award this year was Marcie Millard. “This award is given to publically 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, and Linda Uzelac.
Appreciation awards also went to and Interiors, Beverly Powell, Dunwoody Tavern, Dunwoody Woman’s Club, Alison’s Restaurant, The Casino Company, Todd Hollander of Dunwoody Now, and Steve Levene of the Reporter Newspapers.
So what’s next for Stage Door?
The 2012-2013 season includes the political farce, “Out of Order,” which opens Sept. 21 followed by the holiday show “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” on Nov. 30. The comedy/drama “Visiting Mr. Green” opens Jan. 25 followed by the musical revue “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” which opens on March 22. Rounding out the season is Brian Friel’s Tony Award-winning drama Dancing at Lughnasa opening on May 17, followed by the musical comedy, “Once Upon a Mattress,” which opens on July 12. Season subscriptions are $144 for adults and $132 for seniors and students.
In addition to the regular season two limited engagement performances will be brought to the Stage Door Players stage. Oh Mr. Faulkner, Do You Write? is a one-man show based on the life of William Faulkner and performed by John Maxwell. The show will be presented at Stage Door on Jan. 29-30 at 8 p.m. And actor Brad Sherrill will bring his one-man production of Red Letter Jesus to the boards on March 26-27, 2013 at 8 p.m. For more information about any of these productions, contact the Stage Door at 770-396-1726 or email info@stagedoorplayers. net.