Local theater groups nominated for NHTA awards

  • Annie, played by Madelynn Winch, goes out to the movies downtown with Daddy Warbucks, played by Vincant Davis, in the production of “Annie” at the Concord City Auditorium. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor file

  • nnie played by Madelynn Winch with her dog Sandy played by Millie at the production of Annie playing at the Concord Audi this weekend. GEOFF FORESTER

  • The New London Barn Playhouse rehearses “Newsies.” Courtesy

  • Cast members, including Candace Gatzoulis (center) as Mary Poppins, rehearse scenes from Mary Poppins at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord on Tuesday, July 31, 2018. The RB Productions mainstage show runs August 3-4. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) ELIZABETH FRANTZ

  • King of the fairies Oberon (left), played by Greg Fisher, shares his first Coca-Cola with Olivia, played by Katie Dunn, during a rehearsal of "Shakespeare in Hollywood" at the Concord City Auditorium in Concord on May 1, 2018. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz

  • The Winnipesaukee Playhouse summer line up included “Ghost.” Matthew P. Lomanno Illustration

Monitor staff
Published: 1/16/2019 5:21:19 PM

One night a year, theater groups from across New Hampshire converge on the state capital for a night of celebration.

That one night is the culmination of a season of dramas and comedies, musicals and original scripts. That night is Saturday.

The New Hampshire Theatre Alliance will host its 17th annual awards night, beginning at 7 p.m., at the Capitol Center for the Arts, handing out awards in more than 40 categories. But this night isn’t just about the winners. This is about the shows, the dancing and singing. It’s about the actors and actresses, directors and costume designers.

“It’s the only night of the year where the theater community is together,” said Bryan Halperin, creative director for the evening.

There will be some very happy people representing acting circles around the state when the winners are revealed. The top 10 nominees in community theater, and top five in professional and youth theater, were announced two weeks ago and will be narrowed down to three as the presenters add a bit of suspense to the proceedings before giving awards for professional, community and youth theater.

“Only a small percentage will go home with awards,” Halperin said. “But it’s not just about the competition. My focus really is about celebrating all the groups and all the theater in the state.”

Since this is a celebration of theater, it’s only appropriate that performances are scattered throughout the evening’s festivities. Six theater groups will take the stage for short glimpses of their award-nominated shows. The Community Players of Concord and its group of orphans from Annie will perform its twist on “It’s a Hard Knock Life,” and RB Productions, the summer youth theater program located in Concord, will entertain with “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” courtesy of their production of Mary Poppins. The Winnipesaukee Playhouse will also showcase a scene from its youth production of Aida.

“For such a small state, it’s a very active theater community,” Halperin said.

The performance ensemble, under Halperin’s direction, have put together three numbers for the night and is made up of members from groups around the state. They will open both the show and what is considered the second act, and includes a pair of parodies.

There will also be a slideshow of images from a variety of performances, as well as a memoriam sections for those integral to New Hampshire theater that passed away in the last year.

The night also includes a trio of special awards. The recipients of the Francis Grover Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award are Rick and Jemi Broussard. Together, Jemi and Rick have been members of the Community Players of Concord for more than 20 years. Michael J. Curtiss will be given the Kevin Riley New Hampshire Theatre Hero Award and Opera North of Lebanon will receive the Matty Gregg Award For Vision and Tenacity.

“They get a little extra attention,” Halperin said of the special awards. “It’s a nice way to honor people, especially those who may not fall in one of the categories.”

The long list of awards is broken down into professional, community and youth theater in drama/comedy and musical. It includes best production, best director, best actor and actress (and supporting actor and actress), musical direction, choreography, as well scenic, lighting, sound and costume design.

Halperin is up for best director for a community production of a drama/comedy for Love/Sick at Hatbox Theatre.

“I don’t do it for the awards. You like to know people liked you show, but that’s where the satisfaction comes in,” Halperin said.

The awards are selected thanks to a collaboration by all the theater groups involved. Each show is peer adjudicated and scored on a grading system.

“It forces adjudicators to go out and see groups they might not normally see,” Halperin said.

Tickets are $50 for VIP and $38.50 general admission. Both tickets are assigned seating. To purchase tickets, visit the Capitol Center box office during operating hours or ccanh.com/events/new-hampshire-theatre-awards-2.

Community Players of Concord

Shakespeare in Hollywood: Nominated for Best Community Production of a Drama/Comedy, Director (Elizabeth Lent), Actress (Katie Dunn as Olivia Darnell), Actor (Greg Fischer as Oberon), Supporting Actor (Chris Demers as Will Hays), Supporting Actress (Paula Demers as Puck), Lighting Director (Steven Meier) and Costume Design (Gay Bean).

Annie: Nominated for Best Community Production of a Musical, Actress (Madelynn Winch as Annie), Actor (Vincant Davis as Daddy Warbucks), Supporting Actor (Elliot Owens as Rooster) and Choreography (Lara Hyde).

RB Productions

Mary Poppins: Nominated for Best Community Production of a Musical, Director (Jim Speigel), Actress (Candace Gatzoulis as Mary Poppins), Actor (Andrew Gibson as Bert), Supporting Actress (Kate Flower as Winifred Banks), Supporting Actress (Laura Braley as Miss Andrews), Musical Direction (Tony Bonjorno), Choreography (Cristina White), Costume Design (Cheryl Lampron and Lynn Head) and Sound Design (Clint Klose),

Singin’ in the Rain, Jr.: Nominated for Best Youth Production, Director (Ellen Desmond), Actress (Evelyn Duggan as Kathy Selden), Supporting Actor (Joseph Francoeur as Cosmo Brown), Supporting Actress (Lillian Steinhauser as Lina Lamont), Musical Direction (Tony Bonjorno), Choreography (Cristina White), Costume Design (Lizzie Matillano) and Sound Design (Clint Klose).

Hatbox Theatre

Love/Sick: Nominated for Best Community Production of a Drama/Comedy, Director (Bryan Halperin), Supporting Actor (Aaron Compagna as Kevin/Jake), Supporting Actor (Elliot Owens as Man/Andy), Supporting Actress (Anja Parish), Supporting Actress (Kelsey Domeny as Louise/Sarah), Costume Design (Gay Bean) and Sound Design (Charles Fray).

Invasion from Mars!: Nominated for Best Supporting Actress of a Community Production (Whitney Smith as Emma) and Sound Design (Greg Parker).

Winnipesaukee Playhouse

Mary’s Wedding: Nominated for Best Professional Production of a Drama/Comedy, Director (Timothy L’Ecuyer), Actress (Kelley Davies as Mary), Actor (Kristian Sorensen as Charlie), Scenic Design (Inseung Park), Lighting Design (Tyson Miller), Sound Design (Neil Pankhurst)

Ghost the Musical: Nominated for Best Professional Production of a Musical, Director (Neil Pankhurst), Supporting Actress (Tiffany Reneé Thompson as Oda Mae Brown) and Sound Design (Thom Beaulieu).

The Government Inspector: Nominated for Best Community Production of a Drama/Comedy, Director (Neil Pankhurst), Actor (Jim Gocha as Anton Antonovich), Supporting Actor (Dan Adams as Artemi Philippovich Zemlyanika), Supporting Actress (Ursula Minich-Boutwell as Anna Andreyevna) and Scenic Design (Neil Pankhurst).

Dancing at Lughnasa: Nominated for Best Community Production of a Drama/Comedy, Director (Rick Morten), Actress (Doreen Fotino), Actress (Tamara McGonagle as Maggie Mundy) and Supporting Actor (Ken Chapman as Father Jack).

The Secret in the Wings: Nominated for Best Youth Production, Director (Timothy L’Ecuyer), Actress (Claire Gardner as Ensemble), Supporting Actress (Sophie Pankhurst as Ensemble), Supporting Actress (Emily Casko as Ensemble) and Lighting Design (Thom Beaulieu).

Aida: Nominated for Best Director of a Community Production of a Musical, Actress (Claire Gardner as Aida), Supporting Actress (Sophie Pankhurst as Mereb), Scenic Design (Meredith C. Brown) and Lighting Design (Meredith C. Brown).

New London Barn Playhouse

42nd Street: Nominated for Best Professional Production of a Musical, Director (Robert Sella), Actress (Caroline Didelot), Actor (Chris Cherin as Julian Marsh), Supporting Actor (Spencer S. Lawson as Billy Lawlor), Supporting Actor (Edward Tolve as Bert Barry), Supporting Actress (Serena Brook as Dorothy Brock), Supporting Actress (Sara Sargent as Anytime Annie), Musical Director (Katie Siegmund), Scenic Design (Matthew Imhoff), Lighting Design (Matthew Imhoff), Choreography (Matthew Kilgore), Costume Design (Becky Bodurtha) and Sound Design (Ben Montmagny).

Newsies: Nominated for Best Professional Production of a Musical, Director (Keith Coughlin), Actress (Allsun O’Malley as Katherine Plumber), Actor (Jace Reinhard as Jack Kelly), Supporting Actor (Jake Pedersen as Crutchie), Musical Direction (Robbie Cowan), Scenic Design (Jordan Janota), Lighting Design (Keith Truax) andChoreography (Roy Lightner).

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