(left to right) Jack Olin, David Anthony Marshall and Alexandra Fisher in Interrobang Theatre Project’s Chicago premiere of Dawn King’s “Foxfinder,” the most nominated play for this year’s Non-Equity Jeff Awards. Photo by Emily Schwartz.

By Abigail Trabue

The Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee has announced the nominees for the 45th Annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards. New this year, the Awards will seek to reflect the full range of genders by not splitting the performance categories. This move also removes the “actress” term, often considered reductive, altogether. Instead, the new “Performer in a Principal Role” and “Performer in a Supporting Role” categories, one each for plays and musicals, will have at least ten nominees and two recipients.

Announcement Video provided by the Jeff Awards

Between April 1, 2017, and March 31, 2018, 136 productions were considered by committee members on opening night for Jeff Recommendation. Of those, 63 were recommended to be adjudicated by the full committee. Griffin Theatre Company was out front with 14 nominations, including ten for its hit production of “Ragtime,” which was also the most nominated musical. Steep Theatre Company and Pride Films and Plays were close behind with 11 each. Interrobang’s “Foxfinder” was the most nominated production of a play with 7 nods.

The 45th Annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards will be hosted by Veronica Garza on Monday, June 11 at the Athenaeum Theatre, beginning with a pre-show cash bar at 6:30 p.m. Curtain-up is at 7:30 p.m, a post-show reception will follow with complimentary light snacks. The ceremony is open to the public, with tickets running $45 in advance and $50 on the night of the event. To purchase, visit athenaeumtheatre.org or utilize the TodayTix app. A group rate of $40 is available for parties of 10 or more by calling the Athenaeum box office.

The 55-member Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee has been honoring Chicago theater productions since 1968. The Non-Equity Awards began in 1973. The next Equity ceremony will be held on October 22.

2018 Non-Equity Jeff Award Nominees:

 

ENSEMBLE

  • Ideation” – Jackalope Theatre Company
  • “Insurrection: Holding History” – Stage Left Theatre
  • “Into the Empty Sky” – Trap Door Theatre
  • “Mother of the Dark Water” – MPAACT
  • Ragtime” – Griffin Theatre Company
  • Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery” – Pegasus Theatre Chicago

 

PRODUCTION – MUSICAL

 

PRODUCTION – PLAY

  • “Foxfinder” – Interrobang Theatre Project
  • Ideation” – Jackalope Theatre Company
  • Lela & Co.” – Steep Theatre Company
  • “The Invisible Hand” – Steep Theatre Company
  • The Light” – The New Colony

 

DIRECTOR – MUSICAL

 

DIRECTOR – PLAY

  • Audrey Francis – “The Invisible Hand” – Steep Theatre Company
  • Margaret Knapp – “Foxfinder” – Interrobang Theatre Project
  • Toma Langston – “The Light” – The New Colony
  • Gus Menary – “Ideation” – Jackalope Theatre Company
  • Robin Witt – “Lela & Co.” – Steep Theatre Company

 

PERFORMER IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL

  • Kyrie Courter (Marie Christine) – “Marie Christine” – BoHo Theatre
  • Max DeTogne (Clyde) – “Bonnie & Clyde” – Kokandy Productions
  • Desiree Gonzalez (Bonnie) – “Bonnie & Clyde” – Kokandy Productions
  • Matthew Huston (Stu) – “Yank! A World War II Love Story” – Pride Films and Plays
  • Jacquelyne Jones (Mrs. Lovett) – “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
  • Nicole Laurenzi (Violet) – “Violet” – Griffin Theatre Company
  • Laura McClain (Mother) – “Ragtime” – Griffin Theatre Company
  • Jason Richards (Tateh) – “Ragtime” – Griffin Theatre Company
  • Dani Shay (Young Albert) – “The CiviliTy of Albert Cashier” – Permoveo Productions i/a/w Pride Films and Plays
  • Philip Torre (Sweeney Todd) – “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
  • Denzel Tsopnang (Coalhouse Walker, Jr.) – “Ragtime” – Griffin Theatre Company

 

PERFORMER IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY

  • Lucy Carapetyan (Josephine) – “Nice Girl” – Raven Theatre Company
  • Alexandra Fisher (Judith Covey) – “Foxfinder” – Interrobang Theatre Project
  • Jeffery Owen Freelon Jr. (Rashad) – “The Light” – The New Colony
  • Cruz Gonzalez-Cadel (Lela) – “Lela & Co.” – Steep Theatre Company
  • Vince Kracht (Chauncey) – “The Nance” – Pride Films and Plays
  • John Mossman (Peck) – “How I Learned to Drive” – The Artistic Home
  • Tiffany Oglesby (Genesis) – “The Light” – The New Colony
  • Sara Pavlak McGuire (Sarah) – “Time Stands Still” – AstonRep Theatre Company
  • Joel Reitsma (Nick) – “The Invisible Hand” – Steep Theatre Company
  • Alejandro Tey (Mace) – “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity” – Red Theater Chicago
  • Michael B. Woods (Cyrano) – “Cyrano” – BoHo Theatre

 

PERFORMER IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL

  • Stephen Allen (Flick) – “Violet” – Griffin Theatre Company
  • Gina Francesca (Hetaira) – “Lysistrata Jones” – Refuge Theatre Project
  • Veronica Garza (Lisa) – “A New Brain” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
  • Emily Goldberg (Shelby) – “The Spitfire Grill” – Refuge Theatre Project
  • Nicole Michelle Haskins (Effy) – “The Spitfire Grill” – Refuge Theatre Project
  • Molly LeCaptain (Louise / Radio Singers) – “Yank! A World War II Love Story” – Pride Films and Plays
  • John Marshall Jr. (Artie) – “Yank! A World War II Love Story” – Pride Films and Plays
  • Billy Rude (Jeffrey) – “The CiviliTy of Albert Cashier” – Permoveo Productions i/a/w Pride Films and Plays
  • Katherine Thomas (Sarah) – “Ragtime” – Griffin Theatre Company
  • Missy Wise (Blanche) – “Bonnie & Clyde” – Kokandy Productions

 

PERFORMER IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY

  • Owais Ahmed (Bashir) – “The Invisible Hand” – Steep Theatre Company
  • Chris Chmelik (Man) – “Lela & Co.” – Steep Theatre Company
  • Gregory Fenner (Dubby) – “Megastasis” – Eclipse Theatre Company
  • Bryce Gangel (Robin) – “1980 (Or Why I’m Voting for John Anderson)” – Jackalope Theatre Company
  • Kelli Harrington (Barbara Grant) – “Perfect Arrangement” – Pride Films and Plays
  • Renee Lockett (Bernadette) – “Surely Goodness and Mercy” – Redtwist Theatre
  • Stella Martin (Sherry) – “Nice Girl” – Raven Theatre Company
  • Regina Whitehead “RjW” Mays (Phaedra) – “Kingdom” – Broken Nose Theatre
  • Andrew Neftali Perez (Norte) – “Water & Power” – UrbanTheater Company
  • Kathleen Ruhl (Daphne) – “I Saw My Neighbor on the Train and I Didn’t Even Smile” – Redtwist Theatre

 

NEW MUSICAL

 

NEW PLAY

  • Shepsu Aakhu – “Never the Milk and Honey” – MPAACT
  • Patricia Cotter – 1980 (Or Why I’m Voting for John Anderson)” – Jackalope Theatre Company
  • Michael Allen Harris – Kingdom” – Broken Nose Theatre
  • Douglas Post – “Forty-Two Stories” – City Lit Theater Company
  • Lloyd Suh – Franklinland” – Jackalope Theatre Company
  • Loy A. Webb – “The Light” – The New Colony

 

MUSIC DIRECTION

 

CHOREOGRAPHY

  • William Carlos Angulo – “Ragtime” – Griffin Theatre Company
  • Breon Arzell – Marie Christine” – BoHo Theatre
  • Kevin Bellie – “Bullets Over Broadway” – NightBlue Performing Arts
  • Jenna Schoppe – “Yank! A World War II Love Story” – Pride Films and Plays
  • Shanna VanDerwerker – Lysistrata Jones” – Refuge Theatre Project

 

FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHY

 

ORIGINAL MUSIC IN A PLAY

  • Jesse Case “Foxfinder” – Interrobang Theatre Project
  • Red Clay, Desta Sound “Never the Milk and Honey” – MPAACT
  • Jeffrey Levin Her Majesty’s Will” – Lifeline Theatre
  • Mike Mazzocca – “Into the Empty Sky” – Trap Door Theatre
  • Nicholas Tonozzi “Round Heads and Pointed Heads” – Red Tape Theatre

 

SOUND DESIGN

  • Jesse Case – “Foxfinder” – Interrobang Theatre Project
  • Thomas Dixon – “The Invisible Hand” – Steep Theatre Company
  • Justin Glombicki – “In the Soundless Awe” – Saltbox Theatre Collective
  • Morgan Lake – “Pillars of the Community” – Strawdog Theatre Company
  • Michael J. Patrick – “Bonnie & Clyde” – Kokandy Productions

 

COSTUME DESIGN

 

LIGHTING DESIGN

 

SCENIC DESIGN

  • Jeffrey D. Kmiec American Hero” – First Floor Theater
  • Eric Luchen “Foxfinder” – Interrobang Theatre Project
  • Joe Schermoly Lela & Co.” – Steep Theatre Company
  • Ray Toler Choir Boy” – Raven Theatre Company
  • John Wilson The Light” – The New Colony

About author

Abigail Trabue

Abigail has worked as an actor/director in Chicago for over ten years, and along with husband Jason Epperson founded Lotus Theatricals in 2015, and PerformInk Chicago and Kansas City in 2016 (where she serves as Managing Editor of both publications). When not talking shop, Abigail is raising three padawans with Jason, drinking lots of coffee, converting school buses into RV's, and eating all the foods at Disney World. You can find her on Twitter @AbigailTrabue

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *