Black Theater Alliance Announces 2017 Ira Aldridge Nominees

Black Theater Alliance Announces 2017 Ira Aldridge Nominees

Pictured (l-r): LaMarr J. Kidd and Kyle Smith in Congo Square’s nominated production of HOBO KING. Photo courtesy of Congo Square Theatre. 

The 23rd Annual Black Theater Alliance Ira Aldridge Award nominations have been announced for 2017. According to Founder and President Vincent Williams, the venue, date and ticket information will be announced soon. For more information, visit btaawards.org.

2017 Black Theater Alliance Ira Aldridge Awards: 

The Negro Ensemble Company Award
Outstanding Stage Production:
An Octoroon – Definition Theatre Company and The Goodman Theatre
Black Pearl A Tribute To Josephine Baker – The Black Ensemble Theater
By The Apricot Trees – eta Creative Arts Foundation
Hobo King – Congo Square Theatre Company
Yellowman – Fleetwood Jourdain Theatre

The Lorraine Hansberry Award
Best Writing of a Play
Kristiana Rae Colon – Octagon – Jackalope Theatre Company
Marcus Gardley – A Wonder In My Soul – Victory Gardens Theatre
Ntsako Mkhabela – By The Apricot Trees – eta Creative Arts Foundation
Dominique Morisseau – Paradise Blue – TimeLine Theatre Company
Antoinette Nwanda – Pass Over – Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Charles Smith – Objects In The Mirror – The Goodman Theatre

The Target Community Relations Award
Best Ensemble
Among All This You Stand Like A Fine Brownstone – eta Creative Arts Foundation
An Octoroon – Definition Theatre Company and The Goodman Theatre
The Colored Museum – Pulse Theatre Company Chicago
The Scottsboro Boys – Porchlight Music Theatre
Yellowman – Fleetwood Jourdain Theatre

The Lloyd Richards Award
Best Direction of a Play
Ilesa Duncan – Rutherford’s Travels – Pegasus Theatre Chicago
Ron OJ Parson – Paradise Blue – TimeLine Theatre Company
Kemati Porter and Ntsako Mkhabela – By The Apricot Trees – eta Creative Arts Foundation
Chuck Smith – Objects In the Mirror – The Goodman Theatre

The Oscar Brown, Jr. Award
Best Direction of a Musical
Daryl D. Brooks – Black Pearl: A Tribute To Josephine Baker – The Black Ensemble Theater
Lili-Anne Brown – The Wiz – Kokandy Productions
Rueben Echoles and Jackie Taylor – The Other Cinderella – Black Ensemble Theater
Samuel G. Roberson (Posthumously) – The Scottsboro Boys – Porchlight Music Theatre

The Douglas Alan Mann Award
Best Direction of an Ensemble
Donterrio Johnson and Aaron Mitchell Reese – The Colored Museum – Pulse Theatre Company Chicago
Tim Rhoze – Yellowman – Fleetwood Jourdain Theatre
Jonathan Wilson – Among All This You Stand Like A Fine Brownstone – eta Creative Arts Foundation

The Sidney Poitier Award
Best Leading Actor in a Play
Breon Arzell – Rutherford’s Travels – Pegasus Theatre Chicago
Kamal Angelo Bolden – Man In The Ring – Court Theatre
Manny Buckley – Transit – American Blues Theatre
Allen Gilmore – Man In The Ring – Court Theatre
Daniel Kyri – Objects In the Mirror – Goodman Theatre
Al’ Jaleel McGhee – Paradise Blue – TimeLine Theatre Company

The Ossie Davis, Jr. Award
Best Featured Actor in a Play
Ronald L. Conner – Paradise Blue – TimeLine Theatre Company
Jeffrey Owen Freelon, Jr. – A Wonder In My Soul – Victory Gardens Theatre
Charles Andrew Gardner – Paradise Blue – TimeLine Theatre Company
Edwin Lee Gibson – Beyond Caring – Lookingglass Theatre Company
Allen Gilmore – Objects In The Mirror – The Goodman Theatre
Namir Smallwood – East Texas Hot Links – Writers Theater
Geno Walker – Blues For An Alabama Sky – Court Theatre

The Ruby Dee Award
Best Leading Actress in a Play
Tyla Abercrumbie – Paradise Blue – TimeLine Theatre Company
J. Nicole Brooks – Beyond Caring – Lookingglass Theatre Company
Greta Oglesby – A Wonder In My Soul – Victory Gardens Theatre
Lanise Shelley – King Liz – Windy City Playhouse
Toya Turner – Blues For An Alabama Sky – Court Theatre
Wandachristine – Beauty’s Daughter – American Blues Theatre
Jacqueline Williams – A Wonder In My Soul – Victory Gardens Theater

The Hattie McDaniel Award
Best Featured Actress in a Play
Echaka Agba – At The Table – Broken Nose Theatre
Caren Blackmore – Beyond Caring – Lookingglass Theatre Company
Linda Bright Clay – A Wonder In My Soul – Victory Gardens Theatre
Kristin E. Ellis – Paradise Blue – TimeLine Theatre Company
Kiki Layne – Octagon – Jackalope Theatre Company
Lily Mojekwu – Objects In The Mirror – The Goodman Theatre

The Sammy Davis, Jr. Award
Best Leading Actor in a Musical
Deverin Deonte – I Am Who I Am: The Story Of Teddy Pendergrass – Black Ensemble Theater
Mark ‘JP’ Hood – The Other Cinderella – Black Ensemble Theater
Evan Tyrone Martin – Jesus Christ Superstar – Paramount Theatre
Rashawn Thompson – I Am Who I Am: The Story Of Teddy Pendergrass – Black Ensemble Theater
Denzel Tsopnang – Ragtime – Griffin Theatre Company

The Bill Bojangles Robinson Award
Best Featured Actor in a Musical
Frederick Harris – The Wiz – Kokandy Productions
Steven Perkins – The Wiz – Kokandy Productions
James Earl Jones ll – The Scottsboro Boys – Porchlight Music Theatre
Vincent Jordan – My Brother’s Keeper: The Story Of The Nicholas Brothers – Black Ensemble Theater
Kyle Smith – The Other Cinderella – Black Ensemble Theater

The Lena Horne Award
Best Leading Actress in a Musical
Sydney Charles – The Wiz – Kokandy Productions
Donica Lynn – Smokey Joe’s Café – Drury Lane Theatre
Joan Ruffin – Black Pearl: A Tribute To Josephine Baker – Black Ensemble Theater
Jessica Seals – The Other Cinderella – Black Ensemble Theater

The Eartha Kitt Award
Best Featured Actress in a Musical
Anna Dauzvardis – The Wiz – Kokandy Productions
Kyla Fyre – The Other Cinderella – Black Ensemble Theater
Nicole Michelle Haskins – The Wiz – Kokandy Productions
Aeriel Williams – Black Pearl: A Tribute To Josephine Baker – Black Ensemble Theater

The Harry Belafonte Award
Best Actor in an Ensemble
Kai A. Ealy – Among All This You Stand Like A Fine Brownstone – eta Creative Arts Foundation
Jon Michael Hill – Pass Over – Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Colin Jones – Among All This You Stand Like A Fine Brownstone – eta Creative Arts Foundation
Julian Parker – Pass Over – Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Jelani Pitcher – Sweet – Fleetwood Jourdain Theatre
Michael Rawls – Yellowman – Fleetwood Jourdain Theatre

The Ethel Waters Award
Best Actress in an Ensemble
Demetra Drayton – The Colored Museum – Pulse Theatre Company Chicago
Asia Jackson – Among All This You Stand Like A Fine Brownstone – eta Creative Arts Foundation
Shadana Patterson – Yellowman – Fleetwood Jourdain Theatre
Jelani Smith – By The Apricot Trees – eta Creative Arts Foundation
Alicia Watley – By The Apricot Trees – eta Creative Arts Foundation

The Denzel Washington Award
Most Promising Actor
Sheldon Brown – Man In The Ring – Court Theater
Daniel Kyri – Objects In The Mirror – The Goodman Theater
Tevion Lanier – How We Got On – Haven Theatre
Luce Metrius – East Texas Hot Links – Writers Theatre
Jelani Pitcher – Sweet – Fleetwood Jourdain Theatre

The Phylicia Rashad Award
Most Promising Actress
Adia Alli – Sweet – Fleetwood Jourdain Theatre
Fania Bourne – In De’ Beginnin’ – eta Creative Arts Foundation
Aayisha Humphrey – A Hedda Gabler – Red Tape Theatre
Jelani Smith – By The Apricot Trees – eta Creative Arts Foundation
Alicia Watley – By The Apricot Trees – eta Creative Arts Foundation

The Duke Ellington Award
Best Musical Direction
Robert Reddrick – I Am Who I Am: The Story Of Teddy Pendergrass – The Black Ensemble Theater
Christie Chiles Twillie – Yellowman – Fleetwood Jourdain Theatre
Timothy Walker – Chicago’s Bronzeville: The Musical – Madhi Theatre Company

The Katherine Dunham Award
Best Choreography in a Play
Breon Arzell and Florence Walker Harris – The Scottsboro Boys – Porchlight Music Theatre
Rueben Echoles – Black Pearl: A Tribute To Josephine Baker – Black Ensemble Theater
Racheal Walker and Mathew Williams – Chicago’s Bronzeville: The Musical – Madhi Theatre Company

Best Choreography in a Music/Dance Concert
Joshua L. Ishmon – When Men… – Deeply Rooted Productions
Jeremy Noah – Radio Africa – Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago
Christopher Walker – Manifest – Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago

The Alvin Ailey Award
Best Choreography (Non-Resident)
Hope Boykin – r–Evolution – Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre
Robert Garland – Brahms Variations – Dance Theatre Of Harlem
Billy Wilson (Posthumously) – The Winter In Lisbon– Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre

The Shirley Prendergast Award
Best Lighting Design
Phoenix and Oliver Ballentine – Sweet – Fleetwood Jourdain Theatre
Darryl Goodman, Sr. – By The Apricot Trees – eta Creative Arts Foundation
Denise Karczewski – The Other Cinderella – Black Ensemble Theater
Richard Norwood – Hobo King – Congo Square Theater Company

The Ruth E. Carter Award
Best Costume Design
Jos N. Banks – The Colored Museum – Pulse Theatre Company Chicago
De Alexander and Carolyn London – Chicago’s Bronzeville: The Musical – Madhi Theatre Company
Samantha Jones – The Scottsboro Boys – Porchlight Music Theatre
Ruthanne Swanson – I Am Who I Am: The Story Of Teddy Pendergrass– Black Ensemble Theater

The Mike Sargent Award
Best Sound Design
Debbie Banos – The Colored Museum – Pulse Theatre Company Chicago
Darryl Goodman, Sr. – By The Apricot Trees – eta Creative Arts Foundation
Aaron Quick – The Other Cinderella – The Black Ensemble Theater

The Ed Burbridge Award
Best Set Design
Patrice Davidson – In De’ Beginnin’ – eta Creative Arts Foundation
Andrei Onegin – Hobo King – Congo Square Theatre Company
Tim Rhoze – Sweet – Fleetwood Jourdain Theatre

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