2019 Equity Jeff Nominations Announced

2019 Equity Jeff Nominations Announced

Pictured: (front) Rashada Dawan with (back) Emma Sipora Tyler and Tyler Symone in Firebrand Theatre and TimeLine Theatre Company’s production of CAROLINE, OR CHANGE, directed by Lili-Anne Brown. Photo by Marisa KM.

by Abigail Trabue

The Jeff Committee announced today a total of 192 nominations in 34 categories for the 51st Annual Equity Jeff Awards.

Porchlight Music Theatre leads the way with 17 nominations, followed
closely by Paramount Theatre with 16 and Court Theatre with 15, however, it’s Paramount Theatre that put on the two most-nominated individual productions earning nine for “The Producers” and seven for “The Wizard
of Oz.”

During the 2018-19 season, Jeff Awards judges attended 132 Equity opening nights spread out over 43 producing organizations. From those 132 productions, 112 were “Jeff Recommended” and of the 112, 11 of those were world premieres.

The 51 st Annual Equity Jeff Awards will be held on Monday, October 21st, at Drury Lane Theatre. The event will be directed by Steve Scott and feature performances from nominated musicals and plays. Advance tickets, which include the ceremony and pre-/post-show parties, are $85 ($65
for members of Actors’ Equity Association, United Scenic Artists, Stage Directors, and Choreographers Society, Stage Managers’ Association, IATSE, The Dramatists Guild of America, and the American Federation of Musicians). Tickets at the door, if available, will be an additional $10 per ticket.


2019 EQUITY JEFF AWARD NOMINEES

Production – Play – Large

  • “Downstate” – Steppenwolf Theatre Company
  • “Indecent” – Victory Gardens Theater
  • “Photograph 51” – Court Theatre
  • “Radio Golf” – Court Theatre
  • “The Steadfast Tin Soldier” – Lookingglass Theatre Company

Production – Play – Midsize

  • “Frankenstein” – Remy Bumppo Theatre Company
  • “Noises Off” – Windy City Playhouse
  • “On Clover Road” – American Blues Theater
  • “The Recommendation” – Windy City Playhouse
  • “Something Clean” – Sideshow Theatre Company and Rivendell Theatre Ensemble

Production – Musical – Large

  • “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” – Drury Lane Productions
  • “Next to Normal” – Writers Theatre
  • “The Producers” – Paramount Theatre
  • “Six” – Chicago Shakespeare Theater
  • “The Wizard of Oz” – Paramount Theatre

Production – Musical – Midsize

  • “Caroline, or Change” – Firebrand Theatre i/a/w TimeLine Theatre Company
  • “A Chorus Line” – Porchlight Music Theatre
  • “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder” – Porchlight Music Theatre
  • “Gypsy” – Porchlight Music Theatre

Production – Revue

  • “Djembe! The Show” – Doug Manuel, Ashley DeSimone and TSG Theatricals
  • “Women of Soul” – Black Ensemble Theater
  • “You Can’t Fake the Funk: A Journey through Funk Music” – Black Ensemble Theater

Ensemble – Play

  • “Familiar” – Steppenwolf Theatre Company
  • “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf” – Court Theatre
  • “Indecent” – Victory Gardens Theater
  • “Noises Off” – Windy City Playhouse
  • “Small Mouth Sounds” – A Red Orchid Theatre
  • “Twilight Bowl” – Goodman Theatre

Ensemble – Musical or Revue

  • “A Chorus Line” – Porchlight Music Theatre
  • “Million Dollar Quartet” – Marriott Theatre
  • “Queen of the Mist” – Firebrand Theatre
  • “Six” – Chicago Shakespeare Theater
  • “You Can’t Fake the Funk: A Journey through Funk Music” – Black Ensemble Theater

New Work – Play

  • David Auburn – “The Adventures of Augie March” – Court Theatre
  • David Catlin – “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” – Lookingglass Theatre Company
  • Jenny Connell Davis – “Scientific Method” – Rivendell Theatre Ensemble
  • Ike Holter – “Lottery Day” – Goodman Theatre
  • Manual Cinema – “Frankenstein” – Court Theatre
  • Bruce Norris – “Downstate” – Steppenwolf Theatre Company
  • Jen Silverman – “Witch” – Writers Theatre
  • Mary Zimmerman – “The Steadfast Tin Soldier” – Lookingglass Theatre Company

New Work – Musical

  • David Cale – “We’re Only Alive for A Short Amount of Time” – Goodman Theatre i/a/w The Public Theater
  • Michael Mahler and Jason Brett – “Miracle” – William A. Marovitz and Arny Granat
  • Daniel Zaitchik – “Darling Grenadine” – Marriott Theatre

Director – Play – Large

  • Gary Griffin – “Indecent” – Victory Gardens Theater
  • Pam MacKinnon – “Downstate” – Steppenwolf Theatre Company
  • Ron OJ Parson – “Radio Golf” – Court Theatre
  • Ron OJ Parson – “Too Heavy for Your Pocket” – TimeLine Theatre Company
  • Vanessa Stalling – “Photograph 51” – Court Theatre
  • Mary Zimmerman – “The Steadfast Tin Soldier” – Lookingglass Theatre Company

Director – Play – Midsize

  • Ian Frank – “Frankenstein” – Remy Bumppo Theatre Company
  • Halena Kays – “On Clover Road” – American Blues Theater
  • Jess McLeod – “Wolf Play” – The Gift Theatre
  • Scott Weinstein – “Noises Off” – Windy City Playhouse
  • Jonathan Wilson – “The Recommendation” – Windy City Playhouse

Director – Musical – Large

  • Jim Corti – “The Producers” – Paramount Theatre
  • David Cromer – “Next to Normal” – Writers Theatre
  • Amber Mak – “The Wizard of Oz” – Paramount Theatre
  • Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage – “Six” – Chicago Shakespeare Theater
  • William Osetek – “Mamma Mia!” – Drury Lane Productions
  • Alan Souza – “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” – Drury Lane Productions

Director – Musical – Midsize

  • Lili-Anne Brown – “Caroline, or Change” – Firebrand Theatre i/a/w TimeLine Theatre Company
  • Brenda Didier – “A Chorus Line” – Porchlight Music Theatre
  • Elizabeth Margolius – “Queen of the Mist” – Firebrand Theatre
  • Stephen Schellhardt – “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder” – Porchlight Music Theatre
  • Michael Weber – “Gypsy” – Porchlight Music Theatre

Performer In A Principal Role – Play

  • Bradley Armacost (Arthur Kipps) – “The Woman in Black” – PW Productions and Pemberley Productions
  • Emily Berman (Lusia Weiss Pechenik) – “A Shayna Maidel” – TimeLine Theatre Company
  • Janet Ulrich Brooks (Maria Callas) – “Master Class” – TimeLine Theatre Company
  • Chaon Cross (Rosalind Franklin) – “Photograph 51” – Court Theatre
  • David Darlow (André) – “The Father” – Remy Bumppo Theatre Company
  • Lawrence Grimm (Martin Heidegger) – “Hannah and Martin” – Shattered Globe Theatre
  • Nicole Michelle Haskins (Chess) – “Hopelessly Devoted” – Piven Theatre Workshop
  • Wendy Robie (Queen Elizabeth I) – “Elizabeth Rex” – Oak Park Festival Theatre
  • Namir Smallwood (Lee) – “True West” – Steppenwolf Theatre Company
  • Meg Thalken (Peggy) – “Four Places” – The Den Theatre

Performer In A Principal Role – Musical

  • E. Faye Butler (Rose) – “Gypsy” – Porchlight Music Theatre
  • Matt Crowle (D’Ysquith Family) – “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder” – Porchlight Music Theatre
  • Rashada Dawan (Caroline) – “Caroline, or Change” – Firebrand Theatre i/a/w TimeLine Theatre Company
  • Andrés Enriquez (Monty Navarro) – “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder” – Porchlight Music Theatre
  • Kelly Felthous (Audrey) – “Little Shop of Horrors” – Drury Lane Productions
  • Sean Fortunato (Miss Trunchbull) – “Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical” –Drury Lane Productions
  • Blake Hammond (Max Bialystock) – “The Producers” – Paramount Theatre
  • Jacquelyne Jones (Percy Talbott) – “The Spitfire Grill” – American Blues Theater
  • Jake Morrissy (Leo Bloom) – “The Producers” – Paramount Theatre
  • Barbara E. Robertson (Anna Edson Taylor) – “Queen of the Mist” – Firebrand Theatre

Solo Performance

  • David Cale (David) – “We’re Only Alive for A Short Amount of Time” – Goodman Theatre i/a/w The Public Theater
  • Matt Crowle (Crumpet) – “The Santaland Diaries” – Goodman Theatre
  • Joe Foust (Solo Performer) – “The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey” – American Blues Theater
  • Ross Lehman (Solo Performer) – “Sentimental Journey” – Citadel Theatre Company
  • Alexis J. Roston (Lady Day) – “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” – Congo Square Theatre Company

Performer In A Supporting Role – Play

  • Patrick Agada (Joey) – “Something Clean” – Sideshow Theatre Company and Rivendell Theatre Ensemble
  • Janet Ulrich Brooks (Sister Clarissa) – “Over the Tavern” – Theatre at the Center
  • Kirsten Fitzgerald (Tracy) – “Sweat” – Goodman Theatre
  • Sean Fortunato (Malvolio) – “Twelfth Night” – Writers Theatre
  • K. Todd Freeman (Dee) – “Downstate” – Steppenwolf Theatre Company
  • Brian Keys (Dwight Barnes) – “The Recommendation” – Windy City Playhouse
  • James Vincent Meredith (Roosevelt Hicks) – “Radio Golf” – Court Theatre
  • Scott Parkinson (Sir Andrew Aguecheek) – “Twelfth Night” – Writers Theatre
  • Kelvin Roston, Jr. (Levee) – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” – Writers Theatre
  • Alfred H. Wilson (Elder Joseph Barlow) – “Radio Golf” – Court Theatre

Performer In A Supporting Role – Musical

  • Dara Cameron (Shelby Thorpe) – “The Spitfire Grill” – American Blues Theater
  • Kyrie Courter (Natalie Goodman) – “Next to Normal” – Writers Theatre
  • José Antonio García (Herbie) – “Gypsy” – Porchlight Music Theatre
  • Emily Goldberg (Sibella Hallward) – “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder” – Porchlight Music Theatre
  • Alex Goodrich (Oscar Lindquist) – “Sweet Charity” – Marriott Theatre
  • Marya Grandy (Louise) – “Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn” – Marriott Theatre
  • Donica Lynn (Oda Mae) – “Ghost The Musical” – Theatre at the Center
  • Sawyer Smith (Fastrada) – “Pippin” – Mercury Theater Chicago
  • Catherine Smitko (Hannah Ferguson) – “The Spitfire Grill” – American Blues Theater
  • Nat Zegree (Jerry Lee Lewis) – “Million Dollar Quartet” – Marriott Theatre

Performer In A Revue

  • Robin DaSilva (Mahalia) – “Mahalia Jackson: Moving Thru the Light” – Black Ensemble Theater
  • Rashada Dawan (Singer) – “Djembe! The Show” – Doug Manuel, Ashley DeSimone and TSG Theatricals
  • Rhonda Preston (Mature Nancy) – “Style and Grace: A Tribute to Lena Horne and Nancy Wilson” – Black Ensemble Theater
  • Aeriel Williams (Young Lena) – “Style and Grace: A Tribute to Lena Horne and Nancy Wilson” – Black Ensemble Theater

Scenic Design – Large

  • William Boles – “The Producers” – Paramount Theatre
  • Kevin Depinet and Christopher Rhoton – “The Wizard of Oz” – Paramount Theatre
  • Kristen Robinson – “Familiar” – Steppenwolf Theatre Company
  • Todd Rosenthal – “How to Catch Creation” – Goodman Theatre
  • Todd Rosenthal – “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” – Chicago Shakespeare Theater
  • Arnel Sancianco – “Lottery Day” – Goodman Theatre
  • Arnel Sancianco – “Photograph 51” – Court Theatre

Scenic Design – Midsize

  • Jeffrey D. Kmiec – “Gypsy” – Porchlight Music Theatre
  • Jeffrey D. Kmiec – “Noises Off” – Windy City Playhouse
  • Angela Weber Miller – “All Childish Things” – First Folio Theatre
  • Lauren Nigri – “The Recommendation” – Windy City Playhouse
  • Arnel Sancianco – “Something Clean” – Sideshow Theatre Company and Rivendell Theatre Ensemble
  • Joe Schermoly – “This Bitter Earth” – About Face Theatre

Costume Design – Large

  • Hugh Durrant – “Nell Gwynn” – Chicago Shakespeare Theater
  • Rueben Echoles – “You Can’t Fake the Funk: A Journey through Funk Music” – Black Ensemble Theater
  • Theresa Ham – “The Wizard of Oz” – Paramount Theatre
  • Ana Kuzmanic – “The Steadfast Tin Soldier” – Lookingglass Theatre Company
  • Ryan Park – “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” – Drury Lane Productions
  • Jordan Ross – “The Producers” – Paramount Theatre

Costume Design – Midsize

  • Rachel Boylan – “Pippin” – Mercury Theater Chicago
  • Jeff Hendry – “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder” – Porchlight Music Theatre
  • Bill Morey – “Gypsy” – Porchlight Music Theatre

Sound Design – Large

  • Mikhail Fiskel – “Cambodian Rock Band” – Victory Gardens Theater
  • Jeffrey Levin – “A Shayna Maidel” – TimeLine Theatre Company
  • Ray Nardelli – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” – Writers Theatre
  • Adam Rosenthal – “The Wizard of Oz” – Paramount Theatre
  • Rick Sims – “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” – Lookingglass Theatre Company
  • Kyle Vegter and Ben Kauffman – “Frankenstein” – Court Theatre

Sound Design – Midsize

  • Eric Backus – “The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey” – American Blues Theater
  • Eric Backus – “Wolf Play” – The Gift Theatre
  • Christopher Kriz – “Frankenstein” – Remy Bumppo Theatre Company
  • Jeffrey Levin – “Small Mouth Sounds” – A Red Orchid Theatre
  • Matt Reich – “The Worst Mother in the World” – Halcyon Theatre

Lighting Design – Large

  • Tim Deiling – “Six” – Chicago Shakespeare Theater
  • Greg Hofmann – “The Wizard of Oz” – Paramount Theatre
  • Greg Hofmann and Jesse Klug – “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” – Chicago Shakespeare Theater
  • William C. Kirkham – “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” – Lookingglass Theatre Company
  • Jesse Klug – “The Producers” – Paramount Theatre
  • Ryan O’Gara – “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” – Drury Lane Productions

Lighting Design – Midsize

  • Mike Durst – “Frankenstein” – Remy Bumppo Theatre Company
  • Denise Karczewski – “A Chorus Line” – Porchlight Music Theatre
  • John Kelly – “This Bitter Earth” – About Face Theatre
  • Alexander Ridgers – “Pinocchio” – The House Theatre of Chicago
  • Cat Wilson – “Queen of the Mist” – Firebrand Theatre

Choreography

  • Christopher Chase Carter – “A Chorus Line” – Porchlight Music Theatre
  • Brenda Didier – “Pippin” – Mercury Theater Chicago
  • Brenda Didier – “The Producers” – Paramount Theatre
  • Denis Jones – “Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn” – Marriott Theatre
  • Alex Sanchez – “Sweet Charity” – Marriott Theatre

Original Music

  • Christopher Kriz – “Frankenstein” – Remy Bumppo Theatre Company
  • Andre Pluess and Amanda Dehnert – “The Steadfast Tin Soldier” – Lookingglass Theatre Company
  • Rick Sims – “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” – Lookingglass Theatre Company
  • Kyle Vegter and Ben Kauffman – “Frankenstein” – Court Theatre
  • Richard Woodbury – “The Winter’s Tale” – Goodman Theatre

Music Direction

  • Roberta Duchak – “Six” – Chicago Shakespeare Theater
  • Robert Reddrick – “You Can’t Fake the Funk: A Journey through Funk Music” – Black Ensemble Theater
  • Malcolm Ruhl – “The Spitfire Grill” – American Blues Theater
  • Andra Velis Simon – “Caroline, or Change” – Firebrand Theatre i/a/w TimeLine Theatre Company
  • Tom Vendafreddo – “The Producers” – Paramount Theatre

Fight Choreography

  • Jon Beal – “Cardboard Piano” – TimeLine Theatre Company
  • Matt Hawkins – “Hamlet” – Chicago Shakespeare Theater
  • Matt Hawkins – “Witch” – Writers Theatre
  • Ned Mochel – “True West” – Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Puppet Design

  • Lizi Breit and Drew Dir – “Frankenstein” – Court Theatre
  • Chicago Puppet Studio – “Pinocchio” – The House Theatre of Chicago
  • Chicago Puppet Studio – “The Steadfast Tin Soldier” – Lookingglass Theatre Company
  • Stephanie Diaz – “Wolf Play” – The Gift Theatre
  • Phillip Huber – “Darling Grenadine” – Marriott Theatre

Projection Design

  • Anthony Churchill – “Scientific Method” – Rivendell Theatre Ensemble
  • Rasean Davonte Johnson – “Frankenstein” – Court Theatre
  • Kevan Loney – “The Wizard of Oz” – Paramount Theatre
  • G. “Max” Maxin IV – “The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey” – American Blues Theater
  • Mike Tutaj – “Hamlet” – Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Artistic Specialization

  • Kristy Leigh Hall – Makeup Design – “Frankenstein” – Remy Bumppo Theatre Company
  • Richard Jarvie – Wig & Make-up Design – “Nell Gwynn” – Chicago Shakespeare Theater
  • Cassy Schillo and Wendy A. Huber – Properties Design – “All Childish Things” – First Folio Theatre
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

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