Red Tape Theatre topped the list of honorees announced Monday night in the Non-Equity Jeff Awards ceremony for excellence in local theater.
Awards were presented in 21 categories in a first-ever online ceremony for productions staged during the abbreviated 2019-2020 season, a result of the mandated shutdown of all theaters due to the coronavirus pandemic. Veteran stage and screen actor Parker Guidry was the host for the hourlong, pre-recorded ceremony streamed on YouTube.
Red Tape Theatre’s production of “All Quiet on the Western Front” received six awards including best play and best new work, Matt Foss; best ensemble; best sound design, Dan Poppen; best lighting design, Stephen Sakowski, and best choreography, Leah Urzendowski.
BoHo Theatre received five awards for its production of “Big Fish,” including best production (musical), best director (musical), Stephen Schellhardt; best supporting actor (musical), Kyrie Anderson and Jeff Pierpoint, and best musical direction, Michael McBride.
Jackalope Theatre’s production of “P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle” received three awards including best director (play), Lili-Anne Brown; best performer in a principal role, Eric Gerard, and best projection design, Paul Deziel.
Originally planned for streaming in early June, the event was postponed due to recent events. In a statement, the Jeff Awards committee stated, in part, “following the lead of the theater community, a larger celebration was paused for time to listen more closely and learn what plans organizations should make to become most effective in addressing systemic racism so the storytellers of Chicago theater can survive and thrive.”
Here’s the list of the 2020 Non-Equity Jeff Award recipients:
Production – Play: “All Quiet on the Western Front” — Red Tape Theatre
Production – Musical: “Big Fish” — BoHo Theatre
Ensemble: “All Quiet on the Western Front” — Red Tape Theatre
New Work: Matt Foss, “All Quiet on the Western Front” — Red Tape Theatre
Director – Play: Lili-Anne Brown, “P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle” — Jackalope Theatre Company
Director – Musical: Stephen Schellhardt, “Big Fish” — BoHo Theatre
Performer in a Principal Role – Play:
- Eric Gerard (Blacky Blackerson), “P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle” –Jackalope Theatre Company
- Brookelyn Hebert (Ada Byron Lovelace), “Ada and the Engine” — The Artistic Home
Performer in a Principal Role – Musical:
- Will Lidke (Hedwig), “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” — Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
- Amanda Raquel Martinez (Pearl, The Victim, Lady Usher, Soldier, Scheherazade), “Ghost Quartet” –Black Button Eyes Productions
Solo Performance: Scott Gryder (Alex More), “Buyer & Cellar” — Pride Films and Plays
Performer in a Supporting Role – Play
- Renee Lockett (Aunt Mama), “Sugar In Our Wounds” — First Floor Theater
- Michael Turrentine (Geedi, Wamwara, Hassan Abdulla), “Mlima’s Tale” — Griffin Theatre Company
Performer in a Supporting Role – Musical
- Kyrie Anderson (Sandra Bloom), Big Fish” — BoHo Theatre
- Jeff Pierpoint (Will Bloom), “Big Fish” — BoHo Theatre
Scenic Design: Alan Donahue, “Middle Passage” — Lifeline Theatre
Costume Design: Mieka van der Ploeg, “First Love is the Revolution” — Steep Theatre Company
Sound Design: Dan Poppen, “All Quiet on the Western Front” — Red Tape Theatre
Lighting Design: Stephen Sakowski, “All Quiet on the Western Front” — Red Tape Theatre
- Breon Arzell, “Head Over Heels” — Kokandy Productions
- Leah Urzendowski, “All Quiet on the Western Front” — Red Tape Theatre
Original Music in a Play: Ben Chang, “The Hound of the Baskervilles” — City Lit Theatre
Musical Direction: Michael McBride, “Big Fish” — BoHo Theatre
Fight Choreography: Maya Vinice Prentiss & Casey Hoekstra, “EthiopianAmerica” — Definition Theatre Company
Projection Design: Paul Deziel – “P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle” — Jackalope Theatre Company
Artistic Specialization: Keith Ryan (Wig Design), “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” — Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
More information can be found the Non-Equity section at www.jeffawards.org.