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The 2013 Non-Equity Jeff Awards

June 5, 2013 News & Reviews Comments Off on The 2013 Non-Equity Jeff Awards

40 Years of Theatrical Excellence in Chicago

The Park West Theatre at Clark and Armitage was once again the host for Chicago’s celebration of Non-Equity theatre. The Joseph Jefferson Awards were handed out to the winning non-union theatrical artists after its 52 members attended more than 250 productions this past year.

The festivities were presided over by Joe Dempsey, a long-time Chicago actor and an ensemble member of the Neo-Futurists. He kept the proceedings moving as various presenters honored 120 theatrical artists nominated in 25 categories, with 26 winners emerging as representatives of 17 different Non-Equity theatres. More than 600 guests represented the Chicago theatre, press and the Jeff Committee cheering each nominee and winner.

Live performances from several nominated musicals spiced up the evening, includng production numbers from Theo Ubique’s “Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Circle Theatre’s “Reefer Madness,” Bohemian Theatre Ensemble’s “Spitfire Grill,” Pride Films and Plays’ “Under the Rainbow Flag” and NightBlue Performing Arts Company’s “Avenue Q.”

This year’s Special Award, presented by Jeff Committee chairwoman Diane Hires, went to Richard Cotovsky, long-time Chicago actor, Artistic Director of Mary-Arrchie Theatre and the self-proclaimed “Godfather of Storefront Theatre” for his 40 years of cutting edge excellence in Chicago.

This year’s event, directed by Jonathan Berry and produced by John Glover, honors Chicago theatres that foster artistic growth, promote educational opportunities, audience appreciation and civic pride. (Note: the Jeff Committee honors Chicago Equity theatres and artists in a separate ceremony held in the fall at Drury Lane Oakbrook.)

The biggest winners this year were Circle Theatre and Theo Ubique with 4 awards, The Den Theatre with 3 and Pride Films and Plays with 2.

The 2013 winners were:

Production of a Play–”When the Rain Stops Falling,” Circle Theatre

Production of a Musical–”Under a Rainbow Flag,” Pride Films and Plays

Production of a Revue–”Smokey Joe’s Cafe,” Theo Ubique

Ensemble–”Idomeneus,” Sideshow Theatre Company

Director of a Play–John Gawlik, “When the Rain Stops Falling”

Director of a Musical or Revue–Brenda Didier, “Smokey Joe’s Cafe”

Actress/Principal Role (Play)–Lindsey Pearlman, “Never the Bridesmaid”

Actor/Principal Role (Play)–Jeremy Trager, “Hauptmann”

Actress/Principal Role (Musical)–Kelli Harrington, “Aspects of Love”

Actor/Principal Role (Musical)–Peter Oyloe, “Hank Williams: Lost Highway”

Solo Performance–Blake Montgomery, “Charles Dickens Begrudgingly Performs ‘A Christmas Carol’ Again”

Scenic Design–Henry Behel, “City of Dreadful Night”

Costume Design–Kate Setzer Kamphausen, “Sexy Baby”

Lighting Design–Cat Wilson, “City of Dreadful Night”

Sound Design–Christian Moran, “City of Dreadful Night”

Music Direction–Jeremy Ramey, “Smokey Joe’s Cafe”

New Work–Leo Schwartz, “Under a Rainbow Flag”

New Adaptation–Paul Edwards, “Peyton Place”

Choreography–Brigitte Ditmars, “Reefer Madness”

Artistic Specialization–Kevin Bellie (Projection Design) “When the Rain Stops Falling;” Ryan Bourque (Fight Choreography) “Coriolanus”

Actor/Supporting Role (Play)–Walter Briggs, “The Glass Menagerie”

Actress/Supporting Role (Play)–Felisha McNeal, “Jar the Floor”

Actor/Supporting Role (Musical)–Jason Richards, “Avenue Q”

Actress/Supporting Role (Musical)–Danni Smith, “See What I Wanna See”

Special Award–Richard Cotovsky

Reviewed by Colin Douglas

Further information concerning this event may be found at

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