By Marianne Donnelly
The 6th annual Las Vegas Valley Theatre Awards ceremony was held at Starbright Theatre in Summerlin on July 15. it is the must-go social event of the year for all theatre lovers, actors, techies and hounds. Part party, performance and ceremony, with surprises sprinkled liberally, it is a guaranteed good time. Indeed, Starbright was filled with laughter, hugs, camaraderie and good vibes as acts from various shows kept the energy rolling in-between winner announcements.
Each winner is chosen through a sophisticated system of rankings by anonomous workshop-trained adjudicators who attend shows and enter scores in several categories into an electronic tallying designed by Eat More Art Vegas (EMAV).
Eat More Art Vegas! (EMAV) is the powerhouse behind the annual awards, and the powerhouse behind it all is Sarah O’Connell, founder and Executive Director of EMAV, who runs several theatrical and multi-arts services, resources, and arts-convergence and advocacy workshops under her EMAV umbrella. Anyone in the Arts in Nevada (theatre, dance, film, poetry, fine art, folk art, opera...) will want to join her amazingly resourceful site and list their services and venues— for free!!! How does she do it!?
Ms. O'Connell reminds us that every person working in the arts is a winner and is respected for the intense labor of love (and modest income) they all experience.
The following is the list of this year's winners in each category:
Best Production - Play - Sweat - Cockroach Theatre Company
Best Production - Musical - Spring Awakening - Majestic Repertory Theatre
Best Actor, Female Role - Play Monica Heuser - Sweat - Cockroach Theatre Company
Best Actor, Male Role - Play - Marcus Weiss - Every Brilliant Thing - Cockroach Theatre Company
Best Supporting Actor, Female Role - Play - Gillen Brey - A Dolls House Part 2 - Las Vegas Little Theatre
Best Supporting Actor, Male Role - Play - Timothy Cummings - Small Mouth Sounds - A Public Fit
Best Ensemble - Play - Small Mouth Sounds - A Public Fit
Best Direction - Play - Daz Weller - Sweat - Cockroach Theatre Company
Best Actor, Female Role - Musical - Traci Kesisian - Into the Woods - Hynes-Sight Entertainment & Super Summer Theatre
Best Actor, Male Role - Musical - Ray Winters - Newsies - Signature Productions
Best Supporting Actor, Female role - Musical - Gail Romero - Cabaret - Majestic Repertory Theatre
Best Supporting Actor, Male Role - Musical - Keaton Delmar Johns - Spring Awakening - Majestic Repertory Theatre
Best Ensemble - Musical - Spring Awakening - Majestic Repertory Theatre
Best Choreography - Ashley Oblad - Newsies - Signature Productions
Best Direction – Musical - Troy Heard - Spring Awakening - Majestic Repertory Theatre
Best Scenic Design - Erik Ball & Stan Judd - Newsies - Signature Productions
Best Lighting Design - Marcus Randolph - Spring Awakening - Majestic Repertory Theatre
Best Costume Design - Mariya Radeva-Nedyalkova - The Elephant Man - A Public Fit
Best Sound Design - Arles Estes - Small Mouth Sounds - A Public Fit
Audience Choice - Best Play - A Dolls House - Las Vegas Little Theatre
Audience Choice - Best Musical - Into the Woods - Hynes-Sight Entertainment & Super Summer Theatre
Empower Award for Excellence in STEAM Education - Athena Garrison, Fay Herron Elementary School
Sankuer Hero Award for Outstanding Service to the Theatre Community - Joseph O'Neill, Nevada Arts Council & City of Las Vegas Cultural Affairs
Certificates of Congressional Recognition from US Representative Susie Lee - Levi Fackrell, Cockroach Theatre & Sarah O'Connell, EatMoreArtVegas.com
Certificate of Senate Recognition from Senator Jacky Rosen - Athena Gibbons & Joe O'Neill
Group photo of winners - Photo credit: Adriana Chavez