2013 True West Theater Person of the Year Shelly Bordas: “Love Rules Out”

Here is the new Part 3 of John Moore’s ongoing video documentary series on Shelly Bordas,

By John Moore
Dec. 29, 2013

Shelly Bordas as she looks today, after she stopped taking steroids and dropped 65 pounds.

Shelly Bordas as she looks today, after she stopped taking steroids and dropped 65 pounds.

There’s a ship that comes for Shelly Bordas each night in her dreams. But she’s not getting on board just yet.

Bordas began her year with the modest goal of making her first stage appearance in more than three years – as the drunk secretary in the Town Hall Arts Center’s “9 to 5, the Musical.” But then doctors told her the breast cancer she had been battling for 3 ½ years had spread to her brain and eyes. She was told to get her affairs in order. That her remaining time on this Earth was short.

They are still telling her that.

For an actor who never realized her dream of performing again, Bordas’ wrenching, inspiring story galvanized audiences like no piece of fiction that was presented on any stage in 2013. For her resilience, her fight and her sheer will to live, Bordas is CultureWest’s 2013 Theatre Person of the Year.

And while doctors can’t explain why Bordas is not yet dead, Bordas certainly can:

“I’ve got my boy,” she said of Nathan, who turned 4 in April. “I’ve been in a lot of pain this year. I can see how people give up. But loves rules out.

“I’m not ready.”

Bordas left “9 to 5” a few weeks before its February opening to spend every last second with her son. She is also a longtime children’s theater educator at Town Hall Arts Center, and she was determined to finish several productions she was in the process of directing for the kiddos there, including “Finding Nemo.”

Bordas, a single mom, told her castmates her only wish was to take Nathan on a Disney Cruise for his birthday. Grassroots efforts to help sprung up like lightning strikes that quickly grew into an inferno of warmth and good will. An online fundraising campaign was launched. Benefits were held at the Voodoo Comedy Playhouse, the Columbine United Church in Littleton and Clementine’s hair salon in Denver. In all, nearly $30,000 was raised, and that allowed Bordas, her family, friends and a medical team to take the trip of a lifetime.

“Oh my gosh, it was wonderful,” she said. “We were so spoiled. We had a cabana on a private island, Nathan got to meet all of the Disney characters, and we had a private meeting with the captain on his bridge.”

Group

Shelly Bordas took her family, son Nathan, best friend Chris Whyde, and a medical team along with her on a Disney Cruise in April that was largely funded by friends and strangers from the Colorado theater community who were moved by her harrowing story.

But a funny thing happened on the way to Bordas’ final exit, stage right.

She didn’t make it.

“When the cruise was over, it was like, ‘Now what? … Should I die now?’ ” she said.

In true Bordas fashion, she went back to work. Lest you think Bordas is being honored here solely for not dying, consider that, in 2013, Bordas managed to direct 10 children’s shows, five of which were musicals. All told, she directed 177 young theater students at the Town Hall Arts Center – all while undergoing 26 chemotherapy treatments.

Bordas will also have you know that she has stopped taking steroids as part of her treatment plan — and as a result, she has lost 64 pounds this year. And she’s showing off. For a woman who once made her career playing sexy stage characters in shows like “Cell Block Sirens of 1953” and “Debby Does Dallas, the Musical,” it’s absolutely imperative to her that you know this.

“I am skinny … and I look good,” she said.

As for being recognized for her year with the True West Award, Bordas is taken aback. “There are no words,” she said. “I’m flattered. I just want to cry, I’m so happy.”

But the struggle before her today is no less daunting than it was a year ago. Bordas is nearly blind. Her liver is failing. The many brain tumors are still there. “They say if I stop doing chemo, I will die, so I will be doing that forever,” said Bordas, 42. “I am going to live in a lot of pain … but I am going to live.”

Bordas is still in need of the good will of those who would care to help her. She can’t drive herself to work or doctors appointments because of her failing eyesight. Recent changes in the health-care laws have left her with an insurance premium that has grown by nearly $100 a month. That is significant to a woman of her limited earning potential.

Those so inclined to help may send a check to Bordas in her name in care of the Town Hall Arts Center, 2450 Main St., Littleton, 80120.

And that ship that keeps wanting Bordas to board in her dreams will just have to stay at bay for now. “My friends and my son and my friends and all of the people who are supporting me are going to keep me right here,” she said.

The rest of the 2013 True West Award winners were announced today. To see the complete list of 2013 True West Award nominees, click here. To see the full list of nearly 120 eligible productions by 60 different theater companies, click here.

Some of our previous coverage of the Shelly Bordas story:


Video: The Shelly Bordas Story, Part 2:

(Find Part 1 at the top of this page)


Shelly Bordas: A story that’s just beginning


Photos: Shelly Bordas benefit performances raise money, lift hearts

 

Click here to subscribe to the CultureWest.org Monthly E-Newsletter

 

How you can donate to the Denver Actors Fund

The new Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in sudden medical need. To donate to the Denver Actors Fund, please go here (with our humble thanks):

2013 True West Award nominations: Town Hall leads balanced field with 14 nods

 

 

TPOY COLLAGE

The prestigious 2013 True West Theater Person of the Year Award will be considered among John Ashton, Ed Baierlein, Shelly Bordas, Brian Freeland, Linda Morken, Erin Rollman, Edith Weiss, Stephen Weitz, Christopher Willard and Rick Yaconis. Weitz, winner of the 2012 award, is the rare winner to be up for consideration two years running.

By John Moore
Dec. 22, 2013

A prolific and creatively surprising year in Colorado theater is reflected in the 2013 True West Award nominations released today.

The True West Awards, which began as the Denver Post Ovation Awards in 2001, are the longest-running continuously administered awards program in Colorado theater. And for just the second time, the Town Hall Arts Center in Littleton leads the way with 14 nominations, largely on the strength of  widely varying stagings of “Hair,” “9 to 5, The Musical” and “The 39 Steps.”

Perennial awards leader the Arvada Center is next with 11 finalists. The Aurora Fox has 10, followed by the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company and the resurgent Colorado Shakespeare Festival with nine each. Curious Theatre, Buntport Theater and the LIDA Project have eight each.

“Hair”and the Midtown Arts Center of Fort Collins’ “Les Miserables” are the most nominated musicals of 2013, with eight each.

Among plays, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” leads all productions with eight finalists, followed by Curious Theatre’s “The Brothers Size,” with seven. The LIDA Project, known for its original, multimedia-infused works, had its best year, with “R.U.R./lol” garnering five nods.

The prestigious 2013 True West Theater Person of the Year Award will be considered among John Ashton, Ed Baierlein, Shelly Bordas, Brian Freeland, Linda Morken, Erin Rollman, Edith Weiss, Stephen Weitz, Christopher Willard and Rick Yaconis. Weitz, winner of the 2012 award, is the rare winner to be back up for consideration two years running. The winner will join previous honorees including Maurice LaMee, Anthony Garcia, Kathleen M. Brady, Wendy Ishii, Ed Baierlein, Chip Walton and Michael R. Duran.

In all, 38 companies and 57 productions received at least one True West nod. To be eligible, a play must only have been seen (with certain exceptions). This year, more than 135 productions were seen, of which 118 were eligible for awards consideration. This year, a total of 58 companies had at least one play seen. Here is the complete list of all eligible productions.

The official winners will be announced next Sunday, Dec. 29. Readers are again encouraged to have their say by voting for their favorites in designated “readers choice” categories. To vote, click here. Any production by any company staged from December 2012 to December 2013 is eligible for readers-choice designation. Readers who do not see their favorites among the finalists are encouraged to use the write-in option. Voting is open through 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28. The program accepts only one vote per IP address.

While some fervently believe awards have no place in the creative process, I think it is important to properly acknowledge and archive the year just past for posterity. Theater companies also benefit from awards nominations in their grant-writing and fundraising efforts.

So with great apologies to the many actors and shows I did not get to see in 2013, I humbly present my agonizing, loving look back at the year in Colorado theater. I say “agonizing” because the theater community never gets to see these lists before they are culled down from, in some cases, more than 30 names that are truly worthy of consideration.

Congratulations to anyone who wrote dialogue, got up on a stage, or played in part in creating theater in 2013. And remember: Click here to take the readers’ choice survey.

 

CULTURE WEST’s 2013 TRUE WEST AWARD NOMINEES:

THEATER PERSON OF THE YEAR:

  • John Ashton: The former theater critic produced the black Irish comedy “The Seafarer” at the Aurora Fox and at Dairy Center for his own new company, Ashton Entertainment. He also performed in “The Seafarer” and Boulder Ensemble’s “Seminar.” And he directed Thingamajig’s “Good People” in Pagosa Springs. All while on call for his day job at FEMA, which deployed him for duty in response to the Boulder floods on the very same week that he opened in the leading role in “Seminar.”
  • Ed Baierlein: Since 1974, the founder of Germinal Stage-Denver has been presenting plays of substance in an intimate setting. This year, after more than 200 productions, Baierlein sold his longtime home in northwest Denver and went on “active hiatus.” But not before staging a nostalgic and sentimental  (for Germinal) soiree: Baierlein brought more than 40 familiar faces back for a reprise of the anything-goes theatrical rumination “Offending the Audience,” which in the 1970s incited an on-stage rebellion that brought the police.  Baierlein says of his future:  “Licking our wounds, we now contemplate a pro-cannibalism-themed season in a new location for 2014.”
  • Shelly Bordas: This longtime actor and children’s theater educator started her year with a modest goal: Making it to opening night of the Town Hall Arts Center’s “9 to 5, The Musical.” After having fought breast cancer for nearly four years, Bordas was given a fleeting respite when she was told her cancer was receding. So she tried out for — and scored — the role of the office drunk. Bordas had to drop out when her diagnosis suddenly changed: Her cancer had spread to her brain, and she was told her time to live was short. So she then focused on making it to son Nathan’s 4th birthday in April. Bordas’ story galvanized the theater community and beyond, raising more than $30,000, which was used both to help with medical expenses and to send Shelly and her son on a Disney cruise, a dream they realized in May. Meanwhile, Bordas managed to direct 10 shows, five of which were musicals, involving 177 of her young theater students at the Town Hall Arts Center.– all while undergoing 26 chemo treatments. The greatest news of all: She’s still here.
  • Brian Freeland: Nearly 20 years later, the founder of the LIDA Project continued to break new ground as the primary purveyor of modern, multimedia-based original stage work in Denver, as evidenced most tellingly in “The Hairy Ape.” In Freeland’s world, all of the female characters were played by mannequins. Pre-recorded video of a single actor’s face reciting each character’s lines was projected onto the mannequin heads, making for a hologram-like effect. Freeland is also a busy sound and video designer for theaters ranging from Curious to Town Hall. This week, he moved with his family to New York, but he says he is committed to keeping the LIDA Project alive and flourishing — after a short respite in early 2014.
  • Linda Morken: I almost gave up keeping track of all the shows she designed and built costumes for in 2013. But here’s a stab at it: Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s entire season: “Church Basement Ladies,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “The Full Monty” and “Spamalot”;  Phamaly’s entire season of “The Foreigner,” “Fiddler on the Roof” and “It’s a Wonderful Life”; Town Hall Arts Center’s “Forever Plaid,” “Hair” and “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”; Aurora Fox’s “The Color Purple”; and Starkey Theatrix’s “Noises Off.” Whew.
  • Erin Rollman: In addition to keeping the Buntport Theater rolling along, she collaborated on and performed in three original plays. She also runs mid-week programming such as “The Great Debate” and “Third Tuesday.” She also gave her pal Adam Stone’s new Screw Tooth Theatre Company not only a home, but a prayer of truly establishing itself.  In her spare time, Rollman worked on Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s year-long Imagine 2020 campaign, which created a blueprint for the future of arts and culture in Denver. All that, and a kidney, too: Rollman gave up one of hers to a complete stranger in Virginia, starting a donation chain that saved nine lives. And her story inspired at least one other altruistic donor to start another one.
  • Edith Weiss: Denver’s Queen of Comedy is making a huge impact on people’s lives through the handicapped Phamaly Theatre Company, where she directed a very funny — and cutting — staging of “The Foreigner,” before again stewarding a group of disabled actors through a workshop process that culminated in “Vox Phamilia 6: G.I.M.P. Nation.” That’s an annual evening of caustic sketch comedy written and performed by handicapped actors. Weiss also directed the very cute children’s production of “No Dogs Allowed”  for the Arvada Center — and destroyed her own comfort zone when she appeared in an experimental freakout called “Some Kind of Fun” with a bunch of rad kids from a new company called Screw Tooth.
  • Stephen Weitz: Last year’s True West “Theatre Person of the Year” outdid himself in 2013. Attendance at the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company he founded was up 42 percent in its seventh season. And thanks to an innovative partnership with the Denver Center to co-present “The SantaLand Diaries” at the Galleria Theatre (an almost completely sold-out engagement), BETC’s season attendance is projected to rise another 63 percent this season. The budget has grown from $12,000 in Season 1 to $232,000 in Season 8, and giving was up 41 percent last year. Weitz directed “Bach at Leipzig,” “Seminar” and “SantaLand” for his own company, and also “Jackie & Me” for the Denver Center Theatre Company.
  • Christopher Willard: The artistic director of the newly renamed Breckenridge Backstage Theatre has launched a $1.3 million expansion just as the venerable mountain theater is entering its 40th season. The renovation will include doubling the size of the present seating area, along with an expanded lobby and dressing rooms. Ticket sales are up by 29 percent over the past two years. Willard, who intends for Breckenridge Backstage Theatre to reach full professional status by 2018, recently hired the company’s first Executive Director (Mark Lineaweaver). Backstage stages plenty of family favorites, but has also kept an ongoing commitment to developing  new works. Up next: “The 10th,”  the first in a planned series of original plays about  Breckenridge. The initial focus is on the soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division who, upon returning from the campaign in Europe, helped create the ski industry in Colorado. In addition to directing several shows for Backstage, Willard directed the Town Hall Arts Center’s “9 to 5 The Musical.” It was his job to help his team navigate the emotional roller-coaster of cast member Shelly Bordas’ terminal cancer diagnosis. (See above.)
  • Rick Yaconis: The founder of the grassroots Edge Theatre moved into a new home in Lakewood and upped the the company’s game with an ambitious 2013 season that culminated with the full staging of “Gifted,” winner of the company’s national new-play competition. Yaconis has of late brought in a steady stream of accomplished area actors, a trend that should become even more apparent in 2014, when former Paragon Theatre co-founder Michael Stricker directs Martin McDonaugh’s “The Beauty Queen of Leenane.” That will star first-time guest artists Michael Bouchard and Emily Paton Davies. Other edge-worthy titles will include “Orphans,” “A Steady Rain” and “Buried Child.”

BEST YEAR BY A COMPANY:
Arvada Center:
“Blithe Spirit”
“Man of La Mancha”
“Dividing the Estate”
“Curtains”
“Camelot”
“A Christmas Carol”

Boulder’s Dinner Theatre:
“Church Basement Ladies”
“The Wizard of Oz”
“The Full Monty”
“Monty Python’s Spamalot”

Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company

“Ghost-Writer”
“The Other Place”
“Bach at Leipzig”
“Seminar”
“The SantaLand Diaries”

Colorado Shakespeare Festival:
“Macbeth”
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
“Richard II”
“Women of Will”

Phamaly Theatre Company:
“The Foreigner”
“Fiddler on the Roof”
“It’s a Wonderful Life”
“Vox Phamilia: G.I.M.P. Nation”

BEST DRAMA:
Curious Theatre’s “The Brothers Size”
Boulder Ensemble’s “Ghost-Writer”
Aurora Fox’s “Metamorphoses”
Ashton Entertainment’s “The Seafarer”
Springs Ensemble Theatre’s “A Steady Rain”

BEST MUSICAL:
Aurora Fox’s “The Color Purple”
Phamaly Theatre Company’s “Fiddler on the Roof”
Town Hall Arts Center’s “Hair”
Midtown Arts Center’s “Les Miserables”
Arvada Center’s “Man of La Mancha”

BEST COMEDY:
Boulder Ensemble’s “Bach at Leipzig”
OpenStage’s “Bullshot Crummond”
Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
The Avenue’s “Motherhood Out Loud”
Illumination Theatre’s “Sordid Lives”

BEST NEW PLAY
Buntport Theater’s “Wake”
LIDA Project’s “R.U.R/lol”
Buntport Theater’s “Electra Onion Eater”
The Edge’s “Newark Violenta”

BEST YEAR BY AN ACTOR:
Seth Caikowski:
Franklin Hart, Town Hall Arts Center’s “9 to 5, The Musical”
Cowardly Lion, Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s “The Wizard of Oz”
Juan, Arvada Center’s “No Dogs Allowed”
Jerry, Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s “The Full Monty”

Sam Gregory:
Dan, Denver Center Theatre Company’s “Two Things You Don’t Talk About at Dinner”
The Friar, Denver Center Theatre Company’s “Romeo and Juliet”
Johann Friedrich Fasch, Boulder Ensemble’s “Bach at Leipzig”
Banquo, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “Macbeth”
Northumberland, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “Richard II”
Count du Rochefort, Denver Center Theatre Company’s “The Three Musketeers”
Ted Atkinson, Denver Center Theatre Company’s “The Most Deserving”

Wayne Kennedy:
Pastor Gunderson, Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s “Church Basement Ladies”
The Wizard, Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s “The Wizard of Oz”
King Arthur, Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s “Spamalot”

Matt LaFontaine:
Jinx, Midtown Arts Center’s “Forever Plaid”
The Emcee, Ignite’s “Cabaret”
Berger, Town Hall Arts Center’s “Hair”
Sir Lionel, Arvada Center’s “Camelot”
Ross Cochrane, Arvada Center’s Curtains”
Ensemble, Arvada Center’s “A Christmas Carol”

Seth Maisel:
Clown, Town Hall’s “The 39 Steps”
Edgar Allan Poe, Byers-Evans’ “Evermore”
Frederick Frankenstein, Vintage Theatre’s “Young Frankenstein”

Eric Mather:
George Pidgeon, Backstage Theatre’s “Out of Order”
Larry, Vintage Theatre’s “Closer”
Clown, Town Hall Arts Center’s “The 39 Steps”
Lumiere, Breckenridge Backstage Theatre’s “Beauty and the Beast”
Performer: The Avenue’s “Complete World of Sports, Abridged”

James O’Hagan-Murphy:
Robert Kennedy, Vintage Theatre’s “RFK: A Portrait of Robert Kennedy”
Dr. Parker, Equinox Theatre’s “Bat Boy, the Musical”
Richard Hannay, Town Hall Arts Center’s “The 39 Steps”
Stanley, Denver Center Theatre Company’s “Death of a Salesman”

Jeremy Palmer:
Charlie Baker, Phamaly Theatre Company’s “The Foreigner”
Perchik, Phamaly Theatre Company’s “Fiddler on the Roof”
George Bailey, Phamaly Theatre Company’s “It’s a Wonderful Life”

Tyrell  D. Rae:
Hud, Town Hall Arts Center’s “Hair”
Harpo, Aurora Fox’s “The Color Purple”
Seaweed, Evergreen Players’ “Hairspray”
Don Joe, Arvada Center’s “No Dogs Allowed”

Sean Scrutchins:
Tony Kirby, Colorado Springs TheatreWorks’ “You Can’t Take it With You”
Lysander, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Malcolm, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “Macbeth”
Henry Percy, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “Richard II”
Martin, Boulder Ensemble’s “Seminar”

BEST YEAR BY AN ACTRESS:
Rhonda Brown:
Kay, Aurora Fox’s “Consider the Oyster”
Waitress, Lone Tree Arts Center’s “Hank Williams: Lost Highway”
Truvy, Senior Housing Options’ “Steel Magnolias”
Molly Ivins, LIDA Project’s “Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins”

Rachel Fowler:
Juliana Smithton, Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s “The Other Place”
M’Lynn, Senior Housing Options’ “Steel Magnolias”
Lucille, Arvada Center’s “Dividing the Estate”

Sarah Grover:
Dorothy, Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s “The Wizard of Oz”
Anne Frank, Platte Valley Players’ The Diary of Anne Frank”
Alison, Starkey Theatrix’s “Bingo the Musical”
Winifred, Performance Now’s “Once Upon a Mattress”
Iris, Arvada Center’s “No Dogs Allowed”

Devon James:
Garland, Denver Children’s Theatre’s “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse”
Lisa, Miners Alley Playhouse’s “Collected Stories”
Emily, Arvada Center’s “Dividing the Estate”
Kate, Boulder Ensemble’s “Seminar”
Annelle, Senior Housing Options’ “Steel Magnolias”
Julie, Curious Theatre’s “Rancho Mirage”

Haley Johnson:
Maggie, Edge Theatre’s “Shadow Box”
Cass Harris, Miners Alley Playhouse’s “Wonder of the World”
Anna, Vintage Theatre’s “Closer”
Sally Applewhite, Miners Alley Playhouse’s “It’s a Wonderful Life, the Radio Play”

Emma Messenger:
Bella, Vintage Theatre’s “What’s Wrong with This Picture?”
Tom/Phyllis/Leslie, Firehouse/Spotlight’s “Sylvia”
Noleta, Illumination Theatre’s “Sordid Lives”
Big Mama, The Edge’s “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”
Julia, Firehouse’s “The Christmas Spirit”

Missy Moore:
Essie, Colorado Springs TheatreWorks’ “You Can’t Take it With You”
Lilly, Denver Children’s Theatre’s “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse”
Bananas, The Edge’s “The House of Blue Leaves”
Gina/Woman Scorned, Aspen Stage’s Unmarried in America”

Anne Oberbroeckling:
Sister Aloysius, Cherry Creek Theatre’s Doubt”
Stella, Arvada Center’s “Dividing the Estate”
Vera Joseph, Curious Theatre’s “After the Revolution”

Jamie Ann Romero:
Alice, Colorado Springs TheatreWorks’ “You Can’t Take it With You”
Kitty, Denver Center Theatre Company’s “The Three Musketeers”
Miss Audrey, Lone Tree Arts Center’s “Hank Williams: Lost Highway”
Titania, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Witch, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “Macbeth”
Queen Isabel, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “Richard II”

Megan Van De Hey:
Patsy Cline, Starkey Theatrix’s “Always, Patsy Cline”
Arlene, Cherry Creek Theatre’s “Baby”
Carmen, Arvada Center’s “Curtains”
Morgan Le Fey, Arvada Center’s “Camelot”
The Ghost of Christmas Past, Arvada Center’s “A Christmas Carol”

BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA:
Patrick Call, Rico, Dangerous Theatre’s “Dark Wood”
Laurence Curry, Oshoosi Size, Curious Theatre’s “The Brothers Size”
Steve Emily, Denny, Springs Ensemble Theatre’s “A Steady Rain”
Cajardo Lindsey, Ogun Size, Curious Theatre’s “The Brothers Size”
Lorenzo Sarinana, Yank, LIDA Project’s “The Hairy Ape”

BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA:
Adrienne Martin-Fullwood, Martha, Athena Project’s “Tell Martha Not to Moan”
Laura Norman, Myra Babbage, Boulder Ensemble’s “Ghost-Writer”
Anne Oberbroekling, Sister Aloysious, Cherry Creek Theatre’s “Doubt”
Erica Sarzin-Borrillo, Mary Tyrone, Germinal Stage-Denver’s “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”
Maggy Stacy, Maggie, The Edge’s “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA:
Brian Colonna, Caliban, Buntport’s “Wake”
Damion Hoover, Elegba, Curious Theatre’s “The Brothers Size”
Nathan Stith, MacDuff, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “Macbeth”
Andrew Uhlenhopp, Michael, 11 Minutes Theatre’s “Dancing at Lughnasa”
Joe Von Bokern, Billy Bibbitt, Edge Theatre’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA:
Adrian Egolf, Shelby, Senior Housing Options’ “Steel Magnolias”
Rachel Fowler, M’Lynn, Senior Housing Options’ “Steel Magnolias”
Rachel D. Graham, Sister James, Cherry Creek Theatre’s “Doubt”
C. Kelly Leo, Ellen/Jenna, Curious Theatre’s “Maple & Vine”
Emma Messenger, Big Mama, The Edge’s “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL:
David Ambroson, Valjean, Midtown Arts Center’s “Les Miserables”
Casey Andree, Claude, Town Hall Arts Center’s “Hair”
John Arp, Tevye, University of Denver’s “Fiddler on the Roof”
Mark Dissette, Tevye, Phamaly’s “Fiddler on the Roof”
Charlie Schmidt, Princeton/Rod, Breckenridge Backstage Theatre’s “Avenue Q”

ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL:
Jennifer De Dominici, Aldonza, Arvada Center’s “Man of La Mancha”
Lisa Finnerty, Judy, Town Hall Arts Center’s “9 To 5,” The Musical”
Norrell Moore, Sheila, Town Hall Arts Center’s “Hair”
SuCh, Celie, Aurora Fox’s “The Color Purple”
Alisha Winter, Maria, Candlelight Dinner Playhouse’s “The Sound of Music”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL:
Colin Alexander, Christopher Belling, Arvada Center’s “Curtains”
William Thomas Evans, Merlyn, King Pellinore, Arvada Center’s “Camelot”
Nigel Huckle, Marius, Midtown Arts Center’s “Les Miserables”
Mark Shonsey, Igor, Vintage Theatre’s “Young Frankenstein”
Cory Wendling, Breckenridge Backstage Theatre’s “Avenue Q”

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL:
Jona Alonzo, Roz, Town Hall Arts Center’s “9 to 5, The Musical”
Ashlie Amber Harris, Shug Avery, Aurora Fox’s “The Color Purple”
Anna High, Sofia, Aurora Fox’s “The Color Purple”
Shannan Steele, Pam, Cherry Creek Theatre’s “Baby”
Jalyn Courtenay Webb, Madame Thenardier, Midtown Arts Center’s “Les Miserables”

BEST ACTOR IN A COMIC ROLE:
Tom Auclair, Artie, The Edge’s “The House of Blue Leaves”
Sam Gregory, Johann Friedrich Fasch, Boulder Ensemble’s “Bach at Leipzig”
Larry Hecht, Puck, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Steef Sealy, Richard, Ashton Entertainment’s “The Seafarer”
Matthew Stalker, Hugh “Bullshot” Crummond, OpenStage’s “Bullshot Crummond”

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMIC ROLE:
Jenna Bainbridge, Hermia, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Leslie O’Carroll, Madame Arcati, Arvada Center’s “Blithe Spirit”
Erin Rollman, Electra, Buntport’s “Electra Onion Eater”
Jane Shirley, various roles, The Avenue’s “Motherhood Out Loud”
Sharon Kay White, Mary Jo, Arvada Center’s “Dividing the Estate”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMIC ROLE:
Will Ferrie, seven roles, OpenStage’s “Bullshot Crummond”
Nigel Gore, Bottom, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Kevin Leonard, Brother Boy, Illumination Theatre’s “Sordid Lives”
Eric Mather, Town Hall Arts Center’s “The 39 Steps”
Sean Scrutchins, Lysander, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMIC ROLE:
Rhonda Brown, Truvy, Senior Housing Options’ “Steel Magnolias”
Hannah Duggan, Clytemnestra, Buntport’s “Electra Onion Eater”
Emma Messenger, Noleta, Illumination Theatre’s “Sordid Lives”
Lindsey Pierce, Lois Coleman, Miners Alley Playhouse “Wonder of the World”
Jamie Ann Romero, Titania, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

BEST SOLO PERFORMANCE:
James O’Hagan-Murphy, Robert Kennedy, Vintage Theatre’s “RFK: A Portrait of Robert Kennedy”
Michelle Hurtubise, Woman, Theatre Esprit Asia’s “Spirit and Sworded Treks”
Wendy Ishii, Joan Didion, Bas Bleu’s “The Year of Magical Thinking”

BEST YOUNGER ACTOR:
Eli Brandt, Gavroche, Midtown Arts Center’s “Les Miserables”
Peter Cabrera, Rudy, Longmont Theatre Company’s “Over the Tavern”
Devon Erickson, Doody, Town Hall Arts Center’s “Grease”
August Slaughter, Rudy, Bas Bleu Theatre’s “Over the Tavern”
Ella Tieze, Irene Ratliff, Arvada Center’s “Dividing the Estate”

BEST ENSEMBLE IN A PLAY:
Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s “Bach at Leipzig”
Curious Theatre’s “The Brothers Size”
Aurora Fox’s “Metamorphoses”
Ashton Entertainment’s “The Seafarer”
Senior Housing Options’ “Steel Magnolias”

BEST ENSEMBLE IN A MUSICAL:
Town Hall Arts Center’s “Hair”
Midtown Arts Center’s “Les Miserables”
Arvada Center’s “Man of La Mancha”
Magic Moments’ “Spirit & Soul”
Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s “The Wizard of Oz”

BEST DIRECTOR OF A PLAY:
Bernie Cardell, Illumination Theatre’s “Sordid Lives”
Dee Covington, Curious Theatre’s “The Brothers Size”
Josh Hartwell, Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s “Ghost-Writer”
Geoffrey Kent, Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Amanda Berg Wilson, The Catamounts’ “Failure: A Love Story”

BEST DIRECTORS OF A MUSICAL:
Christopher Willard and Donna Debreceni, Breckenridge Backstage Theatre’s “Avenue Q”
donnie l. betts and David Wohl, Aurora Fox’s “The Color Purple”
Nick Sugar and Donna Debreceni, Town Hall Arts Center’s “Hair”
Kurt Terrio and Jalyn Courtenay Webb, Midtown Arts Center’s “Les Miserables”
Rod Lansberry and David Nehls, Arvada Center’s “Man of La Mancha”

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY:
Alicia Dunfee, Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s “The Wizard of Oz”
Janice Guy-Sayles, Aurora Fox’s “The Color Purple”
Danny Harrigan, Ignite Theatre’s “Cabaret”
Matt LaFontaine, Vintage Theatre’s “In the Heights”
Nick Sugar, Town Hall Arts Center’s “Hair”

BEST SCENIC DESIGN:
Buntport ensemble, “Wake”
Steven J. Deidel, LIDA Project’s “RUR/lol”
Brian Mallgrave, Arvada Center’s “Man of La Mancha”
Shannon McKinney and Chip Walton, Curious Theatre’s “The Brothers Size”
Adam Stone, Screw Tooth’s “Some Kind of Fun”

BEST SOUND DESIGN:
Wayne Kennedy, Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s “The Wizard of Oz”
Dustin Lacy, LIDA Project’s “R.U.R/lol”
Andrew Metzroth, Boulder Ensemble’s “Bach at Leipzig”
John Rivera, Town Hall Arts Center’s “The 39 Steps”
Adam Stone, Buntport Theater’s “Wake”

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN:
Seth Alison, Town Hall Arts Center’s “The 39 Steps”
Kerry Cripe, Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s “Ghost-Writer”
Benjamin Danielowski, Midtown Arts Center’s “Les Miserables”
Steven J. Deidel, LIDA Project’s “R.U.R./lol”
Shannon McKinney, Aurora Fox’s “Metamorphoses”

BEST COSTUME DESIGN:
Kiana Coney, Su Teatro/The Source’s “The Gospel at Colonus”
Cinde Franke, Performance Now’s “Once Upon a Mattress”
Clare Henkel, Arvada Center’s “Curtains”
Linda Morken, Town Hall Arts Center’s “Hair”
Linda Morken, Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s “The Wizard of Oz”

BEST MULTIMEDIA INTEGRATION:
El Armstrong, Phamaly Theatre Company’s “It’s a Wonderful Life”
Steven J. Deidel, Kenrick Fischer, Kevin Zegan, Max Peterson and Brian Freeland, LIDA Project’s “R.U.R./lol”
Deb Flomberg, Equinox’s “Carrie: The Musical”
Brian Freeland, Town Hall Arts Center’s “Hair”
Brian Freeland, LIDA Project’s “The Hairy Ape”

And remember: Click here to take the readers’ choice survey.

2013 True West Award nominations: List of eligible productions

noms

This sight can mean only one thing: The 2011 True West Award nominations are just hours away …

 

By John Moore

The 2013 True West Awards, which began as the Denver Post Ovation Awards in 2001,  are the continuation of the longest-running awards program in Colorado theater. The 2013 True West nominations have been announced here.

What follows here is the final list of eligible plays. To be eligible, a play must only have been seen, with certain exceptions listed at the end. This year, more than 135 productions were seen, of which 118 are eligible for awards consideration. This year, a total of 58 companies had at least one play seen.

The official winners will be announced next Sunday, Dec. 29. Readers will again be allowed and encouraged to have their say by voting for their favorites in designated “readers choice” categories. To vote in the readers’ choice designations in most categories, click here. Any production by any company staged in 2013 is eligible for readers-choice designation.

ELIGIBLE PLAYS
Shows that were seen and considered for True West Awards between between Dec. 6, 2012, and Dec. 20, 2013:

11 Minutes Theatre Company: Arvada
“Dancing at Lughnasa”

And Toto Too
“Pardon My Dust”

Arvada Center
“Blithe Spirit”
“Man of La Mancha”
“Dividing the Estate”
“Curtains”
“Camelot”
“A Christmas Carol”

Ashton Entertainment: Aurora and Boulder
“The Seafarer”

Aspen Stage
“Unmarried in America”

Athena Project: Aurora
“Tell Martha Not to Moan”

Aurora Fox
“Consider the Oyster”
“The Color Purple”
“Metamorphoses”

Avenue Theater
“Motherhood Out Loud”
“Minimum Wage”

Balls to the Wall Productions
“Balls V! A Holiday Spectacular”

Bas Bleu Theatre: Fort Collins
“The Year of Magical Thinking”
“Over the Tavern”

Breckenridge Backstage Theatre
“A Christmas Carol”
“Out of Order”
“Avenue Q”

Betsy Stage
“The Travesty of Lear”

Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company

“Ghost-Writer”
“Bach at Leipzig”
“Seminar”
“The SantaLand Diaries””

Boulder’s Dinner Theatre
“Church Basement Ladies”
“The Wizard of Oz”
“The Full Monty”
“Monty Python’s Spamalot”

Buntport Theater
“Wake”
“A Knight to Remember”
“Electra Onion Eater”

Byers-Evans Theatre Company
“Evermore”

Candlelight Dinner Playhouse: Johnstown
“The Sound of Music”

The Catamounts: Boulder
“Jon”
“Failure: A Love Story”

Central City Opera
“Showboat”

Cherry Creek Theatre
“Doubt”
“Baby”

Colorado Shakespeare Festival: Boulder
“Macbeth”
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
“Prelude to a Kiss”

Curious Theatre
“Maple & Vine”
“The Brothers Size”
“God of Carnage”
“After the Revolution”
“Rancho Mirage”

Dangerous Theatre
“Dark Wood”

Edge Theatre: Lakewood
“Newark Violenta”
“Race”
“The Shadow Box”
“Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo”
“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”
“The House of Blue Leaves”
“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”

Equinox Theatre
“Bat Boy, the Musical”
“A Night at Fawlty Towers”
“Evil Dead: The Musical”
‘Carrie: The Musical”

Evergreen Players
“All My Sons”

Firehouse Theatre: Aurora
“Next Fall”

Germinal Stage-Denver
“The Long Christmas Dinner”
“Spoon River Anthology”
“Long Day’s Journey Into Night”

Heritage Square Music Hall: Golden
“One Enchanted Evening”
“50 Shades of Loud”
“Take Me Out to the Ballgame”
“Divas Dammit’

Horse & Cart
“The Singing Room”

Ignite Theatre: Aurora
“Next to Normal”
“Cabaret”

Illumination Theatre: Aurora
“Sordid Lives”

Lake Dillon Theatre Company
“Sleuth”

LIDA Project
“R.U.R/lol”
“The Hairy Ape”
“Watershed (Part I: The Sea is Not Full)”

Longmont Theatre Company
“Over The Tavern“

Magic Moments
“Spirit and Soul”

Midtown Arts Center
“Forever Plaid”
“Les Miserables”

Miners Alley Playhouse: Golden
“Mrs. Mannerly”
“The Memory of Water”
“Collected Stories”
“Wonder of the World”

Firehouse Theatre Company: Aurora
“Next Fall”

OpenStage & Company: Fort Collins
“Bullshot Crurmmond”

Performance Now: Lakewood
“Once Upon a Mattress”

Phamaly: Aurora/Denver/Boulder
“The Foreigner”
“Fiddler on the Roof”
“It’s a Wonderful Life”
“Vox Phamilia: G.I.M.P. Nation”

Rocky Mountain Deaf Theatre: Aurora
“Murder at the Howard Johnson’s”

Screw Tooth
“Some Kind of Fun”

Senior Housing Options
“Steel Magnolias”

Sis Tryst
“Talley’s Folley”

The Source
“The Gospel at Colonus”

Springs Ensemble Theatre: Colorado Springs
“ A Steady Rain”

square product theatre company: Boulder/Denver
“The Ding Dongs”

Starkey Theatrix: Lone Tree/Parker/Aurora
“Noises Off”
“Bingo, the Musical”
“Home for the Holidays”

Su Teatro
“The Gospel at Colonus”
“La Pastorella”

Theatre Company of Lafayette
“Glengarry Glen Ross”

Theatre ‘d Art: Colorado Springs
“Marisol”

Theatre Esprit Asia: Aurora
“Spirit Tales and Sworded Treks”
“Dust Storm”

TheatreWorks: Colorado Springs
“You Can’t Take it With You”
“Red”

Town Hall Arts Center
“Forever Plaid”
“9 To 5, The Musical”
“The 39 Steps”
“Hair”

Vintage Theatre Productions: Aurora
“RFK: A Portrait of Robert Kennedy”
“Closer”
“The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas”
“In the Heights”
“Young Frankenstein”

Wit Theatre Company
“Edges: A Song Cycle”

INELIGIBLE PLAYS

Germinal Stage-Denver
”Offending the Audience” (John Moore was in the cast)

Starkey Theatrix
“Always … Patsy Cline” (directed by John Moore)

Note: Because I took at job at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts in 2013, for the first time there will not be a “Best of the Denver Center” category of awards, for objective and ethical reasons. Therefore the following productions were seen but are not ineligible:

Denver Center Attractions:
“The Doyle & Debbie Show”
“War Horse”
“Jekyll and Hyde”
“Peter and the Starcatcher”
“Sister Act”
“The Kid”
“Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”
“The Book of Mormon”
“The SantaLand Diaries”

Denver Center Theatre Company:
“Grace, or The Art of Climbing”
“The Three Musketeers”
“Death of a Salesman”
“Just Like Us”
“Jackie & Me”
“A Christmas Carol”

Denver Center Academy:
The Rimers of Eldritch”

Off-Center @ The Jones:
“Wheel of Misfortune”
“Cult Following”
“Drag Machine”

School productions: Seen but not eligible:
University of Denver’s “Fiddler on the Roof”
UC-CS’s “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”
UC-CS’s “Next Fall”
Lakewood High school’s “Les Miserables”
Cherry Creek High School’s “Singin’ in the Rain”
Denver School of the Arts’ “Beauty and the Beast”
Willow Creek’s “Dear Edwina Junior”:
Rising Star’s “Krazy Kamp”
Town Hall Arts Center’s teen “Grease”