Barrymore Awards nominations are out - and what a year in theater it was!

BARRY22
Barrymore-nominated shows (clockwise from upper left:) “A Year with Frog and Toad” (Arden Theatre Company); “Hand to God” (Philadelphia Theatre Company); “Godspell” (Eagle Theatre); and “How to Use a Knife” (InterAct Theatre Company).

The Barrymore Award nominations are out: They’re a big deal, a reminder of what a rich, diverse theater season we’ve had.

At 4 p.m. Monday on stage at the Proscenium Theatre at the Drake, Theatre Philadelphia announced its nominations for the Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theater for the 2016-17 season. Often called “the Tonys of Philadelphia,” the Barrymores are the height of the Philly theater year.­

Nominations mention 41 companies and 107 productions. The Arden Theatre Company led with 39 nominations, followed by the Wilma Theater with 16, People’s Light and InterAct Theatre Company with 13 apiece, and the EgoPo Classic Theater with 11.

Among nonmusical productions, the Wilma’s apocalyptic drama When the Rain Stops Falling led with 11 nominations, including a very unusual three for best supporting actress in a play, for Nancy Boykin, Taysha Canales, and Melanie Finister. The Mountaintop (People’s Light) had seven nominations. How to Use a Knife (InterAct) and The Seagull (EgoPo) had six. Aaron Posner’s Stupid F-ing Bird, the Arden’s funny play with the indelicate name, got four.

Among musicals, Arden killed it. Its launch of Gypsy led with 10 nominations, and its Light Princess got eight, with the ever-popular, riveting A Year with Frog and Toad gobbling up six.

Nominations range widely among themes, styles, approaches, and even neighborhoods, which tells you a lot about Philly theater.

Classics such as Chekhov’s The Seagull at EgoPo and Gypsy at the Arden share bows with experimental theater such as Orbiter 3’s Peaceable Kingdom and Wilma’s When the Rain Stops Falling. Production numbers like Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope at the New Freedom Theatre are honored along with one-actor masterpieces like Grounded at InterAct Theatre.

Big, established companies share kudos with the storefront neighborhood theaters so characteristic of the Philly scene. You see outfits in Center City and outfits in Malvern (People’s Light), Norristown (Theatre Horizon), and Hammonton, N.J. (Eagle Theatre), some here a long time (the Arden) and some folks who just got here, notably the Resident Theatre Company over in West Chester, whose lively rendition of Monty Python’s Spamalot earned four nominations.

Repeating names also say much about the theater world here, where well-trained, all-around theater people don multiple hats from show to show.

Hardworking, much-in-demand Alex Bechtel was tapped five times: for outstanding lead actor in a musical (as Prince/Witch in The Light Princess), outstanding original music (twice, for Light Princess and People’s Light’s Sleeping Beauty), outstanding music direction (again, Light Princess), and outstanding new play/musical (with Anthony Lawton, The Light Princess).

Steve Pacek got three nominations, for outstanding direction of a musical (Light Princess), outstanding supporting actor in a musical (as Bird, Lizard, Snail, Mole, and Father Frog in A Year with Frog and Toad), and outstanding lead actor in a musical (as Gordon Michael Schwinn in Theatre Horizon’s A New Brain).

And Mary Tuomanen was in there three times: twice as a playwright for the Independence Foundation Award for outstanding new play/musical, for Marcus/Emma at InterAct and Peaceable Kingdom at Orbiter 3; and also for the prestigious F. Otto Haas Award for an emerging Philadelphia theater artist.

We know one winner: The lifetime achievement award goes deservedly to Penelope Reed, director emeritus of Hedgerow Theatre Company, for contributions to the theater community.

Ten weeks of waiting now begin until the other winners are announced at the Barrymore awards gala, scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 30 at the Merriam Theater and followed by an after-party at Dorrance Hamilton Hall at the University of the Arts. Tickets for the ceremony and after-party go on sale at noon Aug. 28. (Information: 215-893-1999 or theatrephiladelphia.org.)

The awards season now being recognized ran from July 1, 2016, to June 30 of this year. Theatre Philadelphia, which since 2012 has administered the awards, sent out 60 nominators, each of whom saw 10 to 12 plays. A dozen judges received their reports and saw 60 or more shows apiece.

Besides curating the awards, Theatre Philadelphia helps funnel $75,500 of foundation and grant money to artists and foundations.

Barrymore Awards of Excellence in Theatre nominations, 2016-2017

Outstanding Overall Production of a Play

  • Hand to God (Philadelphia Theatre Company)
  • How to Use a Knife (InterAct Theatre Company)
  • The Legend of Georgia McBride (Arden Theatre Company)
  • The Mountaintop (People's Light and Theatre Company)
  • The Seagull (EgoPo Classic Theater)
  • Stupid F-ing Bird (Arden Theatre Company)
  • When the Rain Stops Falling (The Wilma Theater)

Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical

  • A Year with Frog & Toad (Arden Theatre Company)
  • Godspell (Eagle Theatre)
  • Gypsy (Arden Theatre Company)
  • The Light Princess (Arden Theatre Company)
  • Lizzie (11th Hour Theatre Company)
  • Monty Python’ s Spamalot (Resident Theatre Company)

Outstanding Direction of a Play

  • Steve H. Broadnax III (The Mountaintop, People's Light and Theatre Company)
  • Emmanuelle Delpech (The Legend of Georgia McBride, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Brenna Geffers (Anna, EgoPo Classic Theater)
  • Claire Moyer (Radiant Vermin, Inis Nua Theatre Company)
  • Aaron Posner (Stupid F-ing Bird, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Lane Savadove (The Seagull, EgoPo Classic Theater)
  • Blanka Zizka (When the Rain Stops Falling, The Wilma Theater)

Outstanding Direction of a Musical

  • Kate Galvin (Lizzie, 11th Hour Theatre Company)
  • Kristin McLaughlin Mitchell (Monty Python’s Spamalot, Resident Theatre Company)
  • Terrence J. Nolen (Gypsy, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Steve Pacek (The Light Princess, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Ted Wioncek III (John and Jen, Eagle Theatre)

Outstanding Leading Actress in a Play

  • Jaylene Clark Owens (Vanessa, WHITE, Theatre Horizon)
  • Sarah Gliko (Marianne, Constellations, The Wilma Theater)
  • Eleanor Handley (Romaine Helger, Witness for the Prosecution, Bristol Riverside Theatre)
  • Patrese D. McLain (Camae, The Mountaintop, People's Light and Theatre Company)
  • Kittson O’Neill (The Pilot, Grounded, InterAct Theatre Company)
  • Susan Riley Stevens (Emma Goldman, Marcus/Emma, InterAct Theatre Company)
  • Samantha Rosenstrater (Shelly, Grand Concourse, Theatre Horizon)

Outstanding Leading Actor in a Play

  • Akeem Davis (Jackson, Buzzer, Theatre Exile)
  • Akeem Davis (Marcus Garvey, Marcus/Emma, InterAct Theatre Company)
  • Scott Greer (George, How to Use a Knife, InterAct Theatre Company)
  • Jered McLenigen (Roland, Constellations, Wilma Theater)
  • Aubie Merrylees (Tyrone, Jason, Hand to God, Philadelphia Theatre Company)
  • Matteo Scammell (Casey, The Legend of Georgia McBride, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Lindsay Smiling (Steve, How to Use a Knife, InterAct Theatre Company)
  • Bowman Wright (Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., The Mountaintop, People's Light and Theatre Company)

Outstanding Leading Actress in a Musical

  • Kim Carson (Chanteuse, Sleeping Beauty, People's Light and Theatre Company)
  • Alex Keiper (Lizzie Borden, Lizzie, 11th Hour Theatre Company)
    Mary Martello (Rose, Gypsy, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Nicole Stacie (Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope, New Freedom Theatre

Outstanding Leading Actor in a Musical

  • Alex Bechtel (Prince/Witch, The Light Princess, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Ben Dibble (Toad, A Year with Frog and Toad, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Steve Pacek (Gordon Michael Schwinn, A New Brain, Theatre Horizon)
  • Tim Rinehart (Black Stache, Peter and the Starcatcher, Eagle Theatre)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play

  • Carla Belver (Genevieve, John, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Nancy Boykin (Older Elizabeth Law, When the Rain Stops Falling, Wilma Theater)
  • Taysha Canales (Younger Gabrielle York, When the Rain Stops Falling, Wilma Theater)
  • Eleni Delopoulos (Miss Dee, Radiant Vermin, Inis Nua Theatre Company)
  • Melanye Finister (Older Gabrielle York, When the Rain Stops Falling, Wilma Theater)
  • Hillary Parker (Liz, You for Me for You, InterAct Theatre Company)
  • Stephanie N. Walters (Lamb 1, Peaceable Kingdom, Orbiter 3)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play

  • David Bardeen (Frog, Grand Concourse, Theatre Horizon)
  • J. Hernandez (Carlos, How To Use a Knife, InterAct Theatre Company)
  • Dan Hodge (Dev, Stupid F-ing Bird, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Mikeah Ernest Jennings (Rexy & Jason, The Legend of Georgia McBride, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Stephen Rishard (Joe Ryan, When the Rain Stops Falling, Wilma Theater)
  • Ed Swidey (Trigorin, The Seagull, EgoPo Classic Theatre)
    Greg Wood (Dr. Sorn, Stupid F-ing Bird, Arden Theatre Company)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical

  • Rachel Brennan (Bridget Sullivan, Lizzie, 11th Hour Theatre Company)
  • Rachel Camp (June, Gypsy, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Caroline Dooner (Louise, Gypsy, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Leigha Kato (Mouse, Bird, Mole, Squirrel, Young Frog, A Year with Frog and Toad, Arden Theatre Company)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical

  • Malik Akil (Tulsa, Gypsy, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Doug Hara (Mr. Bungee, A New Brain, Theatre Horizon)
  • Steve Pacek (Bird, Lizard, Snail, Mole, Father Frog, A Year with Frog and Toad, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Josh Totora (Sam Slug, Sleeping Beauty, People's Light and Theatre Company)

Outstanding Scenic Design

  • Tony Cisek (The Mountaintop, People's Light and Theatre Company)
  • Paul Kuhn (The Birds, Curio Theatre Company)
  • Tim Mackabee (John, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Sara Outing (How We Got On, Azuka Theatre)
  • Matt Saunders (When the Rain Stops Falling, The Wilma Theater)
  • Thom Weaver (The Seagull, EgoPo Classic Theatre)

Outstanding Costume Design

  • Oana Botez (Adapt! Wilma Theater)
  • Richard St. Clair (A Year with Frog and Toad, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Nikki Delhomme (Sleeping Beauty, People's Light and Theatre Company)
  • Olivera Gajic (The Legend of Georgia McBride, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Rebecca Kanach (Peaceable Kingdom, Orbiter 3)
  • Jill Keys (The Light Princess, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Kayla Speedy (Lizzie, 11th Hour Theatre Company)

Outstanding Lighting Design

  • Joshua Schulman (The Mountaintop, People's Light and Theatre Company)
  • Maria Shaplin (The Legend of Georgia McBride, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Masha Tsimring (Grounded, InterAct Theatre Company)
  • Thom Weaver (Gypsy, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Thom Weaver (Lizzie, 11th Hour Theatre Company)
  • Thom Weaver (The Seagull, EgoPo Classic Theater)
  • Yi Zhao (When the Rain Stops Falling, Wilma Theater)

Outstanding Sound Design

  • Christopher Colucci (When the Rain Stops Falling, The Wilma Theater)
  • Lucas Fendley (How We Got On, Azuka Theatre)
  • Damien Figueras (Antihero, Tribe of Fools)
  • Rob Kaplowitz (Grounded, InterAct Theatre Company)
  • Daniel Perelstein (Adapt!,Wilma Theater)
  • Toby Pettit (Lizzie, 11th Hour Theatre Company)
  • Chris Sannino (The Birds, Curio Theatre Company)

Outstanding Original Music

  • Alex Bechtel (The Light Princess, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Alex Bechtel (Sleeping Beauty, People's Light and Theatre Company)
  • Christopher Colucci (When the Rain Stops Falling, The Wilma Theater)
  • Michael Hahn and Liz Filios (An Iliad, Lantern Theater Company)
  • Andrew Nelson (The Arsonists, Azuka Theatre)
  • Marina Sadovksa (Adapt!, Wilma Theater)
  • Daniel Perelstein (Stupid -ing Bird, Arden Theatre Company)

Outstanding Choreography/Movement

  • Terry Brennan (School Play, Tribe of Fools)
    Michael Consenza (Anthihero, Tribe of Fools)
  • Melanie Cotton (The Legend of Georgia McBride, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Brenna Geffers and K.O. Delmarcelle (Anna, EgoPo Classic Theatre)
  • Jenn Rose (Gypsy, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Samantha Reading (Mauritius, Act II Theatre Company)
  • Derek Roland (Monty Python’s Spamalot, Resident Theatre Company)

Outstanding Music Direction

  • Alex Bechtel (The Light Princess, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Dan Kazemi (Lizzie, 11th Hour Theatre Company)
  • Amanda Morton (A Year with Frog and Toad, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Jason Neri (Godspell, Eagle Theatre)
  • Ryan Touhey (Gypsy, Arden Theatre Company)

Outstanding Ensemble in a Play

  • Anna (EgoPo Classic Theatre)
  • How To Use a Knife (InterAct Theatre Company)
  • The Legend of Georgia McBride (Arden Theatre Company)
  • The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (People's Light and Theatre Company)
  • Peaceable Kingdom (Orbiter 3)
  • The Seagull (EgoPo Classic Theatre)
  • When the Rain Stops Falling (The Wilma Theater)

Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical

  • Gypsy (Arden Theatre Company)
  • The Light Princess (Arden Theatre Company)
  • Lizzie (11th Hour Theatre Company)
  • Monty Python’s Spamalot (Resident Theatre Company)
  • Sleeping Beauty (People's Light and Theatre Company)

Independence Foundation Award for Outstanding New Play/Musical

  • Anna by Brenna Geffers and the Ensemble (EgoPo Classic Theatre)
  • How to Use a Knife by Will Snider (InterAct Theatre Company)
  • The Light Princess by Anthony Lawton and Alex Bechtel (Arden Theatre Company)
  • Marcus/Emma by Mary Tuomanen (InterAct Theatre Company)
  • Peaceable Kingdom by Mary Tuomanen (Orbiter 3)
  • WHITE by James Ijames (Theatre Horizon)

Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Penelope Reed

F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Philadelphia Theatre Artist

  • Rachel Camp
  • Jaylene Clark Owens
  • Katherine Fritz
  • Allison Heishman
  • Mary Tuomanen
  • Rebecca Wright

Virginia Brown Martin Philadelphia Award

  • Buzzer (Theatre Exile)
  • The Mountaintop (People's Light and Theatre Company)
  • Peaceable Kingdom (Orbiter 3)
  • WHITE (Theatre Horizon)

June and Steve Wolfson Award for an Evolving Theatre Company

  • The Bearded Ladies Cabaret
  • Curio Theatre Company
  • EgoPo Classic Theater
  • Quintessence Theatre Group
  • Simpatico Theatre
  • Tribe of Fools

Victory Foundation Award for Outstanding Theatre Education Program

  • Curio Theatre Company
  • Lantern Theater Company
  • Theatre Exile
  • Theatre Horizon