Tag Archives: 2012-2013 Season

Announcing the Grand Award Winners…

The following article can be found on www.mlive.com

Actors’ Theatre leads Grand Award winners with outstanding musical, play

Henry, played by Duncan McCarger, listens to Natalie, played by Maggie Nye, in a scene from Next to Normal by Actors' Theatre. (Jon M. Brouwer|MLIVE.COM)

Henry, played by Duncan McCarger, listens to Natalie, played by Maggie Nye, in a scene from Next to Normal by Actors’ Theatre. (Jon M. Brouwer|MLIVE.COM)

By Sue Merrell | grentertainment@mlive.com

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Racking up awards is next to normal for Actors’ Theatre, which won a total of 11 Grand Awards Sunday night including Outstanding Musical for “Next to Normal” and Outstanding Play for “A Steady Rain.” Circle Theatre productions won seven awards including four for the season’s final show, “Sweeney Todd.”

“It’s just been a really good year for theatre,” said Larry Young, who won the lead actor award for “Sweeney Todd.” Young also was nominated as the lead actor in “Next to Normal.” Both shows were favorites for Young, who said he felt more of a connection to “Next to Normal” which deals with mental illness in a realistic, sympathetic manner.

Grand Awards, which raises money for the Combined Theater Scholarships, filled Civic Theatre with a rowdy crowd of dressed up performers, ranging from an oversized female impersonator to child actress nominee Zoe Meyering. In honor of the 17th annual event, the evening opened with a snazzy dance routine by a group of 17-year-olds, who then ran the rest of the show by announcing the nominees and winners.

A highlight of the three-hour program was a tribute to Paul Dreher, longtime managing director of Civic Theatre, who died in June. The tribute featured many area performers, including Actors’ Theatre founder Fred Sebulske, coloratura pops artist Diane Penning-Koperski, Circle managing director Lynne Brown-Tepper and Chicago actor Kirk Swenk, all performing songs they learned at Civic Theatre under the direction of Dreher.

Dreher also received posthumous Grand Awards for his direction of “Amadeus” at Aquinas College and for his lighting design, with daughter Catherine Marlett Dreher, for “Wait Until Dark.”

Duane Davis, longtime director of choral music for Grand Rapids Community College, received the Norma Brink Lifetime Achievement award. Lou Vanderhave received a special award for his volunteer commitment. The stage crew of “Legally Blonde” won the new techie award for collecting the most additional contributions for Combined Theatre Scholarships.

This year’s scholarship recipients are Brook Bruce Purnell, Daniel Orris Jr. and Will Vicari.

After the presentations ended, and people were starting to leave, a flash mob dance routine snowballed on the stage, starting with one dancer, then three, five, more. Local actress Ellie Frances was brought onto the stage and given roses by many more performers who filed onto the stage. Then her friend, local actress Tracey Walker, took a microphone, got down on one knee and proposed before the assembled friends and family. The acceptance was sealed with a kiss and a ring.

Here’s a list of this year’s Grand Award winners:

• Outstanding Musical: “Next to Normal” (Actors’)
Lead Actor: Larry Young, “Sweeney Todd” (Circle)
• Lead Actress: Kelly Carey, “Next to Normal” (Actors’)
• Supporting Actor: Stephen Grey, “ Sweeney Todd”
• Supporting Actress: Maggie Nye, “Next to Normal”
• Director: Fred Sebulske, “Next to Normal” (Actors’)
• Musical Direction: Wright McCargar, “Sweeney Todd” (Circle)
• Choreography: Mary Lohman, “The Wedding Singer” (Circle)

• Outstanding Play: “A Steady Rain” (Actors’)
• Lead Actor : (Actors’); Todd Lewis, “A Steady Rain” (Actors’)
• Lead Actress: Samantha Rena Dam, “Nadia”(Actors’)
• Supporting Actor: Andrew McClelland, “Looking for Normal” (Actors’)
• Supporting Actress: Kitty Carrico Carpenter, “Looking for Normal” (Actors’)
Director :Jeralyn Pinsky, “A Steady Rain” (Actors’)

• Scenic Design: Christian Poquette, “Next to Normal” (Actors’)
• Lighting Design: Catherine Marlett Dreher, “Sweeney Todd” (Circle); Paul A. Dreher and Catherine Marlett Dreher, “Wait Until Dark” (Circle)
• Costume Design: Robert Fowle “Boeing-Boeing” (Circle)

• Outstanding Production: “Amadeus” (Aquinas)
• Lead Actor: Micah Hazel, “The Ladies Man” (GRCC)
• Lead Actress: Rachel Varley, “Reckless” (Aquinas)
• Supporting Actor: Christopher VanderArk, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” (Cornerstone)
• Supporting Actress: Meeka Postman, “Crooked” (GRCC)
• Direction: Paul A Dreher, “Amadeus” (Aquinas)

• Outstanding production: “The Mystic Tale of Aladdin” (Circle).

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Actors’ Theatre Grand Award Nominations

Grand AwardsActors’ Theatre would like to congratulate all the nominees of this year’s Grand Awards! It was another great year for theatre. You can see a complete list on the Grand Awards Facebook page.

We are honored and proud to receive the following nominations for Actors’ Theatre productions:

Supporting Actor in a Musical: Kyle Los, Next to Normal
Supporting Actor in a Musical: Duncan McCargar, Next to Normal
Lead Actor in a Musical: Larry Young, Next to Normal
Supporting Actress in a Musical: Maggie Nye, Next to Normal
Lead Actress in a Musical: Kelly Carey, Next to Normal
Director of a Musical: Fred Sebulske, Next to Normal
Scenic Design: Christian Poquette, Next to Normal
Lighting Design: Catherine Dreher, Next to Normal
Musical Direction: Scott Patrick Bell, Next to Normal
Choreography: Jolene Frankey, Next to Normal
Musical Production: Next to Normal
Supporting Actor: Andrew McClelland, Looking for Normal
Lead Actor: Jim Cantrell, A Steady Rain
Lead Actor: Todd Lewis, A Steady Rain
Lead Actor: Craig Hammerlind, Looking for Normal
Supporting Actress: Kitty Carrico Carpenter, Looking for Normal
Lead Actress: Samantha Gauthier, Looking for Normal
Lead Actress: Rena Dam, Nadia
Director: Jeralyn Pinsky, A Steady Rain
Director: Fred Sebulske, Looking for Normal
Production: A Steady Rain
Production: Looking for Normal
Production: Nadia

Photo credit: Dave Kagan, Sensitography — with Jim Cantrell and Todd Lewis at Actors' Theatre Grand Rapids

“A Steady Rain” Photo credit: Dave Kagan, Sensitography — with Jim Cantrell and Todd Lewis at Actors’ Theatre Grand Rapids

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“Beauty Queen of Leenane” Closes to Sold Out Houses!

Beauty Queen of Leenane

Production still from “The Beauty Queen of Leenane” written by Martin McDonagh.

Actors’ Theatre would like to thank everyone who came out and saw our first Second Space production at Dog Story Theatre, “The Beauty Queen of Leenane.” The production was a great success and closed with Sold Out shows. We are grateful for all the positive comments, like these from our Facebook page:

From Kathy MV: Fabulous production – superb acting…still haunting me today.

From Deb C.: This show is a must see. The performances are across the board spot on. As always, with Fred Sebulske at the helm of such a talented & experienced cast, the whole production is at the highest level. And Dog Story Theater harks back to the original days of Actors’ in the old church. Very grateful to all involved for bringing this uber dark story to frighteningly real life on stage. Major kudos to everyone!

From Ginny K: This is a marvelous production!!! Bravo to Fred Sebulske and the superb cast. Wish I could see it a second time…

From Kathy B: Incredible show! An absolute “Must See”! Amy, Rose Anne, Craig and Dylan provide the most amazing acting you will ever see, even in this town of many incredible actors…. Thank you, Fred and Actors’ Theatre for a thrilling evening.
From Mary Beth Q: Congratulations to Actors’ on a great production and a great inaugural run at the Dog Story Theater!

Even though the cast has left Leenane, the Second Space Series still has more to come! Up Next: Circle Mirror Transformation. Circle Mirror Transformation will also be hosted by our friends at Dog Story Theatre. Be sure and reserve your seats right away – there are only 50 seats each evening!

Circle Mirror Transformation

August 22, 23, 24, 28, 29, 30 & 31 – 8pm
August 25 & September 1 – 3pm
Dog Story Theater, 7 Jefferson Avenue SE, Grand Rapids

Circle Mirror Transformation

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Coming Next Month – Actors’ NEW Second Space Series!

The Beauty Queen Of Leenane

by Martin McDonagh
July 17 – 28, 2013 – 8PM
Dog Story Theater, 7 Jefferson Avenue SE, Grand Rapids

The Beauty Queen Of Leenane

Maureen Folan is plain.  Maureen Folan is lonely.  Maureen Folan’s sisters have moved on to marriage and children while she remains as the caretaker for her manipulative, aging, and harshly critical mother Mag.  When Mag interferes with Maureen’s first and possibly final chance for a love of her own, their already awful relationship takes an even sharper turn for the worse.

Equal parts hilarious, chilling and tragic, The Beauty Queen of Leenane is a dark Irish comedy by one of the masters of the genre.  Author of The Lieutenant of InishmoreA Skull in Connemara and The Pillowman, among others, Part One of McDonagh’s “Leenane Trilogy” is the Tony Award-winning play that will have you leaving the theatre aghast and abuzz.

Reserve your tickets on the Actors’ Theatre website today!

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This Weekend: LOTE X

This Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8:00PM:
Living on the Edge X – Superstition

LOTE Actors Theatre

It’s almost here!  It’s an event our long-term patrons tell us is one of their favorite of the season.  For a decade now we’ve issued a call for ten-minute play submissions in the fall, of which five are selected for full public performance this Saturday in the Spectrum Theater Black Box (Room 201). The five plays scheduled for production this year are all submissions by Michigan playwrights and will include:

Love and Broken Legs
 by Todd Lewis
When two sisters living in the 1700s fall in love with the same man, drama leads to chaos, which leads to…. well, you’ll just have to wait and see.

Director: Rob Karel

Ellie Frances (Agatha)
Tracey Walker (Katherine)

Adam Hyde (Rupert)

The Rabbit’s Foot
 by Mary Krohn
Danny, in his first criminal court case, has defended Sylvia in trial against serious charges and await the verdict. Sylvia calls Danny her lucky rabbit’s foot, but not for the reasons he might think…
Director: Scott Baisden
Bernice Houseward (Sylvia)

Benjy Shirm (Danny)

The Dream Date
 by Kristin Andrea Hanratty
When Blake discovers June’s unconventional beliefs, their budding relationship takes an unexpected turn.
Director: Kylie Piette
 Matt Dixon (Blake)

Chelsea Heeringa (June)

Cold Feet
 by Brad Sytsma
Gathering strangers together to celebrate the joining of two lives can get complicated, even when things go right. Cold Feet explores what happens when superstitions collapse and weddings go (very!) wrong.
Director: Benjy Shirm
Merrill Weber (Bride)
Matt Dixon (Groom)
Jeff Kemperman (Father of the Bride)
Stacy Wykoski (Mother of the Bride)
Jenny Fischer (Bridesmaid)

Benjy Shirm (Best Man)

Lucky Red
 by Todd Lewis
A little love, an egg, a sperm, nine-months, and more than a little luck – the formula for a perfect newborn baby. While in the final stages of giving birth to their first baby, Nick and Kaylee turn to more than science to make sure the delivery works out.
Director: Mary Beth Quillin
Adam Hyde (Nick)
Keelyn VanderWeide (Kaylee)
Charity Dishon-Fischer (Dr. Rivers)
Ruth Ann Molenaar (Monique)


Join us for a fun evening of original short plays and see why “Living on the Edge” is the perfect way to cap another season of Actors’ Theatre!  Call (616) 234-3968 or click the button below to purchase your tickets:

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