2013-14 DFW Theater Critics Forum Awards Include Big Wins for New Work

The new play, Booth, was one of this year's Forum winners.
The new play, Booth, was one of this year's Forum winners.
Second Thought Theatre

It's rare that one of the more difficult categories to choose for the DFW Theater Critics Forum Awards is "Best New Play or Musical." But with Dallas Theater Center leading the charge and the smaller companies rising to the occasion, this year in Dallas/Fort Worth theater featured numerous new plays and musicals, which is something to celebrate.

Every September, the city's working theater critics meet to deliberate on the good, the bad, and the ugly in Dallas theater. There are the occasional unanimous nods when a member nominates a show, but mostly it's a morning spent debating (and sometimes fighting for) the shows we think deserve recognition. The final list contains the shows, actors, designers, etc., which received a quorum vote from the dozen critics on the forum. But what we unanimously agreed upon was that this year was a great year in Dallas theater.

Detroit won for best Direction, best actress, and set design.
Detroit won for best Direction, best actress, and set design.
Kitchen Dog Theater

Direction: Liesl Tommy, Les Miserables (Dallas Theater Center); Tim Johnson, Detroit (Kitchen Dog Theater); Tre Garrett, A Raisin in the Sun (Dallas Theater Center) and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (Jubilee Theatre); Susan Sargeant, The Diaries of Adam and Eve and Happy Days (WingSpan Theatre Co.); Daniel Aukin, The Fortress of Solitude (Dallas Theater Center); Terry Martin, Dogfight (WaterTower Theatre); Kevin Moriarty, Oedipus el Rey (Dallas Theater Center); David Denson, Year of the Rooster (Upstart Productions); B.J. Cleveland, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Uptown Players)

Drew Wall won for his performance in the one-man show Nocturne.
Drew Wall won for his performance in the one-man show Nocturne.
Second Thought Theatre

Actor: Steven Walters, Les Miserables (Dallas Theater Center); Drew Wall, Nocturne (Second Thought Theatre); Garrett Storms, for his season of performances; Adam Anderson, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (Jubilee Theatre); Joey Folsom, Year of the Rooster (Upstart Productions) and Hank Williams: Lost Highway (WaterTower Theatre); Alex Ross, The Boy from Oz (Uptown Players); Jaxon Beeson, Stiff (Fun House Theatre and Film).

Tiffany Hobbs won for both A Raisin in the Sun and Spunk (above).
Tiffany Hobbs won for both A Raisin in the Sun and Spunk (above).

Actress: Tina Parker, Detroit (Kitchen Dog Theater); Liz Mikel, A Raisin in the Sun (Dallas Theater Center); Tiffany Hobbs, A Raisin in the Sun (Dallas Theater Center) and Spunk (WaterTower Theatre); Allison Pistorius, Venus in Fur (Circle Theatre) and Clybourne Park (Dallas Theater Center); Juliette Talley, Dogfight (WaterTower Theatre); Janelle Lutz, The Boy from Oz (Uptown Players); Sarah Elizabeth Smith, The Boy from Oz (Uptown Players); Ashley Wilkerson, The Mountaintop (Jubilee Theatre).

The Echo Room Presents: Her Song won for Best Ensemble.
The Echo Room Presents: Her Song won for Best Ensemble.
Echo Theatre

Ensemble: Heroes (Stage West); Barbecue Apocalypse (Kitchen Dog Theater); Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Uptown Players); The Echo Room Presents: Her Song (Echo Theatre)

New company Prism Co. won for movement design in Galatea.
New company Prism Co. won for movement design in Galatea.
Prism Co.

Creative Contribution: Coy Covington for his wig and makeup design for The Boy from Oz (Uptown Players) and wig designs for Pageant:The Musical (Uptown Players); Clare Floyd DeVries for her set design, Detroit (Kitchen Dog Theater); Jay Dias for his music direction, Nine and Titanic (Lyric Stage); the design team for their season with Trinity Shakespeare Festival; Jeffrey Colangelo and Katy Tye for their movement design, Galatea (Prism Co.).

mania/gift was one of five shows recognized as Best New Play or Musical
mania/gift was one of five shows recognized as Best New Play or Musical

New Play or Musical: Stiff by Jeff Swearingen (Fun House Theatre and Film); Booth by Steven Walters (Second Thought Theatre); Barbecue Apocalypse by Matt Lyle (Kitchen Dog Theater); mania/gift by Shelby-Allison Hibbs (Echo Theatre); The Fortress of Solitude by Itamar Moses and Michael Friedman (Dallas Theater Center)

The Gerswhins' Porgy and Bess won for Best Touring Production
The Gerswhins' Porgy and Bess won for Best Touring Production
ATTPAC

Touring Production: Evita (Dallas Summer Musicals); Trick Boxing (Sossy Mechanics); The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess (ATTPAC); Peter and the Starcatcher (ATTPAC).

Matt Tomlanovich was given a special citation for his work with Margo Jones Theatre.
Matt Tomlanovich was given a special citation for his work with Margo Jones Theatre.

Upcoming Events

Special Citations: to Matt Tomlanovich for reviving the Margo Jones as a busy performance space, opening it to fledgling companies at a reasonable price, and making it available to small festivals, poetry slams, readings and dance groups; and to Lawson Taitte, for his distinguished career in arts criticism.

Voting members: Elaine Liner and Lauren Smart, Dallas Observer Lindsey Wilson, D Magazine Nancy Churnin, Dallas Morning News Mark Lowry, Martha Heimberg, Jan Farrington, M. Lance Lusk, David Novinski, TheaterJones.com Alexandra Bonifield, criticalrant.com Punch Show, Fort Worth Star-Telegram Arnold Wayne Jones, Dallas Voice


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