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The DFW Theater Critics Forum Announces 2013 Honors List. No Carbs Reported Hurled During Selection Process.

Alex Organ and Whitney Bashor in the sweep hit Fly By Night.
Alex Organ and Whitney Bashor in the sweep hit Fly By Night.
Photo by Karen Almond

Twelve-year-old actress Kennedy Waterman, the late Jerry Russell and lots and lots of Shakespeare are on this year's list of honorees chosen by the 12 members of the DFW Theater Critics Forum. The annual luncheon and voting session was held Saturday, September 7. Maybe it was the heat, maybe we've all mellowed, but the final rounds of voting went on without raised voices or anyone throwing a biscuit at DMN critic Lawson Taitte.

Winners get nothing but love and their names on the list online or in print as their reward. No shiny statuette, not even a laser-printed certificate of merit. Just the knowledge that out of the hundreds of productions reviewed from August 2012 to August 2013, these are the shows and performances that local theater critics acknowledge as outstanding. Note that some winners, including director Susan Sargeant and Jeffrey Schmidt, and actors Jenny Ledel, Alex Organ, Martha Harms and Gregory Lush, are noted for their work in more than one play or musical during the year.

The Most Happy Fella grabs cross-category awards.
The Most Happy Fella grabs cross-category awards.
Photo by Michael C. Foster

Directors Regan Adair, In a Forest, Dark and Deep (Second Thought Theatre) Jim Covault, The Taming of the Shrew (Stage West) Cheryl Denson, The Most Happy Fella (Lyric Stage) Joel Ferrell, Gruesome Playground Injuries (Second Thought Theatre) Jonathan Fielding, The True Story of the Tragic Life and Triumphant Death of Julia Pastrana, The Ugliest Woman in the World (Amphibian Stage Productions) Tim Johnson, The Chairs (Kitchen Dog Theater) Matthew Posey, Dreams of Slaughtered Sheep (Ochre House) Susan Sargeant, Children of a Lesser God (Contemporary Theatre of Dallas) and Lydie Marland in the Afterlife (WingSpan Theater Company at the Festival of Independent Theatres) Jeffrey Schmidt, On the Eve (Spacegrove Productions), Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo and Enron (Theatre Three)  Jeff Swearingen, Daffodil Girls, Inspired by David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross (Fun House Theatre and Film) T.J. Walsh, The Taming of the Shrew (Trinity Shakespeare Festival)

Elizabeth Evans, Matthew Posey and Justin Locklear in Dreams of Slaughtered Sheep at Ochre House.
Elizabeth Evans, Matthew Posey and Justin Locklear in Dreams of Slaughtered Sheep at Ochre House.
Photo by Ginger Berry

New Play or Musical Daffodil Girls, Inspired by David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross by Jeff Swearingen (from an idea by Bren Rapp) Dreams of Slaughtered Sheep by Matthew Posey Fly By Night (at Dallas Theater Center) by Kim Rosenstock, Will Connolly and Michael Mitnick On the Eve by Shawn and Seth Magill and Michael Federico

Touring Production Anything Goes (Lexus Broadway Series) The Book of Mormon (Lexus Broadway Series) Traces (Lexus Broadway Series) Underneath the Lintel (Patrick O'Brien, Out of the Loop Fringe Festival)

Actors Jac Alder, Freud's Last Session (Theatre Three) David Coffee, Fly By Night Bruce DuBose, An Iliad (Undermain Theatre) Max Hartman, RX (Kitchen Dog Theater) Chris Hury, The Taming of the Shrew (Stage West) Gregory Lush, On the Eve (Spacegrove Productions) and Penelope (Undermain Theatre) Alex Organ, The Most Happy Fella and Fly By Night Raphael Parry, The Chairs Montgomery Sutton, Gruesome Playground Injuries Ashley Wood, Children of a Lesser God

 

12-year-old Kennedy Waterman winning in Daffodil Girls
12-year-old Kennedy Waterman winning in Daffodil Girls

Actress Rhonda Boutté, The Chairs Marianne Galloway, Children of a Lesser God Amber Nicole Guest, The Most Happy Fella Martha Harms, RX, On the Eve and The Lucky Chance; or, The Alderman's Bargain (the latter at Echo Theatre) Jenny Ledel, Becky Shaw (Kitchen Dog Theater) and On the Eve Tina Parker, RX Allison Pistorius, The Taming of the Shrew (Stage West) Kennedy Waterman, Daffodil Girls Barbara Wood, Knock Me a Kiss (Jubilee Theatre)

Ensemble On the Eve The Taming of the Shrew (Trinity Shakespeare Festival) Jailbait (Dallas Actors Lab)

Creative Contribution Score, Home by Hovercraft, On the Eve Music and sound design, Bruce DuBose and Paul Semrad, An Iliad Sound design, John Flores, Gruesome Playground Injuries Set design, Timothy R. Mackabee, The Odd Couple (Dallas Theater Center) Set design, Scott Osborne, The Chairs Set design, Bob Lavallee, The Tale of the Allergist's Wife (Theatre Arlington) and Gruesome Playground Injuries Design team, The Taming of the Shrew and Julius Caesar (Trinity Shakespeare Festival) Design team, Dreams of Slaughtered Sheep Costume design, Ryan Matthieu Smith, The Lucky Chance

Special Citations The late Jerry Russell, founder of Stage West, for his lifetime contributions to the North Texas theater community as an actor, director, producer and advocate.

Jeff Swearingen and Bren Rapp, co-founders of Plano's Fun House Theatre and Film, for their innovative approach to youth theater and their dedication to the future of the craft of making theater.

*****

DFW Critics Forum members this year are Mark Lowry, TheaterJones and Fort Worth Star-Telegram; Punch Shaw, S-T; Lawson Taitte, Dallas Morning News; Arnold Wayne Jones, Dallas Voice; Martha Heimberg, TheaterJones and Turtle Creek News; Lauren Smart, freelancer; Liz Johnstone and M. Lance Lusk, D Magazine and FrontRow; Lindsey Wilson, CultureMap Dallas; Alexandra Bonifield, Critical Rant and Rave blog; Kris Noteboom, TheaterJones; and yours truly from Dallas Observer.


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