26th Annual NAACP Theatre Awards Announces Nominations

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Annual show honors thespians and superior stage productions.

NAACP Beverly Hills/ Hollywood Branch logo

The NAACP Beverly Hills/Hollywood Branch’s Theatre Viewing Committee announces nominations for the 26th Annual NAACP Theatre Awards. The awards include 32 categories, which encompass local and equity nominations. This year’s awards show will be held on Monday, November 21, 2016, at 6:00 p.m. at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, California.

This year’s Equity Theatre nominations include an array of magnificent productions including “Motown tbe Musical” with an impressive 11 nominations – Best Costume, Best Choreography, Best Lead Female and Male, (2) Best Supporting Male, Best Director, Best Musical Director, Best Sound, Best Lighting by two-time Tony Awards winner Natasha Katz, and the iconic Berry Gordy for Best Playwright. Tied with six nominations each, “The Gospel of Colonus”, a surprisingly 30- year old experimental theatre piece, receives nods for Best Ensemble, Best Set Design, Best Costumes plus previous NAACP Theatre Award nominee Wren T. Brown for Best Producer and Best Musical Director for Abdul H. Royal, an Ovation Award nominee. August Wilson’s classic production “FENCES” stands strong with Best Director, Best Costumes, Best Ensemble, Best Producer, and Best Sound. Both productions share nominee Karyn D. Lawrence for Best Lighting and will battle for Best Ensemble alongside the production of “Immediate Family”. Tony Award winner John Douglas Thompson leads “Satchmo at the Waldorf” with five nominations including Best Lead Male, Best Director, Best Playwright, Best Producers and Best Set Design.

“Dreamscape”, a riveting race-related, hip-hop production depicting the death of a 19 year-old young lady killed by a local police department and examined by a dispassionate County Coroner leads in Local nominations with six –Best Choreographer, Best Director, Best Female Lead, Best Male Lead, Best Playwright and Best Producer. Keena Ferguson’s exceptional one person show, “Unbranded”, follows with five nominations – Best Director, Best Lighting, Best Playwright, Best Sound, and Best One Person Show. Also with five nominations is Patricia Cuffie Jones’ “Love So Deep” for Best Lead Male and Best Lead Female plus a first-time ever in the history of the NAACP Theatre in which there is a 3-way tie for Best Supporting Female in the same production. Rounding out the local category with four nominations is the lively production of “Recorded in Hollywood”, performed at the Lillian Theatre – Best Musical Director, Best Ensemble and Best Director for Denise Dowse, a previous NAACP Theatre Award winner.

Branch President of the Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP Ron Hasson states, “I am excited about combining the awards show and the festival because this platform will bring thespians and theatre lovers from across the country to the City of Los Angeles to enjoy the art that is theatre. The NAACP Theatre Awards Show represents an ever growing theatre community in Los Angeles and we want to elevate this already highly recognized event in Los Angeles and heighten its visibility nationwide.”

The Theatre Viewing Committee considers all candidates who submit their production from January 2015 through December 2015 for possible nomination. All productions must have a five consecutive week production run in Southern California (San Diego to Bakersfield included) to be considered. Productions who meet all eligibility requirements before the deadline are considered eligible for a 2016 NAACP Theatre Award. Eligibility for this year’s edition was limited to theatre productions opening in January 2015 through December 2015. Nominees have been notified by the NAACP Theatre viewing committee Chairperson Martha Pruden-Hamiter. Nominations and winners will be posted online http://www.naacptheatreawards.com and circulated nationally via press releases and social media.

For more information on the NAACP Theatre Awards, please visit http://www.naacptheatreawards.com or email: naacpbhhwd(at)sbcglobal(dot)net.

[See Full List of Nominations Below]

Best Choreography – Equity
Motown The Musical – Patricia Wilcox and Warren Adams
Citizen: An American Lyric – Anastasia Coon
Global Taxi Driver – Shyamala Moorty

Best Choreography – Local
Dreamscape – Carrie Mikuls
Ucarmen – Lungelo Ngamiana
When Stars Align – Arthur Ross

Best Costumes – Equity
Motown The Musical – Esosa
Fences – Kim DeShazo
The Gospel At Colonus – Naila Aladdin-Sanders

Best Costumes – Local
Detroit 67 – Michaela Mendiola
Lonely Girl: The Dorothy Dandridge Story – Leroy Richardson III
Lombardi – Angela M. Eads

Best Director – Equity
Fences – Gregg Daniel
Motown The Musical – Charles Randolph-Wright
Satchmo at the Waldorf – Gordon Edelstein

Best Director – Local
Dreamscape – Rickerby Hinds.
Lombardi – Gregg T. Daniel
Keena Unbranded – Tanya Alexander

Best Director of a Musical – Local
Recorded In Hollywood – Denise Dowse
Ucarmen – Mark Dornford
The Discord Altar – Amanda Mcraven

Best Ensemble Cast – Equity
The Gospel At Colonus
Immediate Family

Best Ensemble Cast – Local
Recorded In Hollywood
Detroit 67

Best Lead Female - Equity
The Best Of Enemies – Tiffany R. Royale
Motown The Musical – Allison Semmes
As You Like It – Earnestine Phillips

Best Lead Female – Local
Dreamscape – Myeisha Mills
Love So Deep – Kelly Jenrett
Sunset Baby – Nadege August

Best Lead Male – Equity
Satchmo at the Waldorf – John Douglas Thompson
Motown The Musical – Julius Thomas III
The Whipping Man – Charlie Robinson

Best Lead Male – Local
Dreamscape – John “Faachz” Merchant
I And You – Matthew Hancock
Love So Deep – Joel Quinn

Best Lighting – Equity
Fences – Karyn D. Lawrence
The Gospel At Colonus – Karyn D. Lawrence
Motown The Musical – Natasha Katz

Best Lighting - Local
Keena Unbranded – Craig Hissong
I And You – Jeremy Pivnick
Dontrell, Who Kissed The Sea – Jeff McLaughlin

Best Music Director – Equity
The Gospel At Colonus - Abdul H. Royal
Motown The Musical – Darryl Archibald
The Who’s Tommy – Marc Macalintal

Best Music Director – Local
Recorded In Hollywood – Stephan Terry
Ucarmen – Mandisi Dyantyis
The Discord Altar – Ann Baltz

Best One Person Show - Local
Keena Unbranded – Keena Ferguson
Lonely Girl: The Dorothy Dandridge Story – Wanda Ray Willis
Conscious: Getting Unstuck Homeless To Hollywood – Dr. Merele

Best Playwright – Equity
The Best Of Enemies – Mark St. Germain
Satchmo at the Waldorf – Terry Teachout
Motown The Musical – Berry Gordy

Best Playwright – Local
Keena Unbranded – Keena Ferguson
Changes – Wallace Demarria
Dreamscape – Rickerby Hinds

Best Producer – Equity
Fences – Caryn Desai
Satchmo at the Waldorf – Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
The Gospel At Colonus – Wren T. Brown

Best Producer – Local
Recorded In Hollywood - Dolphins
Dreamscape - Hindsight
Changes – New Leaf Endeavors

Best Set Design – Equity
Satchmo at the Waldorf – Lee Savage
Immediate Family – John Lacovelli
The Gospel At Colonus – Edward E. Haynes, Jr.

Best Set Design – Local
Pieces – Helleaux Studio Design
I And You – Tom Buderwitz
Invisible Dani – Anatole Batisite

Best Sound – Equity
Motown The Musical – Ethan Popp and Bryan Crook
Fences – Jeff Polunas
The Whipping Man – Michael Roth

Best Sound – Local
Keena Unbranded – Taro Morita
Detroit 67 – John Wilson
My Children! My Africa – Greg Burns

Best Supporting Female – Equity
To Kill A Mockingbird – Earnestine Phillips
As You Like It – Crystal Clark
The Who’s Tommy – Constance J. Lopez

Best Supporting Female – Local
Love So Deep – Nadine Ellis-Sharice
Love So Deep – Shayla Hale
Love So Deep – April Parker Jones

Best Supporting Male – Equity
The Best Of Enemies – Shon Fuller Motown The Musical - Jesse Nager
Motown The Musical – Jarran Muse

Best Supporting Male – Local
Sunset Baby – Chris Gardner
My Children! My Africa – Aaron Jennings
The Conversation – Danny DeLloyd

About The NAACP Theatre Awards
The NAACP Theatre Awards is presented by the Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP Branch in partnership with the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles City Council President/Councilmember District 10 Herb Wesson, Jr. and co-chaired by Byron K. Reed, Senior Vice President of Wells Fargo-West Region Community Relations and Jeffrey Rush of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. The mission of the Theatre Awards is to entertain, educate, inspire the community and create diversity in the arts and entertainment industry. Ron Hasson is Branch President and Tia Boyd is the Executive Producer for the NAACP Theatre Awards Show. The prestigious star-studded gala is produced for the purpose of honoring thespians among the best in the field of entertainment. The branch also celebrates a four-day theatre festival, which provides a platform for thespians to express their craft and share their contributions with an audience of their peers, the community and other individuals who celebrate live theatre in Los Angeles.

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