Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



43rd Annual Non-Equity awards held

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

"The Hairy Ape"- Eugene O'Neill's expressionist play presented in a stark, brutal and imaginative setting; "Byhalia, Mississippi"- a new work of southern love and forgiveness, and "Rent"- the musical update of "La Boheme" performed in a small storefront theatre, took home the most honors on Monday, June 6, at Park West during the 43rd Annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards ceremony recognizing excellence in non-union Chicago theatre.

Griffin Theatre Company's "London Wall", a play about women in a London law firm in 1931, took top honors for Production-Play; "Rent," performed by Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, received the Jeff Award for Production-Musical or Revue; and two productions tied for the coveted Ensemble Award: Steep Theatre Company's production of "Posh", a story of a night of debauchery by Oxford prep school boys, and "Direct from Death Row The Scottsboro Boys", a vaudeville-type telling of the infamous case of nine African-American teenagers falsely accused of assaulting two white Alabama women, produced by Raven Theatre.

"Byhalia, Mississippi" performed by The New Colony and Definition Theatre Company, received Jeff Awards for Actress in a Supporting Role-Play ( Cecelia Wingate ), Scenic Design ( John Wilson ) and New Work ( Evan Linder ). Oracle Theatre's "The Hairy Ape" received awards for Actor in a Principal Role-Play ( Julian Parker ), Sound Design ( Jeffrey Levin ) and Artistic Specialization ( Breon Arzell for his step design ). "Rent" was honored for Production-Musical or Revue, Direction of a Musical or Revue ( Scott Weinstein ), Music Direction ( Jeremy Ramey ) and Actor in a Supporting Role-Musical or Revue ( Aubrey McGrath ). Robin Witt received the award for Direction - Play for "London Wall" at Griffin Theatre Company.

Long-time Chicago actors Karl Hamilton and Sarah Hayes returned as emcees for the award show. Brenda Didier directed Monday's ceremony, with musical direction provided by Jimmy Morehead. John D. Glover, Non-Equity Wing Chair of the Jeff Committee, produced the event.

David Liesse, Chair of the 55-member Jeff Awards Committee, welcomed the audience and presented this year's Special Jeff Award honoring director Kimberly Senior for her efforts as a mentor to emerging directors and her advocacy in helping to promote the careers of fellow artists.

Other individual acting awards went to JP Pierson for his turn as the flamboyant Mendy in Eclipse Theatre Company's "The Lisbon Traviata", Amanda Horvath in the sex and violence rock opera "Murder Ballad" at Bailiwick Chicago, Quinton Guyton as Mama Jackson in MPAACT's "Lawd the CVS is Burning…A Gospel Musical Stage Play", Courtney Mack as Valerie, the sweet girl wanting to fit in, in "Heathers: The Musical" produced by Kokandy Productions, and to Amanda Drinkall as May in the two-person play, "Last Train to Nibroc," produced by Haven Theatre. Anna Dauzvardis was honored with the award for Solo Performance in "Liberty City" at eta Creative Arts Foundation.

Additional technical nods went to Lighting Designer Charles Cooper for "Murder Ballad" at Bailiwick Chicago, and to Costume Designer John Nasca for "Design for Living" at Pride Films and Plays. The award for Choreography was presented to Sawyer Smith for his work with "Heathers: The Musical" at Kokandy Productions.

Two recipients were recognized for their New Adaptations: Elizabeth Lovelady for "D.O.A." at Strawdog Theatre Company and Christina Calvit for "Miss Buncle's Book" at Lifeline Theatre.

For the third consecutive year, the annual awards gala sold out with almost 700 guests, and featured production numbers from the season's nominated musicals and revues, as well as excerpts from the season's nominated plays.

The Jeff Awards has been honoring outstanding theatre artists annually since established in 1968. With up to 55 members representing a wide variety of backgrounds in theatre, the Jeff Awards is committed to celebrating the vitality of Chicago area theatre by recognizing excellence through its recommendations, awards and honors. The Jeff Awards fosters artistic growth of area theatres and theatre artists and promotes educational opportunities, audience appreciation, and civic pride in the achievements of the theatre community. The Jeff Awards evaluates more than 250 theatrical productions and host two awards ceremonies annually. Originally chartered to recognize only Equity productions, the Jeff Awards established the Non-Equity Wing in 1973 to celebrate outstanding achievement in non-union theatre. The next Equity Awards Ceremony, honoring productions presented under union contracts, is on Monday, October 17, 2016, at Drury Lane Oakbrook in Oakbrook Terrace.

2016 Non-Equity Jeff Award Recipients


"London Wall" - Griffin Theatre Company


"Rent" - Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre


"Posh" - Steep Theatre Company

"Direct from Death Row The Scottsboro Boys" - Raven Theatre


Robin Witt - "London Wall" - Griffin Theatre Company


Scott Weinstein - "Rent" - Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre


Julian Parker ( Yank ) - "The Hairy Ape" - Oracle Theatre


Quinton Guyton ( Mama ) - "Lawd the CVS is Burning…A Gospel Musical Stage Play" - MPAACT


Amanda Drinkall ( May ) - "Last Train to Nibroc" - Haven Theatre


Courtney Mack ( Veronica ) - "Heathers: The Musical" - Kokandy Productions


JP Pierson ( Mendy ) - "The Lisbon Traviata" - Eclipse Theatre Company


Aubrey McGrath ( Angel ) - "Rent" - Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre


Cecelia Wingate ( Celeste ) - "Byhalia, Mississippi" - The New Colony and Definition Theatre Company


Amanda Horvath ( Sara ) - "Murder Ballad" - Bailiwick Chicago


Anna Dauzvardis ( April, et al. ) - "Liberty City" - eta Creative Arts Foundation


Evan Linder - "Byhalia, Mississippi" - The New Colony and Definition Theatre Company


Elizabeth Lovelady - "D.O.A." - Strawdog Theatre Company

Christina Calvit - "Miss Buncle's Book" - Lifeline Theatre


Sawyer Smith - "Heathers: The Musical" - Kokandy Productions


Danny Rockett - "How to Explain the History of Communism to Mental Patients" - Trap Door Theatre


Jeremy Ramey - "Rent" - Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre


John Wilson - "Byhalia, Mississippi" - The New Colony and Definition Theatre Company


Charles Cooper - "Murder Ballad" - Bailiwick Chicago


John Nasca - "Design for Living" - Pride Films and Plays


Jeffrey Levin - "The Hairy Ape" - Oracle Theatre


Breon Arzell - Step Master - "The Hairy Ape" - Oracle Theatre


Theater Companies

Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre : 4

The New Colony and Definition Theatre Company: 3

Oracle Theatre: 3

Bailiwick Chicago: 2

Griffin Theatre Company: 2

Kokandy Productions: 2


"Rent": 4

"Byhalia, Mississippi": 3

"The Hairy Ape": 3

"Murder Ballad": 2

"London Wall": 2

"Heathers": 2

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Writers Theatre plans expanded season with digital programming, changes to live programming 2020-10-20
--From a press release - Glencoe, IL—Writers Theatre Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma announce changes to the company's 2020/21 Season, to include additional digital programming and updates to previously announced ...

Gay News

About Face Theatre announces 25th season of new work, digital performances 2020-10-19
--From a press release - CHICAGO — About Face Theatre is excited to announce plans for its landmark 25th anniversary season. Featuring new and original works, the company will focus on using digital streaming and online tools for most of the ...

Gay News

Virtual reading of Boys Don't Wear Lipstick Nov. 9 2020-10-19
--From a press release - Emerging Artist Theatre and Red Spear Productions will present a virtual reading of the award-winning Boy's Don't Wear Lipstick on Monday, Nov. 9 at 8 p.m. celebrating its 20th anniversary. The play is written by Brian ...

Gay News

'Jagged Little Pill,' 'Moulin Rouge!' lead Tony nods 2020-10-15
- The nominations for the 2020 Tony Awards were revealed Oct. 15. The Alanis Morissette musical Jagged Little Pill led with 15 nominations, earning at least one nomination in every eligible category (including six for the show's ...

Gay News

'Manual Cinema's Christmas Carol' running Dec. 3-20 2020-10-13
- Tickets are now on sale for the world premiere of Manual Cinema's Christmas Carol, a live streaming adaption of Charles Dickens's holiday classic created specifically for the 2020 holiday season. ...

Gay News

Goodman Theatre offers A Christmas Carol, an audio play, free 2020-10-13
- (Chicago, IL) This holiday season, as indoor performances remain suspended due to COVID-19, Goodman Theatre produces A Christmas Carol as an audio play directed by Jessica Thebus. Offered free for all audiences, the 43rd annual production ...

Gay News

Black Lives, Black Words holding virtual events in October, November 2020-10-13
- Black Lives, Black Words—an international initiative that provides local Black creatives with an artistic platform—is bringing its "Plays for the People" virtual series to a close with two more plays in October and November. On Oct. ...

Gay News

'Twisted Tales of Poe' Oct. 26-31 2020-10-12
- Just in time for Halloween, AstonRep Theatre Company launches its 2020-21 season with a free streaming radio broadcast of Twisted Tales of Poe, based on Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, adapted by Philip Grecian and directed ...

Gay News

Interrobang launching season with 'The Spin' 2020-10-12
- Interrobang Theatre Project (ITP) is launching its 11th season with The Spin, a virtual dark comedy ripped from the headlines, written and directed by Spenser Davis and commissioned by ITP. The plot is described as follows: ...

Gay News

Hell in a Handbag to celebrate Halloween by streaming Airport 1970something 2020-10-09
--From a press release - CHICAGO (Oct. 9, 2020) — Hell in a Handbag Productions once again takes on the classic 1970s disaster film genre with a totally ridiculous twist! Airport 1970SOMETHING is a parody that celebrates the popular '70s Airport ...

Gay News

Victory Gardens Theater announces StudentsFirst Virtual Showcase 2020-10-07
--From a press release - Chicago, IL—Victory Gardens Theater announces the Voices of Tomorrow: Their World on Stagefundraising event on Dec. 9, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. The virtual event will showcase powerful and moving spoken word and artistic works created by ...

Gay News

THEATER Run the Beast Down 2020-10-07
- Playwright: Titas Halder At: Strawdog Theatre online at . Tickets: Free with donation . Runs through: Oct. 25 Tottenham was once a quiet semi-rural suburb north of London where Charlie's parents lived in a bungalow ...

Gay News

'Women of Broadway' series starts Oct. 24 2020-10-03
- Northlight Theatre is one of a select group of nonprofit arts organizations participating in the three-part virtual concert series "Live from the West Side: Women of Broadway." The series will feature two-time Tony Award winner Patti ...

Gay News

Black Ensemble's 'BE Gala' Oct. 16 2020-10-02
- The Black Ensemble Theater, led by Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor, will celebrate 44 years of musical theater with its BE Gala, with the theme "The Legacy Continues: Together We Are the Change, A Musical Celebration ...

Gay News

African American Arts Alliance to hold auditions, workshop 2020-10-02
- Sponsored by the African American Arts Alliance (AAAA) and in celebration of Black Arts Month this October, several Black theaters of Chicago will partner for a united audition for Black theater artists. The free, three-day event ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Submit an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.