It was a banner year for Theatre 3 at the annual Dallas-Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum luncheon, with three shows — The Farnsworth Invention, Superior Donuts and Avenue Q, which is still running — collectively garnering 10 awards, the most for any company. The star of Donuts, Van Quattro, also received the Emerging Artist Award.
It was a love fest for love, too, as partners Michael Serrecchia and Michael Robinson were both recognized for Avenue Q — Serrecchia for directing, and Robinson for designing the puppets.
Terry Vandivort, a staple at Theatre 3 for decades, received an award for his performance at Contemporary Theatre of Dallas in its The Night of the Iguana, alongside co-winner Ashley Wood. The show was also recognized for Rene Moreno’s direction. Moreno was additionally cited for directing August: Osage County at WaterTower and Coriolanus at Shakespeare Dallas.
Uptown Players received several nods as well: For B.J. Cleveland’s leading role in The Producers, wrapping up its run this week (as well as Serrecchia’s direction), and for Lulu Ward’s performance in last year’s Pride Performing Arts Festival for The New Century. (I declared her 2011’s Actor of the Year for the role.)
The gay-penned surprise hit musical Bring It On was the clear favorite among national tours.
In total, 30 shows were recognized and 41 awards given by the participating critics: Arnold Wayne Jones, Dallas Voice; Elaine Liner, Dallas Observer; Mark Lowry, Perry Stewart and Martha Heimberg, TheaterJones; Lawson Taitte, Dallas Morning News; Lance Lusk, Lindsey Wilson and Liz Jonhstone, FrontRow/D Magazine; Alexandra Bonifield, CriticalRant; and Punch Shaw, Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Here’s the complete list:
Direction: Bruce R. Coleman, Superior Donuts (Theatre 3); Cheryl Denson, Oklahoma (Lyric Stage); Tre Garrett, Topdog/Underdog (Jubilee Theatre); Patrick Kelly, The Birthday Party (Undermain Theatre); Rene Moreno, The Night of the Iguana (Contemporary Theatre of Dallas), August: Osage County (WaterTower Theatre) and Coriolanus (Shakespeare Dallas); Jeffrey Schmidt, The Farnsworth Invention (Theatre 3); Michael Serrecchia, Avenue Q (Theatre 3) and The Producers (Uptown Players).
New Play or Musical: Diamond Dick: The Tulsa Race Riots of 1921 by Erik Ehn (Project X: Theatre); International Falls by Thomas Ward (Haven Productions at WTT’s Out of the Loop Fringe Festival); Mean by Matthew Posey (Ochre House); Ruth by Vicki Caroline Cheatwood (Kitchen Dog Theater).
Actor: B.J. Cleveland, The Producers; Kyle Cotton, Oklahoma; Chuck Huber, The Real Thing (Stage West); Alex Organ, Coriolanus and The Farnsworth Invention; Chris Piper, Superior Donuts and A Free Man of Color (African American Repertory Theater); Van Quattro, Superior Donuts; Terry Vandivort, The Night of the Iguana; Ashley Wood, The Night of the Iguana.
Actress: Emily Scott Banks, A Most Dangerous Woman (Echo Theatre); Erica Harte, Oklahoma and Spring Awakening (WaterTower Theatre); Jenny Ledel, Twelfth Night (Shakespeare Dallas) and Turn of the Screw (Kitchen Dog Theater); Ebony Marshall-Oliver, Pretty Fire (Jubilee Theatre); Barrett Nash, My Name is Rachel Corrie (Rite of Passage at the Festival of Independent Theatres); Sally Nystuen Vahle, God of Carnage (Dallas Theater Center); Lulu Ward, The New Century (Uptown Players) and Counting the Ways (WingSpan Theatre Co.); Sherry Jo Ward, August: Osage County and International Falls.
Ensemble Cast: August: Osage County; Oklahoma; Avenue Q; The Farnsworth Invention; The Birthday Party.
Creative Contribution: Diamond Dick, for the creative team; Avenue Q, for Michael Robinson and the Dallas Puppet Theater’s puppet design and construction; Mean, for Justin Locklear’s music; Oklahoma, for Ann Nieman’s choreography; Superior Donuts, for David Walsh’s set design; The Tempest (Dallas Theater Center), for Beowulf Borritt’s set design.
Touring Production: American Idiot (Lexus Broadway Series); Bring It On (Dallas Summer Musicals); West Side Story (Dallas Summer Musicals); Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (Performing Arts Fort Worth).
Special Award: To Nouveau 47 Theatre, for their commitment to the mission of developing and presenting new and original works.
Emerging Artist Award: Van Quattro.