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27th Elliot Norton Awards: 2009
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27TH ELLIOT NORTON AWARDS: 2009

The Elliot Norton Awards, which recognize excellence in Greater Boston theater, celebrated their 27th anniversary on Monday, May 11, at Harvard University’s Sanders Theatre.  The awards honored the season's best work in Boston's theaters (from April 2008 to March 2009).

 

The Boston Theater Critics Association awarded a special Elliot Norton Award to the late Paul Benedict “for his indelible presence in Boston theater and on the national stage.” Benedict was a member of David Wheeler’s Theatre Company of Boston in the 1960s and returned to the area regularly, appearing with the American Repertory Theatre and the Huntington Theatre Company, among others.  Wheeler introduced special guest Al Pacino, who appeared with Benedict in such Theatre Company of Boston productions as “Richard III” and “Arturo Ui.”

 

Rick Lombardo, outgoing artistic director of the New Repertory Theatre, was this year’s recipient of the Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence. New Rep’s artists have won 18 Norton Awards since Lombardo joined the company in 1996, and the theater’s budget has grown from $500,000 to more than $2 million. Lombardo also shepherded the theater’s move from Newton Highlands to the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown. He is now artistic director of the San Jose Repertory Theatre.          

 

In addition, StageSource presented its annual Theatre Hero Award to Joyce Kulhawik, for her service,

inspiration and role as a champion to Boston area theatres and the arts. The Norton Committee also presented a special citation to the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University. The evening also included musical performances from the current national tour of “Spring Awakening” and from previous New Rep shows.

 

2009 Elliot Norton Award Nominees and Recipients (winners in bold) 

 

OUTSTANDING VISITING PRODUCTION
Aurelia’s Oratorio, American Repertory Theatre
Spalding Gray: Stories Left to Tell, Institute of Contemporary Art
Wishful Drinking, Huntington Theatre Company

 

OUTSTANDING DESIGN, SMALL/MIDSIZE COMPANY
David R. Gammons (set), The Duchess of Malfi (Actors’ Shakespeare Project)
Janie E. Howland (set), Eurydice (New Repertory Theatre) and The History Boys (SpeakEasy Stage Company)
Susan Zeeman Rogers (set), The Light in the Piazza (SpeakEasy Stage Company)

 

OUTSTANDING DESIGN, LARGE COMPANY
James Noone (set), The Corn Is Green (Huntington Theatre Company)
Francis O’Connor (set and costumes), Two Men of Florence (Huntington Theatre Company)
Douglas W. Schmidt (set), Rock ’n’ Roll (Huntington Theatre Company, in association with American Conservatory Theater)

 

OUTSTANDING SOLO PERFORMANCE
Elizabeth Aspenlieder, Bad Dates (Shakespeare & Company and Merrimack Repertory Theatre)

Nancy E. Carroll, The Year of Magical Thinking (Lyric Stage Company of Boston)
Ken Howard, According to Tip (New Repertory Theatre)

 

OUTSTANDING NEW SCRIPT
Dick Flavin, According to Tip (New Repertory Theatre)
Ryan Landry (book and lyrics), Ryan Landry and Billy Hough (music), Whizzin’ (Gold Dust Orphans)
Joyce Van Dyke, The Oil Thief (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre)

 

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR, SMALL/FRINGE COMPANY
Akiba Abaka, In the Continuum (Up You Mighty Race)
Judy Braha, The Oil Thief (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre)
Summer L. Williams, Voyeurs de Venus (Company One)

 

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR, MIDSIZE COMPANY
Scott Edmiston, The History Boys and The Light in the Piazza (SpeakEasy Stage Company) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Lyric Stage Company of Boston)
David R. Gammons, Blackbird (SpeakEasy Stage Company) and The Duchess of Malfi (Actors’ Shakespeare Project)
Carmel O’Reilly, The Seafarer (SpeakEasy Stage Company)

 

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR, LARGE COMPANY
Nicholas Martin, She Loves Me and The Corn Is Green (Huntington Theatre Company)
Carey Perloff, Rock ’n’ Roll (Huntington Theatre Company, in association with American Conservatory Theater)
Marcus Stern, Endgame (American Repertory Theatre)

 

OUTSTANDING ACTOR, SMALL/MIDSIZE COMPANY
Will Lyman, Exits and Entrances (New Repertory Theatre) and The Oil Thief (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre)
Richard Snee, November (Lyric Stage Company of Boston)
Spiro Veloudos, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Lyric Stage Company of Boston)

 

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS, SMALL/MIDSIZE COMPANY
Marianna Bassham, Blackbird (SpeakEasy Stage Company)
Georgia Lyman, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Lyric Stage Company of Boston) and Look Back in Anger (Orfeo Group)
Annette Miller, Martha Mitchell Calling (Nora Theatre Company)

 

OUTSTANDING ACTOR, LARGE COMPANY
Brooks Ashmanskas, She Loves Me (Huntington Theatre Company)
Larry Coen, As You Like It (Free Shakespeare, presented by Citi Performing Arts Center)
Fred Sullivan, Jr., As You Like It (Free Shakespeare, presented by Citi Performing Arts Center) and Blithe Spirit (Trinity Repertory Company)

 

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS, LARGE COMPANY
Kate Burton, The Corn Is Green (Huntington Theatre Company)
Karen MacDonald, Endgame and The Seagull (American Repertory Theatre)
Cigdem Onat, The Cry of the Reed (Huntington Theatre Company)

 

OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE
The History Boys (SpeakEasy Stage Company)
The Seafarer (SpeakEasy Stage Company)
Speech & Debate (Lyric Stage Company of Boston)

 

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION BY A FRINGE COMPANY
In the Continuum, Up You Mighty Race
Look Back in Anger, Orfeo Group
Voyeurs de Venus, Company One

 

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION BY A SMALL COMPANY
Awake and Sing!, Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre
Faith Healer, Publick Theatre
QED, Catalyst Collaborative @ MIT and Underground Railway Theater

 

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION BY A MIDSIZE COMPANY
The History Boys, SpeakEasy Stage Company
The Seafarer, SpeakEasy Stage Company
Speech & Debate, Lyric Stage Company of Boston

 

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION BY A LARGE COMPANY
The Corn Is Green, Huntington Theatre Company
Endgame, American Repertory Theatre
Rock ’n’ Roll, Huntington Theatre Company, in association with American Conservatory Theater

 

OUTSTANDING MUSICAL PRODUCTION
The Light in the Piazza, SpeakEasy Stage Company
She Loves Me, Huntington Theatre Company
Show Boat, North Shore Music Theatre

NORTON PRIZE FOR SUSTAINED EXCELLENCE: Rick Lombardo
 

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