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St. Louis Theater Circle unveils nominations for the best local theater in 2020 and 2021

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Local productions of "Chicago," "King Lear," "Two Trains Running" and "The Glass Menagerie" received multiple St. Louis Theater Circle nominations.

After a pandemic-induced hiatus, the St. Louis Theater Circle is returning to honor the best of local theater in 2020 and 2021.

The Muny and Repertory Theatre of St. Louis lead the way with 27 nominations each. A total of 21 professional companies received nominations for 43 productions. Touring shows are ineligible. (A full list of nominees is below.)

The St. Louis Theater Circle consists of 13 critics. In a normal, nonpandemic year, the group views 120 productions. For this year's awards, the group considered both 2020 and 2021 — and that included only about 75 shows in total.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, theater critics Gerry Kowarsky of HEC-TV and Tina Farmer of KDHX talked about the state of local theater and about how the group is changing the categories for acting awards.

Instead of acting categories being grouped to honor an actor or actress, this year's categories are based on the characters in the scripts. For example, the category formerly titled “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy” is now “Outstanding Lead Performer in a Comedy — Female or Non-Binary Role.”

The St. Louis Theater Circle Awards will be streamed on HEC-TV at 7 p.m. March 28.

Outstanding Supporting Performer in a Comedy — Female or Non-Binary Role

  • Nicole Angeli, "It Is Magic," The Midnight Company
  • Chrissie Watkins, "It Is Magic," The Midnight Company
  • Ani Djirdjirian, "The Thanksgiving Play," Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
  • Colleen Heneghan, "Bloomsday," West End Players Guild
  • Jennifer Theby-Quinn, "Flanagan’s Wake," Playhouse at Westport Plaza

Outstanding Supporting Performer in a Comedy — Male or Non-Binary Role

  • Jonathan Spivey, "The Thanksgiving Play," Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
  • Chuck Brinkley, "The Thing — A Live Parody," Cherokee Street Theatre Company
  • Stephen Cefalu Jr., "The Gradient," Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
  • Joe Hanrahan, "It Is Magic," The Midnight Company
  • Carl Overly Jr., "It Is Magic," The Midnight Company

Outstanding Leading Performer in a Comedy — Female or Non-Binary Role

  • Shayna Blass, "The Thanksgiving Play," Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
  • Michelle Hand, "It Is Magic," The Midnight Company
  • Stephanie Machado, "The Gradient," Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
  • Ellie Schwetye, "Tinsel Town," The Midnight Company
  • Jennifer Theby-Quinn, "Jake’s Women," Moonstone Theatre Company

Outstanding Leading Performer in a Comedy — Male or Non-Binary Role

  • Jeff Cummings, "Jake’s Women," Moonstone Theatre Company
  • Adam Flores, "The Thanksgiving Play," Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
  • Jeremy Goldmeier, "Art," Stray Dog Theatre
  • Jordan Moore, "Dress the Part," St. Louis Shakespeare Festival
  • Garrett Young, "Dress the Part," St. Louis Shakespeare Festival

Outstanding Lighting Design in a Play

  • John Wylie, "King Lear," St. Louis Shakespeare Festival
  • Joe Clapper, "Spell #7," The Black Rep
  • Mextly Couzin, "The Gradient," Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
  • Jasmine Lesane, "Mlima’s Tale," Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
  • Seth Reiser, "A Christmas Carol," Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Outstanding Sound Design

  • Avi Amon, "Mlima’s Tale," Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
  • David R. Molina, "King Lear," St. Louis Shakespeare Festival
  • Sadah Espii Proctor, "The Gradient," Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
  • Nathan A. Roberts and Charles Coes, "A Christmas Carol," Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
  • Rusty Wandall, "Dress the Part," St. Louis Shakespeare Festival

Outstanding Costume Design in a Play

  • Brandin Vaughn, "Spell #7," The Black Rep
  • Dede Ayite, "A Christmas Carol," Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
  • Mika Eubanks, "King Lear," St. Louis Shakespeare Festival
  • Elizabeth Henning, "Tinsel Town," The Midnight Company
  • Christina Leinecke, "Dress the Part," St. Louis Shakespeare Festival

Outstanding Set Design in a Play

  • Margery & Peter Spack, "Two Trains Running," The Black Rep
  • Wilson Chin, "King Lear," St. Louis Shakespeare Festival
  • Tim Jones, "Sweat," The Black Rep
  • Carolyn Mraz, "The Gradient," Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
  • Margery & Peter Spack, "The Ville: Avengeance!" St. Louis Shakespeare Festival

Outstanding Supporting Performer in a Drama — Female or Non-Binary Role

  • Sharisa Whatley, "Two Trains Running," The Black Rep
  • Kelly Howe, "Sweat," The Black Rep
  • Amy Loui, "My Name Is Asher Lev," New Jewish Theatre
  • Alma Martinez, "Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles," Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
  • Elizabeth Teeter, "The Glass Menagerie," Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis

Outstanding Supporting Performer in a Drama — Male or Non-Binary Role

  • Chuck Winning, "My Name Is Asher Lev," New Jewish Theatre
  • Allen Gilmore, "King Lear," St. Louis Shakespeare Festival
  • Brian McKinley, "Spell #7," The Black Rep
  • Shane Signorino, "A Piece of My Heart," West End Players Guild
  • Chauncy Thomas, "The Glass Menagerie," Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis

Outstanding Leading Performer in a Drama — Female or Non-Binary Role

  • Velma Austin, "Sweat," The Black Rep
  • Kari Ely, "Comfort," St. Louis Actors’ Studio
  • Debby Lennon, "Songs for Nobodies," Max & Louie Productions
  • Michelle Hand, "Tiny Beautiful Things," Max & Louie Productions
  • Laurie McConnell, "Annapurna," St. Louis Actors’ Studio

Outstanding Leading Performer in a Drama — Male or Non-Binary Role

  • James A. Williams, "Two Trains Running," The Black Rep
  • André De Shields, "King Lear," St. Louis Shakespeare Festival
  • Kambi Gathesha, "Mlima’s Tale," Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
  • John Pierson, "Annapurna," St. Louis Actors’ Studio
  • Spencer Sickmann, "Comfort," St. Louis Actors’ Studio

Outstanding New Play

  • "Tinsel Town," by Joe Hanrahan, The Midnight Company
  • "Comfort," by Neil LaBute, St. Louis Actors’ Studio
  • "The Gradient," by Steph Del Rosso, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
  • "Madam," by Colin Healy, Fly North Theatricals
  • "Now Playing Third Base for the St. Louis Cardinals … Bond, James Bond," by Joe Hanrahan, The Midnight Company

Outstanding Achievement in Opera

  • Sean Curran, "Gianni Schicchi," Opera Theatre of St. Louis
  • Levi Hernandez, "Gianni Schicchi," Opera Theatre of St. Louis
  • Karen Kanakis, "La Fanciulla del West," Winter Opera St. Louis
  • Patricia Racette, "La Voix Humaine," Opera Theatre of St. Louis
  • Leonard Slatkin, "Highway 1, U.S.A.," Opera Theatre of St. Louis

Outstanding Production of an Opera

  • "Gianni Schicchi," Opera Theatre of St. Louis
  • "Highway 1, U.S.A.," Opera Theatre of St. Louis
  • "La Fanciulla del West," Winter Opera St. Louis
  • "La Voix Humaine," Opera Theatre of St. Louis
  • "Les Contes d’Hoffmann," Union Avenue Opera

Outstanding Musical Director

  • Charlie Alterman, "Chicago," The Muny
  • Colin Healy, "Madam," Fly North Theatricals
  • Jeremy Jacobs, "Jersey Boys," Stages St. Louis
  • Herve Samb, "Dreaming Zenzile," Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
  • Nicolas Valdez, "Head Over Heels," New Line Theatre

Outstanding Choreographer

  • William Carlos Angulo, "On Your Feet!" The Muny
  • Kirven Douthit-Boyd, "A Christmas Carol," Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
  • Marjani Forte-Saunders, "Dreaming Zenzile," Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
  • Denis Jones, "Chicago," The Muny
  • Dana Lewis, "Jersey Boys," Stages St. Louis

Outstanding Supporting Performer in a Musical — Female or Non-Binary Role

  • Zoe Vonder Haar, "Always…Patsy Cline," Stages St. Louis
  • Tielere Cheatem, "Head Over Heels," New Line Theatre
  • Natascia Diaz, "On Your Feet!" The Muny
  • Bryonha Marie Parham, "The Sound of Music," The Muny
  • Elizabeth Teeter, "The Sound of Music," The Muny

Outstanding Supporting Performer in a Musical — Male or Non-Binary Role

  • Mykal Kilgore, "Smokey Joe’s Café," The Muny
  • Brent Michael DiRoma, "Jersey Boys," Stages St. Louis
  • Jason Michael Evans, "Jersey Boys," Stages St. Louis
  • Adam Heller, "Chicago," The Muny
  • Ryan Jesse, "Jersey Boys," Stages St. Louis

Outstanding Lighting Design in a Musical

  • Yi Zhao, "Dreaming Zenzile," Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
  • Rob Denton, "Chicago," The Muny
  • Shelby Loera, "The Sound of Music," The Muny
  • Sean M. Savoie, "Always … Patsy Cline," Stages St. Louis
  • Sean M. Savoie, "Jersey Boys," Stages St. Louis

Outstanding Set Design in a Musical

  • Edward E. Haynes Jr. and Kevan Loney, "Smokey Joe’s Café," The Muny
  • Tim Mackabee and Shawn Duan, "Chicago," The Muny
  • Tim Mackabee and Kate Ducey, "On Your Feet!" The Muny
  • Michael Schweikardt and Caite Hevner, "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers," The Muny
  • James Wolk, "Jersey Boys," Stages St. Louis

Outstanding Costume Design in a Musical

  • Emily Rebholz, "Chicago," The Muny
  • Leon Dobkowski, "On Your Feet!" The Muny
  • Eileen Engel, "Madam," Fly North Theatricals
  • Courtney Gibson and Sarah Porter, "Head Over Heels," New Line Theatre
  • Sully Ratke, "Smokey Joe’s Café," The Muny

Outstanding Leading Performer in a Musical — Female or Non-Binary Role

  • Somi Kakoma, "Dreaming Zenzile," Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
  • Diana DeGarmo, "Always … Patsy Cline," Stages St. Louis
  • J. Harrison Ghee, "Chicago," The Muny
  • Kimmie Kidd-Booker, "Madam," Fly North Theatricals
  • Kate Rockwell, "The Sound of Music," The Muny

Outstanding Leading Performer in a Musical — Male or Non-Binary Role

  • Jeffrey M. Wright, "The Story of My Life," New Line Theatre
  • Christopher Kale Jones, "Jersey Boys," Stages St. Louis
  • Chris Kernan, "The Story of My Life," New Line Theatre
  • James T. Lane, "Chicago," The Muny
  • Omar Lopez-Cepero, "On Your Feet!" The Muny

Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy

  • "Art," Stray Dog Theatre
  • "Dress the Part," St. Louis Shakespeare Festival
  • "It Is Magic," The Midnight Company
  • "The Thanksgiving Play," Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
  • "Wildfire," Upstream Theater

Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama

  • "Two Trains Running," The Black Rep
  • "King Lear," St. Louis Shakespeare Festival
  • "Mlima’s Tale," Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
  • "Spell #7," The Black Rep
  • "Sweat," The Black Rep

Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical

  • "Smokey Joe’s Café," The Muny
  • "Chicago," The Muny
  • "Head Over Heels," New Line Theatre
  • "Jersey Boys," Stages St. Louis
  • "Madam," Fly North Theatricals

Outstanding Director of a Comedy

  • Rachel Tibbetts, "Tinsel Town," The Midnight Company
  • Eddie Coffield, "Jake’s Women," Moonstone Theatre Company
  • GQ and JQ, "Dress the Part," St. Louis Shakespeare Festival
  • Suki Peters, "It Is Magic," The Midnight Company
  • Amelia Acosta Powell, "The Thanksgiving Play," Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Outstanding Director of a Drama

  • Ed Smith, "Two Trains Running," The Black Rep
  • Carl Cofield, "King Lear," St. Louis Shakespeare Festival
  • Ron Himes, "Sweat," The Black Rep
  • Brian Hohlfeld, "The Glass Menagerie," Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis
  • Annamaria Pileggi, "Annapurna," St. Louis Actors’ Studio

Outstanding Director of a Musical

  • Scott Miller and Mike Dowdy-Windsor, "Head Over Heels," New Line Theatre
  • Marcia Milgrom Dodge, "Smokey Joe’s Café," The Muny
  • Michael Hamilton, "Always … Patsy Cline," Stages St. Louis
  • Michael Hamilton, "Jersey Boys," Stages St. Louis
  • Denis Jones, "Chicago," The Muny

Outstanding Production of a Comedy

  • "Tinsel Town," The Midnight Company
  • "Dress the Part," St. Louis Shakespeare Festival
  • "It Is Magic," The Midnight Company
  • "Jake’s Women," Moonstone Theatre Company
  • "The Thanksgiving Play," Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Outstanding Production of a Drama

  • "Two Trains Running," The Black Rep
  • "The Glass Menagerie," Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis
  • "King Lear," St. Louis Shakespeare Festival
  • "Mlima’s Tale," Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
  • "Sweat," The Black Rep

Outstanding Production of a Musical

  • "Smokey Joe’s Café," The Muny
  • "Always…Patsy Cline," Stages St. Louis
  • "Chicago," The Muny
  • "Head Over Heels," New Line Theatre
  • "Jersey Boys," Stages St. Louis
Listen: The state of local theater

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