6th Annual Silicon Valley Small Venue Theatre Awards – The 2011 Honorees!

This past year was a season of change for the national as well as the local Arts scene. We saw huge shifts in the funding and political landscapes, we saw some unexpected shifts in organization’s focus & internal structure, and many shifts in employment (new hires and positions eliminations both, across a number of long-time, well-established organizations.)

Among these changes we bid farewell to some partners and friends of the Silicon Valley Small Venue Theatre Awards. Although the Princess has moved on from Artsopolis (to Artsalot and Team San Jose) and the Wave Magazine has transitioned out of existence as well, there is good news. The steadfast panel of experts met last month to discuss not only this year’s awards (the 6th annual) but, also the future of the awards. You will be happy to know, it was agreed, that the entire panel is unanimously still committed to these honors and will continue to assemble and select annually. The panel felt strongly that these awards do matter and are given to a group of arts organization that do not, for whatever reason, qualify for any (or many) other awards. Thus, they recommitted to spending hundreds of their own hours and dollars in able to provide such recognition. Recognition you all deserve. For the time being, this blog will be home to the initial announcement the first week of August going forward.

The panel felt that as seasons were being announced and subscriptions about to go on sale, it was key for the announcement of recipients to occur sooner rather than later. Since the regular avenues of informing honorees are not necessarily available to the panel at this point of time and the intended provision of graphics, website badges, and printable certificates to those honorees is not quite fully sorted out, the panel asks for both patience and help. Help spreading the word virally about the awards and patience as I help to coordinate the intended hope of providing other promotional materials to use in the marketing of your organization.

This year, perhaps more than ever, the panel really had their work cut out for them. Very different show selections, interpretations, and production values, that one member of the panel described as “an apples and oranges season.” Shows that were at opposite ends of the artistic spectrum produced opinions that were quite varied. They applauded all the different, interesting, experimental, and unexpected art that was created this year as it made being an audience member that much more exciting. The risk and diversity of shows did not go unnoticed.

Also, noted were an increased number of entire ensembles that simply did not have a weak link. While an award for casting and directing are not given, the panel acknowledged that certainly plays a part in the outstanding and consistent outcomes represented this past season. And so now, without any further delay…

In no particular order, this year’s honorees are:

Standout Musical Production
The Drowsy Chaperone – Hillbarn Theatre
Avenue Q – San Jose Stage
Three Little Words – Brad Handshy/Tabard/Theatre on San Pedro Square

Standout Classic Productions
Death of a Salesmen – The Pear Avenue Theatre
Equus – City Lights Theatre Company
Dial M for Murder – Broadway West Theatre Company

Standout Dramatic Productions
Compleat Stage Beauty – City Lights Theatre Company
Killer Joe – Renegade Theatre Experiment
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Broadway West

Standout Comedy Productions
Private Eyes – Dragon Productions Theatre Company
Noises Off – Coastal Repertory Theatre
Hay Fever – Broadway West

Standout Adult Contemporary Productions
Reasons to Be Pretty – San Jose Stage Company
Driving Miss Daisy – Tabard Theatre Company
Deathtrap – Northside Theatre Company

Standout New Works Productions
Lolita Roadtrip – San Jose Stage Company
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court – The Pear Avenue Theatre

Standout Family and Youth Productions
Around the World in 80 Days – California Theatre Center
Seussical the Musical – Los Altos Youth Theatre
Anything Goes – South Valley Civic Theatre

Standout Set Design
Camping with Henry and Tom – Bus Barn Stage Company
Noises Off – South Valley Civic Theatre
Deathtrap– Northside Theatre Company

Standout Costumes
Xanadu – Guggenheim Productions/The Retro Dome
The Imaginary Invalid – Shady Shakespeare
Seascape – Dragon Productions Theatre Company

Standout Technical Design
Mack and Mabel (Props and Multimedia) – South Bay Musical Theatre
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Lights and Sound) – Broadway West Theatre Company

Actors to Watch For: Matt Tipton, James Creer, Tom Gough, Benjamin Boston, Justin Karr, Monica Colletti, Linda Piccone, Courtney Hatcher.

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About Artsalot

Your personal Princess, spreading her love of the Silicon Valley Arts and Culture Kingdom! Your former Princess of Artsopolis, welcomes you to Artsalot!
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8 Responses to 6th Annual Silicon Valley Small Venue Theatre Awards – The 2011 Honorees!

  1. Thank for continuing these awards. The South Bay theatre community needs a voice to recognize the amazing theatre created here. We appreciate being recognized, but more so appreciate your commitment and sacrifice to make these happen. We would be willing to contribute to help keep these afloat. Let us know how we can help.

  2. Ed Sengstack says:

    Wondered what might happen to these awards… what with all the changes in the past year. But I’m happy to see that not only are they still going strong, but that the Princess has added her own personal editorial flare to the overview. Congrats to all the “winners”… to all the orgs that make South Bay theatre so wonderful… and to the panel for keeping this source of much-deserved recognition alive. Cheers!

  3. Lori Stokes says:

    I would love for someone – maybe you Princess – to come take a look at StarStruck Theatre in Fremont! We are producing outstanding work and yet it is very hard to get any recognition since it is a youth performing arts group. How can we get someone to consider us for Stand out family/youth productions? Last year we produced Les Miserables and sold out every show in our over 500 seat ourdoor amphitheatre. It was an amazing production. In January we sold out every performance of “Annie”. Right now we have another fantastic show going on “Guys and Dolls” which has been receiving great reviews. How do we get noticed and considered for the Small theatre awards? Thanks for your help!!

    • Artsalot says:

      These awards were originally established for small venues 300 seats or less (guidelines can be found on the awards tab above). Every year the panel discusses about increasing that number for a number of possible reasons and the result of that examination so far has been to keep it “small” at 300. Many of the nominees are in the 40 to 100 seat range. I know it can be frustrating to feel over looked but clearly a 500 seat sellout is some consolation.

      • Lori Stokes says:

        Thanks for clarifying that! We actually won twice a few years ago – and we have been at the same theatre for the last 8 years..so that’s why I was asking. Thanks.

  4. Dan Meagher says:

    Thank you very much for these awards…Hillbarn Theatre is thrilled to be one of the winners for Best Musical. “The Drowsy Chaperone” was a smash sell out and we are so honored that the judges loved it as much as we did.

    We’re excited to be a part of such an exciting and vital community of theatres. The Bay Area is very fortunate to have so many wonderful companies. Thanks for your support!

    Dan Meagher
    Marketing Cordinator
    Hillbarn Theatre

  5. Kim Wadycki says:

    Holy gosh we were so shocked to see Private Eyes on the list as best comedy! How flattering since it’s not your normal comedy. I passed it along to my cast and they were totally thrilled. I’m so glad someone kept the awards going – we figured that with the fold of the Wave it would be a thing of the past. If y’all need support to keep this going, holla. I think it’s so important to help get the word out on the small but mighty works happening in the Bay Area.

  6. Anonymous says:

    We’re so happy that you’ve decided to keep the awards alive, and absolutely thrilled to have 3 of our productions among the honorees.  No matter how large or how small a theatre is; putting up a show involves the love and hard work of a lot of people.  It’s a reward unto itself, but this extra recognition is delicious icing on the cake.  We’re thrilled to be part of such a hard-working, dedicated community of theatres and grateful to you and the panel  for your willingness to sacrifice so the Bay Area’s small theatres can enjoy this much-appreciated recognition.  All the best,Mary GaldeBroadway West

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