AriZoni Theatre Awards: Here are the 2014-15 Nominees

A round of applause for Phoenix's theater scene.EXPAND
A round of applause for Phoenix's theater scene.
Rosmarie Voegtli/Flickr

It's time for a curtain call, Phoenix.

This week, nominees for the 2014-15 ariZoni Theatre Awards of Excellence were announced, recognizing troupes, actors, directors, writers, and costumers across the Valley. Each year the awards aim to recognize greatness in local theater performed by both adults and children, and nearly 100 judges are involved in choosing who steps into the post-season spotlight.

Categories are wide-ranging and aplenty. There are awards for seemingly every production aspect: lead and supporting actors, directors, original script and song writing, hair and makeup, and sound and lighting design. And that's just naming a handful. From the sprawling list of nominations, Phoenix Theatre garnered some 82 nods, while Stray Cat Theatre earned 16 and Nearly Naked Theatre 22.

Below is a selection of this year's nominees in the categories of best overall production, best actress, best actor, and best director. The full rundown, including youth nominations, is available on the ariZoni Theatre Awards website.

And the nominees are. . .

Best Overall Production
Contracted Play
Actors Theatre's Seminar
Phoenix Theatre's 2 Pianos, 4 Hands
Phoenix Theatre's Buyer and Cellar
Phoenix Theatre's End of the Rainbow
Phoenix Theatre's One Man, Two Guvnors

Contracted Musical
Childsplay's The Three Javelinas
Phoenix Theatre's Anything Goes
Phoenix Theatre's Mary Poppins
Phoenix Theatre's Memphis
Southwest Shakespeare Company's Spellbound!

Non-Contracted Play
Fountain Hills Theater's The Runner Stumbles
Hale Centre Theatre's Lend Me a Tenor
MCC Theatre & Film Arts' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Mesa Encore Theatre's DOUBT
Nearly Naked Theatre's Angels in America: Millennium Approaches
Nearly Naked Theatre's The History of the Devil
Nearly Naked Theatre's Valhalla
Scottsdale Community Players' The Wallace and Ladmo Show
Starlight Community Theater's The Curious Savage
Stray Cat Theatre's The Brothers Size

Non-Contracted Musical
Desert Foothills Theater's Dreamgirls
Don Bluth Front Row Theatre's The Wizard of Oz
Fountain Hills Theater's The Soul of Broadway: Act II
Fountain Hills Theater's Young Frankenstein
Hale Centre Theatre's My Fair Lady
MCC Act I Musical Productions' Hairspray
Mesa Encore Theatre's Avenue Q
Nearly Naked Theatre's The Album Project: Jagged Little Pill
Theater Works' Follies
Theater Works' How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying 

Neda Tavassoli (second from left) is nominated for best actress in a non-contracted play for her work in Stray Cat's Pluto.
Neda Tavassoli (second from left) is nominated for best actress in a non-contracted play for her work in Stray Cat's Pluto.
John Groseclose

Actress in a Major Role
Contracted Play
Kerry McCue in Actors Theatre's Seminar
Jeannie Shubitz in Phoenix Theatre's End of the Rainbow 
Allison Sell in Southwest Shakespeare Company's As You Like It 
Allison Sell in Southwest Shakespeare Company's King Lear 
Jordan Letson in Southwest Shakespeare Company's Uncle Vanya 

Contracted Musical

Molly Lajoie in Childsplay's The Three Javelinas 
Trisha Ditsworth in Phoenix Theatre's Anything Goes 
Shana Bousard in Phoenix Theatre's Mary Poppins 
Trisha Ditsworth in Phoenix Theatre's Mary Poppins 
 Tia DeShazorin Phoenix Theatre's Memphis

Non-Contracted Play
Christi Sweeney in Fountain Hills Theater's Always a Bridesmaid 
Dyana Carroll in Fountain Hills Theater's Always a Bridesmaid 
Heidi Carpenter in Fountain Hills Theater's Same Time, Next Year 
Carrie Ellen Jones in Fountain Hills Theater's The Runner Stumbles 
Devyn Garrett in Ethington Theatre-GCU's Romeo and Juliet 
Melody Knudson in Hale Centre Theatre's The Man Who Came to Dinner 
KatiBelle Collins in Mesa Encore Theatre's The Dixie Swim Club 
Shari Watts in Mesa Encore Theatre's DOUBT 
Dyana Carroll in Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre's Lombardi 
Pat Drapac in Starlight Community Theater's The Curious Savage 
Neda Tavassoli in Stray Cat Theatre's Pluto 

Non-Contracted Musical
Asleif Willmer in ASU Lyric Opera Theatre's Baroque Opera 
Chanel Bragg in Desert Foothills Theater's Dreamgirls 
Jaqueline Rushing in Desert Foothills Theater's Dreamgirls 
Krystal Pope in Desert Foothills Theater's Dreamgirls 
Brittney Truman in Don Bluth Front Row Theatre's Annie Get Your Gun 
Chanel Bragg in Fountain Hills Theater's The Soul of Broadway: Act II 
Krystal Pope in Fountain Hills Theater's The Soul of Broadway: Act II 
Annalise Webb in Hale Centre Theatre's My Fair Lady 
Sammie Lideen in Mesa Encore Theatre's Oliver! 
Caitlin Ary  in Nearly Naked Theatre's The Album Project: Jagged Little Pill 

Phoenix Theatre's One Man, Two Guvnors earned multiple nominations.EXPAND
Phoenix Theatre's One Man, Two Guvnors earned multiple nominations.
Erin Evangeline Photography

Actor in a Major Role
Contracted Play
David Barker in Actors Theatre's Seminar 
Michael Kary in Phoenix Theatre's 2 Pianos, 4 Hands 
Mark Anders in Phoenix Theatre's 2 Pianos, 4 Hands 
Toby Yatso in Phoenix Theatre's Buyer and Cellar 
Ron May in Phoenix Theatre's One Man, Two Guvnors 

Upcoming Events

Contracted Musical
Jon Gentry in Phoenix Theatre's Anything Goes 
Jonathan Hoover in Phoenix Theatre's Anything Goes 
Toby Yatso in Phoenix Theatre's Mary Poppins 
CJ Pawlikowski's in Phoenix Theatre's Memphis 
Kyle Sorrell in Southwest Shakespeare Company's Spellbound! 

Non-Contracted Play
Joshua Vanderpoel in Ethington Theatre-GCU's Romeo and Juliet 
Aaron Potter in Ethington Theatre-GCU's Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure
Danny Karapetian in Hale Centre Theatre's Lend Me a Tenor 
Marshall Glass in Mesa Encore Theatre's DOUBT 
David Nelson in Nearly Naked Theatre The History of the Devil 
Cole Brackney in Nearly Naked Theatre's Valhalla 
Vinny Chavez in Nearly Naked Theatre's Valhalla 
Joshua Vern in Scottsdale Community Players' The Wallace and Ladmo Show 
Michael Thompson in Stray Cat Theatre's The Brothers Size 
Austin Kiehle in Stray Cat Theatre's Year of the Rooster 
Ron May in Stray Cat Theatre's Year of the Rooster 

Actor in a Major Role - Non-Contracted Musical
Tyler J. Gasper in ASU Lyric Opera Theatre's Reefer Madness 
Ivan Thompson in Desert Foothills Theater's Dreamgirls 
Matravius Avent in Desert Foothills Theater's Dreamgirls 
Miguel Jackson in Desert Foothills Theater's Dreamgirls 
Matthew Crosby in Don Bluth Front Row Theatre's Annie Get Your Gun 
Gary Caswell in Don Bluth Front Row Theatre's The Wizard of Oz 
Miguel Jacksonin Fountain Hills Theater's The Soul of Broadway: Act II 
Roger Prenger in Fountain Hills Theater's Young Frankenstein 
Rob Stuart in Hale Centre Theatre's My Fair Lady 
Asher Angel in Mesa Encore Theatre's Oliver! 

Director Jared Sakren is nominated for his work on Southwest Shakespeare Company's Spellbound!.EXPAND
Director Jared Sakren is nominated for his work on Southwest Shakespeare Company's Spellbound!.
Courtesy of SW Shakespeare Company

Director
Contracted Play
Ron May for Actors Theatre's Seminar 
Bruce K. Levy for Phoenix Theatre's 2 Pianos, 4 Hands 
Ron May for Phoenix Theatre's Buyer and Cellar 
Pasha Yamotahari for Phoenix Theatre's One Man, Two Guvnors 
Jared Sakren for Southwest Shakespeare Company's King Lear 

Contracted Musical
Dwayne Hartford for Childsplay's The Three Javelinas 
Robert Kolby Harper for Phoenix Theatre's Anything Goes 
Michael Barnard for Phoenix Theatre's Mary Poppins 
Michael Barnard for Phoenix Theatre's Memphis 
Jared Sakren for Southwest Shakespeare Company's Spellbound! 

Non-Contracted Play
Claude Pensis for Ethington Theatre-GCU's Romeo and Juliet 
Peter J. Hill for Fountain Hills Theater's Always a Bridesmaid 
Peter J. Hill for Fountain Hills Theater's Same Time, Next Year
Alaina Beauloye for Hale Centre Theatre's Lend Me a Tenor 
James Rio for MCC Theatre & Film Arts' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof 
Damon Dering for Nearly Naked Theatre's The History of the Devil
Damon Dering for Nearly Naked Theatre's Valhalla 
Ben Tyler for Scottsdale Community Players' The Wallace and Ladmo Show 
Ron May's Stray Cat Theatre's The Brothers Size 
Michael Peck for Stray Cat Theatre's Year of the Rooster 

Non-Contracted Musical
Kate Leonard for ASU Lyric Opera Theatre's Reefer Madness 
Damon J. Bolling for Desert Foothills Theater's Dreamgirls 
Don Bluth for Don Bluth Front Row Theatre's The Wizard of Oz 
Michael Kary for Ethington Theatre-GCU's Oklahoma! 
Rusty Ferracane for Fountain Hills Theater's The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee 
Chanel Bragg, Mitchell Vantrease for Fountain Hills Theater's The Soul of Broadway: Act II 
Cambrian James for Hale Centre Theatre's My Fair Lady 
Jere Van Patten for MCC Act I Musical Productions' Hairspray 
Shaun Michael McNamara for Mesa Encore Theatre's Avenue Q 
Phillip Fazio for Theater Works' Follies 

The awards ceremony will take place on Monday, September 21, at Tempe Center for the Arts. One reception will focus on youth awards, while the other will present the awards for adult productions. More details are coming soon to the ariZoni Theatre Awards website.

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Tempe Center for the Arts

700 W. Rio Salado Parkway
Tempe, AZ 85281

480-350-2822

www.tempe.gov/index

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