Wednesday, November 13, 2013

NAACP Theatre Awards Winners Announced

Black theater was celebrated recently as winners of the 23rd NAACP Theatre Awards were announced before a packed, star-studded, crowd at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills.

The show, hosted by actress Lisa McCoy, Comedian Thomas Miles better known as “Nephew Tommy”, and comedian Kym Whitley, honors thespians who hone their craft in the theater. 


Theatre award honorees included multi-NAACP Image and EMMY award-winner Loretta Devine who was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award, actress and GRAMMY award songstress Vanessa Williams received the Trailblazer Award, casting director Peter Wise was presented with the Spirit Award, the President’s Award went to Dr. Maxine M. Anderson, and Dr. Michael Obeng received the Humanitarian Award.

Following is a list of winners:

Best Playwright (Local) – Celeste Bedford Walker (Camp Logan)

Best Playwright (Equity) – Danai Gurira (The Convert)

Best Lead Female (Local) – Diarra Kilpatrick (In the Red & Brown Water)

Best Lead Female (Equity)  Pascale Armand (The Convert)

Best Lead Male (Local) Sean Cameron Young (Take Me Out)

Best Lead Male (Equity) Rocky Carroll (Fraternity)

Best Ensemble Cast (Local) – Elimina’s Kitchen

Best Ensemble Cast (Equity) – Jitney

Best Director (Local) – Shirley Jo Finney (In the Red and Brown Water)

Best Director (Equity)  Ron O J Parson (Jitney)

Best Producer (Local)  Ben Guillory Robey Theatre co., Viola Davis, Julius Tennon, JuVee Productions, Vanessa Paul and Alex Morris, Sparkling City Entertainment (Camp Logan).

Best Producer (Equity) Wren T. Brown (Fraternity)

Best Choreography (Equity) – Sergio Trujillo (Memphis)

Best Choreography – (Local)  Janet Roston (Color Purple)

Best Costume (Local) – Naila Aladdin Sanders (The Blue Iris)

Best Costume  (Equity) – ESosa (By The Way… Meet Vera Stark)

Best Director Musical (Equity) – Scottsboro Boys

Best Director Musical (Frit & Frat)

Best Lighting (Local) Sammie Wayne IV – Camp Logan

Best Lighting (Equity) Howell Binkley (Memphis)

Best Director  (Equity) – Ron OJ Parson (Jitney)

Best Director (Local) Shirley Jo Finney (In The Red & Brown Water)

Best Director of a Musical (Local) Frit & Frat Fuller (Down Around Brown Town)

Best Director of a Musical (Equity) Susan Stroman (The Scottsboro Boys)

Best Musical  (Local) The Color Purple

Best Music Director (Equity) Christopher Jahnke (Memphis)

Best Music Director (Local) Gregory Nabours (The Color Purple)

Best Set Design (Equity) John Lacovelli (Intimate Apparel)

Best Set Design (Local) Tom Meleck (Anna Lucasta)

Best Sound – Eric Butler (Anna Lucasta)

Best Sound – Ken Travis (Memphis)

Best One Person Show (Local) The World Is My Home – The Life of Paul Robeson – Stogie Kenyatta

Best Supporting Female (Equity) Cheryl Lynn Bruce, The Convert

Best Supporting Female (Local) Cydney Wayne Davis, Anna Lucasta

Best Supporting Male (Equity) Mel Winkler, Fraternity

Best Supporting Male (Local) Sammie Wayne IV, Anna Lucasta

Multiple Awards:

Anna Lucasta won four awards including Best Set Design (Local), Best Sound (Local), Best Supporting Female (Local) and Best Supporting Male (Local).

Memphis also won four awards for Best Music Director (Equity), Best Lighting (Equity), Best Choreography (Equity) and Best Sound (Equity).

The Convert also won three awards; one for Best Lead Female (Equity), Best Supporting Female (Equity) and Best Playwright (Equity).


Sammie Wayne IV, who appeared in both Anna Lucasta and Camp Logan, was a multiple winner, taking home two awards, one for lighting (Camp Logan) and one for acting (Anna Lucasta).

Jitney won for Best Ensemble Cast (Equity) and Best Director (Equity).

The Color Purple won two awards, one for Best Choreography and one for Best Music Director (Local).

Fraternity won three awards, one for Best Lead Male (Equity), Best Supporting Male (Equity) and Best Producer (Equity).

In The Red & Brown Water won for Best Director (Local) and Best Lead Female (Local).

Producers Sparkling City Entertainment, JuVee Productions, and The Robey Theater were honored with three awards for the show, Camp Logan. The show took home three awards including Best Producer, Best Lighting and Best Playwright.  

Some of the night’s presenters included: Chris Chalk (12 Years A Slave), Tommy Davidson (Black Dynamite), Monica Calhoun (Best Man Holiday), Elise Neal (Belle’s), Dorian Missick (SouthLAnd), Shoshana Bean (Wicked), Pooch Hall (Ray Donavan), Dawnn Lewis (The Soul Man), Angell Conwell (Young & the Restless), Christian Keyes (Let’s Stay Together), Karen Malina White (The Proud Family), Lenny Williams (R&B legend), Margaret Avery (Being Mary Jane), Nadine Ellis (Let’s Stay Together), Redaric Williams (Young and the Restless), Barry Shabaka Henley (Carrie), Joyful Drake (Let’s Stay Together), Tasia Sherel (TLC story: Crazy, Sexy, Cool), and True Blood Executive Producer Angela Robinson.

There were performances by R&B crooner TANK, the Pasadena Playhouse cast of  Smokey Joe’s CafĂ© comedian J. Anthony Brown and Shanica Knowles (Disney’s Hannah Montana).
Honoree presenters included former Def Jam Recordings President Kevin Liles (KWL Enterprises), Image Award winner Joe Morton (Scandal), Emmy award-winner Glynn Turman (House of Lies), actress Salli Richardson Whitfield (Newsroom), actor/author Hill Harper (Covert Affairs, Actor Michael Jai White (For Better or Worse), actress Rochelle Aytes (Mistresses), Donzaleigh Abernathy (human rights advocate) and previous Spirit Award honoree Raven-Symoné (See Dad Run).


The NAACP Theatre Awards is presented by the Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP Branch. Ron Hasson is branch president and Tia Boyd is the executive producer for the NAACP Theatre Awards Show.

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