Veteran Sundance Summer Theater and the new Theater of Lehi Community took the lion's share of prizes in the Utah Valley Theater Guild's annual awards ceremony Wednesday night.
The two organizations tallied a number of awards in two different categories: professional and semi-professional musicals. Several area theater organizations shared the recognition in the plays category.Sundance took honors for its summer productions of "Robber Bridegroom" and "The Unsinkable Molly Brown." Recognition went to "Robber" for Russell Simmons as character actor, supporting actor and actress Brent Sneider and Star Roman, Chip Prince for musical direction, Jayne Luke for choreography, and Steve Dimond for sound. Luke was also named outstanding lead actress, while Charles Metten was named for artistic direction and Janet Swenson for costumes, all for "Molly Brown."
Provo Community Theater's "Fiddler on the Roof" received awards for character actress Judy Porray, instrumental direction by Terry Hill, set design by Chris Brower and Lighting by Peter Jones. Shauna Weeks and Alison Warner were recognized for makeup and hairdos they produced for the show. David Larsen was named lead actor for "Hellok, Dolly."
Lehi's "Little Lord Fauntleroy" received special recognition for the original script by Max Golightly and original musical score by C. Michael Perry. In addition, it garnered awards for artistic director Kathleen Reed, lead actor Walter Wright, supporting actress Bonnie Pence, character actor Michael Perry, costumer Connie Nielsen, and set designer Reed.
Other awards in the semi-professional musical category went to supporting actor Neal Barth and character actress Syd Riggs, both in Orem Community Theater's "Music Man"; youth actor and actress Eric Crawford and Janae Koralewski and sound by Doug Curtis for Orem's "The Fantasticks"; musical direction by Cathy Johnston and lighting by Richard Lindsey in Spanish Fork Area Theater's "Cinderella"; choreography by Christie Hopkinson for Art City Community Theater's "Bye Bye Birdie"; and lead actress Janeil Miller and instrumental direction by David Fullmer in Pleasant Grove Players' "Kiss Me, Kate."
Kathleen Reed, chairman of the awards committee this year, said the "best production" category was eliminated because "the guild's purpose is to promote excellence and unity, not create division by pinpointing one show as better than others."
For plays, Neal Barth and Syd Riggs shared outstanding artistic direction for Orem's "Man Who Came to Dinner." Barth was named outstanding lead actor in the same play, and Laurie Koralewski was named outstanding lead actress. Supporting actor/actress awards went to Keith Christenson in Payson Community Players' "Blindsight" and Diane Smith in Pleasant Grove Players' "Bull in a China Shop." Recognition went to Leroy Wilcox as character actor in Valley Center Playhouse's "The Babysitters" and to Claudine Boothe in Spanish Fork Area Theater's "Cinderella." Seth Nielson and Amy Wright were named outstanding youth actor and actress, both for performances in Valley Center's "Kiss and Tell."
Other play honors went to Richard Lindsey, lighting ("Blindsight"); Doug Bezzant, sound ("China Shop"); Cynthia Sorenson, costumes ("Cinderella"); and Keith Christeson, set design ("China Shop").
In children's theater, Payson Playmakers and director Charles Flynt Frost were named for the outstanding production, "Aladdin McFaddin." Sherrie Dunford received special recognition for the original score, and Linden Snyder's set was named for "Aladdin." David Thomas was honored as outstanding youth actor for his performance in Spanish Fork's "Narnia," and Susan Lindsey won the corresponding honor for "Aladdin." Special recognition went to Coco Hartle for makeup and to the builders of "The Pale Pink Dragon," produced by Springville Children's Theater.
Nominations for all awards came from a panel of 53 guild members who reviewed 29 plays and musicals in Utah Valley during 1988. Eight production numbers from those shows served as entertainment during the awards dinner and ceremony in the ballroom at Utah Valley Community College. Michael Bennett was master of ceremonies.