Theater Critic Picks

Dallas-Fort Worth theater critics bestow honors on 2015-16 standouts

Dallas-Fort Worth theater critics bestow honors on 2015-16 standouts

Deferred Action at Dallas Theater Center
The joint production between Dallas Theater Center and Cara Mía Theatre Company, Deferred Action, was one of the year's best new works. Photo by Karen Almond
Kia Boyer and Garret Storms in The Big Meal
The ensemble of The Big Meal at WaterTower Theatre scored best ensemble, plus an extra mention for Garret Storms as best actor. Photo by Karen Almond
Stage West Theatre presents Bootycandy
Akín Babatundé's direction of Bootycandy at Stage West won him an award, as did the ensemble's performance. Photo by Buddy Myers
The Nether at Stage West
The creepy cyber-thriller The Nether at Stage West won for best ensemble and best set. Photo courtesy of Stage West
Cabaret Tour 2016 Broadway
The national tour of Cabaret was one of the best to come through town. Photo by Joan Marcus
Deferred Action at Dallas Theater Center
Kia Boyer and Garret Storms in The Big Meal
Stage West Theatre presents Bootycandy
The Nether at Stage West
Cabaret Tour 2016 Broadway

Members of the Dallas-Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum convened on September 3 for their annual volley of voting, determining who deserves recognition for the 2015-16 season.

In categories covering new works to stellar performances, the six critics fought for their favorites. Not everyone's picks made it through the voting process, which needed either 50 percent of the votes or a unanimous decision if only two or three critics had seen the production, so look out for personal favorites to pop up in those end-of-year lists.

Dallas Theater Center had a stellar year, as did Stage West and Undermain Theatre. Some artists scored both on and off the stage, earning nods for their performances as well as directing and design contributions. Without further ado, here are the awards:

Outstanding Direction

Outstanding New Play or Musical

  • Clarkston by Samuel D. Hunter, Dallas Theater Center
  • Deferred Action by David Lozano and Lee Trull, Cara Mía Theatre Company and Dallas Theater Center
  • Faust by Michael Federico, Lydia Mackay, and Jeffrey Schmidt, The Drama Club
  • Stacy Has a Thing for Black Guys by Ruben Carrazana, The Tribe
  • Temple Spirit by Susan Felder, Echo Theatre

Outstanding Touring Production

  • Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs, AT&T Performing Arts Center Off-Broadway on Flora Series
  • Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, AT&T Performing Arts Center Broadway Series
  • Eric Bogosian’s Bitter Honey: The Best of 100 (Monologues), AT&T Performing Arts Center Off-Broadway on Flora Series
  • Cabaret, AT&T Performing Arts Center Broadway Series
  • A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, AT&T Performing Arts Center Broadway Series
  • Ghost Quartet, AT&T Performing Arts Center Off-Broadway on Flora Series
  • The Sound of Music, Dallas Summer Musicals and Performing Arts Fort Worth

Outstanding Performance by an Actor

  • Christopher J. Deaton, Grand Hotel, Lyric Stage
  • Bruce DuBose, The Night Alive, Undermain Theatre
  • Hassan El-Amin, A Christmas Carol, Dallas Theater Center, and The Mountaintop, Dallas Theater Center
  • Ivan Jasso, Deferred Action, Cara Mía Theatre Company and Dallas Theater Center
  • Jason Leyva, The Whale, L.I.P. Service
  • Barry Nash, I’m Gonna Pray for You So Hard, Kitchen Dog Theater
  • Alex Organ, Constellations, Dallas Theater Center
  • Brandon Potter, Richard III, Shakespeare Dallas and Shakespeare in the Bar
  • Garret Storms, The Big Meal, WaterTower Theatre
  • Terry Vandivort, The Fantasticks, Theatre Three

Outstanding Performance by an Actress

  • Emily Scott Banks, Jacob Marley’s A Christmas Carol, Stage West
  • Jessica Cavanagh, Outside Mullingar, WaterTower Theatre
  • Amber Devlin, Picnic, Theatre Three
  • Frida Espinosa-Muller, Blood Wedding, Cara Mía Theatre Company and Deferred Action, Cara Mía Theatre Company and Dallas Theater Center
  • Tiana Johnson, The Mountaintop, Dallas Theater Center
  • Jenny Ledel, I’m Gonna Pray for You So Hard, Kitchen Dog Theater
  • Denise Lee, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, Jubilee Theatre
  • Janelle Lutz, End of the Rainbow, Uptown Players, and Miracle on 34th Street, Dallas Children’s Theater
  • Karen Parrish, Blackberry Winter, Kitchen Dog Theater
  • Allison Pistorius, Constellations, Dallas Theater Center
  • Joanna Schellenberg, Long Day’s Journey into Night, Undermain Theatre
  • Diane Worman, The Thrush and the Woodpecker, Kitchen Dog Theater

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble Cast

  • The Big Meal, WaterTower Theatre
  • Bootycandy, Stage West
  • Faust, The Drama Club
  • Grand Hotel, Lyric Stage
  • Long Day’s Journey into Night, Undermain Theatre
  • The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Dallas Children’s Theater
  • The Nether, Stage West
  • Play, WingSpan Theatre Company
  • The Toxic Avenger, Uptown Players
  • Under the Skin, Circle Theatre

Outstanding Design or Creative Contribution

  • Jeffrey Colangelo, fight choreography, Christina Valentine, fight assistant, and Bobby Garcia, martial arts consultant, Animal vs. Machine, PrismCo
  • Design team, Faust, The Drama Club
  • Design team, Jonah, Undermain Theatre
  • Jay Dias, musical direction and orchestration restoration, Anything Goes, Lyric Stage
  • John M. Flores, sound design, The Thrush and the Woodpecker, Kitchen Dog Theater
  • Richard Gwozdz, orchestra conducting, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Artes de la Rosa
  • Kyle Igneczi, puppet design and direction, Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins, Amphibian Stage Productions
  • Benjamin Lutz and Dillon White, video design, Trainspotting, L.I.P. Service
  • Lynn Mauldin and Rebekka Koepke, properties design, The Adventures of Flo and Greg, Echo Theatre
  • Scott Osborne, set design, The Fantasticks, Theatre Three
  • Karen Perry, costume design, Dreamgirls, Dallas Theater Center
  • Gil Pritchett, musical direction, Harriet Jacobs, African American Repertory Theater
  • Ryan Rumery, original music and sound design, Constellations, Dallas Theater Center
  • Garret Storms and Nate Davis, set design, The Nether, Stage West

Special Citations

  • Rose Pearson, co-founder of Circle Theatre, for a lifetime of visionary leadership of professional theater in Fort Worth and support of female theater artists.
  • Kurt Kleinmann, for his creation of Pegasus Theatre’s Living Black & White productions and 30 years as bumbling noir detective Harry Hunsacker.
  • Dallas Children’s Theater for providing sensory friendly performances for kids with special needs.

Critics

Lindsey Wilson, CultureMap
Nancy Churnin, Dallas Morning News
Martha Heimberg, TheaterJones.com and Dallas Weekly
Arnold Wayne Jones, Dallas Voice
Mark Lowry, TheaterJones.com and Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Punch Shaw, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Dallas-Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum is an organization of professional, paid critics that recognizes outstanding theatrical contributions in North Texas. Members see 50 or more productions per season (September 1-August 31) and are not practicing theater artists.