The 2002 Austin Critics Table Awards

On Monday, June 3, the Austin Critics Table handed out its annual awards for outstanding achievements in the Austin arts in a ceremony at the Capitol City Comedy Club.

On Monday, June 3, the Austin Critics Table handed out its annual awards for outstanding achievements in the Austin arts in a ceremony at the Capitol City Comedy Club. It was the 10th anniversary for these honors presented by this informal association of local arts writers who gather regularly for lunch, and to mark the occasion the Table inaugurated the Austin Arts Hall of Fame, recognizing local individuals who have made remarkable contributions to the community through the arts over the past few decades. Among the initial 12 inductees were artists, arts advocates, administrators, and patrons from the areas of dance, classical music, theatre, visual art, and comedy.

The most favored recipients this year were the productions of Jelly's Last Jam by the Zachary Scott Theatre Center and El Paraiso by the Rude Mechs, which received five awards each, and the productions of Big Love by the Rude Mechs and Fugitive Pieces and Tilt Angel by Salvage Vanguard Theater, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch by Zach, all of which received three awards each.

Participating critics for this year's awards, which covered the period May 2001-April 2002, included Austin Chronicle writers Wayne Alan Brenner (theatre), Rob Curran (theatre), Robi Polgar (music), and yours truly, and Austin American-Statesman arts writers Michael Barnes (arts), Jamie Smith Cantara (theatre), Duncan Goodrich (art), Sondra Lomax (dance), David Mead (music), Moira Muldoon (theatre), and Jeanne Claire van Ryzin (arts). Obligatory ethical note: Critics refrained from nominating themselves or members of their families for any awards, and refrained from voting in any category in which they or a family member were nominated.

David Mark Cohen New Play Award (tie)

Anna Bella Eema, Lisa D'Amour

The Dinosaur Within, John Walch

Production, Drama

The Laramie Project, Zachary Scott Theatre Center

Production, Comedy

Big Love, Rude Mechs

Production, Musical (tie)

Jelly's Last Jam, Zachary Scott Theatre Center

El Paraiso, Rude Mechs

Director, Drama

Jason Neulander, Fugitive Pieces/Tilt Angel

Director, Comedy

Darron L. West, Big Love

Director, Musical

Dave Steakley, Hedwig and the Angry Inch/Jelly's Last Jam/The World Goes Round

Actress, Drama

Stephanie Swenson, Shopping and Fucking

Actress, Comedy

Lee Eddy, Desdemona

Actress, Musical

Stephanie Block, Oliver!

Actor, Drama (tie)

Judson L. Jones, Fugitive Pieces

Jason Phelps, Tilt Angel

Actor, Comedy

Benjamin Sterling, As You Like It

Actor, Musical

Ronn K. Smith, Jelly's Last Jam

Supporting Actress, Drama

Jill Swanson, Madame X

Supporting Actress, Comedy

Lameece Isaaq, Seven Deadly Sins

Supporting Actress, Musical

Susanne Abbott, Hedwig and the Angry Inch/Little Shop of Horrors

Supporting Actor, Drama

Clay Towery, Shopping and Fucking

Supporting Actor, Comedy

Robert Newell, Big Love

Supporting Actor, Musical

Jason Liebrecht, El Paraiso

Ensemble Performance

The Medea Stories, Mary Moody Northen Theatre, St. Edward's

Scenic Design (tie)

Christopher McCollum, The Chairs/The Consul/La Fanciulla del West/Oliver!/Once in a Lifetime

Leilah Stewart, Blur/Luminarias/El Paraiso

Costume Design

Susan Branch, Jelly's Last Jam

Lighting Design

David Nancarrow, The Chairs/A Streetcar Named Desire

Sound Design

Jeremy Lee, Fugitive Pieces/El Paraiso/Tilt Angel


J. Ed Araiza & Medea company, The Medea Stories

Musical Direction

Allen Robertson, Hedwig and the Angry Inch/Jelly's Last Jam/Little Shop of Horrors

Touring Show, Theatre

Lypsinka! The Boxed Set, Zachary Scott Theatre Center

Touring Show, Dance

Washington Ballet, UT-PAC

Touring Show, Music

Australian Chamber Orchestra, UT-PAC

Dance Concert, Large

Romeo and Juliet, Ballet Austin

Dance Concert, Small to Medium

The Big Push, Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company

Dancer, Male

Anthony Casati, The Nutcracker/Romeo and Juliet

Dancer, Female

Allyson Paino, The Rite of Spring

Symphonic Concert

Mozart's Birthday, A. Mozart Fest Chamber Orchestra

Choral Concert

In Response, Conspirare Choir

Chamber Concert

Shostakovich: Ninth Quartet, Cavani String Quartet


A Streetcar Named Desire, Austin Lyric Opera

Singer, Male

Christopher Le Cluyse, Mid-Winter Festival of Music

Singer, Female

Cheryl Parrish, Ariel Dance Theatre in Concert


Anton Nel, Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2

Museum Exhibition

"22 to Watch," Austin Museum of Art

Gallery Exhibition

"Diane Grammer and Margie Crisp," Davis Gallery

Gallery, Body of Work

Gallery 106

Artist, Female

Daphane Park

Artist, Male

Eduardo Muñoz Ordoqui


John Bustin Award for Conspicuous Versatility

David Stahl, The Glass Menagerie/Richard III/The Seagull

W.H. "Deacon" Crain Award for Outstanding Student Work

Johanna McKeon, UT; Keri Safran, UT; Elizabeth Wakehouse, St. Edward's University

Cultural Exhibits

"The Life, Legend and Legacy of Davy Crockett," Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum; "Gutenberg to Gone with the Wind: Treasures of the Ransom Collection," Ransom Center and LBJ Library and Museum

Art Out of Bounds

Creative Research Laboratory

Theatrical Synergy

Anna Bella Eema, Refraction Arts Project/Physical Plant Theater

Unique Theatrical Experiences

Hyper Zoo, ethos/Celebrity Crush, Blue Theater/Seven Wonders of the World, Plus One, Tongue and Groove Theatre

Total Theatre

Ron Berry, et al., The Metamorphosis and the Kafka Museum

Best (Still) New Company

iron belly muses

Original Score

Graham Reynolds and Peter Stopschinski, Ariel Dance Theatre in Concert/El Paraiso

Debut Performance

Tamara Beland, Desdemona

He's Still Here and We're Delighted

Douglas Taylor

Austin Arts Hall of Fame

John Aielli (KUT-90.5 FM) -- broadcaster, singer, arts advocate

Paul Beutel (Austin Theatre Alliance) -- administrator, critic, actor

Ruth Denney (University of Texas) -- educator, director, school founder

Acia Gray (Tapestry Dance Company) -- dancer, choreographer, company co-founder

Deborah Hay (Deborah Hay Dance Company) -- dancer, choreographer, author, company founder

Kent Kennan (University of Texas, retired) -- composer, educator, author

Joe Sears and Jaston Williams (the Tuna plays, et al.) -- actors, playwrights, directors

Michael Shelton and Shannon Sedwick (Esther's Follies) -- writers, performers, company co-founders

Judith Sims (Austin Museum of Art) -- administrator, curator, school founder

Jess Walters (deceased) -- singer, educator, opera director

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