The winners of the 26th annual B. Iden Payne awards for local theatre..

Payne Pleasures 2000

On Monday, September 18, the Austin Circle of Theatres (ACoT) hosted the 26th annual B. Iden Payne Awards ceremony, honoring outstanding achievements in local theatre from August 1999 through July 2000. This year's event was notable for what was new: new site (the Scottish Rite Theatre), new emcee (Lowell Bartholomee, proving himself a most congenial host), and new executive director for ACoT (Second City founding member Latifah Taormina, making a stylish and spirited debut). The three-and-a-half hour presentation just about wore out the attendees, but those who stuck it out were rewarded with more sincere, touching acceptance speeches than any ceremony in recent memory. This year's runaway winners were VORTEX Repertory Company's production of Despair's Book of Dreams and the Sometimes Radio, which took home five of the eight awards for which it was nominated; the drama desire, an adaptation of Eugene O'Neill's Desire Under the Elms, produced and directed by Laura Somers, which received four awards for its four nominations; and Frontera@Hyde Park Theatre's production of Curb Appeal, which won awards for Steven Tomlinson's performance and for his script, as well as Outstanding Production of a Comedy. In recognition of exceptional support of Austin's theatre community, ACoT acknowledged the Dell Foundation and Yours Truly, which gave me leave to deliver the longest of the night's sentimental, choked-up thank-yous. Here are the winners:

Comedy: Curb Appeal (Frontera@Hyde Park)

Drama: desire (Laura Somers)

Musical: The Music Man (Austin Musical Theatre)

Play for Children: Degas' Little Dancer (ZSTC's Project InterAct)

Director, Comedy: Shawn Sides, Lipstick Traces

Director, Drama: Laura Somers, desire

Director, Musical: Bonnie Cullum, Despair's Book of Dreams and the Sometimes Radio

Director, Play for Children: Clay Towery, The Frogs

Actor & Actress, Comedy:

Steven Tomlinson, Curb Appeal

Kara Bliss, Closer

Lead Actor & Actress, Drama:

Forrest McClendon, The America Play

Christa Kimlicko Jones, desire

Actor & Actress, Musical:

Kirk Smith, Despair's Book of Dreams and the Sometimes Radio

Janis Stinson, Children of Eden

Actor & Actress, Play for Children:

Nick Walker, The Wonder Hat

Peyton Hayslip, Degas' Little Dancer

Featured Actor & Actress, Drama:

Judson L. Jones, desire

Sarah Richardson, War

Outstanding Cast Performance (tie):

Janelle Buchanan/Barbara Chisholm/Scotty Roberts/Rich Upton/Jon Watson/ Joe York, Abundance

Martin Burke/Chris Hatcher/Aaron Johnson /Jon Watson, Shakespeare's R & J

Choreography: Scott Thompson, The Music Man

Musical Direction: Allen Robertson, Tapestry: The Music of Carole King

Original Script: Steven Tomlinson, Curb Appeal

Costume Design: Leslie Bonnell, The Rocky Horror Show

Lighting Design: Jason Amato, Despair's Book of Dreams and the Sometimes Radio

Set Design: Ann Marie Gordon, Despair's Book of Dreams and the Sometimes Radio

Sound Design (tie): Kirk Smith & Ken Burchenal, Despair's Book of Dreams and the Sometimes Radio

Allen Robertson, The Mystery of Irma Vep

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Austin Circle of Theatres, ACoT, B. Iden Payne Awards, Scottish Rite Theatre, Lowell Bartholomee, Latifah Taormina, VORTEX Repertory Company, Despair's Book of Dreams and the Sometimes Radio, desire, Laura Somers, FronteraThe Rocky Horror Show, Jason Amato, Ann Marie

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