Nominations for the 2000-01 B. Iden Payne Awards for theatre excellence

Payne Pleasures 2001

On Monday, April 13, the Austin Circle of Theatres announced its nominations for the 2000-2001 B. Iden Payne Awards, honoring excellence in local stage work. From a field of 152 productions mounted between August 2000 through July 2001, the 22-member Nominations Committee -- headed by the seemingly inexhaustible Larry McGonigal -- managed to honor a total of 62 shows from 33 companies in the 30 categories covering musicals, dramas, comedies, and productions for youth. Leading the way this year was the Zachary Scott Theatre Center production of Jelly's Last Jam with 11 nominations, including Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Director of a Musical for Zach artistic director Dave Steakley, and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical nods to both Ronn K. Smith and Mark Anthony Hall. Garnering 10 nominations apiece were the Rude Mechanicals world-premiere production of Requiem for Tesla (nominated for Outstanding Drama, with additional nominations for Shawn Sides for her direction, Kirk Lynn for his original script, and actor Michael Miller for his performance as the idiosyncratic inventor) and the kidsActing world premiere of its new original musical The Emperor's New Shows (nominated for Outstanding Production for Youth, Dede Clark for her direction, Noel Alford for musical direction, and Alford and Clark for their original script). Close behind was Austin Musical Theatre's revival of Oklahoma!, with nine nominations, including Outstanding Musical and nods for AMT founders Richard Byron and Scott Thompson for their shared direction and choreography. Besides Tesla, the State Theater Company's Shakespearean adaptation A Macbeth earned a notable number of honors in the drama category: seven, including nominations for director/adaptor Guy Roberts, leading lady Babs George, and the show's host of inventive designers. This year, the nominations in the comedy category were spread around pretty evenly among a number of shows, with the Mary Moody Northen Theatre production of Lend Me a Tenor netting the most nominations (six), followed by the UT Department of Theatre & Dance production of Cloud Nine (five), and five productions -- The Baltimore Waltz from UT Department of Theatre & Dance, Body & Soul from Subterranean Theater Company, The Chairs from Austin Theatre Alliance & Actors Repertory of Texas, Circumference of a Squirrel from Zachary Scott Theatre Center and the Finer Point Fund, The Devil's Disciple from Different Stages -- coming in next with four nominations each. A new category, Outstanding Original Score, was added this year to recognize the number of collaborations between Austin's theatre and music communities this year. Among the honorees: Noel Alford and several collaborators for The Emperor's New Shows, Graham Reynolds for Requiem for Tesla, and Allen Robertson for Jouét.

Ballots have been mailed to the organization's membership, which will vote on the nominations and return them to the ACoT offices for tabulation by an independent accounting firm. The production awards, as well as special awards for service to and support of the Austin theatre community, will be presented during the 27th annual B. Iden Payne Awards ceremony on Monday, Sept. 24, 8pm, at the State Theater, 719 Congress. By the way, this year's ceremony will be hosted by nationally recognized actor Howard Hesseman (an old friend of ACoT Executive Director Latifah Taormina) and our own stage divinity Karen Kuykendall. For information, call 454-TIXS.

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Austin Circle of Theatres, Zachary Scott Theatre Center, B. Iden Payne Award, Jelly's Last Jam, Dave Steakley, Ronn K. Smith, Mark Anthony Hall, Rude Mechanicals, Requiem for Tesla, Shawn Sides, Kirk Lynn, Michael Miller, kidsActing, The Emperor's New Shows, Dede Clark

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