The Austin Circle of Theaters has handed out its annual B. Iden Payne Awards, honoring outstanding achievements in local theatre from August 2002 through July 2003.

Payne Pleasures 2003

On Monday, Sept. 29, the Austin Circle of Theaters handed out its annual B. Iden Payne Awards, honoring outstanding achievements in local theatre from August 2002 through July 2003. The ceremony returned to the Scottish Rite Theatre, where emcee Jason Neulander tried to draw a connection between the cloaked-in-mystery proceedings of the Freemasons and those of the Payne Awards Nominations Committee. Distinguishing this year's event were Cyndi Williams and Christa Kimlicko Jones mimicking the infamous lip-lock of Britney Spears and Madonna, some of the briefest thank-you speeches on record, and an unfortunate number of mispronounced names by various presenters. Notable in the awards themselves were the multiple honors bestowed on some of the community's smallest companies: The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Austin took home three awards for its production of The Pirates of Penzance, two of which were for the production's leading performers. Different Stages, one of Austin's longest-running independent companies, received three awards as well, two for its staging of Horton Foote's The Traveling Lady. And a new kid on the block, a chick and a dude productions, scored three bull's-eyes for its homegrown drama HIT., which was honored for Shanon Weaver's script, Melissa Livingston's direction, and the full cast performance. Austin Lyric Opera co-founder and former artistic director Joseph McClain was given the annual Special Recognition Award for Outstanding Achievement in Austin Theatre; in accepting for him -- McClain is currently in Vancouver directing an opera -- David Nancarrow shared memories of ALO's early days. The Nominations Committee also dispensed Special Recognition to ALO's production of Dead Man Walking.

Here are the winners:

Production, Comedy: Vigil (Hyde Park Theatre)

Production, Drama: Henry V (Austin Shakespeare Festival)

Production, Musical: Crazy for You (Zilker Theatre Productions)

Production, Play for Youth: Waking Sleeping Beauty (kidsActing)

Director, Comedy: Ken Webster, Quake

Director, Drama: Melissa Livingston, HIT.

Director, Musical: Dennis Whitehead, Ain't Misbehavin'

Director, Play for Youth: Robert Faires, A Christmas Carol [Second Youth Family Theatre]

Actor & Actress, Comedy:
David Stahl, The Dead Presidents' Club
Jennifer Underwood, Betty's Summer Vacation

Actor & Actress, Drama:
Tom Parker, The Flame Keeper
Lee Eddy, Bash

Actor & Actress, Musical:
Holton Harrison Johnson, The Pirates of Penzance
Claire Vangelisti, The Pirates of Penzance

Actor & Actress, Play for Youth:
Brandon T. Harris, The King Stag
Betsy McCann, A Dragon's Happy Day

Featured Actor & Actress, Drama:
Robert Newell, Love! Valour! Compassion!
Sarah Seaton, The Traveling Lady

Featured Actor & Actress, Comedy:
David Jones, 16 Spells to Charm the Beast
Bernadette Nason, Merry Wives of Windsor

Outstanding Cast Performance:
Joel Citty, Shanon Weaver, Ken Bradley, HIT.

Outstanding Ensemble Performance:
Paula Gilbert, Wendy Goodwin, Betsy McCann, Regina Yunker, Medea

Musical Direction: Jeffrey Jones-Ragona, The Pirates of Penzance

Choreography: Sharon Sparlin, Curieosity

Original Score: Robert Skiles, Jan Bozarth, Noel Alford, Theresa May, Sarah Hickman, Cindy Symington, Dede Clark, Jerry Jeff Walker, Django Walker, Holly Watson, Waking Sleeping Beauty

Original Script: Shanon Weaver, HIT.

Costume Design: Yvette Oakes, The Traveling Lady

Lighting Design: Brian S. Davis, Ain't Misbehavin'

Set Design: David Potts, Proof

Sound Design: Edmund Pantuliano & Blaine Indemaio, Medea

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More Articulations
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Robert Faires, April 30, 2004

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Austin Circle of Theaters, AcoT, B. Iden Payne Awards, Scottish Rite Theatre, Jason Neulander, Payne Awards Nominations Committee, Cyndi Williams, Christa Kimlicko Jones, Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Austin, The Pirates of Penzance, Different Stages, Horton Foote, The Traveling Lady, a chick and a dude productions, HIT., Shanon Weaver, Melissa Livingston, Austin Lyric Opera, Joseph McClain, David Nancarrow

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