Payne Pleasures 2004

And the award goes to ...

Sam Bass Theatre artists forever pleased with their Payne honors
Sam Bass Theatre artists forever pleased with their Payne honors

On Monday, Sept. 27, the Austin Circle of Theaters handed out its annual B. Iden Payne Awards, honoring outstanding achievements in local theatre from August 2003 through July 2004. The ceremony, marking ACoT's 30th anniversary, was held at the home of Esther's Follies, an Austin theatrical institution that also got its start in the Seventies just a few years after the Circle. After a few years of recovery from his first stint as emcee, Lowell Bartholomee returned to host the affair, while Stuart Moulton and a bevy of beauty queens from the Naughty Austin production of Pageant presented the awards and kept the show moving at a record pace. (Less than two hours for the whole show? Get those folks for the Oscars!) As for the awards themselves: The most honored show was Sam Bass Community Theatre's Forever Plaid, which received four awards, including nods to Dennis Whitehead for both his direction and musical direction. Austin Playhouse was the big winner in the comedy category, going four for four in acting awards. With one more award for Michael Stuart's musical turn in its production of Kiss Me Kate, Austin Playhouse matched the five acting awards taken home by the Zachary Scott Theatre Center: three in musical productions and a pair for its version of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The State Theater Company's spooky staging of The Woman in Black snagged three awards in the technical category. Pro Arts Collective founder and longtime actor, director, educator, and arts activist Boyd Vance was given the annual Special Recognition Award for Outstanding Achievement in Austin Theatre, and the Payne Awards Nominations Committee also dispensed special certificates to K.C. Gussler for his direction of the all-youth casts of Guys and Dolls and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Physical Plant Theatre for its site-specific work on The Fever, and Rubber Repertory Company for Mister Z Loves Company as an outstanding late-night adventure. Here is the full list of winners.

Production, Play for Youth

Tangled Tricksters (Pollyanna Theatre Company)

Director, Play for Youth

J. Richard Smith (Beauty and the Beast)

Actor, Play for Youth

Alex Garza (Tangled Tricksters)

Actress, Play for Youth

Betsy McCann (Tangled Tricksters)

Production, Music Theatre

Forever Plaid (Sam Bass Community Theatre)

Director, Music Theatre

Dennis Whitehead (Forever Plaid)

Lead Actor, Music Theatre

Roderick Sanford (It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues)

Lead Actress, Music Theatre

Latifah Taormina (Always ... Patsy Cline)

Featured Actor, Music Theatre

Michael Stuart (Kiss Me Kate)

Featured Actress, Music Theatre

Jill Blackwood (Cabaret [Zachary Scott Theatre Center])

Production, Comedy

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (Austin Shakespeare Festival)

Director, Comedy

Ev Lunning Jr. (A Flea in Her Ear)

Lead Actor, Comedy

David Stahl (Travesties)

Lead Actress, Comedy

Babs George (Private Lives)

Featured Actor, Comedy

David Stokey (Private Lives)

Featured Actress, Comedy

Bernadette Nason (The Underpants)

Production, Drama

The Drawer Boy (Hyde Park Theatre)

Director, Drama

Ken Webster (The Drawer Boy)

Lead Actor, Drama

Philip Goodwin (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?)

Lead Actress, Drama

Joy Farmer-Clary (Romeo and Juliet)

Featured Actor, Drama (tie)

Michael David Walton (Titus Andronicus)

Ben Wolfe (Romeo and Juliet)

Featured Actress, Drama

Helen Merino (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?)

Cast Performance

Forever Plaid (Sam Bass Community Theatre)

Youth Performer

Brandon Harris (Hotel for Hollywood Has-Beens)

Set Design

Christopher McCollum (The Woman in Black)

Lighting Design (tie)

Robert T. Whyburn (The Secret Garden)

Richard Winkler (The Woman in Black)

Sound Design

The Gunn Brothers (The Woman in Black)

Costume Design

Susan Branch (It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues)

Music Director

Dennis Whitehead (Forever Plaid)


Jacob Ortuno (Everyman/Tibetan Book of the Dead)

Original Script

Jaston Williams (I'm Not Lying)

Original Score

Ernesto Marquez, Jonathan Hoyle, and Chris La Cava (The Comedy of Errors)

Austin Circle of Theaters' Special Recognition Award

Boyd Vance

B. Iden Payne Nominations Committee Special Certificates

Outstanding Direction of All-Youth Casts

K.C. Gussler for Guys and Dolls and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Outstanding Site-Specific Work

Physical Plant Theatre for The Fever

Outstanding Late-Night Adventure

Rubber Repertory Company for Mister Z Loves Company

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arts awards, Tangled Tricksters, Pollyanna Theatre Company, J. Richard Smith, Beauty and the Beast, Alex Garza, Betsy McCann, Forever Plaid, Sam Bass Community Theatre, Dennis WhiteheadRoderick Sanford, It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues, Latifah Taormina, Always … Patsy Cline, Michael Stuart, Kiss Me Kate, Jill Blackwood, Cabaret, Zachary Scott Theatre Center, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), Austin Shakespeare Festival

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