Payne Pleasures 2006: The nominees

Your play didn't have to tackle a political theme to earn a nomination for ACoT's 2005-2006 B. Iden Payne Awards, but the top nominees reveal that it sure didn't hurt


Your play didn't have to tackle a political theme to earn a nomination for this year's B. Iden Payne Awards, but it sure didn't hurt. When the Austin Circle of Theaters released the nominees for its annual dramatic honors last week, the most favored shows included Zachary Scott Theatre Center's staging of Urinetown: The Musical, the offbeat musical in which an environmental catastrophe has made it a privilege to pee; Salvage Vanguard Theater's world premiere of Americamisfit, Dan Dietz's rockabilly rumination on revolution's role in our national character; and the State Theatre's world premiere of American Fiesta, Steven Tomlinson's artful investigation into political divisions, marriage, and collecting vintage tableware. Urinetown rated 10 nominations, including Outstanding Production of Music Theater and nods for the acting work of Marc Pouhé, Jill Blackwood, David Sattler, Stephanie Elbel, and Meredith McCall. Americamisfit scored eight nominations, including one for Outstanding Production of Music Theater and one for Dietz and Philip Owens' original score. American Fiesta landed six nominations, including Outstanding Drama and Outstanding Original Script.

The nominations, covering the period August 2005-August 2006, recognized 65 productions by 34 area arts companies. Also earning six nominations was the Shakespearean authorship farce The Beard of Avon, by Different Stages, recognized for comedy production, Norman Blumensaadt's direction, Kyle Sigrest's original score, Marann Faget's costumes, and the acting by Marc Balester and Joe Hartman. Garnering five nods each were Zilker Theatre Productions' staging of the movie musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (nominated for musical production, direction by Ginger Morris and Robin Lewis, Lewis' choreography, Mike McKelvey's musical direction, and Leslie Hollingsworth's performance); Theatre at the J's staging of the Allan Sherman revue Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh! (nominated for musical production, K.C. Gussler's direction and choreography, Jan Seides' musical direction, and the performance of the cast); and Second Youth Family Theatre's Patty's Aesop Adventure (nominated for production of a play for youth, Julianna E. Wright's original script and direction, Brian C. Billings' original score, and the performance of Leslie Hollingsworth). Scoring four nominations each were: The Rivals and Richard III, both from the Austin Shakespeare Festival; The Exonerated and I Am My Own Wife, both from Zach; and Hyde Park Theatre's The Evidence of Silence Broken. Nominations will be voted on by ACoT members and tabulated by the accounting firm of KPMG LLP, which keeps the results secret until the awards ceremony, which will be Monday, Oct. 30, 7pm, at the Zachary Scott Theatre Center Kleberg Stage at 1421 W. Riverside. Tickets are available at AusTIX and For more information, call 454-TIXS.

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B. Iden Payne Awards, Austin theatre awards, Austin Circle of Theatres, ACoT

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