The 2008-2009 Austin Critics Table Awards

On Monday, June 1, the Austin Critics Table handed out its annual awards for outstanding achievements in the Austin arts in a ceremony at the Cap City Comedy Club. This year's ceremony, the 17th such presented by this informal association of local arts writers, began with the induction of Bonnie Cullum, Mary Margaret Farabee, Daniel Johnson, Alexandra Nadal and Eugene Slavin, Sylvia Orozco, and Damian Priour into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame.

In the awards themselves, this was not a year for sweeps. The most honored work was the Mary Moody Northen Theatre production of Cyrano de Bergerac, which won four awards. Twelve other productions or works received two awards each. Overall, 46 productions, exhibitions, or works were honored in 37 categories.

Critics participating in this year's awards, covering the period from May 1, 2008, to May 3, 2009, were the Austin American-Statesman's Michael Barnes (arts), Clare Croft (dance), Erin Keever (visual arts), David Mead (music), Joey Seiler (theatre), and Jeanne Claire van Ryzin (arts); ... might be good's Claire Ruud and Kate Watson (visual arts); and the Chronicle's Elizabeth Cobbe (theatre), Rachel Koper (visual arts), Jonelle Seitz (dance), Avimaan Syam (theatre), and Robert Faires (arts). Obligatory ethical note: Critics refrained from nominating themselves or members of their families for any awards and refrained from voting in any category in which the critic or a family member was nominated.


Production, Drama

Cyrano de Bergerac, Mary Moody Northen Theatre

Production, Comedy

Age of Arousal, Austin Playhouse

Production, Musical

The Last 5 Years, Penfold Theatre Company/

Austin Playhouse


Michelle Polgar, Cyrano de Bergerac

Dustin Wills, Ophelia

Acting in a Leading Role

Annika Johansson, The Last 5 Years

David Long, Cyrano de Bergerac

Tom Truss, The Idiot

Jennifer Underwood, The Casket of Passing Fancy/ The Beauty Queen of Leenane

Acting in a Supporting Role

Verity Branco
Verity Branco (Photo by John Anderson)

Verity Branco, A Midsummer Night's Dream/

An Ideal Husband

Shavanna Calder, Caroline, or Change

Jenny Gravenstein, Age of Arousal

Marc Pouhé, The Three Sisters/ Cyrano de Bergerac/The Grapes of Wrath

Ensemble Performance

The Red Balloon, Tongue and Groove Theatre

David Mark Cohen New Play Award

Dug Up, Cyndi Williams

None of the Above

The Casket of Passing Fancy, Rubber Repertory

Music Direction

Jeff Helmer, Queenie Pie


Jennifer Sherburn and David Yeakle, The Red Balloon

Touring Show, Theatre

Elaine Stritch at Liberty, Austin Cabaret Theatre

Spectacular, Forced Entertainment, Fusebox Festival


Scenic Design

Kevin Beltz, Still Life With Iris

Costume Design

Michael Hite, Queenie Pie

Ariana Schwartz, Still Life With Iris

Lighting Design

Lih-Hwa Yu, The Shape of White

Sound Design

Buzz Moran, Hamilton Township

Video Design

Duncan Alexander, The Color of Dissonance


Museum Exhibition

"Reimagining Space: The Park Place Gallery Group

in 1960s New York," Blanton Museum of Art,

curator: Linda Dalrymple Henderson

Solo Gallery Exhibition

"Lee Baxter Davis," Texas Biennial at Pump Project

Group Gallery Exhibition

"Photography in the Abstract," Lora Reynolds

Gallery, curator: Maureen Mahony

Independent or Public Project

12:19 Library, Fusebox Festival

Work of Art

Let Me Entertain You, Jill Pangallo,

Texas Biennial 2009


Sterling Allen

Touring Show, Art

"Birth of the Cool," Blanton Museum of Art


Dance Concert

Ashley Lynn
Ashley Lynn (Photo by John Anderson)

Skate! A Night at the Rink, Forklift Danceworks

Short Work

"Crandall Canyon Mine," Big Range Austin dance festival


Sharon Marroquin, "Garden"/"Crandall Canyon



Paul Michael Bloodgood, "Episodes"/Hamlet

Ashley Lynn, "Episodes"/Hamlet/"Left Unsaid"

Touring Show, Dance

Grub, tEEth, Fusebox Festival


John Bustin Award for Conspicuous Versatility

Michael McKelvey

W.H. "Deacon" Crain Award for Outstanding Student Work

Mark Scheibmeir, UT Department of Theatre & Dance

Old Wine in New Wineskins (or Margarita Glass) Award

Lyova Rosanoff, Steve Saugey, and Shaun Wainwright-Branigan for their Austintatious libretto to The Bat

New Kid on the Block Award


Body of Work Award

Viola by Choice

"A Gore-us Line" Award

Henri Mazza and the Alamo Drafthouse, Shawn Sides and the Rude Mechanicals, Indiana Adams and Flash Mob Austin, for Thrill the World Austin


Symphonic Performance

Beethoven: Symphony No. 9, UT Symphony

Orchestra with UT Chamber Singers, Concert

Chorale, Men's Chorus, Women's Chorus, and

Choral Arts Society

Welcher: Symphony No. 5, Austin Symphony

Chamber Performance

Golden Hornet Project Presents: Tosca String

Quartet, Tosca String Quartet

Choral Concert

Verdi: Messa da Requiem, Conspirare Symphonic

Choir, Texas State University Choirs,

Victoria Bach Festival Chorus


Dialogues of the Carmelites, Austin Lyric Opera

Original Composition/Score

Anton Nel
Anton Nel (Photo by John Anderson)

Between Steel and Stardust (Songs of Texas

Women), Graham Reynolds and Carrie Fountain

Symphony No. 5, Dan Welcher


Elizabeth Pétillot, Viola by Choice

Emily Pulley, Dialogues of the Carmelites


Anton Nel, Anton Nel in Recital

Michelle Schumann, Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue

Touring Classical

Onix Ensamble, UT Performing Arts Center

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Austin Critics Table Awards, Cyrano de Bergerac, Age of Arousal, The Last 5 Years, Dialogues of the Carmelites, Dan Welcher, Sharon Marroquin

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