Pleasure of the Paynes 2014

The 'Fix' was in at the 40th theatre awards ceremony

Pleasure of the Paynes 2014

The "bitin' pains" – that's now how I'll think of our local theatre awards after hearing their title mangled by the 2014 ceremony's maladroit hosts, a pair of white-faced clowns from the land of stinky cheese. Unable to wrap their Gallic mouths around the name B. Iden Payne, the duo mooshed it around until it became an orthodontic affliction à la TMJ.

Zut alors!

Not to worry, mes amis, the malapropism was all in good fun, one of many efforts by Chris Gibson and Cami Alys, in their alter egos of Stefan LeCoq and Isabella Belle, to bring a little levity to Austin's version of the Tonys. And it worked – their comical bits between the dispensation of awards kept the evening floating along like a red balloon. To be fair, though, the Paynes are pretty lighthearted these days. Most acceptance speeches now are heartfelt tributes to colleagues and the community, leavened with self-deprecating references to one's vanity or some other equally stereotypical show-biz trait. You won't catch much soapboxing or lashing out at the hometown thespians here. The Paynes truly are a pleasure.

Certainly they were on Monday night – and I'm not just saying that because a show that I was in took home the most awards. (That would be the Rude Mechs' Fixing King John, which earned six honors.) The Rollins Studio Theatre was packed, and for every award, every nominee's name seemed to bring forth a hearty round of applause and cheers. It was like everyone was rooting for everyone else. As happens some years, a handful of shows proved favorites among the Payne voters: The Who's Tommy and Pinocchio, both from Zach Theatre, received three awards apiece, as did Doctuh Mistuh Productions' Silence! The Musical and The Hidden Room Theatre's Der Bestrafte Burdermord. Capital T Theatre's Detroit and There Is a Happiness That Morning Is scored a two awards each, and so did Zach's Les Miz and the improv production Hurlyburly.

For my money, the highlight among the winners' speeches came from Stephanie Delk in accepting the Stage Management Award for her work on the Penfold Theatre Company production, Red. She was actually working the awards as stage manager and had to be tricked into coming down from the booth before the award was handed out so she'd be backstage when her name was called. She related in a slow burn being told on the headset that someone was sick backstage, trooping down with a bucket and first-aid kit, asking where the ailing actor was, and having no one respond or look her in the eye. Every detail, delivered with the kind of no-nonsense gravity that stage managers use to put the fear of God in actors, scored huge laughs from the crowd. That's the kind of night it was.



Pinocchio, Zach Theatre


Nat Miller, Pinocchio


Rommel Sulit, Pinocchio

Young Performer

Will Sendera, The Who’s Tommy



Hurlyburly, Institution Theatre


Jayme Ramsay and Marc Majcher, Hurlyburly

Rudy Kloptik Award for Outstanding Improvisational Troupe

Girls! Girls! Girls! Improvised Musicals



Der Bestrafte Brudermord, The Hidden Room Theatre


Beth Burns, Der Bestrafte Brudermord

Lead Actor

Jason Phelps, There Is a Happiness That Morning Is

Lead Actress

Katherine Catmull, There Is a Happiness That Morning Is

Featured Actor

Craig Kanne, Pygmalion

Featured Actress

Eva McQuade, The Language Archive



Fixing King John, Rude Mechs


Madge Darlington, Fixing King John

Lead Actor

E. Jason Liebrecht, Fixing King John

Lead Actress

Gricelda Silva, Pinkolandia

Featured Actor

Jeffery Mills, Fixing King John

Featured Actress

Barbara Chisholm, Fixing King John



Silence! The Musical, Doctuh Mistuh Productions


Michael McKelvey, Silence! The Musical

Lead Actor

Nicholas Rodriguez, Les Misérables

Lead Actress

Amy Downing, Silence! The Musical

Featured Actor

Andrew Cannata, Les Misérables

Featured Actress

Traci Lee, Les Misérables


Original Script

Fixing King John, Kirk Lynn

Original Score

Stone Soup, Allen Robertson

Theatrical Event

We Play Chekhov, Breaking String Theatre

Set Design

Detroit, Ia Ensterä

Lighting Design

The Who’s Tommy, Jason Amato

Costume Design

The Who’s Tommy, Susan Branch Towne

Sound Design

Detroit, Lowell Bartholomee

Media Design

The Crapstall Street Boys, K. Eliot Haynes and Chris Owen


The Head, Trouble Puppet Theatre Company

Stage Management

Stephanie Delk, Red

Fight Choreography

Joseph Garlock, Bethany

Dance Choreography

The company, Cosmicomics

Ensemble Performance

Judd Farris and Jason Newman, Der Bestrafte Brudermord

Cast Performance

The Gospel at Colonus, Zach Theatre


Travis Bedard


Chet Fagerstrom

For outstanding young musician in Fiddler on the Roof, Trinity Street Players & Austin Jewish Repertory Theatre

Fusebox Festival

For bringing world theatre to Austin and sharing Austin theatre with the world

Scott Groh

For outstanding prop design and construction in Les Misérables, Pinocchio, and The Who’s Tommy, Zach Theatre

Michael Meigs

For reporting on the arts and fostering a regional perspective on his website, Central Texas Live Theatre

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More B. Iden Payne Awards
2019 B. Iden Payne Award Winners
2019 B. Iden Payne Award Winners
Five shows share top honors with four awards each

Robert Faires, Nov. 6, 2019

2018 B. Iden Payne Award Winners
2018 B. Iden Payne Award Winners
Top honors go to Drowsy Chaperone and Fixing Troilus

Robert Faires, Nov. 7, 2018

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B. Iden Payne Awards, Fixing King John, Rude Mechs, Zach Theatre, Capital T Theatre, Hidden Room Theatre, Doctuh Mistuh Productions, Stephanie Delk

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