The Austin Chronicle

Art Par Excellence

, May 20, 2015, 11:59pm, All Over Creation

After poring over the hundreds of stage productions, concerts, and art exhibitions mounted locally between May 1, 2014, and April 30, 2015, the members of the Austin Critics Table have agreed on the most outstanding work in dance, classical music, visual art, and theatre in the past year and announced the nominees for the 2015 Critics Table Awards.

Earning the most attention from the group were two premieres: Ballet Austin's Belle Redux/A Tale of Beauty & the Beast and the UT Department of Theatre & Dance's Refugia, created with the Moving Company, each of which received seven nominations. Four productions captured six nods apiece: Zach Theatre’s Texas premiere of the Robert Schenkkan political drama All the Way; Austin Opera's modern-day staging of Verdi's A Masked Ball; Salvage Vanguard Theater's undead riff on Chekhov, Thr3e Zisters; and the Texas State University Department of Theatre & Dance's spirited revival of Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate.

The critics will present the awards in their usual fashion – with drinks in hand – in an informal ceremony on Monday, June 1, 7pm, at Cap City Comedy Club, 8120 Research. The event will also include the induction of three local artists into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame: painter and muralist Fidencio Duran, choreographer and dancer Heloise Gold, and composer/music director/Biscuit Brother Allen Robertson. As always, the public is welcome, and admission is free.

Taking part in the Critics Table award process this year were the Austin American-Statesman's Cate Blouke (theatre), Claire Canavan (theatre), Luke Quinton (classical music/visual arts), and Jeanne Claire van Ryzin (arts), and the Chronicle's Elizabeth Cobbe (theatre), Caitlin Greenwood (visual arts), Seth Orion Schwaiger (visual arts), Jonelle Seitz (dance), Natalie Zeldin (classical music), and Robert Faires (arts). Note: Members of the Table refrained from voting on any project in which they or an immediate family member took part.


Production, Drama

All the Way, Zach Theatre

Am I White?, Salvage Vanguard Theater

The Christians, Hyde Park Theatre

Cock, Theatre en Bloc

Love and Information, Mary Moody Northen Theatre

Refugia, UT Department of Theatre & Dance

Production, Comedy

Cenicienta, Zach Theatre

Detroit, Capital T Theatre

Everything Is Established, Physical Plant Theater

Peter and the Starcatcher, Zach Theatre

The Suicide, Paper Chairs

Thr3e Zisters, Salvage Vanguard Theater

Production, Musical

100 Heartbreaks, Joanna Garner

Bright Now Beyond, Salvage Vanguard Theater

Chicago, Half & Half Productions

Footloose, Summer Stock Austin

Kiss Me, Kate, Texas State University Department of Theatre and Dance

Stone Soup, Summer Stock Austin


Cassie Abate, Kiss Me, Kate

Derek Kolluri, Cock/Jacob’s Ladder

David Long, Love and Information

Charles Ney, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Caroline Reck, Cenicienta

Dominique Serrand, Refugia

M. Scott Tatum & Julianna Wright, Chicago

Yuri Umov, Thr3e Zisters

Acting in a Leading Role

Liz Beckham, As You Like It

Jill Blackwood, The King and I

Jacques Coliman, Bright Now Beyond

Amy Downing, Silence! The Musical

Philip Goodwin, The Invention of Love

Leslie Hollingsworth, Chicago (Half & Half Productions)

Vincent J. Hooper, Stone Soup

J. Robert Moore, Peter and the Starcatcher

Carla Nickerson, The Mountaintop

Jason Phelps, Feast of My Heart

Marc Pouhé, Cyrano de Bergerac/The Mountaintop/The Taming of the Shrew

Matt Radford, We Play Chekhov/Deus Ex Machina

Gricelda Silva, Changelings/Simple Sundries/Cenicienta

Steve Vinovich, All the Way

Jaston Williams, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike/Maid Marian in a Stolen Car

Acting in a Supporting Role

Melvin Abston, All the Way

Michelle Alexander, All the Way

Christina Baldwin, Refugia

Florida Bryant, Am I White?

Steven Epp, Refugia

Joseph Garlock, Romeo and Juliet

Babs George, Jacob’s Ladder

Joey Hood, The Christians

Jessica Hughes, The Christians

André Martin, The Invention of Love

Erik Mathew, The Invention of Love

Robert Matney, Thr3e Zisters

William Earl Ray, All the Way

Jose Villarreal, Silence! The Musical

Johanna Whitmore, Jacob’s Ladder

Ensemble Performance

Cock, Theatre en Bloc

Everything Is Established, Physical Plant Theatre

Love and Information, Mary Moody Northen Theatre

This Is Our Youth, Punchkin Repertory Theatre

Thr3e Zisters, Salvage Vanguard Theater

A Year With Frog and Toad, Zach Theatre

Music Direction

Jeanette Cannata-Grahmann, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Emily Goldman, Kiss Me, Kate

Lyn Koenning, Chicago (Summer Stock Austin)

Michael McKelvey, Silence! The Musical

Allen Robertson, The Who’s Tommy/Stone Soup/The King and I/A Year With Frog and Toad

John VanderGheynst, Chicago (Half & Half Productions)


Cassie Abate, Kiss Me, Kate

Brazie Mata Adamez, Chicago (Half & Half Productions)

Robin Lewis, The Who’s Tommy

Jennifer Young Mahlstead, A Year With Frog and Toad

Judy Thompson-Price, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Greg Zane, The King and I

David Mark Cohen New Play Award

Am I White?, Adrienne Dawes

Cenicienta, Rupert Reyes and Caroline Reck

Everything Is Established, Hannah Kenah

Refugia, Steven Epp

Stone Soup, Allen Robertson and Damon Brown

Teen Girl FANtasies, Kimberly Belflower and Megan Tabaque

"The Theory of Substitution," C. Denby Swanson


Dance Concert

Belle Redux/A Tale of Beauty & the Beast, Ballet Austin

Desplezados, A'lante Flamenco Dance Ensemble

Ignite: Three Works, Performa/Dance

Season of Innocence, Ballet Austin II

There, the Magnificent, Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company

The Trees of Govalle, Forklift Danceworks

Short Work

“The Backup Dancer: Bits and Acts From the Night Train,” Gold Show/Rose Show

"Hearing My Place,” Tapestry Dance Company

"On Truth and Love," Performa/Dance

“Vicissitudes of the Heart,” Chaddick Dance Theater


Cheryl Chaddick, “Vicissitudes of the Heart”

Kathy Dunn Hamrick, There, the Magnificent/Briefs: An Episodic Adventure

Jennifer Hart, Ignite: Three Works/To Here

Sally Jacques, In Light

Nicholas Kepley, Season of Innocence

Karen Nelson and ensemble, The Tuning Project


Bailey Anglin, Season of Innocence

Jeremy Arnold, Soul/Sole Connections

Edward Carr, Belle Redux

Siobhan Cooke, Soul/Sole Connections

Mariclaire Gamble, Briefs: An Episodic Adventure

Brian Heil, Season of Innocence

Aara Krumpe, Agon

Ashley Lynn, Agon

Julie Nathanielsz, “Yo Genesis”

Michelle Thompson, Belle Redux

Nicole Whiteside, In Light

Jaime Lynn Witts, Firebird/To Here


Devon Adams & Nathan Brumbaugh, "Vicissitudes of the Heart"

Purna Bajekal & Anuradha Naimpally, Jewels of the Tanjuvar Tradition

Ellen Bartel & Heloise Gold, 1000 Forest Gorillas in Kansas

Edward Carr & Jaime Lynn Witts, To Here

Alyson Dolan & Jack Anthony Dunlap II, Briefs: An Episodic Adventure

Ashley Lynn & Christopher Swaim, Agon


A'lante Flamenco Dance Ensemble, Desplezados

Andrea Ariel Dance Theatre/Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble/Super Creeps, The Bowie Project 2

Ballet Austin II, Season of Innocence

Ready|Set|Go!, In Habitants

Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company, There, the Magnificence/Briefs: An Episodic Adventure

Tapestry Dance Company, Soul/Sole Connections

Touring Show

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Texas Performing Arts

Martha Graham Dance Company, Texas Performing Arts

Otro Teatro, Luciana achugar, Fusebox Festival

a quartet, Heather Kravas, Fusebox Festival

Seven, MET Dance, Austin Dance Festival

Slump, Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, Austin Dance Festival


Scenic Design

Aaron Bell, A Year With Frog and Toad/The Three Little Pigs

Ia Ensterä, We Play Chekhov/Detroit/The Tempest/Thr3e Zisters

Ann Marie Gordon, Changelings

Richard M. Isackes & Wendall Harrington, A Masked Ball

Lisa Laratta, The Suicide

Michael Raiford, Kiss Me, Kate

Leslie Turner, Jacob’s Ladder

Costume Design

Jennifer Davis, Changelings

Pam Fletcher Friday, Stone Soup

Alison Heryer, The King and I

Christina Montgomery, A Year With Frog and Toad

Mercedes O’Bannion, Refugia

Michael Raiford, Belle Redux/Kiss Me, Kate

Lighting Design

Jason Amato, Maid Marian in a Stolen Car/The Invention of Love

Patrick Anthony, DNA/Changelings

Natalie George, The Tuning Project/Gold Show/Rose Show/Feast of My Heart/Thr3e Zisters/

1000 Forest Gorillas in Kansas

Michelle Habeck, A Masked Ball/All the Way

Stephen Pruitt, Once There Were Six Seasons/The Trees of Govalle

Steven Shirey, We Play Chekhov/Jacob’s Ladder

Sound Design

Robert Fisher, Thr3e Zisters

K. Eliot Haynes, Once There Were Six Seasons/The Wars of Heaven, Part I

Billy Henry, Refugia

William Meadows, In Light/The Invention of Love

Joel Mercado-See, The Mountaintop

Buzz Moran, We Play Chekhov/The Trees of Govalle


Classical Performance

Austin Symphony Orchestra with Alison Balsom

Beethoven: Ninth Symphony, Chorus Austin and Chorus Austin Orchestra

Don Giovanni, Austin Opera

Indie Orchestra Night, Texas Choral Consort

A Masked Ball, Austin Opera

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 7, UT Symphony Orchestra

Chamber Performance

Bach vs. Handel Smackdown, La Follia

La Femme Bohème, LOLA Austin

The Lodger, Austin Classical Guitar

Miró Quartet with James Dunham & Norman Fischer, Butler School of Music

North Star, Austin Chamber Music Center

Schoenberg: Verklärte Nacht, , Austin Chamber Music Center

Choral Performance

Beethoven: Choral Fantasy, Chorus Austin

Haydn: The Creation, Texas Choral Consort

Muhly: How Little You Are, Conspirare/Austin Classical Guitar/Texas Performing Arts

Southwest Voices, Chorus Austin


Emily Breedlove, La Femme Bohème

Dominick Chenes, A Masked Ball

Michael Chioldi, A Masked Ball

Sara Ann Mitchell, A Masked Ball

Morgan Smith, Don Giovanni

Julie Taylor, La Femme Bohème

Nick Zammit, Bach Vs. Handel Smackdown

Gil Zilkha, “Oseh Shalom,” Southwest Voices

Original Composition/Score

Belle Redux, Graham Reynolds

How Little You Are, Nico Muhly

The Lodger, Joseph V. Williams II

Season of Innocence, Steve Parker

"Symmetrographia," Travis Weller

The Wars of Heaven, Part I, Justin Sherburn


Graeme Francis, North Star

Carla McElhaney, Beethoven: Choral Fantasy

Michelle Schumann, North Star

Bion Tsang, The Lodger

Keith Womer, Bach vs. Handel Smackdown

Sandy Yamamoto, Franck: Sonata in A Major

Leanne Zacharias, River Measures



line upon line percussion

Miró Quartet

New Music Co-op

Texas Guitar Quartet


Museum Exhibition

“James Drake: Anatomy of Drawing and Space (Brain Trash),”

Blanton Museum of Art

"Do Ho Suh," The Contemporary Austin

“The Making of Gone With the Wind,” Steve Wilson, curator; Ransom Center

“Margo Sawyer: Reflect,” Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum

“Wildly Strange: The Photographs of Ralph Eugene Meatyard,” Jessica McDonald, curator;

Blanton Museum of Art/Ransom Center

Solo Gallery Exhibition

“40Hz: Barna Kantor,” Big Medium

“Blanket of Fog: Hollis Hammonds,” Women & Their Work

“Contamination | Pollination: Elizabeth McDonald,” Pump Project

“Dave Culpepper: Wake Me When It’s Quitting Time,” Co-Lab Projects

“Sarah Frantz: Between Borderlands,” Women & Their Work

“Susan Collis: I would like to invite the viewer,” Lora Reynolds Gallery

“Susie Brister: Fables,” Women & Their Work

Group Gallery Exhibition

“The Contemporary Print,” Kevin McNamee-Tweed and Kathryn Polk, curators; Big Medium

“Gently Fried,” Los Outsiders, curators; Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center

“Tell Me What You Think of me,” Leslie Moody Castro, curator; Texas State University

Work of Art: Independent or Public Project

AHOM, Museum of Human Achievement

Comfort Station, Katelena Hernandez Cowles

Creek Show: Light Night, Waller Creek Conservancy (Lewis Legge Lewis, Design Workshop, Baldridge Architects, Jason Sowell, Thoughtbarn)

Leavings, Nancy Mims

Neighborhood Watch, Sean Ripple

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