Star Turns

The nominees for the 2015-16 Austin Critics Table Awards

After poring over the hundreds of stage productions, concerts, and art exhibitions mounted locally between May 1, 2015, and April 30, 2016, 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 2016 Critics Table Awards.

The cast of Mr. Burns, a post-electric play, by Mary Moody Northen Theatre (Photo by Bret Brookshire)

Earning the most attention from the group was Mary Moody Northen Theatre's Mr. Burns, a post-electric play, which received eight nominations. Three shows captured seven nods apiece: Capital T Theatre's cockfighting comedy Year of the Rooster, Zach Theatre’s musical salute to Duke Ellington, Sophisticated Ladies, and the UT Department of Theatre & Dance's The Wild Party.

The critics will present the awards in their usual fashion – with drinks in hand – in an informal ceremony on Monday, May 23, 7pm, at Cap City Comedy Club, 8120 Research #100. The event will also include the induction of three local artists into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame: Austin Symphony conductor and music director Peter Bay, choreographer and Ballet Austin Artistic Director Stephen Mills, and Ballet Austin executive director and community arts advocate Cookie Ruiz. 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 Andrew J. Friedenthal (theatre), Claire Canavan (theatre), Luke Quinton (classical music/visual arts), Claire Spera (dance), and Jeanne Claire van Ryzin (arts), and the Chronicle's H.C. Arnold (visual arts), Elizabeth Cobbe (theatre), Jonelle Seitz (dance), Shanon Weaver (theatre), 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
Disgraced, Austin Playhouse
Frankenstein: The Trouble Puppet Show, Trouble Puppet Theater Company
The History of King Lear, The Hidden Room Theatre
Skylight, Street Corner Arts
A Streetcar Named Desire, Austin Shakespeare
Terminus, Vortex Repertory Company

Production, Comedy
Fixing Timon of Athens, Rude Mechanicals
Missionary Position, Session 2: Pleasure Journeys for the Intrepid Lady Explorer, Glass Half Full Theatre
Mr. Burns, a post-electric play, Mary Moody Northen Theatre
The Norwegians, Austin Playhouse
The Strangerer, Capital T Theatre
Year of the Rooster, Capital T Theatre

Production, Musical
Hairspray, Zilker Theatre Productions
She Loves Me, Mary Moody Northen Theatre
Sophisticated Ladies, Zach Theatre
Sunday in the Park With George, Austin Shakespeare
Tortoise & Hare, Summer Stock Austin
The Wild Party, UT Department of Theatre & Dance

Rosalind Faires, Marie Antoinette
David Long, Mr. Burns, a post-electric play
Nick Mayo, She Loves Me
Zell Miller III, Hunger/Hands Up Hoodies Down
Mark Pickell, The Strangerer/Year of the Rooster
Andrea Skola Summers, Skylight
Don Toner, Disgraced

Acting in a Leading Role
Emma Center, The Wild Party
Brian Coughlin, To Kill a Mockingbird
Franchelle Dorn, Medea
Kara Bliss, Sunday in the Park With George
Claire Grasso, Skylight
Jason Liebrecht, Year of the Rooster
Jason Newman, Year of the Rooster
Robert Pierson, The Strangerer
Marc Pouhé, Mr. Burns, a post-electric play/Satchel Paige and the Kansas City Swing
Indigo Rael, Marie Antoinette
Caroline Reck, Missionary Position, Session 2: Pleasure
Journeys for the Intrepid Lady Explorer

Ebony Stewart, Hunger
Holland Taylor, Ann
Jennifer Underwood, Terminus
Ben Wolfe, Disgraced

Acting in a Supporting Role
Crystal Bird Caviel, Disgraced
Jacques Colimon, Terminus
Tom Green, The Night Alive
Jadon Hatley, The Diary of Anne Frank
Afra Hines, Sophisticated Ladies
Vincent J. Hooper, Hairspray
Jessica Hughes, The Quarry
Aaron Johnson, Skylight/Tribes
Iris McQuillan-Grace, Tribes
Michael Miller, Disgraced
Amy Nichols, Guys & Dolls
Megan Ortiz, The Town Musicians of Mumbai
Amber Quick, A Streetcar Named Desire
Scott Shipman, Hairspray/She Loves Me
Michael Stuart, The Norwegians

Ensemble Performance
The Diary of Anne Frank, UT Department of Theatre and Dance
The Dumb Waiter, Capital T Theatre
Mr. Burns, a post-electric play, Mary Moody Northen Theatre
Topdog/Underdog, Viceroys
Tortoise & Hare, Summer Stock Austin
The Tree Play, Robi Polgar
The Wild Party, UT Department of Theatre and Dance

Music Direction
Austin Haller, Sunday in the Park With George
Lyn Koenning, The Wild Party
Michael McKelvey, Mr. Burns, a post-electric play
Allen Robertson, Sophisticated Ladies/Tortoise & Hare
Peter Stopschinski, She Loves Me
John VanderGheynst, Hairspray

Natasha Davison, The Wild Party
Nick Demos, Evita
Erica Gionfriddo, Gusev
Danny Herman & Rocker Verastique, She Loves Me
Dominique Kelly, Sophisticated Ladies
Allen Robertson & Korina Lurie, Tortoise & Hare

David Mark Cohen New Play Award
Fixing Timon of Athens, Kirk Lynn
Hands Up Hoodies Down, Zell Miller III
Hunger, Ebony Stewart
Tender Rough Rough Tender, Sarah Saltwick
Tortoise & Hare, Allen Robertson & Damon Brown
The Tree Play, Robi Polgar


Blue Lapis Light's Edge of Grace (Photo by Sandy Carson)

Dance Concert
Dancestry, Shay Ishii Dance Company
The Graham Reynolds Project, Ballet Austin
Edge of Grace, Blue Lapis Light
In Your Shoes, Tapestry Dance Company
True Story, Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company
The Warriors, Arcos Dance

Short Work
“Desire,” Ballet Austin
“Early That Summer,” Ballet Austin
“Echoes of Veiled Light,” Ballet East
“Motherwell Amor,” Erick Hawkins Dance Company/Shay Ishii Dance Company
“A Part,” Rosalyn Nasky/Chaddick Dance Theatre
“Stream,” Ballet Austin

Charles O. Anderson/Kathy Dunn Hamrick/Lisa Nicks/Kate Warren, More Than One Complication
Andrea Ariel, “Echoes of Veiled Light”
Acia Gray, In Your Shoes
Kathy Dunn Hamrick, True Story
Sally Jacques, Edge of Grace

Jeremy Arnold, In Your Shoes
James Fuller, “Once Belonging”
Jessica Lindberg Coxe, Dancestry
Mariclaire Gamble, More Than One Complication
Oliver Greene-Cramer, Illusory Impressions
Michael Love, In Your Shoes
Elise Pekarek, Illusory Impressions
D. Poet Powell, True Story
Ashley Lynn Sherman, “Desire”/Hamlet

Paul Michael Bloodgood & Aara Krumpe, “Desire”
Nathan Brumbaugh & Lisa Del Rosario, “Echoes of Veiled Light”
Matt Shields & Tony Merriwether, Sophisticated Ladies

Andrea Ariel Dance Theatre, Lumen
Blue Lapis Light, Edge of Grace
Heloise Gold and Natalie George's production, 1,000 Forest Gorillas in Kansas
Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company, True Story
Shay Ishii Dance Company, “La Mer”
Tapestry Dance Company, In Your Shoes


Jason Liebrecht in Capital T Theatre's Year of the Rooster (Photo by Eric Dufault)

Scenic Design
J. Aaron Bell, Sophisticated Ladies
Paul Davis, Hairspray
Ia Ensterä, King of Hearts/Gusev/The Tree Play
David Molina-Garza, The Diary of Anne Frank
Mark Pickell, Year of the Rooster
Leilah Stewart, Mr. Burns, a post-electric play/She Loves Me

Costume Design
E. L. Hohn, The Wild Party
Talena Martinez, Marie Antoinette
Jenny McNee & Jennifer Rose Davis, The History of King Lear
Mercedes O’Bannion, Mast/The Government Inspector
Curtis Uhlemann & Bobby Moffett, The Warriors
Kelsey Vidic, The Diary of Anne Frank
Court Watson, Evita

Lighting Design
Patrick Anthony, Year of the Rooster/Hunger/Terminus/Medea/Marie Antoinette
Michelle Habeck, Sophisticated Ladies
Sarah Maines, Mr. Burns, a post-electric play
Stephen Pruitt, In Your Shoes/Frankenstein: The Trouble Puppet Show/True Story/Lumen
Jennifer Rogers, The Tree Play
Megan Slayter, Dancestry
Po-Yang Sung, The Diary of Anne Frank

Sound Design
Lowell Bartholomee, The Tree Play/Year of the Rooster
Craig Brock, Evita
Ben Campbell, The Diary of Anne Frank
Robert S. Fisher, The Night Alive/Gusev/The Realistic Joneses/Field Guide
K. Eliot Haynes, Mr. Burns, a post-electric play/Frankenstein: The Trouble Puppet Show
William Meadows, Edge of Grace

Video/Projection Design
Lowell Bartolomee, When the Rain Stops Falling
Eliot Gray Fisher, The Warriors
Jared LeClaire, The Wild Party
Julia Smith, Gusev
Matt Smith, The Diary of Anne Frank


Chamber Performance
Anton Nel & Bion Tsang, Butler School of Music
The Late Show, Austin Chamber Music Center
Medieval Pilgrimage in Iberia, Texas Early Music Project
Pléiades, line upon line percussion
The Poet Sings: Emily Dickinson, Conspirare
Traffic Jam, Steve Parker

Choral Performance
Bat/Man, Texas Choral Consort
Considering Matthew Shepard, Craig Hella Johnson et al.
Gloria in Excelsis Deo!, Ensemble VIII
Great Big Choruses, Conspirare/Victoria Bach Festival Chorus and Orchestra

Aida, Austin Opera
At the Statue of Venus/Three Decembers, Butler Opera Center
Of Mice and Men, Austin Opera

Donnie Ray Albert, Aida
Tuija Knihtilä, Aida
Chan Yang Lim, At the Statue of Venus
Lior, Compassion
Eric Neuville, The Poet Sings: Emily Dickinson
Issachar Savage, Aida
Karen Slack, Aida
Julia Taylor, Three Decembers
Sonja DuToit Tengblad, The Poet Sings: Emily Dickinson

Original Composition/Score
Considering Matthew Shepard, Craig Hella Johnson
“gypsum and ash,” Russell Podgorsek
“Honk if you …,” Steve Snowden
In the Face of Trouble, Graham Reynolds
“Maiden Voyage,” Mark McCoin
“Monolith: Music for Enchanted Rock,” Justin Sherburn
“So Long As Days Shall Be,” Donald Grantham

Catherine Davis, Illusory Impressions
Jessica Mathaes, Compassion
Anton Nel, Anton Nel & Bion Tsang
Stephen Redfield, Start the New Year With Bach
Michelle Schumann, The Poet Sings: Emily Dickinson/In the Face of Trouble
Bion Tsang, Anton Nel & Bion Tsang
Keith Womer, Start the New Year With Bach

Ensemble VIII
La Follia
line upon line percussion
Texas Early Music Project


"Seth Orion Schwaiger: Complex I"

Museum Exhibition
“Come As You Are: Art of the 1990s,” Blanton Museum of Art
“Donald Moffett,” Blanton Museum of Art
“Shakespeare in Print and Performance,” Harry Ransom Center
“Strange Pilgrims,” The Contemporary Austin

Solo Gallery Exhibition
“Christa Blackwood: Prix West,” Photo Méthode Gallery
“Elizabeth McDonald: I Only Know Plenty,” grayDUCK Gallery
“Malcolm Bucknall: Pinning Down the Elusive Is Tricky Business,” Wally Workman Gallery
“McKay Otto: Ever or Ever,” CAMIBAart Gallery
“Over Time: Elizabeth Chiles,” Pump Project
“Seth Orion Schwaiger: Complex I,” Pump Project
“Shawn Smith: Predators, Prey, and Pixels,” grayDUCK Gallery
“Jade Walker: Four Cornered,” Galleries I & II, Texas State University

Group Gallery Exhibition
“The Contemporary Print,” Print Austin
“Invisible Intersections,” Six Square
“Obras,” Lora Reynolds Gallery
“Staycation,” MASS Gallery
“Troy Brauntuch, Andy Coolquitt, Jeff Williams,” Lora Reynolds Gallery

Work of Art: Independent or Public Project
Field Constructs Design Competition, Circle Acres Nature Preserve, Texas Architects/Ecology Action of Texas/Pentagram
Omission, Juan DeLeon, TEMPO/Art in Public Places
Las Piñatas, David A. Goujon, TEMPO/Art in Public Places
Sew Wasted, Los Outsiders, Fusebox Festival
Sound Atlas, Steve Parker, Drawing Lines

Work of Art: Installation
Canopy Tower, John Grade, The Contemporary Austin
(Forever Free) Ideas, Languages, and Conversations, Michael Ray Charles, Landmarks
Hurly Burly, Orly Genger, Waller Creek Conservancy/The Contemporary Austin

Gallery, Body of Work
CAMIBAart Gallery
grayDUCK Gallery
MASS Gallery
Pump Project
Wally Workman Gallery

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Ausrin Critics Table Awards, Mary Moody Northen Theatre, UT Department of Theatre & Dance, Capital T Theatre, Austin Arts Hall of Fame

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