The Critics Table's Grand Tales

The winners of the 2018-19 Austin Critics Table Awards

Anyone who has attended previous awards ceremonies hosted by the Austin Critics Table – most often, lengthy affairs that make marathons seem brief by comparison – might be shocked to learn that the Cap City Comedy Club showroom was cleared out by 9:30pm on Monday night. But it's true that the 27th presentation of awards came in in record time.

Rommel Sulit of Street Corner Arts accepting the award for Theatre Production with cast members of We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, from the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915 (Photo by Robert Faires)

Credit goes to the Austin American-Statesman's Michael Barnes, an original member of the Table who made his return to the ceremony after several years on leave. He was determined to cut the running time enough that attendees would be willing to stay through the entire event, and as emcee, he succeeded. Though the crowd was smaller than usual, the tables remained full until the last of the 49 certificates were handed out.

Of the three dozen category awards and special citations issued to creatives in the fields of theatre, dance, design, classical music, visual art, and improv this year, the runaway winner was Ballet Austin's world premiere production of Grimm Tales. The contemporary ballet, drawn from artist Natalie Frank's distinctive visual interpretation of Brothers Grimm fairy tales, went home with seven of the nine awards it was nominated for, among them Outstanding Dance Concert, Choreographer for BA Artistic Director Stephen Mills, Original Composition/Score for Graham Reynolds, and the performances of Aara Krumpe and Oliver Greene-Cramer.

Taking three honors each were a pair of Zach Theatre productions, the Sondheim musical Sunday in the Park With George and the Anna Deavere Smith investigation of the school-to-prison pipeline, Notes From the Field, which shared the award for Outstanding Theatre Production with the drama We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, from the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915. That Street Corner Arts production won all three of the awards for which it was nominated, including an award for the direction by Liz Fisher and the ensemble work by the six-actor cast.

As always, part of the ceremony was devoted to the induction of new members into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame. This year's inductees were: Toni Bravo (dance), the late Billy Harden (theatre), Girard Kinney (architecture), and Margo Sawyer (visual art).

Taking part in the Critics Table award process this year were the Austin American-Statesman's Michael Barnes (arts) and Andrew J. Friedenthal (theatre); the Chronicle's Elizabeth Cobbe (theatre) and Robert Faires (arts); Central Texas Live Theatre's Michael Meigs (theatre), Dr. David Glen Robinson (theatre, dance), and Brian Paul Scipione (theatre); Arts & Culture Texas' Claire Christine Spera (dance); Broadway World Austin's Lynn Beaver (theatre), Frank Benge (theatre), Joni Lorraine (theatre), Lacey Cannon Gonzales (theatre), and Amy Tarver (theatre); and Austin Arts Watch's Ryan E. Johnson (performing arts). Note: Members of the Table refrained from voting on any project in which they or an immediate family member took part.

The 2018-19 Austin Critics Table Award Winners

THEATRE

Production
Notes From the Field, Zach Theatre
We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, from the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915, Street Corner Arts

Direction
Liz Fisher, We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, from the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915
Rudy Ramirez, (Un)Documents/Heartland/Last: An Extinction Comedy

David Mark Cohen New Play Award
Heartland, Gabriel Jason Dean

Performance by an Individual
Jill Blackwood, Sunday in the Park With George/Indian Ink
Lee Eddy, Cry It Out
Judd Farris, Booth’s Richard III/Your Mother’s Copy of the Kama Sutra
Carla Nickerson, Monroe/Notes From the Field

Jill Blackwood accepting her Individual Performance award for her work in Zach Theatre's production of Sunday in the Park With George and Austin Shakespeare's production of Indian Ink (Photo by Robert Faires)

Performance by an Ensemble
We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, from the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915, Street Corner Arts

Improvised Production
Latinauts, Prima Doñas, Futurx

Musical Direction
Allen Robertson, Sunday in the Park with George/Rob1n/Once/Tortoise and Hare

Movement
The Back Pack, The Back Pack Presents: Wear and Tear


DESIGN

Set
Stephanie Busing, Notes From the Field

Costume
Aaron Flynn, The Rover
Constance Hoffman, Grimm Tales

Lighting
Sarah EC Maines, Sunday in the Park with George

Sound
Sam Lipman, Matawan

Digital
Howard Werner, Grimm Tales


DANCE

Concert
Grimm Tales, Ballet Austin

Short Work
“Idobálè,” Fortitude

Choreographer
Stephen Mills, Grimm Tales

Dancer
Oliver Greene-Cramer, “The Beast”/“The Frog King”
Aara Krumpe, The Firebird/“Snow White”

Ensemble
Be Still, My Heart, Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company


CLASSICAL MUSIC

Concert/Opera
Leonard Bernstein’s Mass, Merick Strategies
Silent Night, Austin Opera

Chamber Performance
Smetana: Piano Trio in G Minor, Schumann Chamber Players

Original Composition/Score
Grimm Tales, Graham Reynolds

Singer
Jubilant Sykes, Leonard Bernstein’s Mass

Ensemble
line upon line percussion

Instrumentalist
Stephen Redfield, A World Tour of Baroque Orchestral Masterworks/Hope of Loving


VISUAL ART

Solo Gallery Exhibition
“Alejandra Almuelle: Journey,” 1300 E. Fifth (East Austin Studio Tour)

Group Gallery Exhibition
“Femme Abstract,” 1300 E. Fifth (East Austin Studio Tour)

Museum Exhibition
Abraham Cruzvillegas: “Hi, How Are You, Gonzo?,” The Contemporary Austin

Gallery, Body of Work
Stephen L. Clark Gallery

Artist
Virginia Fleck


SPECIAL RECOGNITION HONORS
Conspirare's Considering Matthew Shepard live-stream from the National Cathedral
Leonard Bernstein's MASS, Merick Strategies
Vincent Valdez's “The City,” Blanton Museum of Art
“Vaudeville!”, Harry Ransom Center
Palace Theater in Georgetown

John Bustin Award for Conspicuous Versatility
Delanté G. Keys

Deacon Crain Award for Outstanding Student Work
Mariela Denson and Matthew Kennedy

Got opinions about theatre, art, dance, and everything else good in Austin? Let your voice be heard in our annual Best of Austin ballot. Voting is open now!

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Austin Critics Table, Austin Arts Hall of Fame, Ballet Austin, Grimm Tales, Zach Theatre, Street Corner Arts

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