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Tag Archives: OCTA

This weekend the Olathe Community Theatre Association held their annual Buddy Rogers Awards.  These awards honor the best of the past season and are voted on by season ticket holders and a staff committee.

I was absolutely honored and humbled by a win in the Best Leading Actor category for my role as the Stage Manager in Our Town.  It was a huge pleasure to work with our director, Darren Sextro and a very talented cast on a show that has long been a favorite of mine.  I will always be grateful of this production, coming as it did at the beginning of my time here in Kansas City, as it introduced me to so many brilliant people in the Kansas City theatre scene.  In fact, this show has given me some of my closest friends here in Kansas City.  Not to mention directly leading me to many of the productions I have undertaken in the past year.  I can’t say enough good things about the people who work tirelessly (many for free) at this theatre.  I’ll be back often to see high quality shows, friends, and (in early 2012) to direct another of my favorite shows: Lee Blessing’s Two Rooms.

Below I have listed the other wonderful artists who were honored with awards at the 2010-11 Buddy Awards.  They all deserve every bit of applause they get and more.

JENNIFER COVILLE-SCHWEIGERT
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

MIKE HASKIN
BEST CAMEO
Our Town

SHELLY STEWART
BEST SOUND DESIGN
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

BILL CASE
BEST CHARACTER ACTOR
Picasso at the Lapin Agile

AMY ARNOTT
BEST CHARACTER ACTRESS
Picasso at the Lapin Agile

CYNTHIA EVANS
BEST SET DESIGN
Picasso at the Lapin Agile

BETSY SEXTON
BEST PROPERTIES DESIGN
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

PHILIP LEONARD
BEST LIGHTING DESIGN
Picasso at the Lapin Agile

LOREN BRIDGE
BEST INDIVIDUAL MUSICAL ACHIEVEMENT
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

REED UTHEBEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Picasso at the Lapin Agile

PAM HASKIN
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Our Town

JANET GLASSMAN
BEST STAGE MANAGER
Picasso at the Lapin Agile

ELLEN DESHON
BEST LEADING ACTRESS
David’s Mother

COLEMAN CRENSHAW
BEST LEADING ACTOR
Our Town

DAVID MARTIN
BEST DIRECTOR
Picasso at the Lapin Agile

PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE
BEST SHOW

CHRISTIE AWARD
BOB AND KAYE MARTIN

AMY PIERRON VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR AWARD
THE PENN FAMILY

SMITH/MOYER SPECIAL SERVICE AWARD
THE JUNIOR SERVICE LEAGUES

Edward Albee has called Our Town “the greatest of all American plays” and I might tend to agree with him. It is, oft times obscured, a tough play that is unsentimental and rigorous in it’s assessment of the human state. New Hampshire version.

David Cromer has created a nifty version of the play that is true to the spirit of the piece and yet expansive and revelatory for our modern jaded times. Darren Sextro and OCTA are smart to grab this version and be the first to present it outside of Chicago and New York. Quite a coup for a non professional theatre!

And they do it pretty good justice. You won’t leave dry eyed, I can assure you. In this production, the play is allowed to speak very clearly for itself and, as Mr. Albee and I have told you, it is a great one.
Modern dress, house lights always up, this production does not thrive on artifice. And the actors are up to the challenge. They give simple, honest performances that gather strength as the evening goes along. This is clearly an ensemble effort so I won’t try and single people out lest I forget one or two, but the tone is set by a personable Coleman Crenshaw as the Stage Manager and everyone follows suit.

The third act of this play is a most beautiful 30 minutes. Sadly, having seen the Cromer production in New York, I found the shortcomings of technical resources here to be distracting. A bad wig and a bad set pull you out of the story for a bit but, thanks to some other winning aspects, all is not lost. The play is allowed to work its magic and indeed it does.

This is the best play going in Kansas City right now. You should see it.

Reviewed on KC Stage- Sept 22. 2010