Encore Michigan

2015 Wilde Award Nominees: It was a Wilde Year

News August 31, 2015 Encore Staff

Originally published June 23, 2015

ANN ARBOR, MI–Theater professionals from across Michigan will gather together Aug. 31 when The 2015 Wilde Awards are presented at The Berman Center for the Performing Arts in the Detroit suburb of West Bloomfield. Presented by EncoreMichigan.com, the most comprehensive resource for news and information about the state’s professional theater industry, The Wilde Awards were established in 2002 to honor the excellent work produced by Michigan’s professional theaters.

Wilde Image 250“Although I say something similar pretty much every year, this past season was certainly a memorable one – both onstage and behind the scenes,” said Donald V. Calamia, co-founder and editor-at-large of EncoreMichigan.com. “New theaters popped up, a few established ones kept a very low profile, and quality work was seen on stages all across the state and in theaters large and small. Plus, we got a new owner not long before the end was imminent. So all in all, I’d call this one heck of a successful season!”

Even another extraordinarily cold winter couldn’t squash the enthusiasm and hard work found in our theaters, Calamia noted. “Despite the frigid temperatures and what seemed to be a never-ending tepid economy, patrons still showed up at the box office and our theater artists continued to turn out work of the highest caliber. And that made our jobs quite difficult, as how do you sift through 150-plus performances from across the state – and the work of hundreds of theater artists – to determine which were the best or most memorable of the 2014-15 season? But we did it – and that’s what we’ll be honoring when the community comes together this coming August!”

Now in its 14th year, The Wilde Awards – named in honor of 19th century playwright Oscar Wilde – honors the best productions, performances and technical work produced or presented by professional theaters across the state. Nominations are based on reviews written by EncoreMichigan.com’s team of professional critics. Only shows produced or presented by Michigan’s professional theaters and opera companies – both union and non-union – and reviewed by EncoreMichigan.com’s theater critics during the 2014-15 season were eligible for a 2015 Wilde Awards nomination.

This year’s team of critics included Carolyn Hayes Harmer, (owner and editor-in-chief) David Kiley, Martin F. Kohn, Jenn McKee, Sue Merrell, Amy J. Parrent, Frank Anthony Polito, John Quinn, Bridgette M. Redman, Judith Cookis Rubens and guest critic Jennifer Knightstep.”And for only the second time since the inception of The Wilde Awards, I had no horse in the race,” Calamia said. “I reviewed a grand total of one play this past season, and that’s it. But I certainly had a lot of input based on the overall number of shows I saw throughout the season.”

Mosaic Youth Theatre will be performing a scene from The Tempest at the 2015 Wilde Awards

Mosaic Youth Theatre will be performing a scene from The Tempest at the 2015 Wilde Awards

An abbreviated year

This year, the 14th annual Wilde Awards returns to its pre-Labor Day roots after last year’s move to September. The change, Calamia said, is the direct result of feedback received from throughout the community. “Last year, we moved the show to September and changed the review season to August through July, which made sense when we had different owners and a different financial model. What we didn’t fully consider was the timing of the ceremony and how a mid or late September date would be in conflict with so many shows scheduled to open pretty much at the same time. So attendance last year was down considerably. And since our goal is to bring the community together that night and not find ways to prevent them from attending, we listened to the feedback and decided to return the ceremony to its traditional slot.”

What’s also changed – again – is the review season. “For the first 12 years of The Wilde Awards, we based our nominations and awards on shows our critics reviewed from mid-May to mid-May,” Calamia said. “For last year’s awards, when we decided to move the date of the ceremony to September, we also changed the season from August to July, which is pretty close to a traditional theater season. But that caused an interesting dilemma: Because the prior season ended in mid-May and the new season began in August, that meant we had to extend the nominations to include 14 months of shows rather than 12 to make sure we included those produced in the otherwise-orphaned June and July of 2013. And the result was that the summer theaters competed against themselves across two different seasons.”

This year, however, the problem is just the opposite. “For this year’s awards and from this point forward, our review season is June through May,” Calamia said. “But since June and July of 2014 were included with last year’s awards, nominations this year will include the months of August 2014 through May 2015 only – which means the summer theaters that had all of their shows reviewed last year in June or July won’t have any shows considered for an award this year.”

It’s confusing, and not a perfect solution, Calamia, noted. “But it allows us to make a one-time re-adjustment to get us back on track for the future. And what that means is that next year, for the first time in a couple of years, the season will run a full 12 months – and I’m sure it will remain that way for years to come.”

The 2014-15 season

In total, EncoreMichigan.com’s team of critics reviewed 168 productions produced or presented by 49 professional theater companies located in 25 communities across the state during the abbreviated 2014-15 season. Shows had to be performed for four consecutive days or more or over two weekends or more to be eligible for a review. And only shows reviewed by EncoreMichigan.com could be nominated for a Wilde Award.

The Purple Rose Theatre's Annapurna nominated for Best Drama

The Purple Rose Theatre’s Annapurna nominated for Best Drama

Awards this year will be given out in 25 categories, Calamia explained. “And this, too, is a change from past years. One of my personal delights in previous seasons was the sheer scope of creativity that exploded from the improv community and other small or independent producers that resulted in a large slate of very funny original one-act comedies and one-person shows. For a number of reasons, we reviewed far fewer of these shows this past season, and because the field was so uncharacteristically narrow, instead we folded them in for consideration with the standard ‘comedy’ categories. Every year sees some refinement in the categories to adequately reflect the recent season. Our hopes are high that these categories will be reinstated with a full slate of well-deserved accolades in future years.”

A handful of special awards will be presented, as well.

In total, 34 companies statewide received at least one nomination. Leading the pack with 13 is Michigan Opera Theatre (Detroit), followed by The Encore Musical Theatre Company (Dexter) with 10, while Farmers Alley Theatre (Kalamazoo) and Tipping Point Theatre (Northville) each earned nine. “Most of the nominated theaters received multiple accolades,” Calamia said. “Only seven of the total received a single nomination. More impressive, however, is that a handful of nominated theaters were new to the scene, which proves longevity is not necessarily a good indicator of quality.”

Of the 72 nominated shows, no single production leaped to the forefront. The Encore Musical Theatre Company’s “Spamalot” earned the top spot with 6, while “Annapurna” at The Purple Rose Theatre (Chelsea) and “Sugarhill” at The Jewish Ensemble Theatre (West Bloomfield) both received five. And “A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur” at Tipping Point Theatre and “The Secret Garden” at Farmers Alley Theatre each received four nominations. “Only 35 of the 72 productions received two or more nominations, so this year’s slate reflects a very broad spectrum of shows, and it proves there’s something of note to highlight in pretty much every production we see,” Calamia said.

Mason Street Warehouse's Beehive is nominated for Best Musical

Mason Street Warehouse’s Beehive is nominated for Best Musical

A similar indicator is the number of artists – actors, directors, designers and playwrights – whose work is honored this year. “Of the 128 individuals we’ve nominated, only 12 have two or more nominations,” Calamia said. “I think this helps prove Michigan is blessed with an abundance of highly skilled and talented individuals who live and work here, and we’re thrilled to acknowledge them and their excellent work during the 2014-15 season.”

The 2015 Wilde Awards

The 2015 Wilde Awards, sponsored by Pride Source Media Group and Detroit Public Television, will be held Monday, Aug. 31 at The Berman Center for the Performing Arts in West Bloomfield. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. with an hors d’oeuvre and cocktail reception. The awards show, produced and co-hosted by Calamia with special guest participants, will begin promptly at 8 p.m.; a dessert afterglow will follow. Naz Edwards returns to coordinate the entertainment.

The evening will not only honor the best performances and productions of the 2014-15 professional theater season, it will also serve to formally introduce the community to new owner and editor-in-chief David Kiley, as well as tease attendees with news regarding future plans for the media company. “The raw materials have been here since day one, but EncoreMichigan.com has never had the marketing and financial muscle to develop into the dynamic company it was designed to be,” said Kiley. “We have many exciting plans for the near future – including a totally redesigned website we’ll be launching this fall – and we’ll chat about some of them on the night of the awards.”

 Admission is $22 per person; VIP admission is $47 per person, which includes unlimited bar service. Drink tickets for all others will be available for purchase on the day of the event.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, June 19 at The Berman’s box office, by phone at 248-661-1900, or online at http://theberman.org.

The Berman Center for the Performing Arts is located at 6600 W. Maple Road, on the campus of the Jewish Community Center at the northwest corner of Maple and Drake Roads in West Bloomfield. Parking is free.

“Our 14th annual celebration of professional theater in Michigan will be a great way to salute the previous season and kick off the next,” said Calamia. “And as always, it will truly be ‘one Wilde night’ to remember!”

The media is invited to cover The 2015 Wilde Awards. If you would like to attend the event, please contact Donald V. Calamia at 313-537-4860.

EncoreMichigan.com and Encore Media LLC are not affiliated with The Encore Musical Theatre Company of Dexter, MI.

Nominations: The 2015 Wilde Awards

Best Comedy

  • Around the World in 80 Days, Travis W. Walter, director; Meadow Brook Theatre
  • Driving Miss Daisy, John Manfredi, director; Performance Network Theatre
  • The Kiss of the Sun for Pardon, Leah Smith, director; Detroit Repertory Theatre
  • Leaving Iowa, Beth Torrey, director; Tipping Point Theatre
  • A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur, Kate Peckham, director; Tipping Point Theatre

Best Drama

  • Annapurna, Guy Sanville, director; The Purple Rose Theatre Company
  • Buried Child, Greg Bailey, director; The Abreact
  • The Glass Menagerie, D. Terry Williams, director; Farmers Alley Theatre
  • 1984, Randy Wolfe, director; What A Do Theatre
  • Sugarhill, Christopher Bremer, director; The Jewish Ensemble Theatre Company

Best Musical

  • And the World Goes Round, Stephen Brotebeck, director; Farmers Alley Theatre
  • Beehive, Kurt Stamm, director; Mason Street Warehouse
  • The Secret Garden, Kathy Mulay, director; Farmers Alley Theatre
  • Spamalot, Thalia V. Schramm, director; The Encore Musical Theatre Company
  • Violet, Steve DeBruyne, director; The Dio – Dining & Entertainment

Best Opera

  • Elektra, Nicholas Muni, director; Michigan Opera Theatre
  • Faust, Bernard Uzan, director; Michigan Opera Theatre
  • Frida, Jose Maria Condemi, director; Michigan Opera Theatre
  • Madame Butterfly, Bernard Uzan, director; Michigan Opera Theatre
  • The Merry Widow, Kelly Robinson, director; Michigan Opera Theatre

Best of the Bard

  • All’s Well that Ends Well, The Ensemble, director; Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company
  • Hamlet, Bailey Boudreau and Steve Xander Carson, directors; Slipstream Theatre Initiative
  • The Winter’s Tale, Bailey Boudreau, director; Slipstream Theatre Initiative
  • King Lear, Frannie Shepherd-Bates, director; Shakespeare in Detroit
  • Julius Caesar, Katherine Mayberry, director; Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company

Best Theatre for Young Audiences

  • The Crane Maiden, Igor Gozman, director; PuppetART
  • The Diary of Anne Frank, Jeremy Winchester, director; Flint Youth Theatre
  • Sleeping Beauty, Igor Gozman, director; PuppetART
  • Treasure Island, Hilary Cohen, director; Wild Swan Theater
  • Turtle Island, Luda Mikheyenko, director; PuppetART

Best Touring Production

  • Beauty and the Beast, Rob Roth, director; Miller Auditorium
  • Kinky Boots, Jerry Mitchell, director; Broadway in Detroit: Fisher Theatre
  • Once, John Tiffany, director; Wharton Center for the Performing Arts
  • Pippin, Diane Paulus, director; Wharton Center for the Performing Arts
  • Wicked, Joe Mantello, director; Broadway in Detroit: Fisher Theatre

Best Performance, Actress – Comedy

  • Connie Cowper, Kimberly Akimbo; Open Book Theatre Company
  • Lydia Hiller, A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur; Tipping Point Theatre
  • Terry Heck, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike; Tipping Point Theatre
  • Nancy-Elizabeth Kammer, Driving Miss Daisy; Performance Network Theatre
  • Janet Maylie, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike; Tipping Point Theatre
  • Emily Sutton-Smith, Miracle on South Division Street; Williamston Theatre

Best Performance, Actress – Drama

  • Averi Beck, Anne of Green Gables; What A Do Theatre
  • Ellen Finch, On Golden Pond; The Encore Musical Theatre Company
  • Linda Rabin Hammell, The Best of Enemies; UDM Theatre Company
  • Michelle Mountain, Annapurna; The Purple Rose Theatre Company
  • Sharon Williams, The Glass Menagerie; Farmers Alley Theatre
  • Inga R. Wilson, Sugarhill; The Jewish Ensemble Theatre Company

Best Performance, Actress – Musical

  • Mahalia Greenway, Violet; The Dio – Dining & Entertainment
  • Madison Hertel, The Secret Garden; Farmers Alley Theatre
  • Denene Mulay Koch, The Secret Garden; Farmers Alley Theatre
  • Katherine Kujala, Mary Poppins; Riverbank Theatre
  • Thalia Schramm, Home for the Holidays; The Dio – Dining & Entertainment

Best Performance, Actor – Comedy

  • Miles Boucher, Boeing Boeing; Hilberry Theatre
  • James Bowen, Driving Miss Daisy; Performance Network Theatre
  • Sebastian Gerstner, Buyer & Cellar; Theatre Nova
  • Todd Hissong, The Kiss of the Sun for Pardon; Detroit Repertory Theatre
  • Brandy Joe Plambeck, Boeing Boeing; Hilberry Theatre
  • John Seibert, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike; Tipping Point Theatre

Best Performance, Actor – Drama

  • Joe Dely, 1984; What A Do Theatre
  • Thomas D. Mahard, On Golden Pond; The Encore Musical Theatre Company
  • Mike McGettigan, Buried Child; The Abreact
  • Richard McWilliams, Annapurna; The Purple Rose Theatre Company
  • Phil Powers, The Value of Names; The Jewish Ensemble Theatre Company
  • Sineh Wurie, Topdog/Underdog; Ixion

Best Performance, Actor – Musical

  • Steve DeBruyne, Home for the Holidays; The Dio – Dining & Entertainment
  • Sebastian Gerstner, Spamalot; The Encore Musical Theatre Company
  • Keith Kalinowski, Spamalot; The Encore Musical Theatre Company
  • Jeremy Koch, The Secret Garden; Farmers Alley Theatre
  • David Moan, Evil Dead: The Musical; Olympia Entertainment: City Theatre

Best Performance – Opera

  • Matt Boehler, Faust; Michigan Opera Theatre
  • Christine Goerke, Elektra; Michigan Opera Theatre
  • Jason Graae, The Merry Widow; Michigan Opera Theatre
  • Amanda Squitieri, The Merry Widow; Michigan Opera Theatre
  • Russell Thomas, Faust; Michigan Opera Theatre

Best Performance – The Bard

  • Julia Garlotte, King Lear; Shakespeare in Detroit
  • Peter Knox, King Lear; Shakespeare in Detroit
  • Sarah Hawkins Moan, Romeo and Juliet; Hilberry Theatre

Best Performance – Theater for Young Audiences

  • Liza Bielby, Dreamtigers; PuppetART and The Hinterlands
  • Sarah Briggs, Beanstalk The Musical; Wild Swan Theater
  • Sam Carter, The Diary of Anne Frank; Flint Youth Theatre
  • Nicholas Pobutsky, Snow Queen; PuppetART
  • Barbara Scanlon, The Ugly Duckling; Wild Swan Theater

Best Teamwork

  • Tony Caselli and John Lepard, The Best Brothers; Williamston Theatre
  • Terry Heck and John Seibert, Sirens; Williamston Theatre
  • Andrew Huff and Wayne David Parker, Stones in His Pockets; Performance Network Theatre
  • Brandy Joe Plambeck and Michael Phillip Thomas, The 39 Steps; Hilberry Theatre
  • Madelyn Porter and Greg Trzaskoma, The Best of Enemies; UDM Theatre Company

Best New Script

  • Jeff Duncan & Brian E. Buckner, The Ugly Duckling; Wild Swan Theater
  • Jacqueline Frid, Poltergeist; Stark Turn Players
  • Linda Ramsay-Detherage, Sugarhill; The Jewish Ensemble Theatre Company
  • Laura Uzarski, Draw Me Out; Stark Turn Players
  • Joseph Zettelmaier, The Gravedigger: A Frankenstein Story; Williamston Theatre

Best Music Direction

  • Daniel Bachelis, Violet; The Dio – Dining & Entertainment
  • Brian E. Buckner, The Ugly Duckling; Wild Swan Theater
  • Tyler Driskill, Dracula The Musical; The Dio – Dining & Entertainment
  • Mackenzie Lewis, Spamalot; The Encore Musical Theatre Company
  • Chris Rayis, Christmas Caroled!; The Encore Musical Theatre Company

 Best Choreography

  • Irina Baranovskaya and Igor Gozman, The Crane Maiden; PuppetART
  • Matthew Brennan, Spamalot; The Encore Musical Theatre Company
  • Stephen Brotebeck, And the World Goes Round; Farmers Alley Theatre
  • Kristi Davis, Christmas Caroled!; The Encore Musical Theatre Company
  • Jill Dion, Tender Napalm; The Ringwald Theatre

Best Design – Sound or Video

  • Matthew David Birchmeier, The Glass Menagerie, Farmers Alley Theatre
  • Tim Culver, Cameron Lake and Lauri Rowe, It’s a Wonderful Life: A Radio Play; Great Escape Stage Company
  • Quintessa Gallinat, A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur; Tipping Point Theatre
  • Matt Lira, Sugarhill; The Jewish Ensemble Theatre Company
  • Will Myers, Sirens; Williamston Theatre

Best Design – Sets

  • Jeremy Barnett, Once on This Island; Meadow Brook Theatre
  • Bartley H. Bauer, Annapurna; The Purple Rose Theatre Company
  • Todd Engle, Beehive; Mason Street Warehouse
  • Monika Essen, Frida; Michigan Opera Theatre
  • Phill Harmer, Salvage; Performance Network Theatre
  • Czerton Lim, The Diary of Anne Frank; Flint Youth Theatre
  • Sarah Pearline, The Way of the World; Hilberry Theatre

Best Design – Props

  • Anne Donevan, Spamalot; The Encore Musical Theatre Company
  • Kristen Gribbin and Jen Price Fick, Around the World in 80 Days; Meadow Brook Theatre
  • Michelle Raymond, Miracle on South Division Street; Williamston Theatre
  • Danna Segrest, Annapurna; The Purple Rose Theatre Company
  • Diane E. Ulseth, Sugarhill; The Jewish Ensemble Theatre Company

Best Design – Lights

  • Michael Baumgarten, Madame Butterfly; Michigan Opera Theatre
  • Heather DeFauw, Romeo and Juliet; Hilberry Theatre
  • Jeromy Hopgood, The Rainmaker; Tipping Point Theatre
  • Reid G. Johnson, Luce; Meadow Brook Theatre
  • Harley Miah, Red; Open Book Theatre Company
  • Amy M. Schneider, The Way of the World; Hilberry Theatre

Best Design – Costumes

  • Monika Essen, Frida; Michigan Opera Theatre
  • Christianne Myers, Steel Magnolias; The Purple Rose Theatre Company
  • Colleen Ryan-Peters, A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur; Tipping Point Theatre
  • Anne Suchyta, The Way of the World; Hilberry Theatre
  • Suzanne Young, Treasure Island; Wild Swan Theater

Media Fact Sheet: The 2015 Wilde Awards

The Event:      The 14th Annual Wilde Awards

Theme:           “One Wilde Night”

Date:               Monday, Aug. 31, 2015

6:30 p.m. social hour; 8 p.m. awards; afterglow follows

Location:        The Berman Center for the Performing Arts

6600 W. Maple Rd., West Bloomfield

(corner of Drake & W. Maple Roads)

Contact:         Donald V. Calamia, 313-537-4860

Presenter:      EncoreMichigan.com, the state’s premier source for free, up-to-the-minute news and information about Michigan’s professional theater industry.

Sponsors:       Pride Source Media Group, publishers of Between The Lines, Michigan’s weekly newspaper serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allied communities; Detroit Public Television –Detroit Performs Live; Actors Equity.

Purpose of The Wilde Awards:

  • To celebrate the excellent work produced by Michigan’s professional theater industry.

Who is eligible to receive a 2015 Wilde Award:

  • Only shows produced or presented by Michigan’s professional theaters and opera companies – both Equity and non-Equity, large and small – and reviewed by EncoreMichigan.com’s theater critics during the 2014-15 season were eligible for a 2015 Wilde Awards nomination.
  • Only professional productions that met the following criteria were eligible to be reviewed by EncoreMichigan.com: Productions that ran (1) four consecutive days or more, or (2) two weekends or more.
  • Both locally produced shows and national touring productions were eligible for nominations.

How the Wilde Awards work:

  • At the conclusion of the 2014-15 theater season – which, for purposes of The 2015 Wilde Awards, covered the period August 1, 2014 through May 31, 2015, inclusive – EncoreMichigan.com’s theater critics determined nominations in 25 categories based on their reviews.
  • This year’s review season was truncated to shift from the previously announced August through July to a period that better represents the theater season, June through May.
  • This year’s nominees and winners were determined by EncoreMichigan.com editor-at large Donald V. Calamia and critics Carolyn Hayes Harmer, David Kiley, Martin F. Kohn, Jenn McKee, Sue Merrell, Amy J. Parrent, Frank Anthony Polito, John Quinn, Bridgette M. Redman, Judith Cookis Rubens and guest critic Jennifer Knightstep. (In the awards’ early years, some or all of the awards were chosen by ballots submitted by readers of Between The Lines, the theater community and area theatergoers.).
  • Winners will be announced at a delightfully prestigious ceremony to be held Aug. 31, 2015 at The Berman Center for the Performing Arts in the Detroit suburb of West Bloomfield.

Which theaters were reviewed by Encore Michigan:

  • For the 2014-15 season, EncoreMichigan.com reviewed 168 shows produced or presented by 49 professional theater companies located in 25 communities across Michigan.
  • Among the theaters reviewed during the season were The Abreact (Detroit), Farmers Alley Theatre (Kalamazoo), Fisher Theatre (Detroit), Flint Youth Theatre (Flint), Go Comedy! Improv Theater (Ferndale), Mason Street Warehouse (Saugatuck), Meadow Brook Theatre (Rochester), Michigan Opera Theatre (Detroit), Performance Network Theatre (Ann Arbor), The Purple Rose Theatre Company (Chelsea), The Ringwald Theatre (Ferndale), Tibbits Summer Theatre (Coldwater), Two Muses Theatre (West Bloomfield) and Williamston Theatre (Williamston).
  • Since fall 2001, EncoreMichigan.com (and its progenitor, Between The Lines) has reviewed 1,789 professional productions, more than any other media outlet in the state!

 Other awards given out each year:

  • Several additional awards are also given out each year by EncoreMichigan.com as determined by its owners, sponsors, theater critics and staff.
  • These awards are to acknowledge the special contributions made by members of the arts, the theater, and/or the LGBT communities during the previous year.
  • Additional awards include the Founders Award for Excellence and the Critics’ Choice Award.
  • Another award, The Jim Posante Community Pride Award, is named after Jim Posante, a longtime teacher, director, choreographer and actor who passed away Jan. 13, 2008. A beloved and much-respected member of both the LGBT and theater communities, the award will be given each year to an individual or group to acknowledge meritorious service by and/or for the LGBT community.
  • And for the third year in a row, an award named after the beloved actor Council Cargle will acknowledge other longtime contributors to the Detroit-area theater scene. Cargle passed away in January 2013.

About our One Wilde Night:

  • Unlike most other media-sponsored theater awards in the state, The Wilde Awards has a style and panache all its own.
  • The evening is produced and hosted by EncoreMichigan.com editor-at-large (and creator of The Wilde Awards) Donald V. Calamia, with special guest participants.
  • A “meet-and-greet” social hour featuring a delectable selection of hors d’oeuvres precedes the awards ceremony, with desserts served afterwards. A cash bar is also available.
  • Entertainment comes from a wide variety of sources. Past entertainers include the internationally acclaimed Mosaic Youth Theatre, the Los Angeles-based improv troupe The 313, the Actors’ Company, Go Comedy! Improv Theater, and Meadow Brook Theatre.
  • Special surprise guests have also become a staple of The Wilde Awards, including in recent years Governor Jennifer Granholm (on pre-recorded video), Senator Debbie Stabenow and former Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh.
  • Past corporate sponsors include Comerica, Paramount Bank, and WDET 101.9 FM.
  • Tickets to the event are $22; VIP admission is $47. The dress code is casual to fabulous.

 Who attends The Wilde Awards:

  • Attendees include most of the artistic, management and press staffs of Michigan’s professional theaters, as well as the nominees and their guests.
  • Also in attendance are many of the LGBT community’s “movers and shakers”; noted state, local and national office holders; media representatives; and various stakeholders from the community.

 Interesting facts about The Wilde Awards:

  • The Wilde Awards, named after 19th century playwright Oscar Wilde, is the only media-sponsored statewide professional theater awards ceremony.
  • Many within the professional theater community consider The Wilde Awards to be Michigan’s version of the Tony Awards – but much more fun!
  • For its first nine years, only professional theaters in Southeast and Mid-Michigan were reviewed and considered for awards; statewide coverage began with the 2010-11 season.
  • After two years at The Furniture Factory in Midtown Detroit and eight at Detroit’s Historic Gem Theatre, 2015 is the fourth year at The Berman.

 Facts regarding the 2015 nominations:

  • During the truncated 2014-15 season, EncoreMichigan.com reviewed 168 productions presented or staged by 49 theater producers and presenters throughout Michigan.
  • 72 productions presented or staged by 34 theaters received at least one nomination.
  • Leading the pack with 13 nominations is the Michigan Opera Theatre (Detroit), followed by The Encore Musical Theatre Company (Dexter) with 10, while Farmers Alley Theatre (Kalamazoo) and Tipping Point Theatre (Northville) earned nine each. Most nominated theaters received multiple accolades; of the total, only eight theaters received a single nomination.
  • No single show dominated this year’s nominations. The Encore Musical Theatre Company’s “Spamalot” earned the top spot with 6, while “Annapurna” at The Purple Rose Theatre (Chelsea) and “Sugarhill” at The Jewish Ensemble Theatre (West Bloomfield) both received five. And “A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur” at Tipping Point Theatre and “The Secret Garden” at Farmers Alley Theatre each received four nominations.
  • In addition, 128 artists – including performers, designers, directors and playwrights – are nominated for their exceptional work. Of those, only 12 earned two or more nominations.

 About EncoreMichigan.com:

  • EncoreMichigan is web-based media company focused on Michigan’s professional theater industry. It is the state’s premier source for free, up-to-the-minute news and information about this often-ignored segment of the arts community. Designed as a one-stop shop for consumers, industry professionals and others with an interest in the performing arts, EncoreMichigan.com is updated daily and packed with informative interviews, insightful reviews, comprehensive show listings, thoughtful commentary, audition notices, podcasts and much, much more.
  • Original content is created by a dedicated team of veteran freelance journalists and theater professionals. In addition to material created exclusively for EncoreMichigan.com, links are also provided to reviews and stories of interest that appear in other local and national online publications.
  • Content from EncoreMichigan.com is also syndicated to other media outlets such as Pride Source Media Group, MLive and IXITI. All told, this makes EncoreMichigan.com the most complete resource for professional theater news anywhere in Michigan.
  • EncoreMichigan.com was established in 2008 by Livonia, Michigan-based Pride Source Media Group and longtime producer and critic Donald V. Calamia. Ownership was assumed by the Michigan Equity Theatre Alliance in August 2012, but META’s closure in June 2014 left EncoreMichigan.com ownerless (and budgetless) for several months.
  • Effective March 2015, EncoreMichigan.com is part of Encore Media LLC, a division of New Roads Media LLC, an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based publisher of online and offline content, and producer of live theatrical and industry events.
  • EncoreMichigan.com and Encore Media LLC are not affiliated with The Encore Musical Theatre Company of Dexter, MI.