Encore Michigan

Congratulations: The 2019-2020 Wilde Awards

Wilde Awards November 06, 2020

DEARBORN, MI–This year’s Wilde Awards are different than past years for a variety of reasons.

The 2019-2020 season was cut short, with the last shows we could see being in early March. After COVID-19 cut our season short, the staff of EncoreMichigan deliberated for weeks over how best to honor the work of the season. We had been discussing changes even before COVID-19 altered our lives, but the hurt that the virus put on theatre cemented our thinking to make changes.

The changes we had been contemplating before COVID-19 were influenced by several months of conversations amongst ourselves and with thoughtful members of our community.

The big change is that we are no longer, starting with this year, naming single category winners or even ties.

We are calling the new system, “Best Of.” In other words, we are honoring the performances and productions that would normally garner a nomination under the old system. Because all the critics cannot see every show, we feel this is more appropriate for the awards and community.

We have altered the categories to accommodate the opinions of the critics. While we have split the play productions into Dramas and Comedies, so we could do justice to the number of top-flight productions, we have consolidated the individual performance categories to just plays and musicals. This is a testament to how good our theaters are at producing true ensemble-driven theatre. We have dropped our reviewing of Young People’s Theatre only because we could could not keep up with the offerings, and so could not render legitimate awards in that category. We also dropped “Best Touring Show.”

We apologize that we took so long in delivering the awards.

God willing, we will get back to some normalcy in 2021, and can make theatre again. In the meantime, those working to bring us substitute theatre via Zoom and Youtube—you are awesome.

We do not know what the future of EncoreMichigan will be in 2021 and beyond. It is an open question and issue. Some in the community have recommended we go away. Others have implored us to keep going. It remains “To Be Determined.”

However you may feel about EncoreMichigan and the Wilde Awards, please know that the long hours and expense of creating a community gathering place has always been done out of love of theatre and the people in this community. It has been an honor and mostly a pleasure. Writing, editing and processing up to 230 openings a year and organizing the Wilde Awards is a lot of volunteer work by many people.

Our critics for the season were: Bridgette Redman, Marin Heinritz, Kym Reinstadler, Angela Colombo, Tanya Gazdik, Patty Nolan, Sue Merrell, Amy Parrent, Roy Sexton, Julie Linderleaf, Paula Bradley and David Kiley.

Congratulations to all of you that our team has chosen to recognize for excellence and commitment in the most recent season. And to all of you making theatre—you have our undying love and respect.

Theatres who want to promote their recognition, should promote it as “XXX Theatre has won a 2020 Wilde Award(s) from EncoreMichigan, Michigan’s leading theatre news organization for XXX Play.” Or…”John/Jane Doe is a 2019-2020 Wilde Award Winner for his/her role in XXX Play/Musical.”

As always, if we have a mis-spelling, please send correction to encorepress@gmail.com. We will make corrections for one week hence, and then print off the award certificates.

As there is not funding this year for plaques, EncoreMichigan will mail two framable certificates for each award on high quality paper to theaters, one of the theater and one to be forwarded to an individual winner. As an aside: If 2020 has not been hard enough, our long-time plaque supplier Little Bill’s, has closed and owner Bill Kandilian passed away a couple of months ago. If theaters would like to order a plaque for their lobby to match plaques of past years, we can work with you to make that happen with a new trophy/plaque supplier.

EncoreMichigan’s Best of 2019-2020

Best Plays (Drama)

  • 900 Miles To International Falls, The Williamston Theatre
  • The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, The Flint Repertory Theatre
  • One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, The Flint Repertory Theatre
  • Gentleman Caller, The Slipstream Theatre Initiative
  • The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence, Open Book Theatre
  • Paradise Blue, The Detroit Public Theatre
  • Roadsigns, The Purple Rose Theatre

Best Plays (Comedy)

  • Cyrano de Bergerac, Michigan Shakespeare Festival
  • Shakespeare In Love, Hope Summer Repertory Theatre
  • It’s Only Murder, The Dio Dining & Entertainment
  • Steel Magnolias, The Barn Theatre
  • Moonlight and Magnolias, The Snug Theatre
  • Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, Open Book Theatre
  • Sherlock Holmes and The Adventure of The Fallen Souffle, Purple Rose Theatre
  • Blithe Spirit, Meadow Brook

Best Musical

  • Aint Misbehavin’, Jewish Ensemble Theatre
  • Fun Home, Farmers Alley
  • Into The Woods, Flint Repertory Theatre
  • Gentleman’s Guide To Love and Murder, Mason Street Warehouse
  • Crazy For You, The Encore Musical Theatre
  • Camelot, Farmers Alley
  • Sweeney Todd, The Barn Theatre
  • Cabaret: Jewish Ensemble Theatre
  • Man of La Mancha, The Penny Seats Theatre

Best Opera

  • La Giocanda, Opera Modo
  • Sweeney Todd, Michigan Opera Theatre
  • Gianni Schicchi/Buoso’s Ghost, Michigan Opera Theatre

Best New Script

  • 900 Miles to International Falls, The Williamston Theatre, Annie Martin
  • Roadsigns, The Purple Rose Theatre, Jeff Daniels
  • Sherlock Holmes and The Adventure of The Fallen Souffle, David MacGregor

Best of The Bard

  • Two Gentleman of Verona, Michigan Shakespeare Festival
  • King Lear, Michigan Shakespeare Festival
  • Twelfth Night, Pigeon Creek Theatre
  • Richard III, Interlochen Shakespeare Festival

Best One Person Show

  • A Christmas Carol Radio Show—The Williamston Theatre, Aral Gribble
  • Sojourner Truth, Hope Summer Repertory Theatre, Jasmine Bracey
  • Apples In Winter, Ixion Theatre, Paige Tufford

Best Director Plays

  • Cyrano de Bergerac, Michigan Shakespeare Festival, Jan Blixt
  • Shakespeare in Love, Hope Supper Repertory Theatre, Cameron Knight
  • One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Michael Lluberes
  • Two Gentleman of Verona, Robert Kauzlaric, Michigan Shakespeare Festival
  • 900 Miles To International Falls, The Williamston Theatre, Tony Caselli
  • The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, The Flint Repertory Theatre, Kathryn Walsh
  • Gentleman Caller, The Slipstream Theatre Initiative, Kaitlyn Valor Bourque
  • The (curious case of the ) The Watson Intelligence, Open Book Theatre, Krista Schafer Ewbank
  • Paradise Blue, The Detroit Public Theatre, Goldie Patrick
  • Roadsigns, The Purple Rose Theatre, Guy Sanville
  • It’s Only Murder, The Dio Dining & Entertainment, Steve DeBruyne
  • Steel Magnolias, The Barn Theatre, Hans Friedrichs
  • Sherlock Holmes and The Adventure of The Fallen Souffle, Michelle Mountain

Best Director Musical

  • Fun Home, Farmers Alley, Kathy Mulay
  • In The Heights, Mason Street Warehouse, Kurt Stamm
  • Gentleman’s Guide To Love and Murder, Mason Street Warehouse, Kurt Stamm
  • Sweeney Todd, The Barn Theatre, Hans Friedrichs
  • Big, The Barn Theatre, Patrick Hunter
  • Crazy For You, The Encore Musical Theatre, Dan Cooney
  • Aint Misbehavin’, Jewish Ensemble Theatre, Harold Jurkiewicz

Best Performance of The Bard

  • Two Gentleman of Verona, Michigan Shakespeare Festival, Lauren Grace Thompson
  • King Lear, Michigan Shakespeare Festival, John Lepard
  • King Lear, Michigan Shakespeare Festival, Robert Kauzlaric

Best Lead Actor in a Musical

  • The Man of La Mancha, Penny Seats, John DeMerell
  • Camelot, Farmers Alley, Dave Anthony Vogel
  • Fun Home, Farmers Alley, Tony Humrichouser
  • Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Barn Theatre, Christian Edwards
  • Aint Misbehavin‘, Jewish Ensemble Theatre, Alvin Waddles
  • Gentleman’s Guide To Love and Murder, The Dio Dining & Entertainment, David Moan
  • Gentleman’s Guide To Love and Murder, The Dio Dining & Entertainment, Richard Payton
  • Sweeney Todd, The Barn Theatre, Robert Newman
  • Fun Home, The Encore Musical Theatre, Dan Cooney
  • Crazy For You, The Encore Musical Theatre, Matthew Brennan
  • Cabaret, Jewish Ensemble Theatre, Bello Pizzimenti

Best Lead Actor in a Play

  • One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Flint Repertory Theatre, Michael Lopetrone
  • These Mortal Hosts, The Williamston Theatre, Mark Colson
  • Shakespeare in Love, Hope Sumer Repertory Theatre, Lenny Banovez
  • Quills, Monster Box Theatre, Dennis Kleinsmith
  • Gentleman Caller, Slipstream Theatre Initiative, Brenton Herwat
  • Lungs, Kickshaw Theatre, Nick Yocum
  • Cyrano de Bergerac, Michigan Shakespeare Festival, David Blixt
  • Funnyman, Tipping Point, Wayne David Parker
  • Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, Richard Payton, Slipstream Theatre Initiative
  • The ( curious case of the) Watson Intelligence, Open Book Theatre, Joe Zarrow
  • Paradise Blue, Detroit Public Theatre, Brian Marable
  • Driving Miss Daisy, The Snug Theatre, Orson Wingo
  • It’s Only Murder, The Dio Dining & Entertainment, Michael Bessom

Best Lead Actress In A Play

  • 900 Miles to International Falls, The Williamston, Casaundra Freeman
  • The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, Flint Rep Theatre, Janet Haley
  • One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Flint Rep, Janet Haley
  • Lungs, Kickshaw Theatre, Claire Jolliffe
  • Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, Open Book Theatre, Annie Dilworth
  • The Cake, Farmers Alley, Zoe Vonder Haar
  • The Pupeteer, Detroit Repertory Theatre, Indigo Colbert
  • Driving Miss Daisy, The Snug Theatre, Connie Cowper
  • Anatomy of a Hug, Dani Cochrane

Best Lead Actress in a Musical

  • Camelot, Farmers Alley, Sarah Ellis
  • Sweeney Todd, Barn Theatre, Penelope Alex
  • Man of La Mancha, Penny Seats, Sarah Brown
  • Fun Home, Encore Musical Theatre, Sarah B. Stevens
  • Fun Home, Farmers Alley, Michele Maika

Best Supporting Actor in a Musical

  • Aint Misbehavin, Jewish Ensemble Theatre, Jason Alan Briggs
  • In The Heights, Mason Street Warehouse, Lamont Walker
  • Avenue Q, Farmers Alley, Joriah Kwame
  • Into The Woods, Flint Repertory Theatre, Rico Bruce Wade
  • Into The Woods, Flint Repertory Theatre, Gage Webster
  • Man of La Mancha, The Penny Seats, Dan Johnson
  • Crazy For You, The Encore Musical Theatre, Patrick Wallace

Best Supporting Actress in a Musical

  • Aint Misbehavin’, Jewish Ensemble Theatre, Ashley Lyle
  • Aint Misbehavin’, Jewish Ensemble Theatre, Lauren LaStrada
  • Aint Misbehavin, Jewish Ensemble Theatre, Elizabeth Ann Gray
  • Fun Home, Farmers Alley, Denene Mulay Koch
  • Putman County Spelling Bee, The Barn Theatre, Molly Hill
  • In The Heights, Mason Street Warehouse, Michelle Beth Herman
  • Sweeney Todd, The Barn Theatre, Melissa Cotton Hunter
  • Matilda, The Riverbank Theatre, Britany Everitt Smith
  • Into The Woods, Flint Repertory Theatre, Elizabeth Jaffe
  • Crazy For You, The Encore Musical Theatre, Sarah B. Stevens
  • Cabaret, Jewish Ensemble Theatre, Julia Glander
  • In The Heights, Mason Street Warehouse, Nina V. Negron

Best Supporting Actor in a Play

  • 900 Miles To International Falls, The Williamston Theatre, Jon Kent
  • Sherlock Holmes and The Adventure of The Fallen Souffle, Purple Rose Theatre, David Bendena
  • One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Flint Rep, Jeremy Proulx
  • One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Flint Rep, Josh Clark
  • The Cake, Farmers Alley, Steve Isom
  • Apple Season, TheatreNova, Jeremy Kucharek
  • Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, Open Book, Jeremy Kucharek
  • Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, Open Book, Dan Johnson
  • Sherlock Holmes and The Adventure of The Fallen Souffle, Purple Rose Theatre, Paul Stroili
  • Driving Miss Daisy, The Snug Theatre, Dale Dobson

Best Supporting Actress in a Play

  • The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, Flint Rep, Claire Jolliffe
  • Roadsigns, Purple Rose Theatre, Ruth Crawford
  • Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, Open Book, Claire Jolliffe
  • The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence, Open Book Theatre, Annabelle Young
  • Paradise Blue, Detroit Public Theatre, Carollette Phillips
  • Paradise Blue, Detroit Public Theatre, Andrea Patterson
  • Sherlock Holmes and The Adventure of The Fallen Souffle, Purple Rose Theatre, Sarab Kamoo
  • Roadsigns, Purple Rose Theatre, K Edmonds
  • It’s Only Murder, The Dio Dining & Entertainment, Molly Cunningham

Best Teamwork

  • The Chairs, Flint Repertory Theatre, Kay Kelly and Michael Kelly
  • Fun Home, Farmers Alley, Michele Maika Berg, Megan O’Callaghan, Carly Koch
  • Fun Home, Encore Musical Theatre, Sarah B. Stevens, Jojo Englebert, Grace Allyn
  • Channel Cat, Detroit Repertory Theatre, Lynch Travis and Ryan Carlson

Best Performance in an Opera

  • La Giocanda, Leslie Mason, Opera Modo
  • Gianni Scicchi/Buoso’s Ghost, Michigan Opera Theatre, Darren Drone

Best Choreography

  • In The Heights, Jay Gamboa and Kurt Stamm
  • Crazy For You, Matthew Brennan

Best Lighting

  • One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Flint Rep, Chelsie McPhilimy
  • Camelot, Farmers Alley, Lanford J. Potts
  • Sherlock Holmes and The Adventure of The Fallen Souffle, The Purple Rose Theatre, Dana White

Best Costumes

  • Camelot, Farmers Alley, Kathy Mulay
  • Cyrano de Bergerac, Michigan Shakespeare Festival, Patricia Branam
  • Sweeney Todd, The Barn, Michael Wilson Morgan
  • Into The Woods, Flint Rep, Brandon R. McWilliams
  • Sherlock Holmes and The Adventure of The Fallen Souffle, Purple Rose Theatre, Suzanne Young

Best Set Design

  • Fun Home, Farmers Alley, Lee Buckholz
  • On Golden Pond, Jewish Ensemble Theatre, Emily Willemse
  • Shakespeare In Love, Hope Summer Repertory Theatre, Sarah Pearline
  • One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Flint Repertory Theatre, Shane Cinal
  • Two Gentleman of Verona, Michigan Shakespeare Festival, Angela Weber Miller
  • The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, Flint Rep, Lauren Nigri
  • The Chairs, Flint Repertory Theatre, Andrew Licout
  • Sherlock Holmes and The Adventure of The Fallen Souffle, The Purple Rose Theatre, Bart Bauer

Best Sound Design

  • On Golden Pond, Jewish Ensemble Theatre, Jim Davis
  • A Christmas Carol The Radio Show, The Williamston Theatre, John Lepard
  • The Chairs, Flint Repertory Theatre, Aaron Weeks

Best Visual Design Using Multi-Media

  • One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Flint Repertory Theatre, Alison Dobbins
  • It’s Only Murder, The Dio Dining & Entertainment, Matthew Tomich
  • 900 Miles to International Falls, The Williamston Theatre, Alison Dobbins

Best Music Direction

  • Camelot, Farmers Alley, Cindy Hunter
  • Aint Misbehavin‘, Jewish Ensemble Theatre, Alvin Waddles
  • In The Heights, Mason Street Warehouse, Tom Vendafreddo
  • Into The Woods, Flint Repertory Theatre, Casey Baker
  • Fun Home, Encore Musical Theatre, Tyler Driskill

Best Prop Design

  • Fun Home, Farmers Alley, Jody Badalamenti
  • 900 Miles to International Falls, The Williamston, Michelle Raymond
  • The Frogs, The Slipstream Theatre Initiative, Luna Alexander
  • The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, Flint Rep, Lisa Bilaski
  • The Chairs, Flint Rep, Sarah Briggs
  • Sherlock Holmes and The Adventure of The Fallen Souffle, Purple Rose Theatre, Danna Segrest

The Council Cargle Award for Promoting and Celebrating Diversity

  • Hope Summer Repertory Theatre: For making African-American plays and stories part of its programming plan the last two years and in its seasons going forward.

The Terry Heck Rising Star Awards

  • The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, Flint Rep., Ava Katherine Pietras
  • Matilda, The Riverbank Theatre, Rose Marie Hill

The Jim Possante Award for LGBT Community Pride

  • The Slipstream Theatre Initiative for its excellent production of Gross Indecency, June 2019.

The Critics Award

  • Thomas Mahard: For his career of exceptional work on stage and his lifetime of devotion to Michigan Theatre as an actor and teacher.

The Publisher’s Award

  • Ashley Lyle: For her formation of Black Literature & Art Queens Network (BLAQN), an organization that acknowledges the achievements of Black Woman stage performers and promotes equity, diversity, and inclusion, and producing informed, robust discussion through advocacy, podcasts and forums.

Week of 11/23/2020

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