Encore Michigan

The 2021-2022 Wilde Award Winners Are…

News November 18, 2022 David Kiley

DEARBORN, MI–Congratulations to all the 2021-2022 Wilde Award Winners.

As was stated at the start of the season, in September 2021, we would not be able to see all of the qualifying shows as in seasons past. We’ve done our best. But, for example, there was one theater we could not cover because of distance and shortage of critics–The Riverbank and Snug Theatres in Marine City, Pigeon Creek Theatre, Citadel Theatre in Port Huron and a couple of others. Those theaters continue to do solid creative work. We are hoping to have those theatre’s productions reviewed this coming year. Some of the theaters and productions we evaluated were reviewed by Marin Heinritz for the online Revue Magazine, which covers the arts scene on the West side of Michigan. In all we reviewed more than 80 shows.

We changed our format a couple of years ago to recognize the “Best of the Best in our season without narrowing each category to one single winner as was the case in years past. Because all the critics cannot see every show, we feel this is more appropriate for the awards and community. Also, this solution came in response to us listening to many artists in the Michigan professional theater community who also felt it was not a fair system.

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The season we are recognizing began September 1, 2021 and ended August 31, 2022.

Consideration on Wilde Winners comes from David Kiley, Marin Heinritz, Bridgette Redman, Julie Linderleaf and Patty Nolan.

Theaters who want to promote their recognition in this year’s Wilde Awards should promote their award(s) as “XXX Theatre has won a 2022 Wilde Award(s) from EncoreMichigan, Michigan’s leading theatre news organization for XXX Play.” Or…”John/Jane Doe is a 2021-2022 Wilde Award Winner for his/her role in XXX Play/Musical.”

As always, if we have a misspelling, please send the correction to encorepress@gmail.com. We will make corrections as soon as we get them. We will also mail frame-worthy certificates on high-quality paper to each theatre for each award granted. This will take a few weeks. It is then up to the theatres to forward the certificates to their artists who won.

As there is not funding this year for plaques, EncoreMichigan will again make plaques available for each award to match plaques of past years. The cost for each plaque is $25.00, and will be mailed or hand-delivered to theatres to distribute to winners from their productions, or display in their space. Anyone who wants a plaque ordered should email us at encorepress@gmail.com. Last call for plaque orders will be December 20, 2022. If people want to buy plaques for friends and loved ones for a holiday gift, orders must be received by December 5, 2022 to get them in time. If theatres want all of their 2021-21 wins on one plaque, there will be an up-charge for a larger plaque. Price and details can be worked out by inquiring at encorepress@gmail.com.

Extra congratulations to The Encore Musical Theatre for topping all theatres with 16 production awards. And to Flint Repertory Theatre and The Barn–each with a total of 16 awards including 15 production awards and one special award a piece. The Hope Summer Repertory Theatre finished just behind with 14. Theatre NOVA and The Dio Dining & Entertainment come away with 12 awards each. The Williamston took home eleven.

It has been marvelous to see theatres coming back strong. Yes, we have sadly lost a few theatres–The JET Theatre, The Slipstream Initiative. Let us remember the great work they produced for several years. And let us move forward with new start-up companies that have joined the community of thriving and surviving theatres.

We also want to give a big salute to the technical artists and technicians. The most difficult awards we debate each year is over lighting, sound, costumes and props. It’s hard to single out winners unless the show features these elements in a big way. But we salute all the people who make the sound right, make the lighting right, dress the actors right and prop the set. It is so often that these critical elements are totally correct, and yet stay in the background of productions.

We’re sorry that plans did not come together for a live event for awards night. We have high hopes, however, that we can return to a live celebration of our community’s art and work next Fall. We have one theatre who stepped up and offered to host us. Details to come.

EncoreMichigans Best of 2021-2022 Wilde Awards

Best Plays (Drama)

God Kinda Looks Like Tupac wins for both Best Play and Best New Script
  • Open Book Theatre: This Random World
  • Theatre NOVA: The Lifespan of A Fact
  • Flint Repertory Theatre: Wrong River
  • Detroit Rep: Fairview
  • Interlochen Shakespeare Festival: Sanctuary City
  • Theatre NOVA: God Kinda Looks Like Tupac
  • The Dio: The Incident of The Dog in the Nighttime
  • Williamston Theatre: The Hat Box
  • Theatre NOVA: Pass Over
  • Detroit Public Theatre: Detroit ’67
  • Farmer’s Alley: Lifespan of a Fact
  • Faceoff Theatre and Queer Theatre Kalamazoo: Dirt, Ash, Dead Tree
  • Detroit Mercy Theatre: Antigone

Best Play (Comedy)

  • Tipping Point Theatre: The Play That Goes Wrong
  • Purple Rose Theatre: Sherlock Holmes and The Adventure of The Ghost Machine
  • Mind The Gap: Last of The Red Hot Lovers
  • Meadow Brook Theatre: Clue
  • The Barn Theatre: Ben Hur
  • Hope Summer Repertory Theatre: Figaro
  • Williamston Theatre: The Cake
  • Flint Repertory Theatre: Happy Days

Best Musical

  • Encore Musical Theatre: Mamma Mia
  • Dio Dining + Entertainment: Rent
  • Flint Repertory Theatre: The Fantasticks
  • Hope Summer Repertory Theatre: The Color Purple
  • Mason Street Warehouse: Legally Blonde
  • The Barn Theatre: SpongeBob Squarepants
  • The Barn Theatre: Young Frankenstein

Best Opera

  • Blue: Detroit Opera Theatre
  • D(x)n Pasquale: Opera Modo
  • Frida: Detroit Opera Theatre
  • The Life and Times of Malcolm X: Detroit Opera Theatre

Best New Script

  • David MacGregor: Sherlock Holmes and The Adventure of The Ghost Machine; The Purple Rose Theatre
  • Emilio Rodriguez: God Kinda Looks Like Tupac; Theatre NOVA
  • Eric Coble: The Hat Box; The Williamston Theatre
  • Patrick Hunter: Slippery Slope; The Barn Theatre
  • Brendan Ragotzy: Double “O” 69, The Barn Theatre

Best of The Bard

  • Othello: Interlochen Shakespeare Festival
  • The Life of Henry V: Michigan Shakespeare Festival
  • Merry Wives of Windsor: Michigan Shakespeare Festival

Best One Person Show

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  • Breeda Kelly Miller: Mrs. Kelly’s Journey Home, Various Theatres
  • Sarab Kamoo: Nine Parts Desire, Williamston Theatre
  • Lenny Banovez: Every Brilliant Thing, Hope Summer Repertory Theatre
  • Michael Hisamoto: We Hold These Truths; Hope Summer Repertory Theatre

Best Director Play

Julia Glander in “The Cake”
  • Brenda Sparks: On Golden Pond; Tibbits Theatre
  • Krista Schafer Ewbank: This Random World; Open Book Theatre
  • Jeremiah Davidson: Wrong River; Flint Repertory Theatre
  • Casaundra Freeman: Pass Over; Theatre NOVA
  • Travis Walter: Clue; The Meadow Brook Theatre
  • Will Bryson: Fairview; Detroit Repertory Theatre
  • Brian Marable: Detroit ’67; Detroit Public Theatre
  • Jasmine Rivera: The Cake; Williamston Theatre
  • Angie Kane: Sherlock Holmes and The Adventure of The Ghost Machine, Purple Rose Theatre
  • Yasir Muhammad: Dirt, Ash, Dead Tree; FaceOff Theatre and Queer Theatre Kalamazoo
  • Demetria Thomas: Figaro; Hope Summer Repertory Theatre
  • Sarah Hawkins Rusk: Antigone; Detroit Mercy Theatre

Best Director Musical

The Flint Rep’s re-imagined The Fantasticks
  • Dan Cooney, Smokey Joe’s Cafe; The Encore Musical Theatre
  • Steve DeBruyne, Rent; Dio Dining + Entertainment
  • Michael Lluberes, The Fantasticks, Flint Repertory Theatre
  • Kurt Stamm, Legally Blonde, Mason Street Warehouse
  • Marcus Johnson, The Color Purple, Hope Summer Repertory Theatre
  • Brendan Ragotzy, Young Frankenstein, The Barn Theatre
  • Patrick Hunter, Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, The Barn Theatre

Best Performance of The Bard

  • Sam Hubbard: The Life of Henry V; Michigan Shakespeare Festival
  • Joe Foust: The Merry Wives of Windsor; Michigan Shakespeare Festival
  • Sidney James Harcourt: Othello; Interlochen Shakespeare Festival

Best Lead Actor in a Musical

  • Danny Gardner: Man of A Thousand Faces; Encore Musical Theatre
  • James Fischer: Rent; Dio Dining + Entertainment
  • Aaron Czarnecki: SpongeBob Squarepants; The Barn
  • Jeremy Koch: Bright Star; Farmers Alley
  • Brandon Alvion: The Color Purple; Hope Summer Repertory Theatre
  • Eric Parker: Groundhog Day; The Barn Theatre
  • Ben Cherry: The Fantasticks; Flint Repertory Theatre
  • Neil McCaffrey: The Fantasticks; Flint Repertory Theatre

Best Lead Actor in a Play

The Encore Musical Theatre’s Mamma Mia
  • Justin Montgomery: Lifespan of a Fact; Theatre NOVA
  • John Siebert, A Christmas Carol; Tipping Point
  • Phil Powers: Relativity; Theatre NOVA
  • Jonathan Jones: Fairview; Detroit Repertory Theatre
  • Edmund Alyn: Detroit ’67; Detroit Public Theatre
  • Paul Stroili: Lifespan of A Fact; Farmers Alley Theatre
  • Mishka Yaronov: Sanctuary City; Interlochen Shakespeare Festival
  • Mark Colson: Sherlock Holmes and The Adventure of The Ghost Machine; Purple Rose Theatre
  • Rico Bruce Wade: Happy Days; Flint Repertory Theatre

Best Lead Actress In A Play

  • Julia Glander, The Cake; The Williamston Theatre
  • Lynneisha A. Ray: Fairview; The Detroit Repertory Theatre
  • Emily Sutton-Smith: Tracy Jones; The Williamston Theatre
  • Madelyn Porter: Wrong River; Flint Repertory Theatre
  • Elizabeth Mitchell: Jenny’s House of Joy; Dio Dining + Entertainment
  • Carolette Phillips: Detroit ’67, Detroit Public Theatre
  • Arezu Tavakoli: Sanctuary City; Interlochen Shakespeare Festival
  • Janet Haley: Happy Days; Flint Repertory Theatre

Best Lead Actress in a Musical

  • Sarah B. Stevens: Mamma Mia, The Encore Musical Theatre
  • Tenayiah X. Hawkins: The Color Purple; Hope Summer Repertory Theatre
  • Becca Andrews: Legally Blonde; Mason Street Warehouse
  • Michelle Duffy: Bright Star; Farmers Alley
  • Alaina Kerr: Rent; Dio Dining + Entertainment
  • Melissa Cotton Hunter: Groundhog Day; The Barn Theatre

Best Supporting Actor in a Musical

  • Jason Briggs: Smokey Joe’s Cafe; The Encore Musical Theatre
  • Corey Barlow: The Color Purple; Hope Summer Repertory Theatre
  • Patrick Hunter: Groundhog Day; The Barn Theatre
  • Jeff Meyer: Legally Blonde; Mason Street Warehouse
  • Xavier Sarabia: Rent; Dio Dining + Entertainment
  • Jason Briggs: The Fantasticks; Flint Repertory Theatre

Best Supporting Actress in a Musical

  • Sonja Marquis: Mamma Mia, The Encore Musical Theatre
  • Gayle E. Martin: Smokey Joe’s Cafe: The Encore Musical Theatre
  • Sonja Marquis: Always Patsy Cline, The Encore Musical Theatre
  • Ash Moran: Rent, Dio Dining + Entertainment
  • Jayla Fletcher: Rent, Dio Dining & Entertainment
  • Penelope Alex: Cinderella; The Barn
  • Madeline Grace Jones: The Color Purple; Hope Summer Repertory Theatre
  • Samantha Souza: Legally Blonde; Mason Street Warehouse
  • Shinnerrie Jackson: Cinderella; The Barn

Best Supporting Actor in a Play

  • Steve DeBruyne: Tracy Jones; Williamston Theatre
  • Henri Franklin: Wrong River; Flint Repertory Theatre
  • Chad Tallon: On Golden Pond; Tibbits Theatre
  • Henri Franklin: Detroit ’67, Detroit Public Theatre
  • Paul Stroili: Sherlock Holmes and The Adventure of The Ghost Machine; Purple Rose Theatre
  • Charlie King; Slippery Slope; The Barn Theatre

Best Supporting Actress in a Play

  • Karen Sheridan: The Hat Box; Williamston Theatre
  • Marlene Inman: The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Nighttime; Dio Dining + Entertainment
  • Nikyla Boxley: Wrong River; Flint Repertory Theatre
  • Jade Redford: Wrong River; Flint Repertory Theatre
  • Dani Cochrane: Detroit ’67; Detroit Public Theatre
  • Caitlin Cavanaugh: Sherlock Holmes and The Adventure of The Ghost Machine
  • Sarab Kamoo: Sherlock Holmes and The Adventure of The Ghost Machine
  • Margaret Gilkes: Last of The Red Hot Lovers; Mind The Gap

Best Teamwork

  • Cast of Smokey Joe’s Cafe: The Encore Musical Theatre
  • David Moan and Richard Payton: Guttenberg, The Dio Dining + Entertainment
  • Brandon Lambert and Joe Kinosian: Murder For Two; Farmers Alley Theatre
  • Dan Johnson, Justin Montgomery, Kevin O’Callaghan: Pass Over; Theatre NOVA
  • David Moan, Keith Kalinowski and Sebastian Gerstner: Mamma Mia; Encore Musical Theatre

Best Choreography

  • Gerry McIntire: Smokey Joe’s Cafe; The Encore Musical Theatre
  • Jay Gamboa and Kurt Stamm: Legally Blonde; Mason Street Warehouse
  • Melissa Cotton Hunter; Rock of Ages; The Barn Theatre

Best Lighting

  • Harley Miah: This Random World; Open Book Theatre
  • Lanford J. Potts: Bright Star; Farmers Alley
  • Mario Raymond: The Color Purple; Hope Summer Repertory Theatre

Best Costumes

  • Leslie Littell: Clue; The Meadow Brook
  • Vince Kelly: A Christmas Carol, Tipping Point Theatre
  • Sharon Larkey Urick: Smokey Joe’s Cafe; The Encore Musical Theatre
  • Anthony Paul-Cavaretta: Figaro; Hope Summer Repertory Theatre
  • Suzanne Young: Sherlock Holmes and The Adventure of The Ghost Machine; Purple Rose Theatre

Best Scenic Design

  • Stephanie Baugher-Bradley Byrne: This Random World; Open Book Theatre
  • Monica Spencer: Lifespan of A Fact, Theatre NOVA
  • Monika Essen: The Play That Goes Wrong, Tipping Point
  • Monika Essen: The Christmas Carol, Tipping Point
  • Kristin Gribbin: Clue, The Meadow Brook
  • Jennifer Maiseloff: 9 Parts Desire, The Williamston Theatre
  • Sarah Tanner: Mamma Mia. The Encore Musical Theatre
  • Gaby Castillo: Figaro; Hope Summer Rep Theatre
  • Adrian Diffey: Last of The Red Hot Lovers; Mind The Gap
  • Bradly Byrne: The Wickhams-Christmas at Pemberley; Open Book Theatre
  • Matthew Tomich: Rent: Dio Dining +Entertainment

Best Sound Design

  • Mile Duncan: Clue: The Meadow Brook
  • John Lepard: Nine Parts Desire; Williamston Theatre
  • Chris Goosman: Mamma Mia; The Encore Musical Theatre

Best Music Direction

  • Tyler Driskill: Mamma Mia, The Encore Musical Theatre
  • Tyler Driskill: Smokey Joe’s Café, The Encore Musical Theatre
  • Brian Buckner: The Fantasticks, Flint Rep
  • Matthew C. Scott: You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown; Tibbits Theatre
  • Tom Vendafreddo: Just Too Big; Mason Street Warehouse
  • Cole P. Abod: Bright Star; Farmers Alley Theatre
  • Alex Thompson: The Color Purple; Hope Summer Repertory Theatre

Best Prop Design

  • Savannah Draper: The Revolutionists; Farmers Alley Theatre
  • Danna Seagrest: Sherlock Holmes and The Adventure o The Ghost Machine; Purple Rose Theatre

The Council Cargle Award for Promoting and Celebrating Diversity

  • Black and Brown Theatre was founded in 2016, and in its short life has brought exemplary new work of artists of color to the stage, as well as running training and workshops for rising artists.

The Terry Heck Rising Star Awards

  • Olivia Goosman: For her performance in Ruthless! The Musical, Wilde Theatre; as well as a strong body of work that includes productions at The Encore Musical Theatre and The Purple Rose Theatre.

The Jim Posante Award for LGBT Community Pride

  • The Flint Repertory Theatre for its dynamic reimagining of The Fantasticks.

The Critics Award

  • The Barn Theatre: For maintaining a high caliber of theatre, with minimal down-time during the pandemic, while sustaining a safe and welcoming community during bleak times for its artists and patrons

The Publishers Award

Theatre NOVA: For maintaining high standards and bringing a steady stream of new work featuring the work of artists of color.

Editors Note: After initial posting we realized we made a counting error that has been fixed. The Encore Musical Theatre topped all theatres with 16 production awards. The Flint Rep and The Barn each garnered 15 production awards, plus both also were recognized with two special awards.

Week of 11/28/2022

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