The 24th Annual LA STAGE Alliance Ovation Awards was a joyous celebration of live theater, honoring excellence and achievement during the 2013 season, were presented on Sunday, November 3, 2013 at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse. After a lively reception which buzzed with excitement as nominees, presenters and supporters enjoyed conversation, beverages and hors d'oeuvres the event began with an overture played by the phenomenal String Theory.
Thirty-five awards were bestowed upon 13 different Southern California theatre companies. Leading the pack with 12 was Center Theatre Group (seven for “The Nether” at the Kirk Douglas Theatre; three for “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” at the Mark Taper Forum; one for “The Scottsboro Boys” at the Ahmanson Theatre; and one for “The Royale” at the Kirk Douglas Theatre). CTG was followed by 3-D Theatricals with five awards (four for “Parade” and one for “Shrek the Musical”). The Chance Theater and La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts took home three awards each (including Best Season for La Mirada); Circle X Theatre Company, the Fountain Theatre and the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble tied with two each.
LA STAGE Alliance CEO Terence McFarland commented, “The Ovation Awards highlight the world class artistry happening each night on Los Angeles' stages. This annual celebration brings together our diverse community to acknowledge not only the very best in design, performance and production, but also to unite our theatre-rich region and many of our numerous theatre families. We hope that the recognition of an Ovation Award serves as a catalyst to ever higher artistic achievement and future employment for our theatre professionals.”
Additionally, Sarah Lyding, Executive Director of the Biller Family Foundation, presented the Biller BEST (Building Excellence in Small Theatre) Awards, including checks totaling $100,000, to the following LA theatre companies: The Antaeus Company, The Blank Theatre, Deaf West Theatre, East West Players, The Theatre @ Boston Court, and Theatre Banshee. Center Theatre Group presented the 2013 Sherwood Award, for innovative and adventurous artists, to Miranda Wright. This award is endowed by the Sherwood family, and is accompanied by $10,000 to further Wright’s artistic work.
The ceremony was hosted by Michael McKean, and this year’s celebrity presenters included Ed Begley Jr., Erich Bergen, Amy Brenneman, Charlie Carver, Keith David, Barrett Foa, Val Kilmer, Sharon Lawrence, Wendie Malick, Melissa Manchester, Ana Ortiz, Cathy Rigby, Jason Ritter, Susan Sullivan, and Steven Weber. They were joined by many local performers, city officials, union reps, artistic, managing, and executive directors, and other artistic personnel representing the wide and varied Los Angeles theatre community.
Founded in 1989, the LA STAGE Alliance Ovation Awards are the only peer-judged theatre awards in Los Angeles. Voters are Los Angeles theatre professionals who are chosen each year, through an application process, by the Ovation Awards Rules Committee. The list of nominees is determined by a tabulation of scores conducted by Green Hasson Janks. This year’s Ovation Award eligibility period ran from August 27, 2012 through August 25, 2013.
LA STAGE Alliance programs are sponsored in part by Actors Equity, The Biller Family Foundation, California Arts Council, California Community Foundation, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, DatabaseWorks, the DEW Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Goldstar, James Irvine Foundation, Andrew Mellon Foundation, Bakers Man Productions, Ken Werther Publicity, Live Event Pros, Los Angeles County Supervisors through the LA County Arts Commission, National Endowment for the Arts, Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, 4 Wall Lighting, Pacific Coast Entertainment, The Shubert Foundation, and Sony Pictures Entertainment.
For a complete list of recipients visit www.OvationAwards.com.