Theatre Philadelphia's 2016 Barrymore Award nominations include a record number of Temple University Department of Theater alumni. Among the top honors are nominations for Deborah Block (MFA '02) for Outstanding Direction of a Play for Smoke, Theatre Exile; James Ijames (MFA '06) for Outstanding Leading Actor in Play for An Octoroon, The Wilma Theater; E. Ashley Izard (MFA '88) for Outstanding Leading Actress in Play for Happy Days, Quintessence Theatre Group; and Genevieve Perrier (MFA '12) for Outstanding Leading Actress in a Play for Photograph 51, Lantern Theater Company. Young alumna Emily R. Johnson (BA '14) also received a Outstanding Leading Actress in Play nomination for her role in Inis Nua Theatre Company's Spine, an Outstanding Overall Production nominee.
Alumnus Sean Thompson (BA '08), pictured above, received an Outstanding Leading Actor in a Musical nomination for Act II Playhouse's Kiss Me, Kate. The production was directed by Peter Reynolds, Head of Musical Theater and Artistic Director of Temple Theaters. Professor Maggie Anderson was nominated for Outstanding Choreography for the production.
Alumni of the graduate design program also received several nominations. Colin McIlvaine (MFA '13) received a Outstanding Scenic Design nomination for The Invisible Hand at Theatre Exile. Among the nominees for the Earl Girls Award for Outstanding Lighting Design are Shon Causer (MFA '06), current staff member, for Oscar Wilde: From the Depths (Lantern Theater Company) and Maria Shaplin (MFA '08) for The It Girl (Simpatico Theatre Project) and The Nether (InterAct Theatre Company).
Recent alumna Leah Walton (MFA '15) was nominated for Supporting Actress in a Musical for Arden Theatre Company's The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. The production, which included lighting design by Maria Shaplin, was also nominated for Outstanding Overall Production for a Musical and Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical.
Alumna Brenna Geffers (MFA '09), Peter Andrew Danzig (BA '06) and current graduate student K.O. DelMarcelle (MFA '18) were nominated for Outstanding Chorepgraphy/Movement for The It Girl at Simpatico Theatre Project. Justina Ercole (BA '12) also received an Outstanding Choregraphy/Movement nomination, for The Eagle Theatre's Heathers: The Musical; the cast, which include Ercole and fellow Temple Theater alumna Kim Maxson (BA '14) was also nominated for Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical.
Temple Theaters alumni performed in a number of productions that were honored with Oustanding Overall Production and/or Outstanding Ensemble nominations, including Ross Beschler (MFA '09) (Antigone, The Wilma Theater); David Lawrence Glover (BA '16) (The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning, Inis Nua Theatre Company); Anthony Lawton (MFA '92) (The Secret Garden, Arden Theatre Company); Griffin Stanton-Ameisen (BA '07) (The Explorers Club, Delaware Theater Company and The Nether, Interact Theatre Company); and Kayla Tarpley (BA '15) (Black Nativity, Theatre Horizon).
Alumni were also production team members on several Outstanding Overall Productions nominees. Jeanette Leh (BA '15) was Props Master and Janus Stefanowicz (MFA '89) was the Costume Deisgner for Black Nativity. Mike Cosenza (BA '06), fight director, Noelle Diane Johnson (BA '13), assistant stage manager, and Danielle Ferguson (BA '13), scenic artist, worked on The Invisible Hand.
Friends and faculty members of Temple Theaters also worked on nominated productions. In addition to Maggie Anderson, retired professor Dan Kern was part of the nominated ensemble of The Explorers Club and professor Melanie Julian was the dialect coach on The Invisible Hand. James J. Christy, Sr., director of last season's The Two Gentlemen of Verona, was nominated for Outstanding Direction of a Play for A Great War at Iron Age Theatre.
The Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre are a nationally recognized symbol of excellence for professional theatre in the Greater Philadelphia region, honoring local artists and theatre companies. Named in honor of the famed Philadelphia-based first family of theatre, the Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre have served as Philadelphia's professional theatre awards program since 1994. The winners will be announce at the award ceremony on Monday, October 24 at the Merriam Theater.