The Indys

The Independent's Annual Theater Awards

Matthew Horn, Amanda Berning, and Charlie Faith in a scene from <em>La Ni±era</em>.
Paul Wellman

The Independent‘s annual theater awards moved to the Lobero this year, and the fresh look of the event in the new space was complemented by an impromptu theme of theater as second family that emerged throughout the course of the more than two-dozen acceptance speeches. There were plenty of familiar faces, including some real families, like Karyl Lynn Burns, who received an award for her portrayal of Martha in Rubicon’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and her husband Jim O’Neil, who brought home his trophy for directing Fiddler on the Roof. UCSB’s Irwin Appel put lots of his daughters-both literal and figurative-onstage by accepting an award for directing The Winter’s Tale with his two daughters, who were both in the show, and by mentoring Allison Menzimer and Natasha Lloyd, UCSB BFA students who scored in the big leagues with acting wins for Time and the Conways and Seagull, respectively.

But don’t be deceived by the Lobero’s aura of plush semi-formality-the Indys are hardly all grown up. In an evening filled with memorable gestures-did Clyde Sacks (a performance winner for I Remember You at Circle Bar B) really kiss that chair seat?-Joe Spano (a performance winner for George in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) stood out by proposing to Karyl Lynn Burns from the stage. Along with the clowning, there were some powerful moments of sincerity, as when Jon Koons (honored for his Oscar Madison in Circle Bar B’s The Odd Couple) gave a particularly vivid and touching account of his mentor Rick Mokler’s influence.

The night’s entertainment segments fully lived up to inclusion alongside the all-star bill of recipients. The cast of Barbara Lebow’s La Ni±era: The Nursemaid made instant drama (and a believable Havana) out of a big black box. For the second entertainment interval, Tony-winner Lillias White softened us up with a familiar Cy Coleman song and then tore the place down with a hilarious rendition of “The Oldest Profession,” a song she said Coleman wrote for her. When she was done, we believed it. With a good-sized crowd on hand and a bustling, energetic reception on the patio afterward, the Indys look set to have a long run at their new home.

2009 Indy Award Winners

Lilia Abadjieva
Direction, Measure for Measure/Othello
Lit Moon World Shakespeare Festival

Irwin Appel
Direction, The Winter’s Tale
Theatre UCSB

Doris Baizley
Original Script, Sarah House
Sarah House

Mark Booher
Direction, Ragtime
PCPA Theaterfest

Jay Brazeau
Performance, Fiddler on the Roof
Rubicon Theatre Company

Karyl Lynn Burns
Performance, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Rubicon Theatre Company

Frederick Deeben
Costume Design, Les Miserables
PCPA Theaterfest

Roger DeLaurier
Direction, Les Miserables
PCPA Theaterfest

Theodore Michael Dolas
Scenic and Lighting Design, Twelve Angry Men
DIJO and SBCC Theatre Group

Harry Feiner
Scenic Design, Buried Child and Take Me Out
Ensemble Theatre Company

Jonathan Fox
Direction, Old Wicked Songs and Take Me Out
Ensemble Theatre Company

Thomas Giamario
Scenic Design, Fiddler on the Roof
Rubicon Theatre Company

Angela Goethals
Performance, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Rubicon Theatre Company

Morlan Higgins
Performance, Victory
Santa Barbara Theatre

Joe Jordan
Performance, Bug
Genesis West

Fred Kinney
Scenic Design, Old Wicked Songs
Ensemble Theatre Company

Jon Koons
Performance, The Odd Couple
Circle Bar B

Natasha Lloyd
Performance, Seagull
Theatre UCSB

Allison Menzimer
Performance, Time and the Conways
Theatre UCSB

Julia Pace Mitchell
Performance, In the Continuum
Ensemble Theatre Company

James O’Neil
Direction, Fiddler on the Roof
Rubicon Theatre Company

Daisy Prince
Direction, It’s Only Life
Rubicon Theatre Company

Linda Purl
Artistic Director
Rubicon International Theatre Festival

Chas Rader-Shieber
Direction, A Wedding
Music Academy of the West

Clyde Sacks
Performance, I Remember You
Circle Bar B Dinner Theatre

Nina Sallinen,
Performance, Poor, Poor Lear
Lit Moon World Shakespeare Festival

Joe Spano
Performance, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Rubicon Theatre Company

Jenny Sullivan
Direction, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Rubicon Theatre Company

Dianne Vapnek
Executive Director, Danceworks

Simon Williams
Direction, Time and the Conways
Theatre UCSB

Leonard Kelly-Young
Performance, Buried Child
Ensemble Theatre Company


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