As if to outdo the previous 13 seasons of Independent Theater Awards, this year’s event did, in fact, include everything and the kitchen sink. That’s because presenters handed out this year’s iconic black “i” statuettes at Center Stage Theater on the set of the current Santa Barbara Theatre production Miss Julie, all of which unfolds in a kitchen. The location didn’t mean that the Indys had departed from its characteristic aversion to the edge-of-the-seat tension that plagues so many award shows. By eschewing categories and nominees and cutting straight to the good stuff, the Indys have set a 14-year precedent of honoring the best theater in the region with minimal pitting of actors, directors, and technical people against one another.
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