April 16, 2008

IRNE Award Winners

I attended my first IRNE award ceremony on Monday night (I've been active in the Boston theatre community for 17 years... I need to get out more often). It was great to see so many colleagues and experience the pride and excitement on both sides of the podium. No doubt it was a strong season, and there were great moments onstage around the region... we are indeed making great contributions to the larger "Theatre Nation".

I'm the guy who won't do press interviews - and yet somehow I managed to find myself on stage accepting awards on behalf of designers Alexander Dodge (Scenic Design - Present Laughter) and Mic Pool (Sound Design - The 39 Steps). I was so nervous I forgot to introduce myself the first time up!

I'd like to further my tremulous gratitudes from the podium by appending this from Michael Maso, our boss, who recently emailed the following to the staff; "Each of you has dedicated yourself to an enterprise that serves others, and that brings joy, compassion, hope, empathy and understanding to thousands each week. You make it possible for young artists to follow their dreams, for masters to perfect their craft, for kids to reach far beyond their supposed limitations, for the settled to challenge their beliefs, for the people of a city to come together and share insights into other people's lives and learn about themselves in the process, for a good laugh or a quiet cry."

Thank you.

Brendan won Best New Play and was accepted by Ronan Noone who gave an obviously heartfelt thank you. Congrats Ronan!

Present Laughter garnered awards for (our scenery chewing) Best Ensemble and Costume Design by the talented Marvann Verhoven. Oops - it appears that the IRNE committee does not make use of a proofreader. There were several embarrassing moments at the podium where the presenters read an incorrect name for the winners. The winners certificates, further, listed us as 'The Huntington Repertory Company". Huh? We are hoping the committee will reprint them for us. Needless to say; our good friend and longtime colleague Mariann Verheyen, who has hung the typo on her wall and may actually be considering a legal name change, is the correct identity of our winning Costume Designer.

The "ensemble" from Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps, Arnie Burton and Cliff Saunders - who played about 148 roles between them - also took the Best Supporting Actor award. I am heading to NYC next week where I will visit The 39 Steps company in tech at their new digs at the Cort Theatre on Broadway.

For the full list of IRNE award winner visit StageSource.

Two presenters gave kudos to the press reps and marketing folks at the theatres for helping them get the news out there. This reminded me, sadly, that our Press guy, "sweet little" John Michael Kennedy, recently took a new job with Goodman Media International in Manhattan, and will be leaving us in a few weeks. I would like to thank JMK for the great work he's done here and for being such a great colleague.

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