Give 12 theater critics a bucket of chicken, some awesome side dishes, and a few mimosas, and two hours later what do you get? This year’s list of winners of the DFW Critics Forum Awards.
We welcomed some new members this year: Nancy Churnin, who assumed the post of theater critic at The Dallas Morning News upon Lawson Taitte’s retirement, and Jan Farrington, who has been busy writing for TheaterJones.
As voting started, it became clear which companies had enjoyed exceptionally strong seasons (Kitchen Dog Theater, Uptown Players, Dallas Theater Center, Jubilee Theatre) and which artists had spread their talents around DFW (Garret Storms, we’re looking at you. You were everywhere).
Winners were chosen by receiving at least five votes, though critics were allowed to throw their support behind people or productions they didn’t initially vote for once the initial round was finished. The only rule is that the critic must have seen the production, so—given the plethora of shows across Dallas and Fort Worth these past twelve months—that actually did impact the results in some categories.
Congratulations to all, and even though we’re only a week into the next voting season we already have some contenders…
Liesl Tommy, Les Miserables (Dallas Theater Center)
Tim Johnson, Detroit (Kitchen Dog Theater)
Tre Garrett, A Raisin in the Sun (Dallas Theater Center) and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Jubilee Theatre)
Susan Sargeant, The Diaries of Adam and Eve and Happy Days (WingSpan Theatre Co.)
Daniel Aukin, The Fortress of Solitude (Dallas Theater Center)
Terry Martin, Dogfight (WaterTower Theatre)
Kevin Moriarty, Oedipus el Rey (Dallas Theater Center)
David Denson, Year of the Rooster (Upstart Productions)
B.J. Cleveland, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Uptown Players)
Steven Walters, Les Miserables (Dallas Theater Center)
Drew Wall, Nocturne (Second Thought Theatre)
Garret Storms, for his season of performances
Adam Anderson, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Jubilee Theatre)
Joey Folsom, Year of the Rooster (Upstart Productions) and Hank Williams: Lost Highway (WaterTower Theatre)
Alex Ross, The Boy from Oz (Uptown Players)
Jaxon Beeson, Stiff (Fun House Theatre and Film).
Tina Parker, Detroit (Kitchen Dog Theater)
Liz Mikel, A Raisin in the Sun (Dallas Theater Center)
Tiffany Hobbs, A Raisin in the Sun (Dallas Theater Center) and Spunk (WaterTower Theatre)
Allison Pistorius, Venus in Fur (Circle Theatre) and Clybourne Park (Dallas Theater Center)
Juliette Talley, Dogfight (WaterTower Theatre)
Janelle Lutz, The Boy from Oz (Uptown Players)
Sarah Elizabeth Smith, The Boy from Oz (Uptown Players)
Ashley Wilkerson, The Mountaintop (Jubilee Theatre).
Heroes (Stage West)
Barbecue Apocalypse (Kitchen Dog Theater)
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Uptown Players)
The Echo Room Presents: Her Song (Echo Theatre)
Coy Covington for his wig and makeup design for The Boy from Oz (Uptown Players) and wig designs for Pageant (Uptown Players)
Gary James for his wig designs for Dogfight
Clare Floyd DeVries for her set design for Detroit (Kitchen Dog Theater)
Jay Dias for his music direction of Nine and Titanic (Lyric Stage)
The design team for their season with Trinity Shakespeare Festival
Jeffrey Colangelo and Katy Tye for their movement design in Galatea (Prism Co.)
New Play or Musical
Stiff by Jeff Swearingen (Fun House Theatre and Film)
Booth by Steven Walters (Second Thought Theatre)
Barbecue Apocalypse by Matt Lyle (Kitchen Dog Theater)
mania/gift by Shelby-Allison Hibbs (Echo Theatre)
The Fortress of Solitude by Itamar Moses and Michael Friedman (Dallas Theater Center)
Evita (Dallas Summer Musicals)
Trick Boxing (Sossy Mechanics)
The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess (ATTPAC)
Peter and the Starcatcher (ATTPAC).
To Matt Tomlanovich for reviving the Margo Jones as a busy performance space, opening it to fledgling companies at a reasonable price, and making it available to small festivals, poetry slams, readings and dance groups.
To Lawson Taitte for his distinguished career in arts criticism.
Lindsey Wilson, D Magazine
Elaine Liner and Lauren Smart, Dallas Observer
Mark Lowry, TheaterJones.com, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Martha Heimberg, Dallas Weekly, TheaterJones.com
Jan Farrington, M. Lance Lusk, David Novinski, TheaterJones.com
Alexandra Bonifield, criticalrant.com
Punch Shaw, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Arnold Wayne Jones, Dallas Voice
Nancy Churnin, Dallas Morning News