Griffin, Jackalope lead the nominations for 2020 Non-Equity Jeff Awards

See the full list of nominees.

Red Tape Theatre’s All Quiet on the Western Front. Photograph: Austin D. Oie

Chicago’s stages have been dark for a month and a half, but the Jeff Awards will go on.

This morning, the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee announced the nominations for the 2020 Non-Equity Jeff Awards, to be presented at a “virtual celebration” on Monday, June 8. Theater companies leading the list are Griffin Theatre Company, with 10 nominations, followed by Jackalope Theatre Company with nine and Lifeline Theatre with eight.

Four productions tied for the most individual nominations: Red Tape Theatre’s new adaptation of All Quiet on the Western Front, Underscore Theatre Company’s world-premiere musical The Ballad of Lefty & Crabbe, BoHo Theatre’s Big Fish, and Jackalope’s P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle.

The Non-Equity Jeffs’ eligibility window runs from April 1 to March 31 each year, so only a couple of weeks at the season’s end were cut off by the current Covid-19 shutdown. By my estimation, only three productions that would have been eligible for this year’s awards—Kokandy Productions’ Hundred Days, Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre’s Grey Gardens, and Theatre Above the Law’s Ghosts of Chernobyl—remained to be seen by the committee’s first-nighters last month when the statewide stay-at-home order forced their cancellation.

It remains to be seen how the Jeff committee will handle this year’s Equity Jeff Awards, which are meant to cover productions that opened between August 1 of last year and July 31 this year, but as of now, the committee says the 2020 ceremony for Equity productions is scheduled to take place on October 19.


Here’s the full list of Non-Equity nominations:

Production — Play
  • All Quiet on the Western Front — Red Tape Theatre

  • First Love Is the Revolution — Steep Theatre Company

  • Middle Passage — Lifeline Theatre

  • Mlima's Tale — Griffin Theatre Company

  • P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle — Jackalope Theatre Company

  • The Undeniable Sound of Right Now — Raven Theatre

Production — Musical
  • The Ballad of Lefty & Crabbe — Underscore Theatre Company

  • Big Fish — BoHo Theatre

  • Ghost Quartet — Black Button Eyes Productions

  • Head Over Heels — Kokandy Productions

  • Hedwig and the Angry Inch — Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

Ensemble
  • All Quiet on the Western Front — Red Tape Theatre

  • The Ballad of Lefty & Crabbe — Underscore Theatre Company

  • Blue Stockings — Promethean Theatre Ensemble

  • Emma — Lifeline Theatre

  • Ghost Quartet — Black Button Eyes Productions

  • P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle — Jackalope Theatre Company

New Work
  • Larry Todd Cousineau & Cindy O’Connor — All That He Was — Pride Films and Plays

  • Matt Foss — All Quiet on the Western Front — Red Tape Theatre

  • Sam Kebede — EthiopianAmerica — Definition Theatre Company

  • Jillian Leff & Joe Lino — Small World — The New Colony

  • Kenneth Lin — Life On Paper — Jackalope Theatre Company


Tevion Devin Lanier, Garrett Young and Eric Gerard in P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle at Jackalope Theatre Company. Photograph: Reed Carson

Director — Play
  • Lili-Anne Brown — P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle — Jackalope Theatre Company

  • Spenser Davis — Blue Stockings — Promethean Theatre Ensemble

  • Spenser Davis — Labyrinth — Broken Nose Theatre

  • Matt Foss — All Quiet on the Western Front — Red Tape Theatre

  • Jerrell L. Henderson — Mlima’s Tale — Griffin Theatre Company

Director — Musical
  • Donterrio Johnson — A Man of No Importance — Pride Films and Plays

  • Ed Rutherford — Ghost Quartet — Black Button Eyes Productions

  • Stephen Schellhardt — Big Fish — BoHo Theatre

  • Rusty Sneary — The Ballad of Lefty & Crabbe — Underscore Theatre Company

  • Derek Van Barham & Elizabeth Swanson — Head Over Heels — Kokandy Productions

Performer in a Principal Role — Play
  • Laura Berner Taylor (Grace) — Out of Love — Interrobang Theatre Project

  • Dennis Bisto (Bèrenger) — The Killer — Trap Door Theatre

  • Elaine Carlson (Mrs. Kitty Warren) — Mrs. Warren’s Profession — Promethean Theatre Ensemble

  • Bailey Castle (Barbara, Barbara’s Mom, Barbara’s Dad) — Iron Kisses — Theatre Above the Law

  • Bilal Dardai (Samir) — Language Rooms — Broken Nose Theatre

  • Eric Gerard (Blacky Blackerson) — P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle — Jackalope Theatre Company

  • David Goodloe (Mlima) — Mlima’s Tale — Griffin Theatre Company

  • Jacqueline Grandt (Du) — Keely and Du — Redtwist Theatre

  • Tracey Greenwood (Vivie Warren) — Mrs. Warren’s Profession — Promethean Theatre Ensemble

  • Brookelyn Hébert (Ada Byron Lovelace) — Ada and the Engine — The Artistic Home

  • Mary Williamson (Ida) — Life on Paper — Jackalope Theatre Company

Performer in a Principal Role — Musical
  • Jeremiah Alsop (Musidorus) — Head Over Heels — Kokandy Productions

  • Amanda Giles (Elizabeth) — If/Then — Brown Paper Box Co.

  • Ryan Lanning (Alfie Byrne) — A Man of No Importance — Pride Films and Plays

  • Will Lidke (Hedwig) — Hedwig and the Angry Inch — Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

  • Amanda Raquel Martinez (Pearl, The Victim, Lady Usher, Soldier, Scheherazade) — Ghost Quartet — Black Button Eyes Productions

  • Shea Pender (James Crabbe Hathaway) — The Ballad of Lefty & Crabbe — Underscore Theatre Company

  • Kyle Ryan (Theodore Lefty Childs) — The Ballad of Lefty & Crabbe — Underscore Theatre Company

  • Tommy Thurston (Edward Bloom) — Big Fish — BoHo Theatre


Parker Guidry, center, and the ensemble of Kokandy Productions’ Head Over Heels. Photograph: Michael Brosilow

Solo Performance
  • Scott Gryder (Alex More) — Buyer & Cellar — Pride Films and Plays

  • Scott Sawa (Henry) — Here Lies Henry — Interrobang Theatre Project

  • Megan Wells (Atina Diffley) — Turn Here—Sweet Corn — Saltbox Theatre Collective

Performer in a Supporting Role — Play
  • Lynne Baker (Charlotte) — Beyond Therapy — Eclipse Theatre Company

  • Shenise Brown (Michilla Thomas) — Spoken Word — MPAACT

  • Elaine Carlson (Luella) — Why Torture Is Wrong and the People Who Love Them — Eclipse Theatre Company

  • Renee Lockett (Aunt Mama) — Sugar In Our Wounds — First Floor Theater

  • Marika Mashburn (Eva Ardsley) — For Services Rendered — Griffin Theatre Company

  • John Mossman (Charles Babbage) — Ada and the Engine — The Artistic Home

  • Krystal Ortiz (Lois Ardsley) — For Services Rendered — Griffin Theatre Company

  • Madeline Pell (Actor 4/Harriet Smith and others) — Emma — Lifeline Theatre

  • Shariba Rivers (Candylady) — Hoodoo Love — Raven Theatre

  • Michael Turrentine (Geedi, Wamwara, Hassan Abdulla) — Mlima’s Tale — Griffin Theatre Company

  • Kevin Webb (Èduoard) — The Killer — Trap Door Theatre

Performer in a Supporting Role — Musical
  • Bridget Adams-King (Kate) — If/Then — Brown Paper Box Co.

  • Kyrie Anderson (Sandra Bloom) — Big Fish — BoHo Theatre

  • Brittney Brown (The Girlfriend) — All That He Was — Pride Films and Plays

  • Parker Guidry (Pythio) — Head Over Heels — Kokandy Productions

  • Parker Guidry (Lucas) — If/Then — Brown Paper Box Co.

  • Brian Huther (Gene Sherman) — The Ballad of Lefty & Crabbe — Underscore Theatre Company

  • Jeff Pierpoint (Will Bloom) — Big Fish — BoHo Theatre


Black Button Eyes Productions’ Ghost Quartet. Photograph: Michael Brosilow

Scenic Design
  • Alan Donahue — Middle Passage — Lifeline Theatre

  • Alan Donahue — Whose Body? — Lifeline Theatre

  • Jeffrey D. Kmiec — The Undeniable Sound of Right Now — Raven Theatre

  • Sotirios Livaditis — For Services Rendered — Griffin Theatre Company

  • Manuel Ortiz — Last Night in Karaoke Town — The Factory Theater

  • Sydney Lynne Thomas — Hoodoo Love — Raven Theatre

Costume Design
  • Aly Renee Amidei — For Services Rendered — Griffin Theatre Company

  • Stefani Azores-Gococo — P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle — Jackalope Theatre Company

  • Robert S. Kuhn — Hedwig and the Angry Inch — Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

  • Uriel Gomez — Head Over Heels — Kokandy Productions

  • Rachel M. Sypniewski — Blue Stockings — Promethean Theatre Ensemble

  • Mieka van der Ploeg — First Love Is the Revolution — Steep Theatre Company

Sound Design
  • Barry Bennett — Middle Passage — Lifeline Theatre

  • Sam Clapp — Sugar In Our Wounds — First Floor Theater

  • L.J. Luthringer — Mlima’s Tale — Griffin Theatre Company

  • Dan Poppen — All Quiet on the Western Front — Red Tape Theatre

  • Erik Siegling — Small World — The New Colony

Lighting Design
  • Michelle Benda — Out of Love — Interrobang Theatre Project

  • Simean “Sim” Carpenter & Scott Tobin — Middle Passage — Lifeline Theatre

  • Jared Gooding — Mlima’s Tale — Griffin Theatre Company

  • Stephen Sakowski — All Quiet on the Western Front — Red Tape Theatre

  • Eric Watkins — Sugar In Our Wounds — First Floor Theater

Choreography
  • Breon Arzell — Head Over Heels — Kokandy Productions

  • Megan Farley — Big Fish — BoHo Theatre

  • Jesse Hoisington — The Killer — Trap Door Theatre

  • Jenna Schoppe — The Ballad of Lefty & Crabbe — Underscore Theatre Company

  • Leah Urzendowski — All Quiet on the Western Front — Red Tape Theatre


Isa Arciniegas and Jordan Arredondo in Steep Theatre’s First Love Is the Revolution. Photograph: Gregg Gilman

Original Music in a Play
  • Ben Chang — The Hound of the Baskervilles — City Lit Theatre

  • Jeffrey Levin — Hoodoo Love — Raven Theatre

  • Jeffrey Levin — Kiss — Haven Theatre

  • Aaron Stephenson — P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle — Jackalope Theatre Company

  • Shawn Wallace and Desta Sound — Spoken Word — MPAACT

Musical Direction
  • Michael McBride — Big Fish — BoHo Theatre

  • Robert Ollis — A Man of No Importance — Pride Films and Plays

  • Jeremy Ramey — Hedwig and the Angry Inch — Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

  • Jeremy Ramey — Hello Again — Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

  • Nick Sula — Ghost Quartet — Black Button Eyes Productions

Fight Choreography
  • Rachel Flesher & Zack Payne — First Love is the Revolution — Steep Theatre Company

  • Maya Vinice Prentiss — EthiopianAmerica — Definition Theatre Company

  • Maureen Yasko & Chris Smith — Non-Player Character — Red Theater Chicago

Projection Design
  • Clare Brennan, Aaron Sawyer & Beth Wolf — Non-Player Character — Red Theater Chicago

  • Paul Deziel — P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle — Jackalope Theatre Company

  • Paul Deziel & Alex J. Gendal — Middle Passage — Lifeline Theatre

  • Yeaji Kim — The Effect — Strawdog Theatre Company

  • G. “Max” Maxin IV — Ghost Quartet — Black Button Eyes Productions

Artistic Specialization
  • Uriel Gomez (Makeup Design) — Small World — The New Colony

  • Keith Ryan (Wig Design) — Hedwig and the Angry Inch — Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

  • Robert-Eric West (Wig and Makeup Design) — Casa Valentina — Pride Films and Plays