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August: Osage County’ Wins Best Play In 2011

Above: The cast of Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize-winning play "August: Osage County," directed by Sam Gold, at The Old Globe Theatre.

Aired 2/7/12 on KPBS News.

Every year San Diego’s theater critics give out awards for the best in local theater. The 2011 winners were announced last night at the Craig Noel Awards ceremony at the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla. KPBS arts reporter Angela Carone was on hand for the celebration.

Photographers snapped away as a nattily dressed crowd of theater players gathered to celebrate in the atrium of MCASD La Jolla. Cocktails flowed as an a capella group serenaded the crowds in one corner.

The night's big winner was The Old Globe’s "August: Osage County," which won a slew of awards, including outstanding dramatic production. The crackling three-hour drama about a dysfunctional mid-western family also won an outstanding acting award for its ensemble cast. When the play opened last year, director Sam Gold said, "August: Osage County" is like catnip for actors. It’s 13 great parts."

Gold won for his direction and 82-year-old Lois Markle won for her powerhouse performance as the family matriarch.

The Old Globe also won top awards in the musical category, winning best resident musical for its production of "Emma." San Diego REP, Cygnet, ion, and Moonlight Theaters split most of the remaining awards in the musical categories.

A total of 27 awards were given out in front of a crowd of close to 400. (see full list of awards below)

North County Times theater critic Pam Kragen is the president of the San Diego Theater Critics Circle, which sponsors the Craig Noel Awards. "What we do is criticize. You know we spend our whole year talking about what is good and sometimes bad about theater. And our giving this award is our way of saying thank you to the theater community for the work they do."

A new award was added to the list this year, one honoring the work of small theaters. San Diego's ion theater won the Don Braunagel Award for Outstanding Work at a Small Theater for its production of Tony Kushner’s two-part “Angels in America.” The award was launched to honor Don Braunagel, a longtime theater critic, who passed away in June 2011 at the age of 72. The annual cash prize of $600 will be reserved for theaters with fewer than 200 seats.

Recipients of the 2011 Craig Noel Awards:

Outstanding Dramatic Production

“August: Osage County,” The Old Globe

Outstanding Direction of a Play

Sam Gold, “August: Osage County,” The Old Globe

Outstanding Ensemble

“August: Osage County,” The Old Globe

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Play, Male

Manny Fernandes, “Of Mice and Men,” New Village Arts Theatre

Robert Foxworth, “Superior Donuts,” San Diego REPertory Theatre

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Play, Female

Lois Markle, “August: Osage County,” The Old Globe

Rosina Reynolds, “The Glass Menagerie,” Cygnet Theatre

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Play, Female

Catalina Maynard, “Angels in America,” ion theatre

Diana Reasonover, “Stick Fly,” Mo'olelo Performing Arts Company

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Play, Male

David Ellenstein, “My Name is Asher Lev,” North Coast Repertory Theatre

Outstanding Touring Production

“Jesus Christ Superstar,” La Jolla Playhouse

Outstanding New Play

Kirsten Greenidge, “Milk Like Sugar,” La Jolla Playhouse

Actor of the Year

Brian Mackey

Don Braunagel Award for Outstanding Work at a Small Theater

ion theatre for “Angels in America”

Outstanding Resident Musical

“Jane Austen's Emma,” The Old Globe

Outstanding Direction of a Musical

Sean Murray, “Cabaret,” Cygnet Theatre

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical, Female

Linda Libby, “Gypsy: A Musical Fable,” ion Theatre

Karson St. John, “Cabaret,” Cygnet Theatre

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical, Male

B. Slade, “The Who’s Tommy,” San Diego REPertory Theatre

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Musical, Male

Randall Hickman, “Hairspray,” Moonlight Stage Productions

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Musical, Female

Katie Whalley, “Gypsy: A Musical Fable,” ion Theatre

Outstanding Musical Direction

Steve Gunderson, “The Who’s Tommy,” San Diego REPertory Theatre

Outstanding Choreography

David Brannen, “Cabaret,” Cygnet Theatre

Outstanding Music for a Play

Shaun Davey, “The Tempest,” The Old Globe

Outstanding Sound Design

Melanie Chen, “Angels in America,” ion Theatre

Deborah Gilmour Smyth, “The Book of the Dun Cow,” Lamb's Players Theatre

Outstanding Costume Design

Jennifer Brawn Gittings, “In the Next Room (or the vibrator play)” San Diego REPertory Theatre

Jeanne Reith, “The Servant of Two Masters,” Lamb’s Players Theatre

Outstanding Lighting Design

Michael Gilliam, “Jane Austen's Emma,” The Old Globe

Karen Filijan, “Angels in America,” ion Theatre

Outstanding Set Design

Tobin Ost, “Jane Austen's Emma,” The Old Globe

Outstanding Young Artist/Sandra Ellis-Troy Scholarship

Lucia Vecchio, “The Diary of Anne Frank,” Onstage Playhouse

Outstanding Special Event

“Susurrus,” La Jolla Playhouse

Outstanding Projection Design

Peter Nigrini, “Sleeping Beauty Wakes,” La Jolla Playhouse

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