The 29th Annual LA STAGE Alliance Ovation Awards, celebrating theatrical excellence and achievement throughout Los Angeles, were presented on Monday, January 28, at the Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
Thirty-six awards were bestowed upon 16 different Southern California theatre companies. The most honored companies of the year were Center Theatre Group (Soft Power); Rogue Artists Ensemble and East West Players (Kaidan Project: Walls Grow Thin); Bootleg Theatre (Theater Movement Bazaar’s Grail Project); Geffen Playhouse (Ironbound, Sell/Buy/Date, Skeleton Crew); La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts (South Pacific, Ain’t Misbehavin’); Celebration Theatre (Priscilla Queen of the Desert); and The Echo Theater Company (Cry it Out). A Noise Within received the Best Season Award (A Raisin in the Sun, A Tale of Two Cities, Henry V, Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Noises Off, The Madwoman of Chaillot).
Ovation Honors, which recognize outstanding achievement in areas that are not among the standard list of nomination categories, were awarded to Adrien Prevost (Music Composition for a Play, Kaidan Project: Walls Grow Thin, Rogue Artists Ensemble co-produced with East West Players) and Brian White, Sean Cawelti, Greg Ballora, Morgan Reban, Jack Pullman, and Christine Papalexis (Puppet Design, Kaidan Project: Walls Grow Thin, Rogue Artists Ensemble co-produced with East West Players).
Additionally, Center Theatre Group presented the 2018 Richard E. Sherwood Award for innovative and adventurous artists to writer, comedian, and performance artist Kristina Wong. This award is endowed by the Sherwood family and is accompanied by $10,000 to further Wong’s artistic work.
The ceremony was directed by Jer Adrianne Lelliott and hosted by The Kilroys. Musical direction was by Gregory Nabours. Scenic advisor was Tom Buderwitz, lighting design was by Azra King-Abadi, sound design was by Cricket Myers, and projection design was by Jason Thompson and Kaitlyn Pietras. Production stage manager was Cate Cundiff and assistant stage managers were Morgan Zupanski and Brooke Baldwin. Producers were Marco Gomez, Mark Seldis, Eric Sims, and Max Oken.
LA STAGE Alliance is a non-profit organization dedicated to building awareness, appreciation, and support for the performing arts in Los Angeles. LA STAGE is the go-to source for resources and opportunities for artists and arts administrators. LASA’s programs include The Ovation Awards, onStage.LA, @This Stage, and LA STAGE Day.
Sponsors for this year’s Ovation Awards ceremony were DOMA Theatre Company, UCLA School of Theater, Film & Television, F&D Scene Changes Ltd., USC School of Dramatic Arts, Bakers Man Productions, Venture Hill Entertainment LLC, Seven Waves Entertainment LLC, Requiem Media Productions LLC, Variety, and Ken Werther Publicity.