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Area theater artists score Elly nominations

By: Eileen Wilson Special to The Press-Tribune
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Shakespeare said “all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” Many players throughout the Sacramento area recently converged at Roseville’s Magic Circle Theatre to learn who would be nominated for the 26th annual Elly Awards. The Elly Awards, named after Eleanor McClatchy, who supported theater and artistic endeavors in the Sacramento area, are sponsored by the Sacramento Area Theatre Alliance. The awards are bestowed on community and school theaters within a 70-mile radius of downtown Sacramento each September, with nominations announced in early August. Awards are given to recognize actors’ achievement and also achievement in direction, costume design, set design, lighting and more. Elly judges must see every show within a specific category, then, using a point system, vote on the best the theater world has to offer. Nominations are a great boon to any theater, and Magic Circle garnered several. There are five nominations in each category, and “Our Town,” which was judged in the Young People’s Play category, seemed to be a favorite with judges, as evidenced by the nine nominations it received. “I like the Ellys because they’re recognition of what you’ve done,” said nominee Madelyn Wright, who received a nod for her roll as Mother Superior in Magic Circle’s production of “The Sound of Music.” “You have fun doing it (performing), but it’s nice to be recognized,” she said. Devin Jewett, who was nominated for supporting actor in “Our Town,” as well as actor and lighting for various shows at Colfax High School, agrees. “It’s important for an actor because it gives a pat on the back to the actors in the area of theater they’re involved in,” he said. Jewett is leaving for Emerson College in Boston in a few days where he will major in theater design and technical lighting design, and so he won’t be able to attend the actual Elly Awards, which will take place at 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept 26 at the Crest Theatre in Sacramento. But many feel it’s an honor just to be nominated, and numerous theater lovers and nominees alike will cross fingers and say prayers until the winners are announced. Laura Sheperd, who was nominated in the Original Script: Original Works category was excited to be at the nomination party. “It was my very first play I ever did in my whole life,” she said of her original play “Annie’s Story.” Nominations for Roseville area theaters are as follows: Choreography: Education Musical – Stephen Hatcher, “Urinetown” Woodcreek High School Costume Design: Education Musical – Cheryl Homes and Gayle Dehn, “Urinetown” Woodcreek High School Leading Actor: Education Musical – Matthew Kirkham, “Urinetown” Woodcreek High School Costume Design: Education Play – Members of the Cast, “The Miss Firecracker Contest” Oakmont High School Direction: Education Play – Nick Adorno, “The Miss Firecracker Contest” Oakmont High School; and Tom Fearon, “Metamorphoses” Woodcreek High School Leading Actor: Education Play – Lucas Schumaker, “The Miss Firecracker Contest” Oakmont High School Leading Actress: Education Play – Ali Sundstrom, “The Miss Firecracker Contest” Oakmont High School, and Danielle Amick, “The Miss Firecracker Contest” Oakmont High School Overall Production: Education Play – Oakmont High School, “The Miss Firecracker Contest” Set Design: Education Play – Nick Adorno, “The Miss Firecracker Contest” Oakmont High School Supporting Actor: Education Play – Brady Hollis, “Metamorphoses” Woodcreek High School Supporting Actress: Education Play – Lauren Berkema, “Blood and Cuts” Theatre at Granite Bay and Nazee Zahedi, “Reviving Ophelia” Theatre at Granite Bay, and Rachel Murch, “Metamorphoses” Woodcreek High School Supporting Actress: Musical – Madelyn Wright, “The Sound of Music” Magic Circle Theatre Leading Actor, Adult: Young People’s Musical – Nick Adorno, “Thoroughly Modern Millie” Magic Circle Theatre Leading Actress, Adult: Young People’s Musical – Chelsea Baldree, “Thoroughly Modern Millie” Magic Circle Theatre Musical Direction: Young People’s Musical – Jennifer Vaughn, “Thoroughly Modern Millie” Magic Circle Theatre Supporting Actor, Adult: Young People’s Musical – Kody Roza, “Aladdin Jr.” Magic Circle Theatre and Nick Adorno, “Aladdin Jr.” Magic Circle Theatre Supporting Actress, Adult: Young People’s Musical – Sara Bruton, “Godspell” Roseville Performing Arts Studio Costume Design: Young People’s Play – Carrie Leeman, “Our Town” Magic Circle Theatre Direction: Young People’s Play – David Garrison, “Our Town” Magic Circle Theatre Leading Actor, Adult: Young People’s Play – David Garrison, “The Reluctant Princess” Magic Circle Theatre, and Eric Bellah, “Sleeping Beauty” Magic Circle Theatre Leading Actor, Child: Young People’s Play – Kyle Cherry, “Our Town” Magic Circle Theatre, and Tim Stusiak, “The Comedy of Errors” Magic Circle Theatre Leading Actress, Adult: Young People’s Play – Jenna Cook, “Sleeping Beauty” Magic Circle Theatre Leading Actress, Child: Young People’s Play – Cassie March, “Our Town” Magic Circle Theatre Lighting Design: Young People’s Play – John Bowles, “Our Town” Magic Circle Theatre Overall Production: Young People’s Play – Magic Circle Theatre “Our Town” Set Design: Young People’s Play – John Bowles, Rick Daniels and David Garrison, “Our Town” Magic Circle Theatre Supporting Actor, Child: Young People’s Play – Devin Jewett, “Our Town,” Magic Circle Theatre Supporting Actress, Adult: Young People’s Play – Deborah Forester, “The Reluctant Princess” Magic Circle Theatre Supporting Actress, Child: Young People’s Play – Angelina Festejo, “Our Town” Magic Circle Theatre – For a complete list of 2008 Elly nominees, visit Sacramento Area Theatre Alliance at www.sarta.com.