We're back home--and what a fantastic time we had. The folks at Between the Lines really know how to put on a great party.
I've already blogged a little bit about the party here--talking about how this particular newspaper has chosen to define its responsibility for arts coverage and what the community response is. Here I'd like to focus a little more on the local and theater angles.
While this is an evening whose purpose is to give out awards, it's also something more than that. What Between the Lines has done is to create an event that is a big party to celebrate theater and theatrical artists. They do everything they can to make each night memorable--from the warm hospitality that includes delicious appetizers, a cash bar, pre-event chamber music, and plates of desserts to the entertainment throughout the awards night replete with live performances, pre-recorded videos, and an intimate setting in which 200-some people can celebrate together.
Publishers Susan Horowitz and Jan Stevenson said the attendance at the event has been doubling nearly every year. People come from all over the state. The majority of the people there seemed to be from the Detroit area, but there were also plenty of people from Ann Arbor, Jackson, and Lansing.
Faces people locally might recognize included BoarsHead's Kristine Thatcher, Jonathan Courtmanche, Katie Doyle and Andaye (oooh! I need to go look up spellings and fix them); Williamston's Tony Casselli, and such actors as Mark Gmazel, Jason Richards, Causandra Freeman, and Shariesse Hamilton. And I'm certain there are many that I'm forgetting.
On a personal note, one of the highlights of the evening for me was when it was announced that my husband, Richard Redman, had won the award for best supporting actor in a comedy or drama for his part as Bottom in Midsummer Night's Dream. It was equally exciting watching Mark Gmazel take an award for that same play in the category of "best genderbending performance." Another award to a local group went to Carmen Decker for lead actress in Holiday Memories.
I'll post a link to the complete awards once they've posted them at Pride Source.
Overall, the night was a blast--in large part because people were there with the purpose of having fun and celebrating the amazing theatrical community we have in this state. Theater is alive, well, and extremely vibrant.