From chimney sweeps to tap dancing feet, the magic of live theater filled the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center May 21 during the 34th annual Dearborn Area Theatre Awards.
Dearborn Heights Crestwood High School, and Dearborn’s Divine Child, Dearborn and Edsel Ford high school productions from the past year were adjudicated, a Theatre Hall of Fame inductee was feted and scholarships to deserving young thespians were awarded.
Don Bean, who works the backstage magic as technical director at the Michael A. Guido Theater at the COMPAC, was the 2019 inductee into the DATA Hall of Fame, presented by Joan Arrick of the DATA Board of Governors and EmmaJean Woodyard, Director of the Dearborn Community Fund. Bean’s work was highlighted by a video produced by local filmmaker Stan Guarnelo.
Three area high school theater students received scholarships: Natalie Duffy of Divine Child and Dearborn High students Katie Garber and Andrew Blankenship.
In the non-scholastic arena, the Random Acts of Theatre one-act direction award went to Collette Cullen for her original script, “Dressed.”
The performances from the season’s musicals were a colorful, fast-paced treat. Included were a medley from DHS’s musical “Into the Woods,” “Step in Time” from EF’s production of the musical “Mary Poppins,” a medley from DC’s two musicals, “Disaster! The Musical” and “42nd Street,” “More Than Survive” from CHS’s production of the musical “Be More Chill,” and a medley from the Players Guild of Dearborn spring musical “It Shoulda Been You,” which added a comic touch by including Guild member and mistress of ceremonies Kori Bielaniec, who co-hosted the show with Guild actor Alex Gojkov.
Awards to Outstanding Youth in Summer Theater, a non-adjudicated category for pre-high school actors, were presented to Kristen Collins and Kurt Wilson of DC’s summer youth production of “Disney’s High School Musical Jr.” and Katie Varitek and Aiden Golden for the Players Guild of Dearborn summer production of “Disney’s The Lion King Jr.”
Other non-adjudicated awards were presented to high school students for outstanding work in the technical, behind-the-scenes aspects of theater.
CHS students Paula Bies, Elizabyth Chartier, Evan Drake and Ayla Sudorowski were recognized for stage management, and Kenny Nguyen-Phan for sound design.
DC students Natalie Duffy was recognized for choreography, Peter Ciarelli for stage management, and Camryn Pieknik for stage management and lighting design.
DHS student Andrew Blankenship was recognized for lighting design, properties design and stage management; and students Sarah McDonnell, Adriana Viscomi and Sophi Wheeler were recognized for stage management.
EF students recognized include Abby Mullen for stage management, Colleen Stover for properties design and Nathan Wall for sound design.
The high school adjudicated awards were for onstage and behind-the-scenes, for musicals, full-length and one act plays, and in the acting categories, male and female leads and supporting roles.
The winner for outstanding scholastic play was CHS’s “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” while the outstanding scholastic musical honoree was DC’s “42nd Street.”
Adult director honors at the scholastic level were awarded twice to Cayla Kolbusz, for the non-musical “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” and for the musical “Be More Chill.”
Other adult outstanding achievement winners were: Robert Bush, for orchestral direction, DC’s “42nd Street;” Maritsa Madias-Kalasz for musical director, DHS’s “Into the Woods;” Loni Lane, Tracy Kielb and student Natalie Duffy for choreography for DC’s “42nd Street;” and Nick Gladkowski for sound design for CHS’s “Be More Chill.”
Other adult winners include: Lisa Goddard and Leslie Garber, costume design, DHS’s “Into the Woods;” Matt Woldanski, lighting design, CHS’s “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time;” Elisa Noeske, makeup and hair, DC’s “42nd Street;” Dani Smith, CHS’s “Be More Chill;” and Robert Bush, scenic design, DC’s “42nd Street.”
In the scholastic musical lead category, honors went to Markus Monolidis for CHS’s “Be More Chill,” and Katie Garber for DHS’s “Into the Woods.”
For scholastic musical supporting leads, honors went to Adam El-zein and Khalia Mims for CHS’s “Be More Chill.”
For scholastic plays (non-musicals) lead honors went to Markus Monolidis and Ghena Nachar for CHS’s “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.”
Scholastic non-musical supporting honors went to Erik Norwood for DC’s “Game of Tiaras” and Lily Kanclerz for EF’s “Clue.”
In the student direction category, musical number direction honors were awarded to Adam El-zein of CHS for “It Sucks to Be Me” (from the musical “Avenue Q”), with non-musical student directing honors going to Jonah Guevara of DHS for “Career Day.”
DATA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more information, go to dearbornareatheatre.org.