The Stars Align At Wilde Awards

WEST BLOOMFIELD – Theater professionals from across Michigan gathered Aug. 31 for The 2015 Wilde Awards ceremony at The Berman Center for the Performing Arts. Presented by, the most comprehensive resource for news and information about the state's professional theater industry, The Wilde Awards were established in 2002 to honor excellence in Michigan's professional theaters.
"Although I say something similar pretty much every year, this past season was certainly a memorable one – both onstage and behind the scenes," said Donald V. Calamia, co-founder and editor-at-large of "New theaters popped up, a few established ones kept a very low profile, and quality work was seen on stages all across the state and in theaters large and small. Plus, we got a new owner not long before the end was imminent. So all in all, I'd call this one heck of a successful season!"'s new owner and editor-in-chief, David Kiley, was formally introduced to the community. "We have many exciting plans for the near future – including a total redesign of the website this fall," said Kiley.
In total,'s team of critics reviewed 168 productions produced or presented by 49 professional theater companies located in 25 communities across the state during the abbreviated 2014-15 season. Shows had to be performed for four consecutive days or more or over two weekends or more to be eligible for a review. And only shows reviewed by could be nominated for a Wilde Award.
Now in its 14th year, The Wilde Awards – named in honor of 19th century playwright Oscar Wilde – honored the best productions, performances and technical work produced or presented by professional theaters across the state. Here's a listing of the 2015 winners:

WINNERS: The 2015 Wilde Awards

Best Comedy
"Leaving Iowa," Beth Torrey, director; Tipping Point Theatre

Best Drama
"Annapurna," Guy Sanville, director; The Purple Rose Theatre Company

Best Musical
"Violet," Steve DeBruyne, director; The Dio – Dining & Entertainment

Best Opera
"Elektra," Nicholas Muni, director; Michigan Opera Theatre

Best of the Bard
"King Lear," Frannie Shepherd-Bates, director; Shakespeare in Detroit

Best Theatre for Young Audiences
"Sleeping Beauty," Igor Gozman, director; PuppetART

Best Touring Production
"Kinky Boots," Jerry Mitchell, director; Broadway in Detroit: Fisher Theatre

Best Performance, Actress – Comedy
Emily Sutton-Smith, "Miracle on South Division Street"; Williamston Theatre

Best Performance, Actress – Drama
Inga R. Wilson, "Sugarhill"; The Jewish Ensemble Theatre Company

Best Performance, Actress – Musical
Mahalia Greenway, "Violet"; The Dio – Dining & Entertainment

Best Performance, Actor – Comedy
Brandy Joe Plambeck, "Boeing Boeing"; Hilberry Theatre

Best Performance, Actor – Drama
Mike McGettigan, "Buried Child"; The Abreact

Best Performance, Actor – Musical
Sebastian Gerstner, "Spamalot"; The Encore Musical Theatre Company

Best Performance – Opera
Christine Goerke, "Elektra"; Michigan Opera Theatre

Best Performance – The Bard
Julia Garlotte, "King Lear"; Shakespeare in Detroit

Best Performance – Theater for Young Audiences
Sam Carter, "The Diary of Anne Frank"; Flint Youth Theatre

Best Teamwork
Tony Caselli and John Lepard, "The Best Brothers"; Williamston Theatre

Best New Script
Linda Ramsay-Detherage, "Sugarhill"; The Jewish Ensemble Theatre Company

Best Music Direction
Brian E. Buckner, "The Ugly Duckling"; Wild Swan Theater

Best Choreography
Irina Baranovskaya and Igor Gozman, "The Crane Maiden"; PuppetART

Best Design – Sound or Video
Tim Culver, Cameron Lake and Lauri Rowe, "It's a Wonderful Life: A Radio Play"; Great Escape Stage Company

Best Design – Sets
Bartley H. Bauer, "Annapurna"; The Purple Rose Theatre Company

Best Design – Props
Danna Segrest, "Annapurna"; The Purple Rose Theatre Company

Best Design – Lights
Harley Miah, "Red"; Open Book Theatre Company

Best Design – Costumes
Monika Essen, "Frida"; Michigan Opera Theatre


Critics' Choice Award:
Farmers Alley Theatre

Critic's Choice Award
Detroit Improv Collective

Founders Award for Excellence
Kurt Stamm, Mason Street Warehouse

Jim Posante Community Pride Award
Bailey Boudreau, Slipstream Theatre Initiative

Council Cargle Award for Dedication to the Michigan Theatre Community
Kristine Thatcher


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