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Kelsey Theatre Companies Nominated for 36 Perry Awards, With Pinnworth Productions’ ‘Miss Saigon’ Sweeping Top Honors

9/27/17


Top awards went to PinnWorth Productions for "Miss Saigon." Cast members are pictured with, front row from left, producers Kate Pinner and LouJ Stalsworth, and director Koren Zander (who co-directed with Stalsworth.)

And the award goes to... Presenters PJ Campacci, vice president of NJACT, and Elizabeth Rzasa, MCCC teaching assistant, were among the ceremony's presenters.


Makenna Katz was nominated for Outstanding Youth Actress in a Play as Young Molly in “Jake’s Women” (Maurer Productions OnStage). Katz is a regular at MCCC's Tomato Pat\ch Visual and Performing Arts Workshops and appeared as Jane Bank in "Mary Poppins" at Kelsey Theatre.She is pictured with presenter Elizabeth Rzasa.

West Windsor, N.J. – Broadway may have its Tony Awards, but New Jersey does itself proud in honoring excellence in community theater across the state each fall. On Sept. 17, the New Jersey Association of Community Theaters (NJACT) hosted the Perry Awards to recognize community theater productions from the past theater season.

This was a banner year for companies that perform at Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC’s) Kelsey Theatre. The companies received 36 nominations in 20 different categories for productions from 2016-17. They were winners of six, including the four most prestigious awards.

Sweeping the top prizes was PinnWorth Productions’ “Miss Saigon,” the powerful musical about the American withdrawal from Saigon and its aftermath. The show won for Outstanding  Musical, with producers Kate Pinner and Lou Stalsworth accepting the award; Directors Stalsworth and Koren Zander for Outstanding Direction of a Musical; Lianah Sta. Ana for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical as Kim; and Mike Schiumo for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical as the Engineer. The show received six additional nominations. Cast member Michael Scibillia was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor as Chris and Michael Zweig  for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical as John. Kate Pinner and Koren Zander received a nomination for Outstanding Costume Design of a Musical; Jim Petro and Evan Griner for Outstanding Properties in a Musical; Koren Zander  for Outstanding Choreography; and Françios Suhr for Outstanding Music Direction.

“We are honored and proud that our work has been recognized for what it is – a successful labor of love,” LouJ Stalsworth said. “Not only was our ‘Miss Saigon’ named the top show in New Jersey, but our lead performers were honored as the very best.” He adds that Lianah St. Ana, of Freehold, was unable to attend the awards ceremony, as she is currently appearing in the role of Kim twice weekly on Broadway.

The two other Kelsey award winners were for the Pennington Players’ Production of “In the Heights.” Lorraine C. Perri won for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical as Daniela and Vicki Kaiser won for Outstanding Stage Management of a Musical.

MCCC Teaching Assistant Elizabeth Rzasa, a highly accomplished singer and actress who has appeared in many shows at Kelsey Theatre and other community theater venues, served as "Miss Perry," participating in the distribution of the awards throughout the festive evening.

Said Kelsey Artistic Director M. Kitty Getlik. “Thirty-six nominations is our largest tally ever. That, in itself, is a major accomplishment, given that more than 200 community productions are presented annually statewide. We are so very proud of our six winners, all of our nominees, and all the companies that continue year after year to deliver top quality entertainment for our patrons.”

Other nominees in the Outstanding Production of a Musical were Producers Judi Parrish and Vicki Kaiser, and Director Kyrus Keenan Westcott for “In the Heights” (Pennington Players); and Producers John Demeter, Stephanie Zimmerman, and Pete LaBriola, and Director John Zimmerman for “The Boy From Oz” (Forte Dramatic Productions/Pierrot Productions).

Additional nominations included LouJ Stalsworth for Outstanding Direction of a Play for “God of Carnage” (PinnWorth Productions); Kyrus Keenan Westcott for Outstanding Direction of a Musical for “In the Heights” (Pennington Players); Frank Ferrara for Outstanding Direction of a Musical for “Big Fish” (Playful Theater Productions); John Zimmerman for Outstanding Direction of a Musical for “The Boy from Oz” (Forte Dramatic Productions/Pierrot Productions); Vicki Kaiser for Outstanding Stage Management of a Play for “Unnecessary Farce” (Pennington Players); Vicki Kaiser for Outstanding Stage Management of a Play for “The Glass Menagerie” (Maurer Productions OnStage); M. Kitty Getlik for Outstanding Lighting Design of a Play for “The Glass Menagerie” (Maurer Productions OnStage); Star McCloud for Outstanding Lighting Design of a Musical for “In The Heights (Pennington Players); Scott Monsees for Outstanding Lighting Design of a Musical for “The Boy from Oz” (Forte Dramatic Productions/Pierrot Productions); Anthony Remer for Outstanding Costume Design of a Musical for “The Boy From Oz” (Forte Dramatic Productions/Pierrot Productions); James Kenna for Outstanding Scenic Design of a Play for “The Odd Couple, Female Version” (Yardley Players); Koren Zander for Outstanding Choreography for “The Boy From Oz (Forte Dramatic Productions/Pierrot Productions); Rachel Tovar for Outstanding Choreography for “In the Heights” (Pennington Players); and Aimee Robideaux and Lou Woodruff for Outstanding Music Direction for “The Boy from Oz” (Forte Dramatic Productions/Pierrot Productions).

Actor and actress nominations included: Andrew Ruggieri for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical as Peter Allen in “The Boy from Oz (Forte Dramatic Productions/Pierrot Productions); Christina Kosyla for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical as Liza Minnelli  in “The Boy From Oz” (Forte Dramatic Productions/Pierrot Productions); Malik Abdul Khaaliq for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play as Tom Robinson in “To Kill a Mockingbird” (Theater To Go); Gina Whalen for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical as Judy Garland in “The Boy From Oz” (Forte Dramatic Productions/Pierrot Productions); Aidan Stallworth-Giltz for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical as Karl in “Big Fish” (Playful Theatre Company); Shane Howell (for Outstanding Youth Actor in a Play as Jem in “To Kill a Mockingbird” (Theater To Go); Evan Chartock for Outstanding Youth Actor in a Play as Dill in “To Kill a Mockingbird” (Theater To Go); and Makenna Katz for Outstanding Youth Actress in a Play as Young Molly in “Jake’s Women” (Maurer Productions OnStage).

To view the Kelsey Theatre schedule for the 2017-18 season now under way, visit www.kelseytheatre.net/schedule.

Kelsey Theatre Website
2017-18 Schedule
Audition Information
Kelsey Kids Playshops

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