An Awarding Night for AUDELCO

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Excellence in Black Theatre

There are few mediums that
put life on stage, upfront and personal as does theatre.  It’s a venue that allows life to play out
wherein both the actor and the audience get to experience the multi-dimensional
scope of life, past and present; staged, directed, written, lighted, costumed,
produced, set to music, choreographed, costumed and even scored.  Black theatre has a special dynamics and
flavor wherein enormous talents come together in all the varied genres to
present life at its finest and sometimes at its very worse.  It’s exciting, dynamic, memorable and always
magical. 

Every year the people get the
opportunity to thank these great performers and recall the performances through
the enormous efforts of those behind the AUDELCO Awards, such as Grace Jones,
President of AUDELCO, and of course, AUDELCO’s founder, Vivian Robinson, who
although no longer with us in body, remained in spirit at the 39th
Annual AUDELCO “VIV” Awards, given in recognition of Black Excellence in
Theatre. The AUDELCO Award presentation was presented Monday night, November 14th,
at Harlem Stages within Aaron Davis Hall, located at the Marion Anderson
Theatre, on 133th Street and Convent Avenue in New York City.

 The show co-chaired by Cheryl
Wills of NY1 News and Daniel Simmons, Jr., founder and President of Rush Arts
Gallery, was nothing short of spectacular, albeit lengthy.  But try as Awards shows do, so far, no one
has figured out how to cram the numerous categories and award presentations
into a short affair.  But as always, the
audience is regaled with so much talent, charm and glamour they hardly
notice.  The November 14th production
included categories and awards which covered Ensemble performances, playwright,
director in a dramatic production, musical category for female and male; lighting
design, director in a musical production, solo performance, outstanding musical
director, director in a dramatic production, lead actor, lead actress, supporting
actor and actress, set design, choreography and costume design.  Also presented were the Outstanding Pioneer Award,
Special Achievement Award, and since the theme was GENERATIONS, it was only
fitting that 11 year old Eden Sanaa Duncan Smith, best known for her role as
Nala in Disney’s “Lion King,” in 
“Fences” and as a youth radio host on the Aunt Jewel’s Bedtime Stories
show on Blakeradio.com, Rainbow Soul,  be
awarded with AUDELCO’s Rising Star Award.

 Winners:

Best Dramatic Play – “Knock
Me A Kiss.”

Lead Actor – Andre DeShields
– Knock Me A Kiss

Lead Actress – tied with
Kimberlee Monroe – Nobody Knew Where They Was

                         and Sanaa Latham – By
the Way, Meet Vera Stark

Supporting Actress – Marie
Thomas – Knock Me A Kiss

Supporting Actor – Andre
Holland – The Whipping Man

Outstanding Performance
(Male) – Tommi Thompson – The Widow and Miss Mamie

Outstanding Performance
(Female) – Toni Seawright – The Widow and Miss Mamie

Outstanding Musical Director
– Ron Granger – The Widow and Miss Mamie

Solo Performance – Stephanie
Berry – The Shaneequa Chronicles

Playwright: Charles Smith –
Knock Me A Kiss

Director (Dramatic) – Chuck
Smith – Knock Me A Kiss  (Presenters had
an amusing moment trying to find the winner envelope)

Director (Musical)
Production:  Lee
Kirk (The Widow and Miss Mamie).

Lighting: Shirley Prendergast
for Knock Me A Kiss

Set Design – Anthony Davidson
– Knock Me A Kiss

Choreography – Tracy Jack –
It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues

Costumes – Ali Turns “Knock
Me A Kiss”

Outstanding Ensemble Performance
– Playing with Heiner Mueller

Production of the Year: The
Widow and Miss Mamie tied with Ain’t Nothing But the Blues.

Recipient of the Board of
Director’s Award – Rome Neal, Jackie Jeffries, Jacquetta L. McMurray

Outstanding Pioneer Awards
went to Felix E. Cochren, Mary Alice Smith, James Pringle

Special Achievement
Awards:  Clifford B. Simmons (Blue Nile
Passage),  Journalist, Playwright and
Director Hazel Rosetta Smith, Fortune Society and the Significant Elders group

 Honorary chairs for the 39th
Annual AUDELCO Awards were LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Samuel L. Jackson,
Hattie Winston and Harold Wheeler.

 

 

 

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