During the 2014-15 season, 240 shows were submitted by 76 theaters. Davis Musical Theatre Company and The Woodland Opera House led the field of local nominees with eight nominations each. Art Theater of Davis received its first-ever nominations — three.
Davis Musical Theatre
Company’s performing nominations went to Kevin Caravalho, lead actor, “Shrek, The Musical”; Jessica Mckillican, lead actress, “Shrek, The Musical”; Joel Porter, supporting actor, “Anything Goes”; Mike Mechanick, supporting actor, “Anything Goes”; Ana Chan, lead actress, “Peter Pan”; and Arieh Simon, supporting actor, “The Velveteen Rabbit.”
DMTC technical nominations went to Kaylin Scott for choreography for “Anything Goes” and LeAnne Carlisle for costume design for “The Velveteen Rabbit.”
For WOH, acting nominations went to Rodger McDonald, supporting actor in a comedy, “A Flea in Her Ear”; Erik Catalan, lead actor in a young people’s play, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”; D.J. Michel, youth lead actor for the same play; and Frances Thayer, youth supporting actress.
Woodland also picked up technical nominations: Darcie Neill for lighting design for “The Miracle Worker”; Denise Miles for costume design, “Hello, Dolly”; Mark and Christine Deamer for set design, “Disney’s My Son Pinocchio”; and John Bowles for sound design, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”
He started getting the itch for theater again. “I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun if Daddy could be Shrek?” He checked the DMTC website and found out that the company was planning to do “Shrek” next, so he auditioned and got the role.
“To this day, every time my daughter sees anything with Shrek, she says ‘Daddy.’ My performance came from the heart. I did it for my kids. I am forever enshrined in the ‘cool camp’ because of it,” he said, laughing.
The Elly nomination, though, does take a back seat to another event in his life — three weeks ago he became the father of twins, bringing the family’s number of children to six.
A newcomer to Elly nominations was the Art Theater of Davis, which garnered a supporting actress nomination for Joanna Johnson in “Hay Fever” and two nominations for group founder Timothy Nutter in “Hay Fever,” for costume design and set design.
Nutter was delighted to hear the news, as he had not attended the ceremony. Art Theater of Davis recently lost its theater, but, undaunted, is rehearsing for “Uncle Vanya” to be presented in the Veterans’ Memorial Theater starting Sept. 24. He hopes that YoloArts will be able to take the fledgling group under its wings.
It was also Johnson’s first nomination. Her casting in “Hay Fever’ was almost an accident, but she had lost a role in a musical she hoped to do and was free, so auditioned and was cast as the housekeeper, Clara.
“I loved the show,” she said. “It was a dream to work on. So much fun.”
Anita Ahuja and Dona Akers were both nominated in the supporting actress category for the Winters Theatre Company’s “Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” Winters has been nominated a couple of times in the past, manager Howard Hupe said, but not in many years.
“We used to actively participate, but don’t do that any more,” he said.
“In my personal life I have directed pageants at my church, so to do it on stage was such a hilarious experience,” she said. “I loved the show. I adore working with children and we had close to 20 children working.”
Named for the late Eleanor McClatchy, a devoted patron of the arts and former publisher of the Sacramento Bee, the Elly Awards celebrate excellence and the outstanding achievements of community theaters and artists in the greater Sacramento area.
Created 33 years ago by local community actors, the Elly Awards have grown from a local Sacramento tradition to now include theaters within a 70-mile radius.
In honor of the 33rd annual Elly Awards, Sacramento Area Regional Theatre Alliance will host two ceremonies this September. The Youth Elly Award ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13, at Cosumnes Oaks High School Performing Arts Center in Elk Grove. The Adult Elly Award ceremony will follow at 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 27, at the Elks Lodge No. 6 in Sacramento (Pocket).
For more information, visit www.sarta.com or call 916-443-8229. SARTA is a nonprofit theater arts service organization.