Beat Awards 2011: Nominations

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"The Bean" in Millennium Park, Chicago

Nominees Announced for the 1st Annual Beat Awards

Below you will find the the nominations for Chicago’s 1st Annual Beat Awards. The Beat Awards provide an opportunity for Chicago’s theater critics to give recognition to outstanding achievements in Chicago’s theatre community and the artists involved.

This year, a total of nine critics from six different online publications submitted nominations in 19 categories*. Judges considered more than 500 productions from July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011. The nominees with the most mentions were placed on the final ballot, which will be voted on by the same critics within the following weeks. Winners will be announced in late March.

Plans for the 2012 awards are already in the works, with requests for nominations set to go out in July. The panel of judges is expected to more than double to over 20 critics.

For more information or to set up an interview to discuss Chicago’s 1st Annual Beat Awards, contact




Production Categories

Best Production, Equity
Best Production, Non-Equity
Best New Work
Best Children’s Production
Best Opera
Best Tour
Best Overall Design, Equity
Best Overall Design, Non-Equity
Best Season, Equity
Best Season, Non-Equity

Individual Categories

Best Actress, Equity
Best Actress, Non-Equity
Best Actor, Equity
Best Actor, Non-Equity
Best Ensemble, Equity
Best Ensemble, Non-Equity
Best Director, Equity
Best Director, Non-Equity
Annual Honoree





Best Production, Equity

  • 42nd Street, Marriott Theatre
  • The Big Meal, American Theater Co.
  • Candide, Goodman Theatre
  • Chinglish, Goodman Theatre
  • Frost/Nixon, TimeLine Theatre
  • The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?, Remy Bumppo
  • The Madness of George III, Chicago Shakespeare
  • Merrily We Roll Along, Musical Theatre Company
  • Porgy and Bess, Court Theatre
  • Scorched, Silk Road Rising
  • A Twist of Water, Route 66 Theatre
  • Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Steppenwolf Theatre

Best Production, Non-Equity

  • 1001, Collaboraction
  • Cats, Theo Ubique
  • Festen, Steep Theatre
  • The First Ladies, Trap Door
  • Heddatron, Sideshow Theatre
  • Lobby Hero, Redtwist
  • Man from Nebraska, Redtwist
  • Memories of Two Mondays, Eclipse
  • Passing Strange, Bailiwick Chicago
  • Pirates of Penzance, The Hypocrites
  • Three Faces of Dr. Crippen, Strangetree

Best New Work

  • Kellen Blair and Joe Kinosian: Murder for Two, (Chicago Shakespeare)
  • Philip Dawkins: The Homosexuals, (About Face Theatre)
  • Laura Eason: Sex With Strangers, (Steppenwolf Theatre)
  • Bruce Graham: The Outgoing Tide, (Northlight Theatre)
  • Jason Grote: 1001, (Collaboraction)
  • David Henry Hwang: Chinglish, (Goodman Theatre)
  • Patricia Kane: Float, (About Face Theatre)
  • Bruce Norris: A Parallelogram, (Steppenwolf Theatre)
  • Caitlin Montanye Parrish: A Twist of Water, (Route 66 Theatre)
  • Marisa Wegrzyn: Hickorydickory, (Chicago Dramatists)

Best Children’s Show

  • Arnie the Doughnut, Lifeline Theatre
  • The Hundred Dresses, Chicago Children’s Theatre
  • Jackie and Me, Chicago Children’s Theatre
  • Pinkalicious, Emerald City Theatre
  • Pinnochio, Chicago Shakespeare
  • Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch, Lifeline Theatre

Best Opera

  • Carmen, Lyric Opera
  • Death and the Powers, Chicago Opera Theater
  • Lohengrin, Lyric Opera
  • Macbeth, Lyric Opera
  • Medea, Chicago Opera Theater

Best Tour

  • Being Harold Pinter, Belarus Free Theatre
  • Billy Elliott
  • Black Watch, National Theatre of Scotland
  • Les Miserables
  • Next to Normal
  • Peter Pan
  • Traces

Best Season, Equity

  • About Face
  • Chicago Shakespeare
  • Goodman Theatre
  • Lookingglass
  • Steppenwolf TimeLine
  • Writers’ Theatre

Best Season, Non-Equity

  • The Hypocrites
  • Lifeline
  • Redtwist
  • Steep
  • Theo Ubique

Best Overall Design, Equity

  • Candide, Goodman Theatre
  • Chinglish, Goodman Theatre
  • The Comedy of Errors, Court Theatre
  • Front Page,TimeLine Theatre
  • Heartbreak House, Writers’ Theatre
  • Hot ‘L’ Baltimore, Steppenwolf Theatre
  • Last Act of Lilka Kadison, Lookingglass Theatre
  • A Parallelogram, Steppenwolf Theatre
  • Porgy and Bess, Court Theatre
  • Twist of Water, Route 66 Theatre
  • Baal, TUTA

Best Overall Design, Non-Equity

  • Bug, Redtwist Theatre
  • Festen, Steep Theatre
  • Heddatron, Sideshow Theatre
  • MilkMilkLemonade, Pavement Group
  • Lobby Hero, Redtwist Theatre

Best Actress, Equity

  • Marilyn Dodds Frank, The Last Act of Lilka Kadison (Lookingglass)
  • Penny Johnson Jerald, The Trinity River Plays (Goodman Theatre)
  • Jennifer Lim, Chinglish (Goodman)
  • Laurie Metcalf, Detroit (Steppenwolf)
  • Amy Morton, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolff? (Steppenwolf)
  • Jessie Mueller, Merrily We Roll Along (Music Theatre Co)
  • Caroline Neff, Metal Children (Next Theatre)
  • Falashay Pearson, A Twist of Water (Route 66 Theatre)
  • Michaela Petro, The Homecoming (Mary-Arrchie)
  • Kathy Scambiatterra, Sweet Bird of Youth (Artistic Home)
  • Bethany Thomas, Porgy and Bess (Court Theatre)
  • Karen Janes Woditsch, To Master the Art (TimeLine)

Best Actress, Non-Equity

  • Elizabeth Bagby, All Saints’ Day (Ruckus Theatre)
  • Brenda Barrie, Ruby Sunrise (Gift Theatre)
  • Kaitlin Byrd, The Moonstone (Lifeline Theatre)
  • Marilyn Camacho, Brainpeople (UrbanTheatre Company)
  • Maggie Portman, Cats (Theo Ubique)
  • Sarah Pretz, Blood Wedding (Oracle)
  • Sarah Segviny, Boojum! Nonsense, Truth & Lewis Caroll (Caffeine Theatre)
  • Beth Stelling, Five Lesbians Eating Quiche (New Colony Theatre)
  • Nicole Wiesner, The First Ladies (Trap Door)
  • Kendra Thulin, State of the Union (Strawdog)

Best Male Actor, Equity

  • Brad Armacost, The Weir, (Seanachai)
  • Gregg Edelman, Sweeney Todd (Drury Lane Theatre)
  • Sean Fortunato, Travels With My Aunt (Writers’ Theatre)
  • Harry Groener, The Madness of George III (Chicago Shakespeare)
  • Terry Hamilton, Frost/Nixon (TimeLine)
  • Tracy Letts, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolff? (Steppenwolf)
  • John Mahoney, The Outgoing Tide (Northlight)
  • Nick Sandys, The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? (Remy Bumppo)
  • Alan Schmuckler, Merrily We Roll Along (Music Theatre Company)
  • Michael Patrick Thornton, Middletown (Steppenwolf)
  • Ian Westerfer, Baal (TUTA)
  • Larry Yando, Candide (Goodman Theatre)

Best Male Actor, Non-Equity

  • Brennan Buhl, K. (The Hypocrites)
  • Matt Farabee, MilkMilkLemonade (Pavement Group)
  • Gregory Isaac, Wuthering Heights (Lifeline Theatre)
  • Andrew Jessop, Lobby Hero (Redtwist)
  • Trinity Murdoch, Last Saint on Sugar Hill (MPAACT)
  • Brian Parry, Shining City (Redtwist)
  • Nathan Randall, Talk Radio (State Theatre)
  • Michael Salinas, Festen (Steep)
  • Chuck Spencer, Man From Nebraska (Redtwist)
  • Kevin Stark, Festen (Steep)

Best Ensemble, Equity

  • 42nd Street, Marriott Theater
  • Candide, Goodman Theatre
  • Float, About Face Theatre
  • The Front Page, TimeLine Theatre
  • The Homosexuals, About Face Theatre
  • The King and I, Porchlight Music Theatre
  • The Madness of George III, Chicago Shakespeare
  • The Original Grease, American Theatre Company
  • A Parallelogram, Steppenwolf
  • Porgy and Bess, Court Theatre
  • A Twist of Water, Route 66 Theatre

Best Ensemble, Non-Equity

  • 1001, Collaboraction
  • Aces, Signal Ensemble
  • Cats, Theo Ubique
  • Festen, Steep Theatre
  • Memory of Two Mondays, Eclipse
  • MilkMilkLemonade, Pavement Group
  • Pirates of Penzance, Hypocrites
  • Watership Down, Lifeline

Best Director, Equity

  • James Bohnen, The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? (Remy Bumppo)
  • Louis Contey, Frost/Nixon (TimeLine)
  • Dexter Bullard, The Big Meal (American Theater Co)
  • Lesley Buxbum Danzig, Float (About Face Theatre)
  • Robert Falls, The Seagull (Goodman)
  • Pam MacKinnon, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Virgina Woolf? (Steppenwolf)
  • Charles Newell, Porgy and Bess (Court Theatre)
  • PJ Paperelli, The Original Grease (American Theater Co)
  • Rachel Rockwell, 42nd Street (Marriott Theatre)
  • Steve Scott, Yellow Face (Silk Road Rising)
  • Leigh Silverman, Chinglish (Goodman)
  • Jackie Tayor, All In Love Is Fair (Black Ensemble Theatre)
  • Mary Zimmerman, Candide (Goodman)

Best Director, Non-Equity

  • Jonathan Berry, Festen (Steep)
  • Lili-Anne Brown, Passing Strange (Bailiwick Chicago)
  • Keira Fromm, Lobby Hero (Redtwist)
  • Sean Graney, Pirates of Penzance (Hypocrites)
  • Jimmy McDermott, The Three Faces of Dr. Crippen (Strange Tree)
  • Max Truax, Woyzeck (Oracle)

Annual Honoree**

  • Jeremy Wechsler & Brian Posen
  • Larry Bommer
  • Oracle Theatre
  • Rahm Emanuel
  • Richard M. Daley
  • TimeLine Theatre


*Disclaimer: These awards are not a representation of the opinions of the entire Chicago theater critics community, nor are they an endorsement of the publication the critic may write for.

**The “Annual Honoree” award pays tribute to a person or organization that has had a positive impact on the Chicago theater community as a whole.