A Staged Expression, featuring Ryan Colbert and Traci Allen Shannon. Photo by William Clark Photography.
Last night, the 2017 Ivey Awards for professional theatre were announced at the State Theatre in Minneapolis, MN. Highlights included performances by a variety of companies that had previously won Ivey Awards, as well as a lifetime achievement award for Michelle Hensley and an Emerging Artist award for Meghan Kreidler.
The show began with a performance of “Beauty School Dropout” from Chanhassen Dinner Theatres’ ongoing production of Grease. Eleven awards were given in various categories:
- Ensemble, Vietgone, Mixed Blood Theatre – Sun Mee Chomet, David Huynh, Meghan Kreidler, Flordelino Lagundino and Sherwin Resurreccion
- Production Design & Execution, Six Degrees of Separation, Theater Latté Da Abbee Warmboe, Barry Browning, Sean Healey, Kate Sutton-Johnson, Bethany Reinfeld and Alice Fredrickson
- Concept & Execution, Safe at Home, Mixed Blood Theatre
- Actor, Nilaja Sun, Pike St., Pillsbury House + Theatre
- Director, Noël Raymond, The Children, Pillsbury House + Theatre
- Emotional Impact, Wit, Artistry
- Actor, Steven Epp, Fiddler on the Roof, Ten Thousand Things
- Actors, Sun Mee Chomet & Sherwin Resurreccion, The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up, Mu Performing Arts
- Overall Excellence, Ragtime, Theater Latté Da
- Emerging Artist, Meghan Kreidler
- Lifetime Achievement, Michelle Hensley
With Ten Thousand Things’ search for a new artistic director underway, Michelle Hensley (the company’s founder and current artistic director) was the top-runner for the Lifetime Achievement Award during speculation at the VIP Party preceding the awards. During her acceptance speech, Hensley called for a majority of the artistic director vacancies to be filled in the Twin Cities in the next several years to be filled by women and women in color in particular.
As is often the case with the Iveys, the presence of several award recipients was anchored by engaging them as performers, as seen in Meghan Kreidler’s performance of “Gonna Start Again” from Mixed Blood Theatre’s Vietgone before being recognized as the 2017 Emerging Artist.
No new companies were added to the ranks of the Ivey Award winners this year.
The 2017 Ivey Awards sponsors include Best Buy, Target, Fox Rothschild, UBS, MartinPatrick3, Arts ink, RBC, IATSE, Western Bank, Actors’ Equity Association, The Depot’s Milwaukee Road, Robins Kaplan, Hennepin Theatre Trust, Historic Theatre Group, Savvi Formalwear, Lurie Wealth Advisors, Joel Gott Wines, William Clark Photography, KNOCK, Risdall Marketing Group, MinnPost, Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine, Clear Channel Outdoor, City Pages, iHeartMedia, and CRAVE.