Beverly Hills, CA — The NAACP Beverly Hills/Hollywood Branch Theatre Viewing Committee updates their announcements of nominees for the 26th Annual NAACP Theatre Awards. The awards include 32 categories, which encompass local and equity nominations. This year’s awards show will be held on Monday, November 21, 2016, at 6:00 p.m. at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, California.
This year’s Equity Theatre nominations include an array of magnificent productions including “Motown tbe Musical” with an impressive 11 nominations – Best Costume, Best Choreography, Best Lead Female and Male, (2) Best Supporting Male, Best Director, Best Musical Director, Best Sound, Best Lighting by two-time Tony Awards winner Natasha Katz, and the iconic Berry Gordy for Best Playwright. Tied with six nominations each, “The Gospel of Colonus”, a surprisingly 30- year old experimental theatre piece, receives nods for Best Ensemble, Best Set Design, Best Costumes plus previous NAACP Theatre Award nominee Wren T. Brown for Best Producer and Best Musical Director for Abdul H. Royal, an Ovation Award nominee. August Wilson’s classic production “FENCES” stands strong with Best Director, Best Costumes, Best Ensemble, Best Producer, and Best Sound. Both productions share nominee Karyn D. Lawrence for Best Lighting and will battle for Best Ensemble alongside the production of “Immediate Family”. Tony Award winner John Douglas Thompson leads “Satchmo at the Waldorf” with five nominations including Best Lead Male, Best Director, Best Playwright, Best Producers and Best Set Design.
“Dreamscape”, a riveting race-related, hip-hop production depicting the death of a 19 year-old young lady killed by a local police department and examined by a dispassionate County Coroner leads in Local nominations with six – Best Choreographer, Best Director, Best Female Lead, Best Male Lead, Best Playwright and Best Producer. Keena Ferguson’s exceptional one person show, “Unbranded”, follows with five nominations – Best Director, Best Lighting, Best Playwright, Best Sound, and Best One Person Show. Also with five nominations is Patricia Cuffie Jones’ “Love So Deep” for Best Lead Male and Best Lead Female plus a first-time ever in the history of the NAACP Theatre in which there is a 3-way tie for Best Supporting Female in the same production. Rounding out the local category with four nominations is the lively production of “Recorded in Hollywood”, performed at the Lillian Theatre – Best Musical Director, Best Ensemble and Best Director for Denise Dowse, a previous NAACP Theatre Award winner.
Branch President of the Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP Ron Hasson states, “I am excited about combining the awards show and the festival because this platform will bring thespians and theatre lovers from across the country to the City of Los Angeles to enjoy the art that is theatre. The NAACP Theatre Awards Show represents an ever growing theatre community in Los Angeles and we want to elevate this already highly recognized event in Los Angeles and heighten its visibility nationwide.”
The Theatre Viewing Committee considers all candidates who submit their production from January 2015 through December 2015 for possible nomination. All productions must have a five consecutive week production run in Southern California (San Diego to Bakersfield included) to be considered. Productions who meet all eligibility requirements before the deadline are considered eligible for a 2016 NAACP Theatre Award. Eligibility for this year’s edition was limited to theatre productions opening in January 2015 through December 2015. Nominees have been notified by the NAACP Theatre viewing committee Chairperson Martha Pruden-Hamiter. Nominations and winners will be posted online at www.naacptheatreawards.com and circulated nationally via press releases and social media.