Theatre Albany gets nominations in national competition in Michigan

Jul 01, 2015

By Jennifer Parks, Albany Herald

ALBANY — Taking the stage for the first time at the American Association of Community Theatre National Festival, Theatre Albany took home no awards, but several nominations and a valuable learning experience, according to Theater Albany Director Mark Costello.

The festival took place in at the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre in Grand Rapids, Mich., last week where the one-act play “The Lady of Larkspur Lotion” by Tennessee Williams was performed by the cast of Eddie McCarty, Jennifer Kirk Bowers and Joy Johnson.

Theatre Albany was nominated for six awards. They were for Outstanding Sound Design, Outstanding Ensemble Cast, Outstanding Feature Actress in a Supporting Role, Outstanding Actress, Outstanding Set Design and Outstanding Director.

Johnson was nominated for the supporting actress award, with Bowers getting the nomination for the actress award. Steve Felmet got the set design nomination.

They were one of 12 productions there, including an armed forces production from Belgium. The competition is held every two years.

While they came back without a win, the group was grateful for the opportunity to see how the process works.

“I think we learned a lot from the process … we are very grateful, very pleased with the (feedback from the judges),” said Costello. “The other participants in the festival were also very generous.”

“The crew was just so gracious, so helpful.”

Three special performances of “Larkspur” were performed at the 514 Pine Ave. home stage at $10 per ticket earlier in the month as part of the fundraising effort to offset the expenses of the trip.

“We are so appreciative to the folks in Albany for donating to make the trip possible,” Costello said.

When asked if Theatre Albany was expecting to be able to go to the national level again, he said: “One never knows, we just have to see in two years … it’s nice to know we can do something like that.”

Prior to the national festival, the production garnered nearly a dozen awards — six at last fall’s Georgia Theatre Conference and another five in March at the Southeastern Theatre Conference, including best production at both competitions.

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