CATS sweeps at Elly awards with “Journey to the West”

Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra, or CATS, swept this year’s Elly awards with five honors for Journey to the West,, the Sacramento Area Regional Theatre Alliance, or SARTA, announced Sunday night.

It was more than the runner-up in Sacramento (Big Idea Theatre) and second to Stockton (Stockton Civic Theatre). CATS operates in Grass Valley and Nevada City — cities that are much smaller.

This is a further sign that community theater in the foothills is thriving, a trend that we outline in our upcoming fall-holiday issue. “Community Theatre occupies a peculiarly important position in the American theater picture,” according to Theater in America.

“It engages more people in theatrical activity, albeit part-time, than all the rest of the American theatre put together, including schools and colleges.”

Among foothills theater production companies, Sierra Stages received one award for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Quest Theatreworks won for Sealed for Freshness, and Synthetic Unlimited received two honors for Antony and Cleopatra and Kingdom of Earth.

CATS honors were for best overall production, comedy; costume design, comedy; direction, comedy; set design, comedy; and sound design, comedy. Sierra Stages won for lighting design, comedy (A Midsummer Night’s Dream). Quest Theatreworks won for supporting actress, comedy (Sealed for Freshness). And Synthetic Unlimited won for leading actress, drama(Kingdom of Earth) and consume design, drama (Antony and Cleopatra).

We attended Journey to the West and were thoroughly delighted.

The complete list of winners is here:2013 Adult Elly recipients. The list of nominees is here.

For the second time in 31 years the annual Elly Award ceremonies were separated into Adult and Youth ceremonies. Sunday night marked the celebration of excellence by Sacramento’s adult performers in the Comedy, Drama, Musical and Original Works categories at the 31st Annual Elly Awards- Adult Division.

Named for Eleanor McClatchy, a devoted patron of the arts and former publisher of the Sacramento Bee, the Elly Awards celebrates excellence in Sacramento’s local and regional community theater.

A grand total of 34 Elly Awards, plus two lifetime achievement awards, were given to individuals and theaters from across a 10-county region in the Adult Division.

Sponsored by the Sacramento Area Regional Theatre Alliance (SARTA), this formal event was attended by nearly 300 active community theatre members and their families and friends.

–SARTA and Sierra FoodWineArt or SierraCulture.com

(photo credit: David Wong)

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