Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra top winner at Elly Awards

Sacramento — CATS (Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra), Sierra Stages and LeGacy Productions were all winners in the annual Elly Award ceremonies on Sunday night.

CATS won four Elly awards for Teahouse of the August Moon, LeGacy won for I Hate Hamlet, and Sierra Stages won for A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum.

For the first time in 30 years the annual Elly Award ceremonies were separated into Adult and Youth ceremonies. It marked the celebration of excellence by Sacramento’s adult performers at the 30th Annual Elly Awards- Adult Division at the Crest Theatre.

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 31 Elly 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 semi-formal event was attended by over 300 active community theatre members and their families and friends.

Director Dean Shellenberger worked tirelessly to combine elements of the old and the new to honor this milestone 30th annual Elly ceremony event. The evening began with an amazing opening number, choreographed by Jacob Montoya, and featuring more than 20 dancers.

Kellie Yvonne Raines and Shawn B. O’Neal were the marvelously entertaining hosts for the ceremony. Throughout the evening, attendees were treated to musical numbers from productions in the Overall Production – Musical category and included: Chicago, The Drowsy Chaperone, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, White Christmas and Avenue Q.

The Davis Musical Theatre Orchestra proudly provided the live music. Two scenes were also featured – one from Leading Ladies (comedy) and the other from Death of a Salesman (drama) which were nominated for overall production in their respective categories.

30th annual Elly Awards – Adult Division

This year’s lifetime achievement awards went to James Wheatley and Ed Claudio. Both men are actors, directors, instructors, and mentors and have owned and operated their own theatre companies for many, many years.

James Wheatley has been offering arts outreach programs in dance, theatre, and music through his company, Celebration Arts, at little or no cost to students since 1986.

James also lends his talents to many other performing arts companies in the Sacramento area and beyond. Ed Claudio’s theatrical career spans more than forty years as a producer, director, acting Instructor, playwright and actor. He is a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild and Actors Equity.

Ed has appeared in more than 150 plays, has produced and directed more than 100 full length plays. In 1989, Ed cofounded the Actor’s Workshop of Sacramento and has launched numerous shows and careers. James and Ed are tireless advocates of community theatre and both have won several Elly awards throughout their distinguished careers.

A grand total of 31 Elly awards in the Adult Division were handed out over the course of evening. The productions receiving the most Elly Awards were:

•The Teahouse of the August Moon – Community Asian Theatre of the Sierras (4)
•Sylvia – Bob and Ro Productions (3)
•Chicago – Davis Musical Theater Company (2)
•On Golden Pond – Stockton Civic Theatre (2)
•25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee – Rocklin Community Theatre (2)
•The Diviners – California Stage (2)

Elly Awards for Overall Production in individual categories in the Adult Division went to:

•Comedy – (tie) – Sylvia – Bob and Ro Productions and
The Teahouse of the August Moon – Community Asian Theatre of the Sierras
•Drama – The Diviners – California Stage
•Musical – Chicago – Davis Musical Theatre Company

Original works: Original Script – Once Upon a Storytime – Kara Lack, Sarah Lack, Rebecca Lack, Jessica Lack and David Lack- Runaway Stage Productions
Original Works: Original Adaptation – Robin Hood In The Forest Of Frogwarts: A British Panto – Christine Nicholson – City Theatre

The 163 Adult Elly nominations represented 150 productions from 49 different theatres. The final 31 Elly Awards recognized 23 productions and 20 theatres. There were two ties tonight- one for direction of a comedy and one for overall production of a comedy.

The Elly Awards program serves community theatres within a 70-mile radius from downtown Sacramento. Twenty- one judges volunteered countless hours attending every show submitted in the category they are judging.

The categories are Comedy, Drama, and Musical. Awards within each category are given for: Leading Actor and Actress; Supporting Actor and Actress; Direction; Costume Design; Lighting Design; Set Design; Musical Direction, if applicable; Choreography, if applicable; and Overall Production. There is a separate division for Original Works which included Original Script and Original Adaptation. Awards are given to the playwright and the theatre producing the work.

SARTA’s mission is to promote high quality community theatre in the Sacramento area and neighboring regions. When combined with the opportunity to provide quality entertainment and formal recognition of those in the performing arts, SARTA and the Sacramento community benefit.

In addition to the Elly Awards program, SARTA provides its members with a weekly email update for auditions, casting calls, workshops, events and jobs plus a monthly electronic TheatreLetter featuring current and on-going theatre production listings and upcoming SARTA events.

SARTA members also receive discounted ticket prices at participating SARTA member theatres and the annual Elly Award ceremony. Members also receive a complimentary headshot and resume listing on SARTA’s Talent Database! For more information about SARTA and how you can support this programming, please visit the website at SARTA is a non-profit 501© 3 organization.

A full list of the winners is here.


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