Thursday, September 22, 2016

The 2016 Ivey Awards at the State Theatre

The leaves are beginning to turn, there's a crispness to the air, it must be fall in Minnesota. Not only is it time to get out your boots and sweaters (yay!), it's also time to celebrate the Twin Cities theater scene (double yay!). The Ivey Awards are held every year on a Monday in late September. This was my 10th year attending the ceremony (I think I only missed two), and I love it (even though the fabulous after party keeps me up way past my bedtime, which takes me days to catch up from, which is why I'm just now, on Thursday, sitting down to write this). This year's theme was "theater at play," celebrating the joy of theater and the good things it brings to our lives in this time of increasing violence and divisiveness. Theater brings us together, and helps us understand each other. Or at least we hope that's what it does. So let's celebrate another year of #TCTheater!

After 12 years, the Iveys are a pretty well-oiled machine. This year saw the return of the fabulous Regina Marie Williams as host, joined by past writer Mark Benninghofen, their witty banter written by Zach Curtis and Shanan Custer, with direction by Joe Chvala. The twelve honorees were announced by past winners and sponsor representatives, interspersed with a wonderful and diverse array of excerpts from this year's shows. In addition to the Emerging Artist and Lifetime Achievement Awards, honorees were chosen "based on evaluations completed by the more than 150 volunteer theater evaluators who saw more than 1,200 performances created by 84 professional theaters in the Minneapolis-St. Paul seven-county metropolitan area from September 2015 through August 2016." I saw nine of the ten productions honored, and all are deserving. Yes there are a few omissions, but you'll have to wait for my 2016 Favorites list and the 2nd Annual Twin Cities Theater Blogger Awards (both coming in early January) to find out what they are.

Here's a list of the 2016 Ivey Award honorees:

If you missed the ceremony, or would like to relive it, take note: "The 2016 Iveys – including pre-event activities, behind-the-scenes interviews and the Awards show – will be broadcast on 45TV at 7pm on Saturday, September 24 and on KSTP-TV at 1am on Sunday, September 25."

Below is a play-by-play of the ceremony, including awards and performances, from my #IveyAwards Twitter feed