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Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Announces Winners

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March 19, 2012…Los Angeles… The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle has announced the winners and special awards for excellence in Los Angeles and Orange County theatre for the year 2011.  The 43rd Annual Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards ceremony took place Monday, March 19 at A Noise Within in Pasadena, and was co-hosted by Jason Graae and Lesli Margherita.

The award recipients for the 2011 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards are as follows:

· Margo Veil, The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble and Evidence Room, Odyssey Theatre
· Small Engine Repair, Rogue Machine, Theatre/Theater

McCulloh Award for Revival
· A Raisin in the Sun, Ebony Repertory Theatre, Nate Holden Performing Arts Center
· Cabaret, Reprise Theatre Company, Freud Playhouse
· The Crucible, Theatre Banshee

· Andrew Block, Small Engine Repair, Rogue Machine at Theatre/Theater
· Sean Branney, The Crucible, Theatre Banshee
· Bart DeLorenzo, Margo Veil, The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble and Evidence Room at the Odyssey Theatre

· David Harrower, Blackbird, Rogue Machine at Theatre/Theater
· John Pollono, Small Engine Repair, Rogue Machine at Theatre/Theater

Writing (Adaptation)
· Dakin Matthews, The Capulets & the Montagues, Andak Stage Company at NewPlace Studio Theatre

Music Direction
· Gerald Sternbach, The Robber Bridegroom, International City Theatre
· Mike Wilkins, Jerry Springer: The Opera, Chance Theater

· Andy Blankenbuehler, Bring It On: The Musical, Center Theatre Group at the Ahmanson Theatre

Musical Score
· Mark Nutter, Re-Animator: The Musical, Steve Allen Theater
Lead Performance
· Sam Anderson, Blackbird, Rogue Machine at Theatre/Theater
· Anne Gee Byrd, All My Sons, Matrix Theatre
· L. Scott Caldwell, A Raisin in the Sun, Ebony Repertory Theatre at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center
· Edi Gathegi, Superior Donuts, Geffen Playhouse
· Lisa O’Hare, Cabaret, Reprise Theatre Company at Freud Playhouse

Featured Performance
· Anne Gee Byrd, I Never Sang for My Father, The New American Theatre at the McCadden Theatre
· Dermot Crowley, The Cripple of Inishmaan, Center Theatre Group and Druid and Atlantic Theater Company at the Kirk Douglas Theatre
· Deidrie Henry, A Raisin in the Sun, Ebony Repertory Theatre at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center
· Casey Kramer, Dolly West’s Kitchen, Theatre Banshee

Ensemble Performance
· A Raisin in the Sun, Ebony Repertory Theatre at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center
· Margo Veil, The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble and Evidence Room at the Odyssey Theatre

Solo Performance
· Tom Dugan, Nazi Hunter Simon Wiesenthal, Theatre 40 at the Reuben Cordova Theatre
· Charlayne Woodard, The Night Watcher, Center Theatre Group at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

Set Design
· Richard Hoover, House of the Rising Son, Ensemble Studio Theatre—LA at the Atwater Village Theatre

Lighting Design
· Paule Constable, Les Misérables, Center Theatre Group at the Ahmanson Theatre
· Jeremy Pivnick, House of the Rising Son, Ensemble Studio Theatre—LA at the Atwater Village Theatre

Costume Design
· Philippe Guillotel, Iris, Cirque du Soleil at Kodak Theatre

Sound Design
· John Zalewski, Margo Veil, The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble and Evidence Room at the Odyssey Theatre

· Eric Anderson (fight choreography), Gospel According to First Squad, The Los Angeles Theatre Ensemble at The Powerhouse Theatre
· John Boesche (projection design), Radiance: The Passion of Marie Curie, Geffen Playhouse
· Tony Doublin, John Naulin, John Buechler, Tom Devlin, & Greg McDougall (special effects), Re-Animator: The Musical, Steve Allen Theater
· Shana Carroll, Boris Verkhovsky, Pierre Masse (acrobatic performance design), Iris, Cirque du Soleil at Kodak Theatre
Unique Theatrical Event
· Standing on Ceremony, Joan Stein and Stuart Ross in association with the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center at The Renberg Theatre

Special Awards
The Ted Schmitt Award for the world premiere of an outstanding new play was awarded to David Wiener for Extraordinary Chambers. The award was accompanied by an offer to publish by Samuel French, Inc.
The Polly Warfield Award for an excellent season in a small to mid-size theater was awarded to Rogue Machine. The award was accompanied by an honorarium, funded by the Nederlander Organization.
The Bob Z award for career achievement in set design was awarded to Kurt Boetcher.
The Angstrom Award for career achievement in lighting design was awarded to Lap Chi Chu. The award was accompanied by an honorarium, funded by Angstrom Lighting.
The Margaret Harford Award for sustained excellence in theater was awarded to the Odyssey Theatre.  The award was accompanied by an honorarium, funded by contributions from the theatrical community
The Joel Hirschhorn Award for outstanding achievement in musical theatre was awarded to Lee Martino.  The award was accompanied by an honorarium, funded by an anonymous donor.
The Milton Katselas Award for career or special achievement in direction was awarded to Matt Shakman. The award was accompanied by an honorarium, funded by The Katselas Theatre Company.
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A Noise Within (ANW), led by Founders/Artistic Directors Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, is the only year-round classical repertory company in Southern California and one of only a handful in the entire country dedicated solely to producing classical dramatic literature in the repertory tradition of rotating productions with a resident company of professional artists.  It has been lauded by critics as a “premiere classical theatre company,” and an "outstanding ensemble" whose "vibrantly theatrical" "brilliant productions" are "freshly imagined," "exceptional," "invigorating," "riveting," "brilliantly atmospheric," “inspired,” and “masterfully crafted.”  Founded 20 years ago, ANW quickly established itself as one of the region’s key theatre companies, attracting fiercely loyal audiences and consistently high praise from the media for its productions and as a key force in arts education.

The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle was founded in 1969.  It is dedicated to excellence in theatrical criticism, and to the encouragement and improvement of theatre in Greater Los Angeles.

The 2011 voting members of the LADCC consisted of:  F. Kathleen Foley (L.A. Times), Shirle Gottlieb (Gazette Newspapers,, Hoyt Hilsman (Back Stage, The Huffington Post), Mayank Keshaviah (L.A. Weekly), Amy Lyons (Back Stage, L.A. Weekly), Dany Margolies (Back Stage), Terry Morgan (Variety), Steven Leigh Morris (L.A. Weekly), David C. Nichols (L.A. Times, Back Stage), Sharon Perlmutter (, Melinda Schupmann (Back Stage,, Madeleine Shaner (Park La Brea News/Beverly Press, Back Stage), Les Spindle (Back Stage), Bob Verini (Variety), and Neal Weaver (Back Stage).  Joining for 2012 is Pauline Adamek (L.A. Weekly).

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David Elzer Marketing and Public Relations
Phone: 818/508-1754
Cell: 818/516-7931


Laguna Playhouse Announces Ellen Richard as its Interim Executive Director

May 3, 2016…Laguna Beach, Calif…Laguna Playhouse Board of Directors announced today that, later this month, Ellen Richard will be joining Laguna Playhouse as its Interim Executive Director. The Playhouse announced late last year that it was undertaking a national search guided by Arts Consulting Group (ACG) for an Executive Director to succeed Karen Wood who had held this position for the past eight years.

Commenting on the appointment Joe Hanauer and Paul Singarella, Co-Chairmens of the Board of Directors, said “In the midst of our search we encountered this wonderful opportunity to engage Ellen while we continue to seek appropriate long-term leadership. To have found someone with the extraordinary qualifications that Ellen has is thrilling. She is the recipient of six Tony Awards as producer at New York’s Roundabout Theatre Company where she was Managing Director. Ellen also has strong successes in supervising the construction of theatres in New York and also in San Francisco at the American Conservatory Theater, a rare and valuable skill set considering the contemplated major remodel and expansion of the Laguna Playhouse.” Laguna Playhouse Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham adds, “We are pleased and proud to have Ellen Richard, truly a rock-star in our field, join us as our interim Executive Director who will help guide the Playhouse during this transition.” Comments Ellen Richard, “I have quickly grown fond of Laguna Beach and the Playhouse. I embrace this extraordinary opportunity to join one of the country’s top regional theatres at this time in its remarkable 95-year history. I look forward to helping the Playhouse and working with their incredible Board of Trustees and Ann E. Wareham.”


Ellen Richard served as Executive Director of the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco from 2010 through 2015.  During her tenure, Ms. Richard negotiated a deal to buy the Strand Theater in tech corridor of Mid-Market San Francisco, helped raise the $34,000 million to renovate and operate it and steered the design and construction for the project which opened in May of 2015. The complex featured two performance spaces and has won multiple awards.  She opened the 50 seat Costume Shop Theater, a 49-seat “black box” venue used for the company’s Master of Fine Arts students and for shows by other local companies.  Ms. Richard was also credited with expanding the company’s educational efforts, coming up with programs like the San Francisco Semester, which brings undergraduate acting students to ACT from around the world, and Stage Coach, a community theater mobile unit that reaches into diverse neighborhoods

She was also Executive Director of The Second Stage Theatre in New York City. During her tenure at Second Stage, which began in 2006 (through 2009), she was responsible for the purchase contract of the Helen Hayes Theatre, growth in subscription income of 48 percent, and growth in individual giving of 75 percent, as well as conceptualization of a highly successful gala format and “Second Generation,” a giving program through which donors enable deserving New York City youth to experience live theater. Under Ms. Richard’s leadership, Second Stage provided the initial home for the Broadway productions Everyday Rapture, Next to Normal, and The Little Dog Laughed.

From 1983 to 2005, Ms. Richard enjoyed a rich and varied career with Roundabout Theatre Company. The Roundabout that Ms. Richard joined was a small nonprofit theater company in bankruptcy. By the time she departed as Managing Director, Roundabout had become one of the country’s largest and most successful theater companies of its kind, with net assets in excess of $67 million dollars. Ms. Richard is the recipient of six Tony Awards as producer, for Roundabout productions of Cabaret (1998), A View from the Bridge (1998), Side Man (1999), Nine (2003), Assassins (2004), and Glengarry Glen Ross (2005). As producer of more than 125 shows at Roundabout, she had direct supervision of all management and marketing functions. She created Roundabout’s “Theatre-PLUS” programs, which include singles, teachers, family, gay and lesbian, wine tasting, and the 7 p.m. “Early Curtain” series, all of which grew to represent more than 10 percent of Roundabout’s 40,000 subscribers.

As director of design and construction at Roundabout, Ms. Richard was responsible for more than $50 million of theater construction for 11 projects. She conceptualized the three permanent Roundabout stages — The Broadway venues of Studio 54 and the American Airlines Theatre, and the Off-Broadway venue The Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre She directed the location search for Cabaret and oversaw the creation of the production’s environmental Kit Kat Klub. Prior to her tenure at Roundabout, Ms. Richard served as business manager of Westport Country Playhouse, theater manager for Stamford Center for the Arts, and business manager for Atlas Scenic Studio. She began her career working as a stagehand, sound designer, and scenic artist assistant.