In my Sept. 1, 2010, column I recalled a plea I had made earlier in the year to create “a stronger, singular program,” and I described how this combined effort would lead to “a program with a promising future while combining the best features of each program under the Acclaim banner.” Well, as they say, not so fast.
The Acclaim Awards merged both the Cincinnati Enquirer's program of the same name and CityBeat's Cincinnati Entertainment Awards. The merger has had a rough life and after some turmoil changes are in the works.
During a week when we count our blessings, I want to mention several things I'm grateful for, starting with Mrs. Mary Price, a high school English teacher who pulled me out of a study hall in 1963 and urged me to audition for a play she was directing. I've been in love with theater ever since. I'm grateful to CityBeat for supporting my support for local theater, and I'm grateful to all the fine theaters in Greater Cincinnati that provide a remarkable variety of choice.
In August it was announced that CityBeat's longtime Cincinnati Entertainment Awards (CEAs) for theater would join forces with the Acclaims, another local theater recognition program. Since the season began last month, I have worked closely with Acclaims volunteers, including Cincinnati Enquirer theater critic and Acclaims founder Jackie Demaline, to evolve and improve the program in several important ways.
Over the past week, there's been a lot of theater news to report. The 14th and final Cincinnati Entertainment Awards for Theater were held Aug. 29, where it was confirmed that the CEAs would join forces with the Acclaim Awards for the upcoming theater season. Earlier in the week, Ed Stern announced his departure from Playhouse in the Park following the 2011-12 season.
The Cincinnati Entertainment Awards (CEAs) were established by CityBeat in 1996, using theater critics from all the local media to determine nominees. The Acclaim Awards were created in 2006 and are largely supported by The Cincinnati Enquirer. Our theater scene is excellent for a city this size, but it’s worth asking if competing awards enhance what we have or duplicate recognition.