by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 09:44 AM | Permalink
Nineteen all-volunteer community theaters honored
Last weekend a dozen Cincinnati-area community theaters
competed in the annual Regional OCTA Fest, each presenting 30-minute
excerpts of shows that had been produced sometime during the 2011-2012
season. Performances were presented on Thursday, Friday and Saturday;
the final day was capped by the annual Orchid Awards recognition program
on Saturday evening, where more than 60 productions received awards.
The excerpt competition, with performances evaluated by
three adjudicators from elsewhere in Ohio, results in three productions
being selected to go to the statewide event on Labor Day weekend.
Selected this year were Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, presented by the Drama Workshop; the musical Avenue Q, presented by Showbiz Players; and the musical Rent,
presented by Footlighters, Inc. An alternate is selected, too, in the
event that some complication prevents one of the chosen productions from
traveling to the state competition. The 2012 alternate is An Inspector Calls, presented by The Village Players.
Nineteen Cincinnati community theaters — all-volunteer
groups that produce shows throughout the region — were honored with
Orchid Awards at Saturday’s banquet, with recognition for individuals as
well as elements of productions. Footlighters, which presents its shows
at the Stained Glass Theater in Newport, had the show with the most
awards: Rent picked up 26, including one for “overall performance
quality.” Coming in second with 20 awards was Greater Hamilton
Community Theater’s production of the musical Little Women. Footlighters, always a strong contender, also took third place (16 awards) with a production of the musical The Light in the Piazza. Rounding out the top 10 award-winning productions were Cole (15 awards; Mariemont Players); The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (13, Greater Hamilton Community Theater); Titanic (12, Cincinnati Music Theatre); Over the River and Through the Woods (12, Mariemont Players); Same Time Next Year (12, Mariemont Players); Becky’s New Car (12, Middletown Lyric Theatre); and The Crucible (12, The Drama Workshop).
A final note: Mariemont Players, which produces six shows
annually (most groups present three or four, at most) had the strongest
overall showing, picking up a total of 68 Orchid recognitions.