Awards and Honors
The Elliot Norton Awards are presented annually by the Boston Critics Association to recognize achievement in the Greater Boston theatre community. The Norton Awards include more than a dozen awards to honor outstanding productions, performers, directors and designers in Boston.
2010SpeakEasy stage was nominated for eight Elliot Norton Awards this year and won five. Thank you to everyone who helped make this season great!
- Outstanding Musical Production - “Adding Machine: A Musical"
- Oustanding Production by a Midsize Company - “The Savannah Disputation"
- Outstanding Director, Midsize Company - Paul Melone, “Adding Machine: A Musical”
- Outstanding Design, Midsize, Small or Fringe Company - “Adding Machine: A Musical,” Susan Zeeman Rogers (set design), Gail Astrid Buckley (costume design), Jeff Adelberg (lighting design), Aaron Mack (sound design)
- Outstanding Ensemble - “The Savannah Disputation"
The Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) Awards were founded by Beverly Creasey of the Journal Newspapers and Larry Stark of TheaterMirror in 1997. The IRNE Awards recognize the extraordinary wealth of talent in the Boston theatre community
SpeakEasy was nominated for fourteen Irne Awards this year, including Best Director of a Play and Best Director of a Musical (Paul Daigneault). SpeakEasy took home two Irne Awards this year. Congratulations to all on a wonderful season!!!
- Best Actress (Play) - Marianna Bassham in "Reckless" and "Blackbird"
- Best Supporting Actor (Musical) - Timothy John Smith in "Jerry Springer The Opera"
SpeakEasy Stage tied the Huntington Theatre Company for top honors, each taking home four trophies, when the 27th annual Elliot Norton Awards were handed out on Monday night, May 11. Here is a list of the SpeakEasy winners.
- Outstanding Director, Midsize Company - Scott Edmiston for The History Boys and The Light in the Piazza; also for directing Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Lyric Stage)
- Outstanding Actress, Small/Midsize Company - Marianna Bassham, Blackbird
- Outstanding Ensemble - The Seafarer
- Outstanding Design, Small/Midsize Company - Janie E. Howland for The History Boys (set); also for designing the set for Eurydice (New Rep)
Congratulations to all the winners and nominees!
- Boston Theatre Hero Award presented by StageSource
- Outstanding Director Midsize Company, Paul Daigneault - Parade, Some Men, and Zanna, Don't!
- Outstanding Actor, Maurice Parent - Some Men
- Outstanding Musical Production - Caroline or Change
- Outstanding Production, Midsize Company - Five By Tenn
- Outstanding Director, Midsize Company - Scott Edmiston for Five by Tenn
- Outstanding Musical Production - Bat Boy: The Musical
- Outstanding Director, Local Fringe Company - Paul Daigneault for Bat Boy: The Musical and Passion
- Outstanding Actress, Small Company - Laura Latreille, The Shape of Things
- Outstanding Musical Performance - Bridget Beirne, Violet
- Outstanding Production by a Local Fringe Company - suburbia
- Outstanding Production by a Local Fringe Company - Jeffrey
Additional Accolades for SpeakEasy
- Resident Theatre Company of the Boston Center for the Arts 1998-2008.
- Named "Boston's Best Fringe Theatre" by the Improper Bostonian, 2004 & 2005.
2008 was a fantastic year for SpeakEasy Stage, as recognized by many of the local reviewers in their year-end articles.
Here is a quick summary of just some of what critics had to say about SpeakEasy’s 2008 shows:
Boston Globe – Louise Kennedy
I'm also grateful to Scott Edmiston and SpeakEasy Stage for mounting a production of "The Light in the Piazza" that put a musical I had previously despised in the best possible light. Edmiston and SpeakEasy get another helping of gratitude for "The History Boys," which in their hands was a smart and touching piece of work. ...
Oh, but let's not end on a sad note. Instead, and because Top 10 lists tend to skew toward the Serious and Significant, here's a joyous whoop to some shows that gave me what we all may need most in a year like 2008: a good, solid laugh. To wit, in no particular order: "The Little Dog Laughed" at SpeakEasy Stage...
Boston Phoenix – Carolyn Clay
SpeakEasy does it
SpeakEasy Stage Company has come a long way since its low-budget beginnings, branching into musicals and scoring area premieres of decorated imports — which this season included Alan Bennett's Tony-winning THE HISTORY BOYS and Conor McPherson's Tony-nominated THE SEAFARER. Scott Edmiston was at the helm of an ace production of Bennett's grammar-school-set teachers' duel between knowledge for its own sake and teaching to the test. And jack-of-all-things-Celtic Carmel O'Reilly directed McPherson's booze-saturated, Dublin-set Christmas Eve poker game with the Devil.
Quincy Patriot Ledger – Iris Fanger
The sure-fire hit of 2008 was Speakeasy Stage’s mounting of the British play, “The History Boys,” last May at the Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. The show featured Trinity Rep actor, Bob Colonna, as the scruffy history master who stepped over the line, and a marvelous corps of young actors as his “boys.”
EdgeBoston – Robert Nesti
The History Boys
One of the happiest surprises in commercial theater in the past decade has been the success of this Alan Bennett’s play about life in a British public school. Against all expectations it was a smash in England, a sell-out in New York and in its Boston premiere one of the SpeakEasy Stage’s most successful productions, both commercially and artistically. Under the direction of Scott Edmiston, Bennett’s story of an eccentric professor’s affect on his young charges made engrossing theater - "Dead Poet’s Society" as imagined by Tom Stoppard. It also featured a number of terrific performances -- Bob Colonna as the unorthodox teacher, Karl Baker Olson as a lovesick student, Dan Whelton as the school’s lothario, and Paula Plum as the sole female on stage - a sharp-witted faculty member. Robert Nesti
The Light in the Piazza
It may have seemed foolhardy for the SpeakEasy Stage to attempt to stage this recent New York triumph that had toured Boston a year earlier. Yet their vest-pocket production (under the direction of Scott Edmiston) was a marvel of style and invention, fully serving its story of a mother relinquishing control over her daughter in Florence during the early 1950s. There’s a reason why she is so controlling, but it won’t be dealt with here. Craig Lucas’ smart book and Adam Guettel’s deeply romantic score bring to mind classic musicals of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. And Amelia Broome and Erica Spyres were wonders as the mother and daughter. Robert Nesti
Conor McPherson is one of the most intriguing playwrights working today. His plays often mix the supernatural into dark stories of redemption. Such is the case with this engrossing story of a man who comes face-to-face with the Devil on Christmas Eve and must contend with the Faustian bargain he made years before. A hit in London and New York, it was well-served by a recent production by the SpeakEasy Stage Company under the direction of Carmel O’Reilly. It featured what was one of the best ensembles on a Boston stage this year, with a stand-out performance by Larry Coen, who turns what easily could have been a cliché - the drunk hanger-on - into a fully realized three dimensional character. Robert Nesti
Bay Windows – Jules Becker
By contrast, another topnotch but fiscally sound company, SpeakEasy Stage Company, just completed one of its most challenging years ever. Terrence McNally’s Some Men had its moments, many of them thanks to stunning work from actors Diego Arciniegas and Will McGarrahan, chronicling recent gay American history. Douglas Carter Beame’s The Little Dog Laughed sharply skewered materialistic and self-centered Hollywood movers with virtuoso acting from Maureen Keiller as a bitchy agent. Still, the best of 2008 standouts were SpeakEasy’s wonderful, intimate take on The Light in the Piazza - directed with singular passion by Scott Edmiston - and the benchmark Boston premiere of Alan Bennett’s Tony winning The History Boys, also seamlessly staged by Edmiston, with one of the best Hub ensembles of the decade and a heartbreakingly moving turn by Karl Baker Olson as gay Jewish student Posner.
SpeakEasy Stage has the New England premiere of Paul Rudnick’s gay-themed Off-Broadway quartet The New Century. Look for Paula Plum as a striking Long Island Jewish mother and Kerry Dowling as an Illinois scrapbooker in the two best short plays. Look for nudity and no holes barred dialogue in this Rudnick foursome.
Note: a reworked version of Jules’ list also appears in the current issue of The Jewish Advocate which is not available online.
Hub Review – Thomas Garvey
Top 10 of 2008
8. Some Men (SpeakEasy Stage) - The print girls didn't "get" it, but Paul Daigneault's perceptive and visually stylish production of Terrence McNally's underrated play (above) was probably the best of the season from SpeakEasy, which was its usual reliable self this year (I gave it two more honorable mentions). After She Loves Me, Some Men probably featured the best local acting ensemble, too.
2009 Independent Reviewers of New England Awards
From top: History Boys Ensemble, Paul Daigneault, Amelia Broome, Scott Edmiston. Photos by Scott Sinclair.
SpeakEasy Stage was the big winner on Monday, April 6, 2009, taking home 11 awards at the annual gathering of the Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE).
For the first time in its 18 year history, the company swept both top prizes, winning Best Musical honors for THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA, and "Best Play" accolades for THE HISTORY BOYS.
THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA was the big winner for the night, earning a total of seven awards. In the acting categories, Amelia Broome and Erica Spyres won respectively for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress in a Musical. Director Scott Edmiston and Musical Director Jose Delgado were also recognized for their work, as was Lighting Designer Karen Perlow and Set Designer Susan Zeeman Rogers.
SpeakEasy's THE HISTORY BOYS also made a strong showing, garnering a total of three awards. Karl Baker Olson, who played the young gay studnet Posner, was doubly honored, first as Best Supporting Actor in a Play, and later with his castmates for Best Ensemble.
Benjamin Emerson also brought THE SEAFARER a nod, with his win for Best Sound Design.
Congratulations to all the winners and nominees.
We are proud to be working with such talented artists and to be part of such a vibrant theatre community.
Full list of SpeakEasy winners:
THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA
Best Director (Scott Edmiston)
Best Music Director (Jose Delgado)
Best Actress in a Musical (Amelia Broome)
Best Supporting Actress in a Musical (Erica Spyres)
Best Lighting Design (Karen Perlow)
Best Set Design (Susan Zeeman Rogers)
THE HISTORY BOYS
Best Supporting Actor (Karl Baker Olson)
Best Sound Design (Ben Emerson)