Berkshire Theatre Group, Barrington Stage and Mac-Haydn Theatre take top honors at critics' Berkshire Theatre Awards

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Theatre Group, Barrington Stage Company and Mac-Haydn Theatre walked away with top honors Monday evening at the Berkshire Theatre Critics Association's second annual Berkshire Theatre Awards.

BTG's production of David Auburn's "Lost Lake" was named Best Play, and BSC's production of "Company" and Mac-Haydn's production of "Hello, Dolly!" tied for Best Musical honors.

The awards were presented at BSC's St. Germain Stage. BTCA board president J. Peter Bergman and board member Macey Levin hosted the ceremonies.

Berkshire Theatre Group captured both of the outstanding direction awards, with Eric Hill winning for his production of "Edward Albee's At Home at the Zoo" and James Barry for his direction of the musical "Million Dollar Quartet."

David Adkins and Lynette R. Freeman won awards for outstanding performance by a leading actor and actress in a play for their respective performances in BTG's productions of "Edward Albee's At Home at the Zoo" and "Lost Lake."

Emily Kron gained the award for outstanding performance by a leading actress in a musical for her portrayal of Mrs. Lovett in "Sweeney Todd" at the Mac-Haydn in Chatham, N.Y. Darnell Abraham's performance as Coalhouse Walker in BSC's "Ragtime" earned him the award for outstanding performance by a leading actor in a musical.

Joel Ripka took home the award for outstanding solo performance in Chester Theatre Company's production of Duncan Macmillan's "Every Brilliant Thing," which also was honored as outstanding new play. The Oldcastle Theatre Company production of "Shipwrecked!..." won for outstanding ensemble performance for actors John Hadden, David Joseph and Carla Woods.

The Larry Murray Award for Community Outreach and Support through Theater went to Kristen van Ginhoven and WAM Theatre for their innovative double philanthropic mission through which they donate a portion of the box office proceeds of every major production to a non-profit organization that benefits women and girls. Since its founding in 2010, WAM Theatre has donated more than $41,500 to thirteen nonprofit organizations.

In addition to the awards, critics Charles Guiliano and Gail M. Burns gave a special tribute to Berkshire Theatre Association founder, the late Larry Murray, who passed away in March of this year.

Initiated last year, the Berkshire Theatre Awards are designed to "promote and honor the excellence and diversity of theatrical productions in the greater Berkshire region — defined as being within Berkshire County, and 50 miles in any direction from the County borders," according to a news release. Productions must have opened between Oct. 1, 2016 and Oct. 15, 2017.

BTCA was founded informally in August 2016 by theater critic Larry Murray of and formally incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization on April 24 of this year.

In addition to Bergman and Levin, board members are Robert Bruyr (secretary), Ed Sedarbaum (treasurer), Gail M. Burns, Gloria Miller, Robert Sugarman and Sally Sugarman


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