The year's outstanding stage artists

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.  

A look at the men and women - actors, directors, designers - whose work enhanced the 62 productions I reviewed this year.

"Also noteworthy" listings are in order of having been seen.


Hands down, the most accomplished directing was Eric Hill's work on Berkshire Theatre Group's "A Chorus Line." Tight, focused, resonant, clear.

Honorable mentions (in order of being seen) - Stephen Rothman, "Parasite Drag" at Shakespeare & Company, and Joe Brancato for "Tryst" at TheaterWorks in Hartford, Conn.

Also noteworthy - Jim Charles, "The Pirates of Penzance" (C-R Productions); Tazewell Thompson, "Red" (TheaterWorks); Nicole Ricciardi, "Cassandra Speaks" (Shakespeare & Company); Tony Simotes, "The Tale of the Allergist's Wife" (Shakespeare & Company); Michael Greif, "Far From Heaven" (Williamstown Theatre Festival); Gordon Edelstein, "Satchmo at the Waldorf" (Shakespeare & Company); Laura Margolis, "Tomorrow in the Battle" (Stageworks/Hudson); Ron Bashford, "Pride@Prejudice" (Capital Repertory Theatre/Chester Theatre Company); Tony Rivera, "In the Heights" (C-R Productions); Darko Tresnjak, "A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder" (Hartford Stage).


Topping the field is Jason Asprey's driving, galvanic performance as Ronnie, a loose cannon with unfinished business with his estranged brother and their dead parents, in "Parasite Drag" at Shakespeare & Company.

Honorable mention - Bradley Cooper's title-role performance in "The Elephant Man" at Williamstown Theatre Festival's Nikos Stage. Beautifully nuanced and shaped.

Also noteworthy - Jonathan Epstein, "Red" (TheaterWorks); Malcolm Ingram, "The Tale of the Allergist's Wife" (Shakespeare & Company); Noah Racey, "A Chorus Line" (BTG); Eddie Gutierrez, "A Chorus Line" (BTG); Josh Aaron McCabe, "Parasite Drag" (Shakespeare & Company); Chad Hoeppner, "Animals Out of Paper" (Chester Theatre Company); Vandit Bhatt, "Animals Out of Paper" (Chester Theatre Company); Brooks Ashmanskas, "Last of the Red Hot Lovers" (WTF); Brandon Victor Dixon, "Far From Heaven" (WTF); Russell Posner, "A Thousand Clowns" (BTG); Sean Cullen, "A Month in the Country" (WTF); Jack Gilpin, "Edith" (BTG); Walter Hudson, "Edith" (BTG); Shaun Rice, "The Great American Trailer Park Musical" (The Theater Barn); John Douglas Thompson, "Satchmo at the Waldorf" (Shakespeare & Company); Timothy Deenihan, "Tomorrow in the Battle" (Stageworks/Hudson); Mark Shanahan, "Tryst" (TheaterWorks); Ken Barett, "A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder" (Hartford Stage); Jefferson Mays, "A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder" (Hartford Stage); David Christopher Wells, "Venus in Fur" (TheaterWorks).


In a year loaded with truly fearless performances by women, the standout is Andrea Maulella as Adelaide Pinchin, an emotionally fragile spinster seamstress who becomes the latest mark for a brutally narcissistic con man, in "Tryst" at TheaterWorks. Maulella held nothing back in a performance that was so tellingly observed. The result was haunting.

Honorable mention - Tod Randolph showed yet again why she is one of the most gifted actresses around with her portrayal of journalist Dorothy Thompson in "Cassandra Speaks" at Shakespeare & Company. Warm, witty, assertive, vulnerable - Randolph got it all, and then some.

Also noteworthy - Annette Miller, "The Tale of the Allergist's Wife" (Shakespeare & Company); Jan Neuberger, "The Tale of the Allergist's Wife" (Shakespeare & Company); Joanna Glushak, "Fiddler on the Roof" (Barrington Stage Company); Nillie Bassman, "A Chorus Line" (BTG); Dana Winkle, "A Chorus Line" (BTG); Elizabeth Aspenlieder, "Parasite Drag" and "The 39 Steps" (Shakespeare & Company); Kate Abbruzzese, "Parasite Drag" (Shakespeare & Company); Susie Essman, "Last of the Red Hot Lovers" (WTF); Kelli O'Hara, "Far From Heraven" (WTF); Lizbeth Mackay, "All My Sons" (BSC); Rebecca Brooksher, "All My Sons" (BSC); Elisabeth Waterston, "A Month in the Country" (WTF); Jayne Atkinson, "Edith" (BTG); Tina Benko, "Waddabloodclot!!!" (WTF); Danielle Skraastad, "Tomorrow in the Battle" (Stageworks/Hudson); Celia Schaefer, "Tomorrow in the Battle" (Stageworks/Hudson); Debra Jo Rupp, "Dr. Ruth, All the Way" (BSC); Aubrey Savarino, "Pride@Prejudice" (Capital Repertory Theatre/Chester Theatre Company); Liv Rooth, "Venus in Fur" (TheaterWorks).


Gerry McIntyre, "A Chorus Line" (BTG).

Honorable mention - Amanda Trusty, "In the Heights" (C-R Productions)

Music directors

Steven Freeman, "A Chorus Line" (BTG).

Honorable mention - Ryan Edward Wise, "In the Heights" (C-R Productions).

Article Continues After These Ads

Also noteworthy - Miles Mandwelle, "The Pirates of Penzance" (C-R Productions); Lawrence Yurman, "Far From Heaven" (WTF); Paul Staroba, "A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder" (Hartford Stage)



Michael Chybowski, "A Chorus Line" (BTG).

Honorable mention - Martin E. Vreeland, "Tryst" (TheaterWorks).

Also noteworthy - Matthew Adelson, "Satchmo at the Waldorf" (Shakespeare & Company); Deena Pewtherer, "Tomorrow in the Battle" (Stageworks/Hudson); Robert Thompson, "Hedda Gabler" (Hartford Stage); Philip Rosenberg, "A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder" (Hartford Stage); John Lassiter, "Venus in Fur" (TheaterWorks).


Alexander Dodge, "A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder" (Hartford Stage)

Honorable mention - Alexander Dodge, "Last of the Red Hot Lovers" (WTF).

Also noteworthy - Patrick Brennan, "The Learned Ladies," "Cassandra Speaks," "The Tale of the Allergist's Wife," "Parasite Drag" (Shakespeare & Company); Matthew J. Fick, "The Pirates of Penzance" (C-R Productions); Gary English, "A Chorus Line" (BTG); Brian Prather, "The North Pool" (BSC); Randall Parsons, "Tomorrow in the Battle" (Stageworks/Hudson); Michael Schweikardt, "Tryst" (TheaterWorks); Jason Sherwod, "In the Heights" (CR Productions); Eugene Lee, "Hedda Gabler" (Hartford Stage).


Linda Cho, "A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder" (Hartford Stage).

Honorable mention - David Murin, "A Chorus Line" (BTG).

Also noteworthy - Govane Lohbauer, "The Learned Ladies" (Shakespeare & Company); Karin Mason, "The Pirates of Penzance:" (C-R Productions); Kara D. Midlam, "Cassandra Speaks" (Shakespeare & Company); Esther Van Eek, "The Tale of the Allergist's Wife" (Shakespeare & Company); Catherine Zuber, "Far From Heaven" (WTF); Thomas Charles Legally and Valejo Vietti, "Tryst" (TheaterWorks) Sound John Gromada, "Satchmo at the Waldorf" (Shakespeare & Company) Honorable mention - Scott Killian, "The Tempest" (Shakespeare & Company) Also noteworthy - Michael Pfeiffer, "Cassandra Speaks" (Shakespeare & Company); Joe Cerqua, "Parasite Drag" (Shakespeare & Company).

Original music

Joe Cerqua - "Parasite Drag" (Shakespeare & Company)

Honorable mention - Scott Killian, "The Tempest" (Shakepeare & Company)

Special mentions

Peter Nigrini, projection design, "Far From Heaven" (WTF)

Aaron Rhyne, projection design, "A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder" (Hartford Stage)


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions