The fourth annual Berkshire Theatre Critics Awards (aka The Berkies) were handed out on a chilly Monday evening, November 11, 2019, at Zion Lutheran Church in Pittsfield, MA. Eligible for nomination were 105 productions from the past year, presented at more than three dozen venues in Western Massachusetts, New York, Vermont and Connecticut, all within a fifty-mile radius of the borders of Berkshire County.
Catskill’s intimate Bridge Street Theatre had the honor of being nominated in two categories – Outstanding Solo Performance (Steven Patterson for SHYLOCK) and Outstanding Lighting Design of a Musical or Play (John Sowle for THE LETTERS). And while BST ultimately wasn’t able to garner enough votes to take home the prize in either category, the fact that it managed to break into the final nominations in the first place is little short of miraculous, given the small percentage of member critics who actually attended performances at the theatre. Not only that, but when the critics’ “Nodinations”, a sort of semi-final nomination round, were announced at the ceremony, Bridge Street Theatre wound up being more than well-represented. That this scrappy little space is now contending with some of the region’s behemoths, along with smaller theatres a bit more in its weight class, is a tribute both to the outstanding work BST is creating and to the support it has received from the Catskill community and audiences all over the region.
David Zellnik’s THE LETTERS (Lighting by John Sowle)
Bridge Street Theatre’s “Nods” were as follows:
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play: Molly Parker Myers in THE MOORS; Lori Evans in BETTER
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play: Eric Fleising in BETTER
Outstanding Scenic Design of a Play or Musical: John Sowle for THE LETTERS and THE MOORS
Outstanding Solo Performance: Roxanne Fay for THRICE TO MINE (The Berkie went to Tara Franklin in Chester Theatre Company’s production of ON THE EXHALE)
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical: Molly Parker Myers for THE SHAGGS
Outstanding Lighting Design of a Musical or Play: John Sowle for BETTER (The Berkie went to Sherice Mojgani for Barrington Stage Company’s production of INTO THE WOODS)
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical: Steven Patterson for THE SHAGGS
Outstanding Direction of a Play: John Sowle for THE LETTERS
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play: Christopher Joel Onken for THE LETTERS
Outstanding New Play: BETTER by Michelle Carter
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play: Montana Lampert Hoover in BETTER
Outstanding Production of a Play: THE LETTERS
Bridge Street’s Artistic and Producing Director John Sowle also saved the evening on two separate occasions when the laptop controlling the projections during the Awards Ceremony malfunctioned. John jumped up out of his seat, ran onstage, and got everything back on track.
Congratulations to all the winners and particularly to BST’s compatriots at Chester Theatre and the Ancram Opera House! Great work is happening in little spaces all over this area. Get out and support LIVE THEATRE – there’s literally nothing else like it!