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Red carpet gala celebrates area theater productions

Actors in the Brainerd lakes area were awarded for their theatrical work in 2019 during annual Theatre and Actors Guild Red-Carpet Gala hosted at Cragun's resort this year.

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Kate Davis (left), Nancy Waller and Steph White pose during Saturday's third annual Theatre and Actors Guild Red-Carpet Gala at Cragun’s resort in the lakeside dining room. Submitted Photo

Almost 250 people, dressed in their finest evening wear, attended the third annual Theatre and Actors Guild Red-Carpet Gala Saturday, Jan. 25, at Cragun’s resort in the lakeside dining room.

Guild Founder and President Kevin Yeager likened the event to the lakes area’s very own version of the Tony Awards.

“If you have even seen a theatrical production at Stage North Theatre Company, Brainerd Community Theatre at CLC (Central Lakes College), Pequot Lakes Community Theatre, Lamplighters Community Theatre or Great River Arts in Little Falls it is an absolute certainty that you were entertained by several, if not all, Theatre and Actors Guild members,” Yeager stated in a news release.

The Guild consists of roughly 330 individual members of actors, performers, directors, designers, choreographers and producers in the Brainerd lakes area. As described by Yeager, the Guild “is a stand-alone independent society representing the greater theatre family.”

Throughout the year, the Guild sends anonymous judges known as the “Guild Panel” to watch, listen and enjoy each and every community theater production and then score the productions in different categories. These categories include Best Male or Female in a leading role, Best Set Design, Best Lighting, Best Musical and more. The panel reviews the results of their scoring to eventually produce winners in the categories.

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The award given is the Dennis Lamberson Award for Excellence in Theatre or “Lambie,” named in honor of the late teacher/director who produced theatre at CLC from 1988 until his death in 2013.

The awards were just one part of the event’s happenings. The night began with a music-filled social hour with a cash bar, followed by a plated dinner, awards ceremony and finally music and dancing. Yeager described the Gala as “small enough that the setting feels intimate and encourages socializing, but large enough that the space can also be nicely appointed with decorations, a real red carpet and photo backdrop.

“The community theater family is a wonderfully talented and unique group of people. We are very proud to offer the opportunity to gather all of these people in one place to enjoy each other’s company.”

The 2019 winners

  • Best Stage Lighting in a Comedy: Brainerd Community Theatre, Ben Kent, “Boeing, Boeing.”

  • Best Stage Lighting in a Drama: BCT, Heidi Eckwall, “All My Sons.”

  • Best Stage Lighting in a Musical: GLAPA, River Curtis/ Kevin Jensen, “The Little Mermaid.”

  • Best Costuming in a Comedy: BCT, Dawn Krautbauer, “Boeing, Boeing.”

  • Best Costuming in a Drama: Stage North Theatre Company, Deb Binda, “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”

  • Best Costuming in a Musical: GLAPA, Sharon Hartley, “The Little Mermaid.”

  • Best Scenic Design in a Comedy: BCT, Tim Leagjeld, “Boeing, Boeing.”

  • Best Scenic Design in a Drama: BCT, Tim Leagjeld, “All My Sons.”

  • Best Scenic Design in a Musical: BCT, Tim Leagjeld, “Mamma Mia.”

  • Best Choreography in a Musical: GLAPA, Amy Borash, “The Little Mermaid.”

  • Best Supporting Male actor in a Comedy: Aaron Trompeter, Duane Wilson, Great River Arts, “Harvey.”

  • Best Supporting Female actor in a Comedy: Jessica Sherer as Helsa Wenzel, GRA, “Musical Comedy Murders of 1940.”

  • Best Supporting Male actor in a Drama: Scott Lucas as Col. Nathan Jesup, BCT, “A Few Good Men.”

  • Best Supporting Female actor in a Drama: Nitasha Karst as Pauline, Stage North, “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”

  • Best Supporting Male performer in a Musical: Nolan Reynolds as Scuttle, GLAPA, “The Little Mermaid.”

  • Best Supporting Female performer in a Musical: Rachael Kline as Sebastian, GLAPA, “The Little Mermaid.”

  • Best Leading Male actor in a Drama: Nick Kory as Lt. Daniel Kaffee, BCT, “A Few Good Men.”

  • Best Leading Female actor in a Drama: Rebecca Timmins as Kate Keller, BCT, “All My Sons.”

  • Best Leading Male actor in a Comedy: Patrick Spradlin as Willie Clark, BCT, “Sunshine Boys.”

  • Best Leading Female actor in a Comedy: Bri Keran, BCT, “The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare Abridged.”

  • Best Leading Male Performer in a Musical: Ben Gordon as Gomez Addams, GLAPA, “The Addams Family.”

  • Best Leading Female performer in a Musical: Sylvia Borash as Ariel, GLAPA, “The Little Mermaid.”

  • Best Comedy of 2019: BTC, “The Sunshine Boys.”

  • Best Musical of 2019: GLAPA, “The Little Mermaid.”

  • Best Drama of 2019:BTC, “All My Sons.”

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