Artsies Nominations Announced for 2018-19 Season

The Richmond Theatre Critics Circle has announced the nominees for this year’s Artsies, the community’s recognition of excellence in Richmond-area theater. The event will take place at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 27, at Virginia Rep’s November Theatre. Tickets are $20 for orchestra seating and $25 for balcony seating. They will go on sale September 3 and can be purchased by calling the Virginia Rep box office at 804-282-2620. Get your tickets early – ticket prices go up by $5 on October 13.

The nominees are:

Best Musical

Grey Gardens, Richmond Triangle Players (RTP)

Once, Virginia Repertory Theatre (Virginia Rep)

Sondheim on Sondheim, RTP

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, TheatreLAB

The Wiz, Virginia Rep

Best Direction (Musical)

Kikau Alvaro, The Wiz

Debra Clinton, Grey Gardens

Deejay Gray, Sweeney Todd

Nathaniel Shaw, Once

Tom Width, Bright Star, Swift Creek Mill Theatre

Best Actor (Musical)

Paul Major, Gutenberg! The Musical!, Quill Theatre

Ken Allen Neely, Once

Alexander Sapp, Sweeney Todd

Cooper Sved, Girlfriend, RTP

Robert Throckmorton, Miss Gulch Returns, RTP


Best Actress (Musical)

Bianca Bryan, Sweeney Todd

Felicia Curry, Sister Act, Virginia Rep

Katherine Fried, Once

Desiree Roots, The Wiz

Susan Sanford, Grey Gardens

Best Supporting Actor (Musical)

Trevor Lindley Craft, Once

Dylan Jackson, The Wiz

Brandon LaReau, The Wiz

Matt Polson, Sweeney Todd

Matt Shofner, Sweeney Todd

Best Supporting Actress (Musical)

Kelsey Cordrey, Sister Act

Grey Garrett, Grey Gardens

Audra Honaker, Sweeney Todd

Jessi Johnson, The Wiz

Gwynne Wood, Sister Act


Best Musical Direction

Paul Deiss, Bright Star

JS Fauquet, Sweeney Todd

Starlet Knight, Lizzie the Musical, 5th Wall Theatre (5th Wall)

Anthony Smith, The Wiz

  1. Michael Zygo, Once

Best Choreography

Kikau Alvaro, The Wiz

Kikau Alvaro, Atlantis, Virginia Rep

Nicole Morris-Anastasi, Dance Nation, TheatreLAB

Nathaniel Shaw, Once

Megan Tatum, Bright Star

Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design (Musical)

Maura Lynch Cravey, Bright Star

Ruth Hedberg, Sweeney Todd

Ruth Hedberg, Grey Gardens

Jeanne Nugent, The Wiz

Alex Valentin, Lizzie

Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Design (Musical)

Paul Black, The Wiz

Erin Barclay, Lizzie

Joe Doran, Once

Michael Jarett, Sweeney Todd

BJ Wilkinson, Atlantis

Outstanding Achievement in Set Design (Musical)

William James Mahoney, Once

Kimberly V. Powers, The Wiz

Chris Raintree, Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Jason Sherwood, Atlantis

Tom Width, 1940s Radio Christmas Carol

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design (Musical)

Derek Dumais, Once

Derek Dumais, Forever Plaid, Virginia Rep

Joey Luck, Sweeney Todd

Joey Luck, Sondheim on Sondheim

Joey Luck, Lizzie

Best Play

Dance Nation, TheatreLAB

Gloria, Cadence Theatre in partnership with Virginia Rep (Cadence)

The Laramie Project, RTP

An Octoroon, TheatreLAB

Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England, RTP

Best Direction (Play)

Chelsey Burke, The Taming of the Shrew, Quill

Anna Senechal Johnson, Gloria

Tawnya Pettiford-Wates, An Octoroon

Carol Piersol, Pretty Fire, 5th Wall

Lucian Restivo, The Laramie Project

Best Actor (Play)

Jamar Jones, An Octoroon

Jamar Jones, Red Velvet, Quill

Michael Manocchio, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Virginia Rep

Matt Polson, Gloria

David Emerson Toney, Between Riverside and Crazy, Cadence

Scott Wichmann, Talk Radio, 5th Wall


Best Actress (Play)

Bianca Bryan, The Taming of the Shrew

Kimberly Jones Clark, Who’s Holiday, RTP

Eva DeVirgilis, In My Chair, Cadence

Katrinah Carol Lewis, A Doll’s House, TheatreLAB

Haliya Roberts, Pretty Fire

Best Supporting Actor (Play)

Jeff Clevenger, Broadway Bound, Virginia Rep

Cole Metz, An Octoroon

Jeremy V. Morris, Oedipus: A Gospel Myth, Firehouse

Stevie Rice, Red Velvet

Adam Turck, The Tempest, Quill

Best Supporting Actress (Play)

Rachel Dilliplane, Red Velvet

Anne Michelle Forbes, Gloria

Amber Marie Martinez, Dance Nation

Donna Marie Miller, The Game’s Afoot: Holmes for the Holidays, Virginia Rep

Jill Bari Steinberg, Broadway Bound


Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design (Play)

Nia Safarr Banks, An Octoroon

Maura Lynch Cravey, Savannah Sipping Society

Cora Delbridge, Red Velvet

Sue Griffin, The Game’s Afoot

Ruth Hedberg, A Doll’s House

Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Design (Play)

Andrew Bonniwell, Songs from Bedlam, Firehouse

Joe Doran, Count Dracula, Swift Creek Mill

Michael Jarett, The Laramie Project

Michael Jarett, Dance Nation

BJ Wilkinson, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Outstanding Achievement in Set Design (Play)

Vinnie Gonzalez, Oedipus: A Gospel Myth

Rich Mason, Gloria

Terrie Powers, Broadway Bound

Chris Raintree, Songs from Bedlam

Lucian Resitvo, The Laramie Project

TJ Spensieri, Talk Radio

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design (Play)

Ryan Dygert, Songs from Bedlam

Derek Dumais, The Game’s Afoot

Robbie Kinter, In My Chair

Joey Luck, Dance Nation

Roger Price, Talk Radio

Ernie McClintock Best Ensemble Acting

Dance Nation, TheatreLAB

Gloria, Cadence

Forever Plaid, Virginia Rep

The Laramie Project, RTP

Once, Virginia Rep

Promising Newcomer

Joel Ashur, Gloria

Lucy Caudle, Atlantis

Annella Kaine, The Laramie Project

Trinitee Pearson, An Octoroon and Dance Nation

Gwynne Wood, Sister Act

Best Original Work

Animal Control by Chandler Hubbard, Firehouse

In My Chair by Eva DeVirgilis, Cadence

Wrong Chopped by Dixon Cashwell and Levi Meerovich, Firehouse


This year marks the 12th year that the Richmond Theatre Critics Circle has sponsored the Richmond Theatre Critics Circle (RTCC) Awards, or “Artsies,” the community’s recognition of excellence in Richmond-area theater. The theme of this year’s event – “All the World’s a Stage” – highlights the freedom many professional theater artists have to travel between theater markets. Richmond’s theater community boasts remarkable talent for its size, and the Artsies event celebrates the skills and experience Richmond’s professional theater artists bring to their craft, wherever they were gained.

This year’s celebration will be hosted by two popular Richmond actors with years of noteworthy experience in different markets, Bianca Bryan and Jerold Solomon.

Bryan made an indelible impression on Richmond audiences from her first appearance here. Already sporting a long résumé of successful appearances in New York, she commuted to Richmond for her Artsy-nominated role in Barksdale Theatre’s 2008 production of “A Clean House.” Since then, she’s become a beloved regular on local stages, scoring an Artsy for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in Firehouse Theatre’s “Wings” during the 2017-18 season. She was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for her role in the Quill Theatre production of “Assassins” and Best Actress in a Play for her performance in TheatreLAB’s production of “Grounded” during the 2016-17 season. She was last seen this spring playing Mrs. Lovett in TheatreLAB’s production of “Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.”

Solomon had racked up numerous roles both in Richmond and on national tours before landing a spot in the cast of the Tony Award-winning 2008 Broadway revival of “South Pacific,” which ran until 2010. He returned to Richmond and won an Artsy for Best Actor in a Play for his role in Virginia Repertory Theatre’s (Virginia Rep) production of “The Whipping Man” during the 2014-15 season. Solomon also was nominated for the 2015-16 season Artsies in the categories of Best Actor in a Musical for his performance in Virginia Rep’s production of “Dreamgirls” and Best Actor in a Play for his role in “The Mountaintop,” produced by Cadence Theatre in partnership with Virginia Rep. Solomon currently appears on stage in the title role of the Virginia Rep production of “The Wiz.”

All proceeds from Artsies ticket sales support the Theatre Artist Fund of Greater Richmond.