Here Are the Winners of the 2022 Cleveland Critics Circle Theater Awards

Best actor, best director, best musical and more

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click to enlarge Something Rotten at the Beck Center - Steven Wagner Photography
Steven Wagner Photography
Something Rotten at the Beck Center

Each year, the Cleveland Critics Circle honors outstanding local productions as well as select performers, directors, designers, and playwrights. Eligible plays include those staged by Cleveland-area professional theaters during the 2022 calendar year.

For more than 50 years, the CCC has provided support and recognition for professional theaters in our community and for the talented individuals who create and stage their productions.

CCC members are local theater critics and voting members for the 2022 awards included Roy Berko (Broadwayworld.com, CoolCleveland.com, Theatre Criticism, www.royberko.info), Kerry Clawson (Akron Beacon Journal), Howard Gollop (Chronicle-Telegram, Sheri Gross (Cleveland Jewish News, The Lorain Journal, The News Herald), Mark Horning (WIX blog), Christine Howey (Cleveland Scene), Laura Kennelly (CoolCleveland).

THE ENVELOPES, PLEASE!
(Honorable Mention designees are listed in alphabetical order.)

Best Musical Production
SOMETHING ROTTEN, BECK CENTER

HONORABLE MENTION
LIZZIE, BALDWIN WALLACE UNIVERSITY/BECK CENTER
WEST SIDE STORY, PORTHOUSE

Best Non-Musical Production
DESCRIBE THE NIGHT, ENSEMBLE

HONORABLE MENTION
THE AGITATORS, RUBBER CITY THEATRE
THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME, BECK CENTER
INSURRECTION: HOLDING HISTORY, CONVERGENCE-CONTINUUM

Best Actor – Musical
MATTHEW WRIGHT, SOMETHING ROTTEN, BECK CENTER

HONORABLE MENTION
ERIC FANCHER, SOMETHING ROTTEN, BECK CENTER
ZACH PALUMBO, THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL, BLANK CANVAS

Best Actor – Non-Musical
DAVID PEACOCK, THE WEIR, NONE TOO FRAGILE

HONORABLE MENTION
SCOTT ESPOSITO, BUYER & CELLAR, BECK CENTER
JOE PINE, DESCRIBE THE NIGHT, ENSEMBLE

Best Actress – Musical
ALEXA LOPEZ, WEST SIDE STORY, PORTHOUSE

HONORABLE MENTION
THERESA KLOOS, SOMETHING ROTTEN, BECK CENTER
KRIS LYONS, LIZZIE, BALDWIN WALLACE UNIVERSITY/BECK CENTER
MAYA NIHOLSON, CINDERELLA, OHIO SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL

Best Actress – Non-Musical
AMIEE COLLIER, HURRICANE DIANE, DOBAMA

HONORABLE MENTION
JESS HUGHES, THE AGITATORS, RUBBER CITY THEATRE
LAURA PERROTTA, DESCRIBE THE NIGHT, ENSEMBLE THEATRE

Rising Stars
Male
MAURICE KIMBALL IV, THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT- TIME, BECK CENTER
Female
JORDYN FREETAGE, THE LAND OF OZ, DOBAMA

Best Director – Musical
PAT CIAMACCO, THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL, BLANK CANVAS

HONORABLE MENTION
JOANNA MAY CULLINAN, SCHOOL OF ROCK, CAIN PARK
TERRI KENT, WEST SIDE STORY, PORTHOUSE

Best Director – Non-Musical
SEAN DERRY, THE WEIR, NONE TOO FRAGILE

HONORABLE MENTION
CELESTE COSENTINO, DESCRIBE THE NIGHT, ENSEMBLE
WILLIAM ROUDEBUSH, THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT- TIME, BECK CENTER

Best Choreographer
MARTIN CÉSPEDES, WEST SIDE STORY, PORTHOUSE

HONORABLE MENTION
LIZ BAUMGARTNER, THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL, BLANK CANVAS

Best Musical Direction
MATHEW WEBB, LIZZIE, BALDWIN WALLACE UNIVERSITY/BECK CENTER

HONORABLE MENTION
LARRY GOODPASTER, SOMETHING ROTTEN, BECK CENTER
BRADLEY WYNER, ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS, BLANK CANVAS

Best Scenic Design
NOLAN O’DELL, WEST SIDE STORY, PORTHOUSE

HONORABLE MENTION
EFREN DELGADILLO, ROMEO & JULIET, GREAT LAKES THEATER
YU SHIBAGAKI, THE GREAT LEAP, CLEVELAND PLAY HOUSE

Best Lighting Design
JEREMY PAUL, THE THIN PLACE, DOBAMA

HONORABLE MENTION
ANDREW MCDANIELS, THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT- TIME, BECK CENTER

Best Projection Design
PERREN HEDDERSON, THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL, BLANK CANVAS

HONORABLE MENTION
NEIL SUDHAKARAN, ANGRY FAGS, CONVERGENCE-CONTINUUM

Best Costume Design
TESIA DUGAN BENSON, THE LAND OF OZ, DOBAMA

HONORABLE MENTION
JENNIVER SPARANO, THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL, BLANK CANVAS
CHARLOTTE M. YETMAN, LIZZIE, BALDWIN WALLACE UNIVERSITY/BECK CENTER

Best Sound Design
ANGIE HAYES, THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME, BECK CENTER

HONORABLE MENTION
CURTIS CRAIG, THE THREE MUSKETEERS, CLEVELAND PLAY HOUSE

Best Touring Production
AMERICA MOOR, KARAMU

HONORABLE MENTION
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, PLAYHOUSE SQUARE

Best New Play by a Local Playwright
STEVE WILLENSKY, ELLIOT & ME

HONORABLE MENTION
GEORGE BRANT, THE LAND OF OZ, DOBAMA

Best Chorus/Ensemble in a Musical
WEST SIDE STORY, PORTHOUSE

HONORABLE MENTION
SCHOOL OF ROCK, CAIN PARK
ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS, BLANK CANVAS

Best World Premiere in the Cleveland Area
THE LAND OF OZ, DOBAMA

Special Mention

GINA VERNACI:
For her brilliant 37-year career with Playhouse Square—starting as an intern and rising to Executive Producer and ultimately CEO—providing leadership for the largest performing arts center in the US outside of New York City.

LAURA KEPLEY:
For her wise, innovative and creative guidance as artistic director of the Cleveland Play House for nine years.

CHARLOTTE YETMAN:
For her years of outstanding, award-winning costume designs.

TOM HANKS:
For his acknowledgement of his early training at Great Lakes Theater, during his emotional acceptance of the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 2020 Golden Globes.

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About The Author

Christine Howey

Christine Howey has been reviewing theater since 1997, first at Cleveland Free Times and then for other publications including City Pages in Minneapolis, MN and The Plain Dealer. Her blog, Rave and Pan, also features her play reviews. Christine is a former stage actor and director, primarily at Dobama Theatre...
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