AURORA | Retro cool is a thing, and it scores. Just ask Craig Bond.
The executive director of Aurora’s Vintage Theatre Productions has made a name for himself and his company in recent years by clawing into the theatrical moratorium and shaking life into forgotten shows or those on the horizon of relevance.
And all that time spent blowing the dust off of decaying playbills is starting to have a tangible pay off.
Haley Johnson, as Jessie, and Emma Messenger, as Mama, star in “‘Night Mother” at the Vintage Theater. (Photo provided)
The Colorado Theatre Guild announced its nominees for the 10th annual Henry Awards Thursday, June 18, and The Vintage reeled in a formidable six nominations. Of those, five were tied to the theater’s most recent show, the heartbreaking relic “‘Night, Mother.”
The annual awards ceremony held at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities recognizes dozens of theater companies from across the state for outstanding productions from the prior season.
“To do a classic like “‘Night, Mother”, but to do it very well, kind of speaks to the mission of who we are and of bringing in vintage works that people had never seen or hadn’t seen for a very long long time,” Bond said. “We’re thrilled for the two women, the director and the designer to have been nominated and for them to get this recognition for their work.”
Lead actresses Haley Johnson and Emma Messenger were both nominated for “Outstanding Actress in a Play” for their roles as Jessie and Mama, respectively. Director Billie McBride was tapped for “Outstanding Production of a Play” as well as “Outstanding Direction of a Play”, and designer Douglas Clarke received a nomination for “Outstanding Scenic Design.”
Johnson rounded out The Vintage’s nominations with a second nod in the “Outstanding Actress in a Play” category for her role in the theater’s run of “A Streetcar Named Desire” last year.
Bond said that the slew of nominations is helpful in efforts to showcase the theater’s work to potential donors.
“It’s always nice to be honored for the work that you do, but the awesome thing about awards in general for The Vintage and other companies is that it really helps to define the quality of our work to funders,” he said. “To have the benchmark of an award every year, or at least a nomination, is a great indication that the company’s on the right track.”
Other local theater outfits up for awards include A & A Productions for its run of “Good Television”, Ignite Theatre for “Dreamgirls” and Phamaly Theatre Company for “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”. All three companies regularly perform at the Aurora Fox Arts Center on East Colfax in Aurora. Both “Good Television” and “Dreamgirls” ran on The Fox stages during their respective runs in late 2014 and early this year, while “Joseph” ran at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.
The Guild has already named the Creede Repertory Theatre in Creede as the “Outstanding Regional Theatre” of the year.
More than 45 Colorado theater aficionados played a hand in judging 187 of 216 eligible shows for the 2014-2015 Henry Awards, which are named in honor of longtime Denver theater producer Henry Lowenstein.
The gala for the 10th annual Henry Awards will be held at the Arvada Center July 20.
Read Aurora Sentinel Editor Dave Perry’s review of “‘Night, Mother” HERE.