NEPTA Live Streams Awards Ceremony for 2020

The Northeastern Pennsylvania Theatrical Alliance held its 24th Awards ceremony for the 2020 year. The NEPTA Annual Awards is usually held as an elegant dress-up event in the spring which highlights and honors the best of the best in Community Theater of Northeast Pennsylvania of the previous year. 

This year, due to all the issues with the Coronavirus, the event was streamed live to the Facebook page of Northeastern Pennsylvania Theatrical Alliance and on NEPTA’S YouTube Channel, where they can still be viewed. 

Planners and hosts of the livestream event were: Jacob Shoesmith-Fox and Claudia Stuart of Theatrical Gems; MC was Scott Colin of Little Theater of Wilkes Barre; NEPTA President Paige Balitski of Diva Productions, and creating the program for the event and presenting was Bob DeLuca of Endless Mountains Theater Company. 

FlashMilk Productions performed another innovative opening for the show, with a guest appearance by Broadway’s Adam Pascal. NEPTA representatives voted on various live-staged and Zoom performances to come up with nominations and recipients in various categories. 

NEPTA member organizations who were nominated, received awards or took part in the ceremony include: Actors Circle and Diva Productions, Lackawanna County; DM Performance Works, both of Schuylkill and Luzerne County; Endless Mountains Theatre Company, Susquehanna County; Gaslight Theatre, Little Theatre of Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania Theater of Performing Arts (PTPA), and Music Box Theatre, Luzerne County; and Theatrical Gems and Worthington Players at Shawnee, Monroe County.  

Members-at-Large and presenting were Regina Lanzo and Marty Courtney. Other presenters were: Paige and Bob Balitski (Diva), Cathy Rist Strauch (Actors Circle), Dane Bower (Gaslight), Mike Wawrzynek (PTPA) Jeffrey and Rachel Rossi (Theatrical Gems), David Arzberger and Brandon Hanks (Worthington), Jennifer and Derek Elliot (LTWB), Gina Zanolini Morrison (Music Box), Joelle Witner (DMPW), and 2019 Award recipients: Alice Y. Lyons, Christopher Alu, and Alicia Nordstrom. Maddie Giardina, another 2019 award recipient, was unable to present.

Also acknowledged at the event were graduating seniors who received scholarships from NEPTA: Lindsay Sherrick of Shickshinny, attending Muhlenberg College in the fall for a B.A in Theatre, and Madelyn Casey of Scranton, attending the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in the fall for an A.O.S. in Musical Theatre.

2020 NEPTA Award recipients are: Diva Productions, “Thursdays at Bubbles,” Best Production of an Original One Act, and Michael Pavese for Best Writing of a One Act; Music Box’s “The Sound of Music” received awards for: Best Family Show; Michael Marone for Best Set; Sue Drake, Gina Zanolini Morrison, Adele Ann Tavella for Best Costume Design; Layla Howell for Best Teen Actress, for her role as Maria Von Trapp; Olivia Holland for Best Youth Actress; and Larry Vojtko for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical.  

Also, PTPA’s production of “Amadeus” received awards for: Best Play; Adam Randis for Best Director of a Play and Best Sound Design; John Schugard for Best Lighting Design; Joyce Vandermark for Best Lead Actress in a Play. PTPA’s “Godspell” also received Best Ancillary Ensemble award. 

Little Theater of Wilkes Barre’s “King Lear” received awards for: Kevin Costley for Best Lead Actor in a Play; Rob Klubeck for Best Supporting Actor in a Play. LTWB’s “The Wedding Singer received awards for:” Best Musical; Hollie Major Baker for Best Musical Director; Becky Phillips for Best Choreographer; and Mike Wawrzynek for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical. Theatrical Gems “As You Wish It, Or the Bride Princess” received awards for: Best Zoom Production, Michael Hagins for Best Original Full-Length Writing and Best Director of a Zoom Production; and Scott Colin for Best Actor in a Zoom Production. Also, Kristen Long received Best Actress in a Musical for TG’s “Facing It.” 

Worthington Players’ “Nunsense A-Men!” received awards: Ryan Cook and Sarah McCarroll for Best Director of a Musical; Ryan Cook for Best Lead Actor in a Musical; Rob Howell for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical; Ethan Flanagan for Best Teen Actor. Also receiving awards for Worthington Players, was their production, “Church Basement Ladies: A Second Helping:” Sarah McCarroll for Best Lead Actress in a Musical; Kristen Long for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical. Katrina Weithman received the Best Supporting Actress Award for Worthington’s “The Punch Bowl Bumpoff.”

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