ST. LOUIS — Like so many different organizations, the area’s Arts For Life (AFL) has gone digital for now.
Art’s For Life’s 21st annual Best Performance Awards, which honors musicals and youth productions, will premiere at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 14, as a dwell interactive viewing occasion on the AFL Facebook web page, reasonably than dwell on the Skip Viragh Center for the Performing Arts at Chaminade College Preparatory School in St. Louis. This yr’s Best Performance gathering has been canceled and re-imagined due to the present coronavirus pandemic.
Arts For Life’s Theatre Mask Awards, which honors non-musical performs, its brunch ceremony continues to be scheduled at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 18 (rescheduled from April four), at Christian Hospital’s Atrium Conference Center. But it’s potential the AFL Board of Directors must make it digital, relying on the present public well being state of affairs, the nonprofit group stated.
The 2020 Best Performance Awards will honor excellence in neighborhood and youth musical theater productions introduced final yr. The awards present could have been pre-recorded. In addition to the Best Performance Awards Facebook Watch Party, the video shall be on the AFL YouTube channel as a dwell occasion, after which will stay for later viewings. Subscribers to the channel will get a reminder for the occasion.
Alton Little Theater garnered nominations for AFL’s Best Performance Awards for actors Margery Handy for Best Actress in a Comedic Role for “The Wizard of Oz” and Andrew Richards for Best Actor in a Non-Singing Role (in a musical). Alton Little Theater Executive Director Lee Cox acquired a nomination for Outstanding Costume Design of a Play for “The Wizard of Oz,” and in addition a lighting design nomination, together with Dennis Stephenson, for the identical manufacturing.
Among youth teams, the Goshen Theatre Project, primarily based in Edwardsville, scored 18 nominations — 13 for “Les Miserables School Edition,” for Best Youth Production, and 5 noms for “Disney’s The Little Mermaid.” Bennett English, who performed Jean Valjean, will obtain a particular award for Best Youth Musical Performance.
Also for Best Youth Production, nominees embody “The Drowsy Chaperone,” held at Alton High School, from Riverbend Theatre.
In all, Arts For Life will announce winners in 33 classes and reveal the annual youth scholarship awardees. There additionally shall be a number of particular displays. The Lifetime Achievement Award is not going to be introduced this yr.
The group honors neighborhood theater and youth productions within the bi-state area, involving 25 theater firms from the Metro East counties of Madison, Monroe and St. Clair, town of St. Louis, St. Louis County and St. Charles County, Missouri.
Arts For Life will honor Jennifer Kerner with a Special Achievement Award for her advocacy on inclusion and serving to to make the dwell theater expertise accessible to all people. Kerner, an area singer and actress, works to assist place folks with developmental disabilities in jobs. She has guided native theater firms in offering sensory-friendly performances and labored to create comfy environments for these on the autism spectrum and people with sensory processing issues.
The Arts For Life board made the troublesome resolution to cancel the annual gathering for Best Performance Awards and transition to a streamed format, AFL President Mary McCreight stated. She emphasised that the board will proceed to base its selections upon one of the best data at the moment out there within the quickly evolving COVID-19 state of affairs and proceed to share data promptly and transparently, aware of the necessity for communities to obtain well timed updates.
“While we are disappointed that we cannot produce the regular in-person ceremony that so many people look forward to attending, we hope that moving to a stream-based format will still provide an opportunity for our local arts community to come together online and celebrate the many outstanding achievements of the previous year,” McCreight stated.
In a March 16 emergency notification, McCreight introduced suspension all public actions of the AFL group, efficient till not less than May 1. At the newest often scheduled assembly, held by way of teleconference April 18, the board voted to increase the suspension by July 31, with the next exception:
• The board has not but taken a closing resolution concerning the fifth annual Theatre Mask Awards ceremony set to honor achievements in non-musical performs. The brunch ceremony had already been rescheduled from April four to July 18 on the Atrium Banquet Center on the Christian Hospital campus in St. Louis. Stay tuned for bulletins concerning any potential modifications which may additional have an effect on the timing and/or location of this upcoming occasion.
Alton Little Theater’s Arts For Life Theatre Mask Awards nominations embody “On Golden Pond” and “And Then There Were None” for Outstanding Drama; Outstanding Direction noms for the 2 productions went to Gary Wilson and Brant McCance, respectively. “On Golden Pond” additionally was nominated for Outstanding Small Ensemble.
“A Twisted Christmas Carol” was nominated for Outstanding Comedy and Outstanding Small Ensemble, and Kim Hillman for Outstanding Leading Actress in a Comedy for her performance in “A Twisted Christmas Carol.” Diana Kay acquired a nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy for “Glitter Girls.”
Outstanding Lighting Design of a Play nominations went to Shea Maples for “And Then There Were None” and to Cox for “A Twisted Christmas Carol.”
Also, Alton Little Theater will obtain a particular recognition award for neighborhood outreach and for 17 years of manufacturing Vintage Voices, taking theater outdoors the partitions of Alton Little Theater’s Showplace Theater. June Elliott and Cox shall be honored for their dedication.
In all, Alton Little Theater garnered greater than a dozen nominations for a number of 2019 productions by Arts For Life.
Fifteen theater teams and 10 youth-only teams take part within the Best Performance Awards, which has honored musical theater since 1999. Arts For Life was based in 1994, by Lucinda Guyrci, as an area nonprofit group devoted to the therapeutic energy of the humanities by its work with youth, the under-served and the neighborhood.
This yr, judges scored 46 reveals — 19 giant ensembles, three small and 24 youth — from 27 collaborating teams, that includes 939 roles. For 2019, there are 154 particular person nominations from 22 teams, and 36% are first-time nominees.
For those that have bought Best Performance Awards tickets, Arts For Life will contact people about refund choices, similar to treating the acquisition quantity as a tax-deductible donation.
“We appreciate your support,” McCreight stated.
”I’m extremely grateful to all of our constituencies — the board, judges, collaborating teams, viewers members and donors — for their dedication to AFL and their engagement and unwavering help of our native theater neighborhood throughout these unsure occasions.”
To see a listing of the nominees, go to www.artsforlife.org. Follow Arts For Life at Facebook.com/artsforlifestlouis, Twitter @arts_for_life and YouTube.